Board Minutes – 04/2003


Chicago Headline Club
Board of Directors Meeting

April 9, 2003

8 a.m. – President Molly McDonough called the meeting to order.

Present: Molly, Casey Bukro, Ed Coper, Chad Rubel, John Camden, Lucio Guerrero, Abdon Pallasch, Phil Kadner, Diane Monk, Paula Brien, Ben Bradley, Bob Roberts, Christine Tatum and Susan S. Stevens

President’s report: At Molly’s request, the board approved donating $100 to Columbia College’s Diversity Program.

The PR Newswire program April 8 was rescheduled because of a mix-up on our part.

We face a $1,500 IRS fine for late filing last year’s 990 form. Steve was unaware of the deadline. Since we have $100,000 in the bank, we can afford it but it’s still a huge hit.

Board members approved the nomination of Shamus Toomey of the Daily Herald to the board, replacing Carmel Carrillo who resigned because of her health. The slate of officers and board members to be voted on at the membership meeting was approved. Ben thanked departing board members for their work and willingness to continue working for the Headline Club. He noted many nominees have investigative reporting backgrounds. Molly said it is also a very strong FOIA board, with Jason Jedlinski and Meg Tebo joining Phil and Bob in their efforts.

Minutes from the March meeting were approved with these corrections:
–Art Menke, rather than Bob Roberts, was on the nominating committee
–In the ethics section, “nothing” should read “noting”
–In the ethics section, both Christine and Mary Meyers proposed that the Tribune be honored

Ethics report: Casey ordered three plaques for the Southtown, to be presented to key individuals. The Tribune will receive one plaque. David Ozar of the Ethics Line will present the awards.
Casey also said the Advice Line has received more than 150 calls in two years. They came from all over the country. “I think we’re doing a real public service,” he said. Each caller is asked if it’s all right to discuss the question publicly. Most say it is, but dno’t want names used. Many are conflict-of-interest problems. Every time a batch of wallet cards is sent, we get four to eight a week for two to four months. Then it drops back to a couple a week.

Lisagor report: Co-Chairman John Camden said he had received more than 100 RSVPs. Molly said the number was higher than in previous years.

Program report: Member night will honor people who have belonged to CHC 25 or more years. The March Brown Bag was rescheduled to May.

FOI: Phil said the verbatim records bill passed out of the Senate the previous day. “It’s a big victory.” The House is expected to approve it. The bill requires tape-recording closed-door meetings. If challenged in curt, a judge will decide whether to make public the recording.
Bob said a Senate bill calls for awarding of fees when challenges of the Open Meetings Act are successful. It passed unanimously and has a good shot in the House.

Students: Ben met with the Columbia College group the previous day. They raised two issues: 1. Can they work at Lisagor and eat free; 2. $10 for most events is too much for most to pay. A half-dozen will be given dinner at Lisagor. Molly said $10, half-price, is roughly our cost and we can’t go lower. Paula said they can tap the college for funds.

Internship-scholarship report: Paula said she was about ready to advertise it and will be looking for judges. She asked that it be updated on the web site. Molly said James is doing such things quickly.

Executive director proposal: Matter was discussed but not acted on. Molly asked that the job have three focuses: communications, secretarial and program development. She said it takes PRN one to one-and-a-half weeks to get out a mailing, which limits PRN’s usefulness to us. We may have to pay more than we did Shirley Friedlander, Molly said.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:10 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Stevens