The August meeting of the Garrett County Commission for Women was called to order at 5:04 P.M. by Chair Lisa Thayer Welch. Due to COVID-19, this meeting was conducted via the Zoom Meeting platform. Also present were Sadie Liller, Erin-Ruth Natividad, Linda Carr, Pam Trickett, and Juliet Sanders
A moment of silence was recognized, and the Pledge of Allegiance had been recited.
Secretary’s Report: No report other than the presentation of Minutes from the June 2, 2020 Meeting as prepared by Erin-Ruth Natividad.
Treasurer’s Report: Linda Carr reported a beginning balance of $6,076.24. MLAW yearly dues were paid in the amount of $75.00. The account balance is $6,001.24.
1. Hall of Fame Plaque- Lisa Thayer Welch sent information to Maureen Sheaffer, and will follow up as Maureen is not present at this meeting.
2. Bank Account Signatory- Per minutes dated 2/4/2020, it has been unanimously voted Erin-Ruth Natividad will serve as the secondary signatory on the account at BB&T. As of last week, the signature card has been updated, identifying Linda Carr and Erin-Ruth Natividad as bank account signatories.
3. Volunteer Activity- Linda Carr asked if we wanted to consider to donate as we will not be holding HOF. Pam Trickett said that there is opportunity and projects the Commission could work on. The Grand Opening of The Dove Center’s new facility is soon, and Pam Trickett will reach out to identify how the Commission can assist.
1. Hall of Fame changes due to COVID-19- Items discussed for this category are listed under “New Business”.
2. Scholarship- Lisa Thayer Welch provided the update for the scholarships. Sydney Elissa Friend-applied for the MRS Scholarship and was awarded the MRS Scholarship; arrangements are being handled by Cheryl DeBerry for the Tucker County Foundation to send the funds. Bethany Rae Evans-applied for general scholarship and was awarded a general scholarship Lauryn Marie Moon applied for both scholarships and was awarded a general scholarship. Christie M. Reckart applied for the MRS scholarship and was awarded a general scholarship. Jenna Nicole Yommer, applied for the MRS scholarship and was awarded a general scholarship. Gabriella Faith White applied for the MRS scholarship and was not awarded the MRS scholarship; does not qualify for a general scholarship as she received one last year. A letter will be sent to Gabriella White updating her application status. Lisa Thayer Welch will send addresses to Linda Carr to issue checks to the awardees.
3. Legislation- Linda Carr emailed the final MLAW session as they ended early due to COVID-19. A few items were shelved until next year. 97% rate of success has been reported. Fall Conference 11/14/2020 in Silver Spring.
4. Public Relations- It has been identified that Cheryl DeBerry’s term is up as of 9/30/2020, and she does not wish to continue as a GCCW at this time. Erin-Ruth Natividad advised she would take over this role, and Erin-Ruth will work with Cheryl to gain access. Linda Carr will send a copy of the brochure. Juliet Sanders said she would like to be an admin to the Facebook page as she has not yet been assigned a committee. Erin-Ruth Natividad advised she would get Juliet Sanders added as admin.
5. Membership- Commissioners have been sent the current membership, and will be updated with re-appointments. We will work with recruitment in the future. Erin-Ruth Natividad advised she had someone express interest, and she will forward interested parties. It is confirmed, we are always looking for new members. Erin-Ruth Natividad advised she had been comparing the minutes to the roster per the membership meeting requirements.
6. Historian- It was identified Kitty had the archived items per Linda Carr. Once more movement is allowed, these items will be collected once COVID-19. Rose Gordy was not in meeting attendance as it was not in-person.
7. By-Laws- Maureen Sheaffer was not attendance. Lisa will follow-up to see if Strategic Planning meeting notes have been added to the Bylaws.
8. Community Service- Pam Trickett will work with Dove Center to outline what we can do to assist with their grand opening of the new facility.
1. Hall of Fame and Scholarship changes due to COVID-19- The Hall of Fame is being rescheduled due to large crowd restrictions in the state. Simon Pierce did not have a budget to donate this year. There are three HOF winners for 2020 Ruth Keller, Jane Fox, Cindy Downton were selected as the winners. The Woman of Tomorrow is Lauren Jacobs from the Northern end of the county. Her charity was to donate to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in the amount of $250. Awards will be purchased for the 2 living winners Jane Fox and Cindy Downton. A Woman of Tomorrow Plaque will be purchased. Sadie Liller said she will follow-up about plaque being made. It was suggested by Sadie Liller that a virtual presentation be made. Erin-Ruth Natividad advised she felt it would be irresponsible to hold the event this year, and that the people be virtually recognized and also recognized next year. Pam Trickett suggested a nursing member help us with the presentation of the award to Ms. Fox. Linda Carr will follow-up about the made awards. Lisa Thayer Welch will call Dutch’s and cancel. A newspaper article will be submitted for HOF Winners, Woman of Tomorrow Winner, and scholarship winners.
2. Re-appointments and appointments- Erin-Ruth Natividad identified she sent the most recent appointments to the Commissioners. Lisa Thayer Welch said this had been previously done and approved, and Linda Carr said she had told Erin-Ruth Natividad this data had not been updated because the Commissioners website had not yet been updated. Erin-Ruth Natividad said that the worst-case scenario would be that these members would be approved for membership twice, best the data would be corrected. Lisa Thayer Welch, Erin-Ruth Natividad, Sadie Liller, and Cheryl Deberry terms expire as of 9/30/2020. Correspondence was sent out asking member intentions on August 5, 2020 by Erin-Ruth Natividad. Sadie Liller responded she wished to continue, and Cheryl DeBerry advised she did not wish to continue membership. Lisa Thayer Welch did not respond via email. Lisa advised she did wish to continue. Erin-Ruth Natividad will send the updated letter to the Commissioners.
3. Women’s Equality Day Celebration Across Maryland 2020-2021 Call to Action– Erin-Ruth Natividad advised the In-Person celebration will happen in 2021. As for 2020, there is a Virtual Call to Action that is to take place before August 22, 2020 using the hashtag “ #WED2020Action”. People are asked to take a photo or video of yourself holding a sign saying this, or something similar in your own words: “[NAME of favorite suffragist] fought for my right to vote. I will vote!”. There are more instructions on the WED2020 Facebook page for Maryland. Erin-Ruth Natividad will email details and make a post on the Commission Facebook page.
4. Maryland Commission 2020 Women’s Centennial Summit will be held August 26, 2020 from 9:30 to 12:30 as a Virtual Event. This event will be promoted/shared on the Garrett County Commission for Women Facebook Page.
5. Strategic Planning and Public Relations- Erin-Ruth Natividad advised it is the mission of the Garrett County Commission for Women to “promote a positive image of women, advise county government, advance solutions and serve as a county wide resource to promote social, political and economic equality for women. As of February, Erin-Ruth advised she had been sharing a wide arrangements of community events that align, not only with this mission, but also with the strategic planning goals outlined such as upcoming governmental meetings, family community events, drug awareness activities, etc. On July 28th, a variety of events were shared that promote this mission and strategic planning goals. On July 28th an event called An Evening of Unity and Healing slated for August 3, 2020 was shared with the description “Please join us for a night of unity as we engage in conversation about the racial divide and injustice our community and the world are facing. ALL ARE WELCOME! Interested persons are invited to attend a public forum on techniques and strategies to promote civil discourse, mutual respect and kindness among people with whom they may otherwise disagree. It will be led by Thomas Vose, Director of the Ruth Enlow Public Library of Garrett County and Judy Carbone, current President of AAUW-Garrett Branch. Vose is the Garrett County coordinator of Choose Civility (choosecivility.org), and Carbone is a trained moderator for Braver Angels (braverangels.org.)” Shortly after, a message was received by Lisa Thayer Welch stating “Can whomever posted the “evening of unity &healing” on our FB page please remove it? The GCCW has not voted to support this event. Thank you. Lisa Welch”. Erin-Ruth Natividad wanted to know why, when this event meets the criteria for the event’s the Commission should be promoting, was it singled out, and why, if a vote needed to be taken, then why were none of the other events voted on. Lisa Thayer Welch said this is the first of recent post she had seen. Erin-Ruth Natividad identified the other types of posts she had been sharing, and suggested Lisa may have her allowed posts settings set to. Erin-Ruth Natividad advised how to boost Commission algorithms, and how to see all posts. Sadie Liller said the last one got a bit political, and that she had gotten a bit uncomfortable; however, the other events for the Unity group had not been like this. Erin-Ruth agreed, and said that it is clear we are not to be political, but it is our responsibility to support the voices of all women in our community, including women of color. Erin-Ruth Natividad said that she did not wish to be part of a Commission that wasn’t for ALL WOMEN, and she would immediately submit her resignation if that implication was made. Linda Carr said she feels we should continue to support this event until we have determined it does not align with our goals. Pam Trickett said she felt Erin-Ruth was doing a great job with the posts on the Commission Facebook. Juliet Sanders advised she thinks we should promote people being election judges.
6. Sadie Liller advised we should send BJ, former Chair, a gift as a gift was given to Judy Carbone, former Chair. It was identified this should be a practice of the Commission.
7. Correspondence- Erin-Ruth Natividad advised she had been sending emails requiring response to Chair, Lisa Welch, and the emails had not been responded to. Dated 7/9/2020, 7/28/2020, 2 emails on 7/30/2020 and on 8/5/2020. Erin-Ruth Natividad advised she had reached out to other Commission members to ask if they had heard anything from the chair prior to the 8/4 meeting, and was advised they too had not had response from the Chair. Sadie Liller advised she also had not had responses to her emails. Lwelch@garrettcounty.org is the updated email for Lisa as she advised she was not receiving emails. Erin-Ruth Natividad wanted to clarify as to why the 8/4/2020 meeting had been rescheduled last minute, as the Commission has a regularly scheduled meeting. Lisa Welch apologized for the notice given, Lisa said they could not attend.
8. Lisa Thayer Welch said she didn’t know whether the next meeting would be in-person or virtually. Erin-Ruth Natividad identified she felt the next meeting should be in-person and with social distancing, and Sadie Liller agreed. Juliet Sanders said she would follow-up with Mountainside Clubhouse as it is more spacious. Lisa Thayer Welch was not certain if the College was allowing meetings in the conference room we typically utilize.
Erin-Ruth Natividad motioned to adjourn the meeting, and Linda Carr seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 6:21 P.M. The next meeting is Tuesday, October 6, 2020 from 5 to 6:30 P.M.