The June meeting of the Garrett County Commission for Women was called to order at 5:01 P.M. by Chair Lisa Thayer Welch. Meeting was located in GIEC Building, Room 102 with teleconference available. Also present were Sadie Liller, Erin-Ruth Natividad, Juliet Sanders, Kristal Huber, Rose Gordy, and Pam Trickett. Present via teleconference were Caroline Blizzard, Maureen Sheaffer, Michelle Harman, Melita Friend, and Linda Carr. Members not present were Maureen Sheaffer, Amanda Mattingly and Rachel Bruch. No guests were in attendance.
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 April 6, 2021 Meeting as prepared by Erin-Ruth Natividad. Melita Friend made a motion to approve the minutes, with a second by Michelle Harman.
Treasurer’s Report: Linda Carr reported a beginning balance of $4,730.07. Hall of Fame gifts were purchased from Simon Pearce in the amount of $558.00. Motion Erin-Ruth Second Sadie. A final balance was reported of $4,172.07. Due to her term ending, Linda Carr has been making transition steps for Melita Friend to pick up her role as Treasurer. Erin-Ruth Natividad and Linda Carr were on the signature card, and Erin-ruth Natividad signed the updated signature card for the account with BB&T. Melita is working toward getting on the updated signature card once the banking representative is back from vacation.
1. Hall of Fame-. The ceremony will be held June 19, 2021 at the Commissioner’s office from 10 AM-12 PM. It will be a limited attended event by invitation due to COVID-19, along with the event being live streamed. There will be no charge to attend the event as there will be no food being served. Sadie Liller ordered 3 vases for the winners Linda Edwards, Susan Newton, and Judy Carbone, and all 3 inductees have been invited. Initially, only the person being inducted and their nominating person should be in attendance. Woman of Tomorrow winner and her nominator invited have been invited, and she will give us her charity of preference. 2020 winners will be invited for recognition as well. Lisa Thayer-Welch will reach out to Cindy Downton to attend as the others will be there in other capacities. Juliet Sanders said there are 3 different sizes for the plaque for WOT. It was agreed upon consensus that the 8×10 size is most appropriate, and Erin-Ruth Natividad will send the updated logo for the plaque. Lisa Thayer-Welch will ask about access to do the live stream. Flowers will be provided to 2020 and 2021 inductees. Erin-Ruth Natividad referred Celebrations in Oakland as the vendor. Caroline Blizzard will call Celebrations to get a quote. Caroline Blizzard will take pictures of the event for promotions and historical purposes. It is noted that the whole Commission membership should be at the event and dressed for publicity photos. There was a consensus that the nominees should be allowed an additional guest. Lisa will check capacity before contacting nominees with the news.
2. Scholarship- Lisa Thayer Welch reported five winners are Bethany Evans, Jeanie Frazee, Tori Rose Neece, Jenna Griffith-Newlin, and Sara Sweitzer. Maureen R Sharps Scholarship winner is Kassandra Green. Linda Carr said she will cut checks.
3. Legislation- The 2021 MLAW Legislative Session Final Report was sent to all members for review
4. Public Relations- Erin-Ruth Natividad reported she had been updating the social media and site on schedule. She requested the bios of the scholarship winners and HOF inductees be sent to her right away so the website and social media could be updated. Sadie will forward information for 2021 HOF for website and social media. Erin-Ruth needs access to the email address or create a new one. Lisa Thayer Welch was presented in representation of the Commission on a segment of “A Closer Look” on KHJ. Erin-Ruth Natividad will do posts in promotion on LGBTQIA+ Pride Month for the month of June.
5. Membership- Rachel Bruch was not in attendance. Maureen Sheaffer says she spoke with Rachel who plans to resign from GCCW and will send an email to the Chair. This committee will need a new lead, but is tabled until August meeting after officers are chosen. Rose Gordy said she would be referring a new member. Erin-Ruth Natividad said it’s important to cover empty spots with individuals who are going to be present and active. Linda Carr said she has the remaining name tags.
6. Historian- GCCW historical materials need moved. Rose Gordy said she has a section of her garage for storage of GCCW materials. This will be taken care of after June 19 after Rose is back from a trip. Pam Trickett suggested to scan all historical
7. By-Laws- Maureen Sheaffer said a new set of officers is to be nominated. Once new officers are chosen, then we can re-allocate committee leads. Maureen Sheaffer said there has not been nominating committee in the past. Voting on nominations will take place in the August meeting. Nominations will be sent to Maureen by July 1.
8. Community Projects- It has been previously discussed to collaborate with GS Troop 55004 on their badge work and mentorship endeavors. Kristal Huber said she reached out to her point-of-contact, Constance, and was told she is moving. Erin-Ruth Natividad will reach out to Dawn Washington, troop leader to get more information. Kristal Huber said, once we get a more clear picture, she will work with the Troop. Lisa Thayer Welch said we need to check into the Dove Center and look at our sponsored room and get a photo.
Strategic Plan Guiding Principles:
- Promotion of Services/Issues/Activities-This will be achieved through our Public Relations and Community Projects this month and next.
- Political Participation/Leadership Roles- Erin-Ruth Natividad met with Peggy Jamison and has been editing several women candidate clips.
- Pressing Issues affecting GC Women. Discussed in New Business Item 3
- Hall of Fame- 2021 Discussed in Committee Reports, Item 1.
- Higher Education/Scholarship-Discussed in Committee Reports, Item 2.
- Hall of Fame Plaque- Lisa Thayer-Welch will reach out as Maureen Sheaffer to get this project in movement. Tabled until the next meeting. Pam said to check with Donna Brennaman. The question is the measurement. The issue in the past has been cost; however, due to not holding an elaborate HOF 2020 or 2021, the funds should be available.
- Use of Commissioner Tax Exempt Status-It was previously identified GCCW was using the Commissioner’s Tax-Exempt Number, and identified GCCW is no longer to do so. Lisa Thayer Welch said Mike Getty, attorney for the county, agreed to assist to get this matter corrected and do the necessary filings. In the meantime, we will pay tax for goods. Lisa has not had the chance to speak with Mike and will do so in the near future.
- Bio of Amanda Mattingly – Erin-Ruth Natividad needs content for social media, press release and website for Amanda Mattingly. A second email request will be sent to Amanda Mattingly.
1. Lack of Community Childcare- Maureen Sheaffer requested this be on the agenda but said she could not speak on it in the moment as she was preoccupied. Erin-Ruth Natividad summarized the issue by identifying mostly women quit jobs due to the pandemic and there has been an observed priority shift with previously known providers in the area, especially since they are not well-paid in this area. Lisa Thayer-Welch said there are spots with providers she knows of and funds to assist. Erin-Ruth Natividad said there has been a long-standing issue finding vacant spots for infants. Juliet Sanders said ECAT council discussed infant spots in the past, and Dawna Ashby will be taking over this role.
2. Letters to the Editor- Lisa Thayer-Welch said she was not able to write a letter last time. Erin-Ruth Natividad suggested sending task reminder emails for the months that fall between our meeting months.
3. Non-Compliance of Breastfeeding Laws- Lisa Thayer-Welch asked if there was more than one recent occurrence that was discussed recently on social media. Erin-Ruth Natividad said the community comments on social media showed much more education on the topic and laws associated needed shared. Maureen Sheaffer said she had to advocate for a room at her job, and the importance to remind employees and employers, especially coming back from leave. Lisa Thayer-Welch said she would write a letter to the editor on this topic at the end of July as August 1 is national Breast-Feeding Day. Maureen Sheaffer said she also would be able to write a letter as well. Erin-Ruth Natividad asked if people could send her any letters to the editor so they can be promoted on the GCCW website as a blog. Juliet Sanders said Healthy Families could probably support this effort.
4. Removal of Narcan Distribution inf Downtown Oakland- Sadie Liller said this concern was publicized in The Republican as Oakland is the only municipality in Garrett County that does not offer it. Sadie Liller said the town of Oakland was educated on the importance of the sites and asked to set up a distribution site; however, some council members were strongly against it. Several very good letters to the editor had been written on the topic. Dr. Perry’s office will distribute as well as Mountain Haven, Health Dept and Wellspring. Sadie Liller said the members may not have had a family member with substance abuse history, and therefore, may not have seen it as a topic of importance or requiring action. Erin-Ruth Natividad said that most users she is aware of are without a vehicle, and having the sites more available would help.
5. Delegate Voting not in line with GCCW MLAW Recommendations – It was identified that Delegate Wendell Beitzel voted against SB 427/HB 205 Public Schools- Provision of Menstrual Hygiene Products, although this bill was supported by the Garrett County Commission for Women as a recommendation to MLAW on behalf of women/girls in Garrett County. Going forward, the bills supported by GCCW to be sent to our delegation and representation. Sadie Liller suggested to have them meet with us after we selected our supported bills, and Lisa said there may be a problem with time to allow this. Lisa Thayer-Welch said we need to teach people where and how they can advocate. Erin-Ruth Natividad suggested getting a regular spot in the Republican.
6. Recent Meeting with Gov. Hogan- Gov. Hogan was recently invited to Garrett County, and the guest list was not representative. Maureen Sheaffer sent an email letter to Senator Edwards expressing her disappointment of seeing one woman. It was noted the meeting with Gov Hogan was to discuss jobs and the economy. Edwards advised Maureen that he had a short time to gather the guest list; however, the ‘short time” was a week and included all men, aside from one woman. Lisa Thayer-Welch said the announcement said “leaders”, and it wasn’t representative.
7. Announcement of Meetings with Public Officials and GCCW Coverage- Maureen Sheaffer said the Commission needs to be present on a consistent basis. Maureen Sheaffer said the Commissioners are impressed with the HOF in the past, but we need more audiences with the commissioners and the state representatives. Lisa Thayer-Welch said we need an agenda or topic in mind when we invite them or appear at any of their meetings. Maureen Sheaffer said that the Commission needs a little more respect. In respect to Edwards’ response to Sheaffer, Erin-Ruth said his response about having wife, daughters, etc does not mean he has a full understanding of women in our community, and Maureen Sheaffer said we don’t need him to speak for us, we need to speak. Linda Carr said Paul Edwards used to come speak with GCCW, and she suggested to invite the Commissioners to come to meetings. Erin-Ruth Natividad suggested to invite to the August meeting. Lisa Thayer-Welch said she would get on the Commissioners’ June agenda and request we get a designated member from their board. Erin-Ruth Natividad said the meeting with Beitzel and Edwards was not publicized as well as it could be, and Maureen Sheaffer confirmed.
8. Women’s Equity Day Celebration- Caroline Blizzard said the event is being held August 28, 2021 at Sang Run State Park, and several women’s organizations and clubs are involved. Caroline Blizzard said there will be a march recreation, and each group is to sponsor a family friendly activity table. She said GCCW could be responsible for voter registration booth as it is non-partisan. Caroline Blizzard said she would get updated after the organizer meeting this Thursday. It was noted that there will be a bake sale, and GCCW is responsible for making purple and yellow pretzels. Erin-Ruth Natividad and Maureen Sheaffer said they would be available that day for help. Caroline Blizzard requested members brainstorm ideas for our table. Erin-Ruth Natividad said this is another opportune moment why we need GCCW shirts.
9. 2021 Commissions Round Table- State Commission meeting is slated for June 10 at 6 PM. Erin-Ruth Natividad read the email blast regarding the meeting. Lisa Thayer-Welch will report GCCW Top 3 Priorities: expanding women voices in the community, increase participation in local politics, communication women’s issues to the decision-makers. Sadie Liller, Erin-Ruth Natividad, Caroline Blizzard, and Juliet Sanders will also attend.
Erin-Ruth Natividad motioned to adjourn the meeting, and Michelle Harman seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 6:47 P.M. The next meeting is Tuesday, August 3, 2021 from 5 to 6:30 P.M.