The June meeting of the Garrett County Commission for Women was called to order virtually at 5:17 P.M. by Chair Lisa Thayer Welch. Meeting was located in GIEC Building, Room 102 with teleconference available. Those present in-person were Erin-Ruth Natividad, Sadie Liller, and Juliet Sanders, along with guests Lisa Baker, Girl Scout Cadence Natividad, and Girl Scout Meredith Murphy. Present via Google Meet was Caroline Blizzard, Amanda Mattingly, Melita Friend, Maureen Sheaffer, and Pam Trickett. Interested in potential membership. Resume has been sent and will be sent to the other members.
A moment of silence was recognized, and the Pledge of Allegiance had been recited.
The agenda for the October 5, 2021 meeting was reviewed. Linda Carr motioned for approval, and Michelle Harman seconded. Unanimous approval was received. Lisa Add- New Business talk to about a rep to the MLAW Conference.
Secretary’s Report: No report other than the presentation of Minutes from the August 3, 2021 Meeting as prepared by Erin-Ruth Natividad. No additions or changes were identified. At the time of the review of the minutes, there was not a quorum to vote on the acceptance.
Treasurer’s Report: Melita Friend reported a starting balance of $1,302.07. MLAW dues were paid in the amount of $75, and a banner was purchased for the Women’s Equality Day Celebration for $125. $4,000 was received from Garrett County Government. In addition, monies collected at WED 2021 in the amount of $33 for donation to Foster Appalachia is being held until Melita Friend can make contact with a representative from that organization. Final balance of the account is $5,102.07. Lisa Thayer-Welch advised Melita Friend to confirm all scholarship funds have been received and cashed. If there are any missing from the debits, those individuals will be contacted for clarification.
1. Hall of Fame-. Lisa Thayer-Welch said it is time to begin preparations for HOF 2022. She will get potential dates for the event and this will be up for discussion at the December 7, 2021 meeting.
2. Scholarship- Lisa Thayer-Welch identified there is nothing new to report aside from the payment followup for 2021 scholarships.
3. Legislation- Lisa Thayer Welch identified GCCW now needs a legislative representative now that Linda Carr’s term has expired. Erin-Ruth Natividad volunteered.
4. Public Relations- Erin-Ruth Natividad identified there is nothing new to report. Maureen Sheaffer said she noticed the website needs to be updated with meeting minutes. Erin-Ruth Natividad said she would update with current minutes.
5. Membership- As of 9/30/21, Linda Carr’s term has expired. Erin-Ruth Natividad will update the present membership for committee lead Pam Trickett. Melita Friend said she would assist with this committee. Lisa Baker, guest, wishes to be a member and has submitted a copy of her CV to Lisa Thayer-Welch, who will forward it to all members of the Commission for Women for review. Melita Friend identified she also has resumes to forward for potential members.
6. Historian- No report was made as Rose Gordy was unable to attend as the phone call-in system was down.
7. By-Laws- Maureen Sheaffer said she forwarded the Bylaws to Lisa Thayer-Welch and Erin-Ruth Natividad, but she needs the date the amendments were approved. Erin-Ruth Natividad said she would review meeting minutes and confirm.
8. Community Projects- Lisa Thayer-Welch said she will reach out to Heather Hanline of the Dove Center to get some dates when we could get a photo for our donation. It is ideal for it to be this month as it is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Lisa Thayer-Welch also said it would be great for the GCCW members to get purple umbrellas 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- Nothing new was reported
- Pressing Issues affecting GC Women- Sadie Liller said a few ladies reached out to her regarding current allegations and court case involving Judge Strubin. Sadie Liller said the individuals that reached out to her were concerned that ladies are not being properly represented and Judge Strubin is getting charges dismissed on a technicality without being tried on the allegations. Sadie Liller said she is not typically a women’s rights advocate and wished for us to have a conversation on this topic as the GCCW. She is unsure of what we could provide. Melita Friend said the legal system should handle the case, and once a decision has been made, we could have a discussion. Melita Friend said women should not put themselves in such positions. Sadie Liller said women are in the position at any given time and on any given day. Lisa Thayer Welch asked for clarification about what the individuals were requesting exactly when speaking with Sadie Liller. Sadie Liller said it had to do with the technicality and would not potentially be tried in court on the allegations. She said she was aware it was a touchy subject, and people felt this set women back. Amanda Mattingly said allegations are allegations, and it is very premature for the Commission to do anything until there is some sort of ruling, especially since the new coverage of the allegations may not always be accurate. Erin-Ruth Natividad said victim-blaming should never occur, and the GCCW’s main job is to advocate for women. Maureen Sheaffer reminded everyone that the Dove Center was started from the membership of the GCCW, and we should continue to advocate for women. Melita Friend said it is not in our best interest to advocate on a particular event. Erin-Ruth Natividad said we could regularly provide education on Women’s Rights and things like workplace harassment, without making a public statement on a particular event, similarly to addressing breastfeeding laws. Lisa Thayer-Welch said this education can happen in April when it is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Caroline Blizzard agreed that the GCCW should be vocal on topics at a higher level. Sadie Liller said she was just bringing these concerns to the members of the Commission.
- Hall of Fame- 2022 Discussed in Committee Reports, Item 1.
- Higher Education/Scholarship-Discussed in Committee Reports, Item 2.
- Hall of Fame Plaque- Lisa Thayer-Welch said this project is moving along, but she had no details to provide.
- 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 we need to revisit the issue on the legal side. The State Commission said we are a county appointed board and should be able to use the county tax exempt number. Lisa Thayer-Welch said she will work with Brian Boal, local accountant, this week for advice on this topic.
- Leadership Elections and Committee Leads- (Subgroups) Per nominations and voting, Lisa Thayer-Welch will continue as Chair, Sadie Liller as Co-Chair, and Erin-Ruth Natividad as Secretary. There is a change in Treasurer from Linda Carr to Melita Friend. August 4, 2021 meeting, it was discussed that we should discuss individual skills the members have to create subgroups and teams. Lisa Thayer-Welch said this would be tabled until our potential new members have been accepted.
- Women’s Equality Day Follow-Up- Caroline Blizzard said she felt WED 2021 went well, but the banner needs more signatures, and should be taken to many more events for local women signatures. Caroline Blizzard said this event may turn into an annual event. Maureen Sheaffer said future events should have food available so people stay longer, and parking directions and guidance should be fixed to be easier. Lisa Thayer-Welch said each group in attendance should have been introduced, and Caroline Blizzard said this was supposed to happen but was overshadowed by the ribbon cutting. Maureen Sheaffer said elected officials in attendance. should have been recognized. Any future events will have the expressed involvement of the Commission for ideas.
- State-Wide Survey- Erin-Ruth Natividad reported the State-Wide Covid-19 Survey has been extended until October 15. Lisa Thayer-Welch said our county is potentially the 3rd for the amount of responses. Lisa Thayer-Welch asked who receives emails from the state. Juliet Sanders, Pam Trickett, and Melita Friend said they only receive emails that have been forwarded for Lisa Thayer-Welch, and not from the State Commission. Lisa Thayer-Welch will forward a recent email about focus groups for Covid-19 data collection.
- Girl Scouts Finding Common Ground Badge-Erin-Ruth Natividad, also a Girl Scout Cadette Leader, said we would have Troop 55004 joining us for this meeting and next as the non-partisan nature and work of the Commission will help the scouts learn compromise for their Finding Common Ground Badge. Erin-Ruth Natividad said GCCW may also be needed for mentorship of the girls for other badgework.
- MLAW Fall Conference- The virtual Fall Conference is November 13, 2021 from 9AM-1PM. Lisa Thayer-Welch said there is still a fee although it is virtual, and the MD Commission is offering to send 2 representatives as their guest. Lisa Thayer-Welch said she will attend on behalf of another organization, and that leaves 2 spots available. Erin-Ruth Natividad and Sadie Liller said they would attend. Erin-Ruth Natividad asked about the women’s products in school bathrooms. Lisa Thayer-Welch said she would read the legislation and advise of the effective date. Erin-Ruth Natividad asked about Commissioner Edwards attending the meeting. Lisa Thayer-Welch said she invited him to this meeting, but he could not attend and would be at the December meeting.
- Domestic Violence and Breast Cancer Awareness Month/Letters to the Editor- Juliet Sanders said she wrote on the topic of immunizations, but it did not appear in the paper. Erin-Ruth Natividad suggested she amend the introduction that identifies the observance month, and Lisa Thayer-Welch will forward to Joseph Hauger, Editor, directly for publishing request. Erin-Ruth Natividad volunteered to write a letter on Domestic Violence, and Sadie Liller will write on the topic of Breast Cancer.
- New Banner- Erin-Ruth Natividad identified more than one organization had a banner identifying who they were, their mission/vision, and what they have accomplished. She said the GCCW also needs this banner so it can be used at all of the events GCCW takes part in, including Hall of Fame. This banner would be the same size and set-up as the WED 2021 signature banner, so it is assumed it would cost the same amount of $125. Erin-Ruth Natividad will draft a design. Sadie Liller motioned to table this expense voting until the next meeting and after a design has been sent to the members of the Commission. Caroline Blizzard seconded the motion, and unanimous approval to table the voting of the expense until December 2021 meeting.
- Erin-Ruth Natividad Next Meeting- Erin-Ruth Natividad said she may not be at the next meeting if the phone call-in system is down or there is a problem with any other used virtual system. She asked a contingency to be in place for the recording of the minutes should she not be able to make it.
- Shirts- Erin-Ruth Natividad asked for any GCCW shirt requests be sent to her for making. Each shirt price of $7.00 is only to reimburse for cost.
- Autumn Glory- Pam Trickett suggested that all Woman of Tomorrow Winners should be entered into the Autumn Glory Parade. Sadie Liller agreed and said the members of GCCW could also walk along the WOT Winner which would be a great promotion of our organization. Lisa Thayer-Welch said getting the winner to attend may be an issue as they may be in school. Pam Trickett said that most people treat Autumn Glory as a homecoming event. Erin-Ruth Natividad said we may have an easier job getting the winner to come if it is identified as one of their honors won as listed in the details of the award.
Erin-Ruth Natividad motioned to adjourn the meeting, and Pam Trickett seconded. Unanimous approval was received. The meeting was adjourned at 6:28 P.M. The next meeting is Tuesday, December 7, 2021 from 5 to 6:30 P.M.