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2020 Annual Meeting Minutes

February 22, 2020
HELD at Shanna Key Pub, KEY WEST, FL

IN ATTENDANCE: Marge Holtz, President; Miriam Novotny, Treasurer; Membership Chair, Donna Windle, At-Large; Suzanne Sullivan, Secretary; Voter Services Chair, Joy Brown-Taylor, At-Large; Program Chair, Caroline Horn, At-Large; Joan Wallin, Board Member Emeritus; Communications Chair, Linda Cunningham, Mark Songer, LWVFL Treasurer. Additional members in attendance: 19, including Andy Griffiths, School Board Member and Bonnie Helms, 6th Circuit Court Judge.

President Marge Holtz called the meeting to order at 10:22 AM.

The Agenda was accepted as submitted.

Pledge of Allegiance

SECRETARY’S REPORT: Minutes of the 2019 Annual Meeting were accepted as submitted.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Submitted by Miriam Novotny, Treasurer
1. Submitted the Financial Report to Members as of 2/3/2020. The final report at the end of the Fiscal Year on March 31, 2020 will be forwarded to the Audit Committee for final review.
2. Treasurer Miriam Novotny presented the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Budget, beginning April 1, 2020, and ending March 31, 2021, for adoption.

  • PRESIDENT’S REPORT: President’s Report on State of the Lower Keys League of Women Voters
    o President Marge thanked Joy Brown Taylor for her work as Voter Services Chair.
    o President Marge has facilitated the use of the first floor conference room at City Hall for our Board meetings.
    o Board membership has increased to eight members.
    o The LKLWV participated in the MLK parade and increased awareness of our presence in the community.
    o The Monroe County Board declared Feb 19th as League of Women Voters’ Day. A plaque was given at the BOCC meeting and recognition was also given at the City Commisission meeting.
    • LKLWV 2019 – 2020 program events – Caroline Horn
    o For the fifth Tuesdays, Caroline recapped :
    April- Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers talked on the National Flood Insurance Program.
    July-Carol Shreck talked on Hometown!
    October- Val Marmillion, Director of The Wetlands Foundation, talked about adapting to sea level rise in a “sea safe”community.
    March- Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers will give a talk on the State of the County.
    June- Judge Bonnie Helms will discuss the 16th Circuit Court.
    Earth Day with Dee Dee Green, KW Solid Waste Coordinator was a successful event at the Waterfront Brewery.
    On August 22nd we will have an event to celebrate the 100 yr. anniversary ratification of the 19th Amendment
    • Report on Voter Services – Joy Brown Taylor
    o Joy thanked Donna Windle, Anne Barnett, Liz Levy and Dave Arnold for working on voter registration.
    o Fourteen members have taken the Voter Registration test needed to qualify for registration of voters.
    o Returning Citizens(Amendment 4) is still an ongoing project but if people are not sure if they have paid their fines, we should not register them but assist them in contacting pro bono lawyers to help them. One group is the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.
    o Vote is the web site that gives voters information about candidates and issues. The LWV puts questions to the candidates that helps idientify where they stand on issues.There are potentially 55 candidates in upcoming local elections along with ballot questions.


  • Report from LWVFL – Mark Songer
    o Mark attended Lobby Days in Tallahassee. There were 70 members of the League who attended.
    o The League now has a lobby group, Capitol Alliance Group, which is a more effective way to reach legislators.
    o There was a press conference emphasizing sharing upcoming Census information.
    o Members met with legislators regarding bills we are supporting with more emphasis on our non-partisan stance.
    o SB 1758-Water Quality Bill addressing farms and runoff into water.
    o HB 943-regarding putting in electric vehicle charging station n the highway.
    o SB 7016 -resiliency bill to create a sea-level rise task force.
    o The state budget has funding for Everglades restoration. The League has always supported the Florida Forever Program which was supposed to be funded with $470 million but may only get $125 million.
    o There will be state wide training sessions on April 18th and 19th and celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.


  • Update on Florida legislation – Joan Wallin
    o The Legislative Session ends March 13th. The lobby firm, Capitol Alliance Group has been very positive in tracking 80 bills. They will send emails to members about progress and action alerts.
    o We are opposed to term limits for school board members because of the history needed to evaluate issues. Leave it to voters to decide if school board members should be reelected.
    o We are studying Amendment 1 which changes the wording to ONLY U.S. citizens can vote.
    o We support Amendment 2 which increases the minimum wage to $15 by 2026.
    o We support Amendment 3 which establishes a top-two open primary system for state office primary elections .
    o We are opposed to Amendment 4 which requires voter-approved constitutional amendments to be approved by voters at a second general election.
    o We continue to be against pre-emption decisions by the state to overturn local decisions such as tree regulations and vacation rental issues.
    o We are opposed to HB 737-requiring moments of silence in schools every day.
    o We are opposed to SB 1794- making it more difficult to propose constitutional amendments through citizen initiation.
    o We are opposed to using E-verify to prevent undocumented immigrants from getting jobs.
    o We support the effort to increase teachers’ minimum salary to $47,500.
    o There are no new bills to improve gun safety.
    o We support bipartisan efforts to make Florida the 38th state to ratify the ERA.

Motion: Proposed changes to League of Women Voters of the Lower Keys Bylaws

    Article V
    • In the event of absence, disability, resignation or death of the President, the Board of Directors shall elect one of its elected members to fill the vacancy.The officers of The League shall be a President, a Secretary and a Treasurer.
    • Has been changed to: In the event of absence, disability, resignation or death of a Board Officer the Board of Directors shall select one of its elected members to fill the vacancy.
    • Article VI
    • At the Annual Meeting, a simple majority of those members present shall constitute a quorum.
    Has been changed to: At the Annual Meeting, 20-percent of the active members number as certified by the Secretary as of January 31 of the year of the meeting shall constitute a quorum.

o The 2019-2020 Nominations Committee, including Sue Sullivan, chair; Anne Barnett and Mary Ellen Beattie, presented the following slates of officers, board members and 2020-2021 Nominations Committee to the Board of Directors and the Membership.

Treasurer: Two-year term | Kathy Shackle
At Large: Two- year term | Anne Barnett
At Large: Two-year term | Dave Arnold
At Large: Two-year term | Joan Wallin
Motion to approve made by Linda Cunningham and seconded by Joy Brown Taylor. Approved by acclamation.

Board member: Donna Windle
Member at large: Yvonne Phelan
Member at large: Kim Highsmith
Motion to approve made by Linda Cunningham and seconded by Sandy Dorlan. Approved by acclamation.

ADJOURN at 11:15AM.

Respectfully submitted,
Suzanne Sullivan, Secretary