Minneapolis Telecommunications Network
Open Special Board Meeting
September 22, 2017
Agenda and Meeting Minutes
- Call to Order by Board Chair Oral Sledge at 5:45 pm
- Roll Call: Oral Sledge: Board Chair, Lamarr Scott: Board Vice Chair, Valerie Lockhart: MTN Transition Team and Acting/Interim ED, Samantha Pree-Stinson: MTN Transition Team, Cyndi Lewis: MTN Member, Ralph Crowder: MTN Member, Mark Stanley: MN Media Arts, Joseph Garelick: MTN Member
- Public Statement- Lamarr Scott: MTN Vice Chair
- Lamarr stated his reason for being on the Executive Committee was to bring money to MTN. He did not sign on to fight and he stated he supported Ralph Crowder being honored for all of the past transgressions by previous staff and Board by allowing him to run a program but he did not agree with giving him money. He said he should be allowed to make a documentary about MTN and that we should have a party. He also said that this documentary should be shown publicly. He also stated that as a board member and Executive leader he was initially going to resign but he stayed to support Ralph. He was the only one who said Ralph should be allowed to speak at meetings and was the one who made the motion to get some Board members removed for their conduct towards Ralph and others. Lamaar stated that bringing in money is what he does best, not fighting or managing staff. Those are not his strengths. He said his immediate goal is to bring in $500,000 to refurbish the station and get updated equipment. His long term goal was to obtain $2 to 5 million dollars for a new building or to buy land and build a brand new facility. He is working with someone who used to work at the Medtronic Foundation: Marty Allen to see how we can partner. Lamarr said that if people want to give money away that he would walk.
- Valerie Lockhart stated that it was she who was working to negotiate for Ralph by developing programs or scholarships and she was the one who brought up giving him money just so that she knew how much she was able to negotiate. Ralph never asked that of her.
- Ralph Crowder stated that he was not making a documentary. He was documenting his experiences. He confirmed that he never asked for money. Both Lamarr and Oral confirmed that they heard Valerie bring up money as a possibility and not Ralph. Valerie stated she brought up money as leverage to negotiate if it was needed/based on the direction the conversation could have taken. Ralph stated Lamar has been the most vocal on the Board regarding relationship issues. Ralph also stated that it was he and a few others that actually advocated for both Oral and Lamarr as the 1st 2 Black men in the history of MTN (since the founding in 1983) to ever hold Executive Board positions. Not true that no one spoke up on behalf of Lamarr and Oral. Ralph said he had been an under enormous amount of misapplied policy. Staff that was hired by previous ED, Tene Wells, were writing legal notes saying that he, Oral, and Lamarr had been harassing contractors of MTN. It was not in Ralph’s favor not to speak up about these issues so he did multiple times. CHaracter and integrity are qualities that make up excellence of leadership that are working with the public and that these qualities were essential. Ralph stated he has been an active member of MTN since 2008. We are at a point where responsive and responsible leadership with the above named qualities with transparency need to be in place.
- Motion to delay approval of Last Meeting Minutes (August 23, 2017)
- Rationale: Last ED hired someone to take the minutes and they never sent them
- This person will be contacted to send or minutes will be re-created from recorded audio
- The motion was passed unanimously to postpone on last minutes. Valerie stated she has the audio recording of the meeting should the minutes need to be re-created.
- Will be obtained or re-created by next scheduled public meeting 27-SEP-2017
- Approval of the Articles of Incorporation
- Motion to approve articles was moved and 2nd by Lamarr. Approved by unanimous vote.
- Articles of Incorporation were signed and Office Manager will get filed with the State of MN. (Done 9/23/2017)
- Approval of the Restated Bylaws
- Motion was raised to amend Articles 3.1.6, 4.3 and 8.1
- A point of clarification was called by Ralph to provide definition of a few terms in the by-laws
- The Bylaws were updated and the motion to approve the amendments and then approve the complete by-laws. By-Laws were signed and approved by unanimous vote.
- Lamarr brought up a name change. Samantha Pree-Stinson and Valerie mentioned that the timing was not right and that it would be a lot of work to change the name. It was also brought up that changing the name would not change how the public felt and that a name change should be brought before the members for input and to see what suggestions for names they may have. Ralph Crowder said he felt that a name change may be necessary 6 months from now after we see how the transition is going. Branding and that fact that a new sign was bought via a grant and how much work it would be to make all of the changes and obtain a new sign.
- A google form will be created and sent to membership to vote if they want a name change and space will be provided for a name to be submitted.
- At next Board meeting, the names submitted will be reviewed and the board will vote on whether or not to change the name.
- Motion was made my Lamarr to agree to steps A and above, and was passed unanimously.
- Adjourn- The meeting was called to adjourn seeing as there was no further business at 6:54 pm.