KAW General Body Meeting 2 Minutes


Meeting Date: November 23rd, 2014

Meeting start time: 2:20 PM
Meeting end time: 3:40 PM

Venue: Divya Performing Arts, Bellevue, WA
Attendees: KAW EC 2014, and General Body
(about 40 members)


The President of the 2014 EC, Mr. Rajagoplan Margessery, presided over the general body meeting that had the following agenda:

·        Ratification of Silver Jubilee Committee: The advisory committee of 2011 had a recommendation to form a committee for Silver Jubilee preparations which was approved by a General Body then. The 2014 EC started acting on that recommendation. The 2014 EC had called a meeting of past presidents and secretaries of KAW, and the advisory committee members to discuss the plan. EC would like to put forward a recommendation for the Silver Jubilee committee that came out of that meeting and seek approval from the general body to bring this committee to existence.

·        Dispute from KAW 2012 EC: The 2014 EC was asked by the general body held in March 2014 to collect $250 from the Treasurer of 2012 regarding some expense items of the 2012 committee. We couldn’t collect that money and the 2012 EC requested another GB hearing to revisit the decision made at the last General Body meeting.

·        (If time permits) Discuss ways to enforce that the membership is limited to people with some Malayalee connection.

Mr. Rajagopalan Margessery welcomed the general body and recapped the agenda and goals.

1.       Approve Silver Jubilee Committee structure, members and charter

Secretary, Mr. Jyothish Nair, read the charter of the proposed silver jubilee committee (SJCC) along with the proposed structure and nominated candidates for the positions.  The general body discussed the charter in detail and the following observations/corrections were suggested to be made, made on discussions.

-          The original recommendation was for Convener – Welcome and Reception, not Logistics. Per GB, this will be updated in the charter.

-          On point #2 under Roles and Responsibilities, there was a discussion on the need for SJCC funding prior to the 2015 EC takes charge, especially for things like booking venues for any programs. Some of these may require booking in advance and March may prove too late. After discussions, the GB decided to add the following clause:

o   Any financial aid needed by SJCC before the 2015 EC is sworn in, should be first presented to 2014 EC. The 2014 EC has the power to approve up to $1000 in total budget before March 1, 2015. Any amount exceeding this limit should be presented at a General Body for approval.

-          The other point of discussion was #10 under Roles and Responsibilities. Members brought up need to have a way to resolve any conflicts, if we end up in a stale mate between the President of the EC and the SJCC Chairman. Based on the discussions, the GB decided on the following

o   A Joint Committee will be formed for conflict resolution purposes. The following shall be the members (23) of the Joint Committee, which will be headed by the President of the KAW EC.

§  KAW Executive Committee members (15 members)

§  Chairman, General Convener, and 6 Conveners of the SJCC (8 members)

§  Any conflict that cannot be resolved based on #10 shall be left to the Joint Committee.

-          The General Body approved the SJCC charter, committee structure and nominations.

o   Approved at 2:54PM

o   Motion to approve was proposed by Mr. Madhu Kangara

o   The motion was seconded by Mr. George Parappuram

You can access the charter and committee with the GB recommendation incorporated, at http://kaow.org/silverjubilee/sjccharter.htm.

2.       Dispute by KAW EC 2012

The general body requested the current EC to explain the premise to the agenda. Secretary, Mr. Jyothish Nair explained the resolution that came from the GB held in March, 2014, the events that lead to the decision (You can read the meeting minutes of that meeting at http://kaow.org/events/2014/gbmarch2014.htm ) and why the current EC is bringing this to the agenda of General body meeting.

2013 EC President Mrs. Saramma Titus explained how the discussion about the $250 charge was brought into the discussion even when that was not part of the agenda. 2013 Treasurer, Mrs Kalpana Hariprasad, explained the challenges she had in accounting because of some outstanding checks (you can refer to the GB meeting minutes from March 2014 for this point as well). 2012 EC President, Biju Skariah, explained why he thinks the amount is legitimate and should not be returned.

-          Appreciation event for executive committee members is a legal expense per regulations of 501 c4

-          The charge was expensed and audited in 2013. There was no receipt for the expense, but there was a voucher

-          A receipt for the expense is now presented to the 2014 EC (though this happened only on the day of this meeting)

Mr. Ram Pranam explained that KAW by law allows the expenses to be made with vouchers and receipts aren’t mandatory. He also suggested that it is not a good practice to override previous GB decisions.

Most members agreed that given the time and energy of so many people that has gone into discussion this issue, this issue should be resolved as follows

-          The GB will approve the $250 that the 2012 EC set aside for appreciation event as a legitimate expense and will keep the receipt provided for the expense on the treasurer’s record.

-          The 2012 EC is not required to return the $250 that they were asked to return earlier.

Mr. Roy Mathew proposed the motion to pass the above decision. Mr. Ullas Upendran seconded the motion. GB has approved the above resolution.

Many general body members felt that though this can be seen as a reasonable expense considering the amount of time and effort the EC members put into this, we should do the following in order to keep some checks and balances in place.

-          We should set some limits on how much money EC could use in appreciation other morale events for the committee

-          We should call out what expenses are treated as EC appreciation expenses

-          We should put some time limits on when this money should be used. Many members felt the money should be spent before the EC hands over charges

The GB requested the 2014 EC to come up with a proposal for appreciation and morale event spending and submit before a General Body for discussion and approval.

In the absence of time required to talk about regulations on the membership, the GB decided to take that topic in a future meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:40PM

Respectfully Submitted,

Jyothish Nair