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BRS Board and Society Meeting Minutes – 2007


June 8, 2007

(from the November 2006 - August 2007 BRS Quarterly - #132-135)

The 2007 BRS Board of Directors Annual Meeting was held on June 8, 2007 at Monmouth University in Monmouth, New Jersey. Chad Trainer presided as chairman. A quorum was present.

The meeting of the board of directors began with the standard business of approving the treasurer’s report and the minutes of the last meeting.

Acting treasurer, Ken Blackwell gave the treasurer’s report. Current bank balance was approximately $12,800. Ken updated the directors on the merits of reasonably secure but interest-earning accounts available for the Society’s funds. The directors reacted approvingly to Ken’s investment decisions and were in agreement that the treasurer should feel empowered to use their discretion in this area.

Ken also praised the bookkeeping for the Society’s treasury of McMaster University’s Arlene Duncan and the significant relief provided for the treasurer at the annual cost to the Society of $700. Pursuant to authorization from the executive committee, Ken had hired Arlene Duncan as his bookkeeping assistant at a compensation of $440 through the end of June, 2007. After discussion and on motion made by Marvin Kohl, seconded by Cara Rice and unanimously carried, it was resolved that the treasurer should have a bookkeeping assistant with an annual compensation of $700.

Minutes of the May 26-27, 2006 Board meeting were previously published in the Quarterly. Copies were distributed and approved.

On motions made, seconded and carried, the following individuals were elected as officers for 2007-8:

President: Alan Schwerin
Vice President: Ray Perkins
Chairman: Chad Trainer
Vice-Chairman: David White
Treasurer: Kenneth Blackwell
Secretary: David Henehan

Then followed a discussion of the site of 2008’s annual meeting. Tim Madigan confirmed that he and David White were still willing to host the meeting at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. It was thus decided that next year’s meeting will be held at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. David White, Tim Madigan and other members of the Greater Rochester Russell Set will host the meeting. Tim Madigan indicated that the meeting dates (to be announced) will be later than usual. Tim explained that the Society’s members had indicated interest in holding the meeting later in June than it had traditionally been held, and that it would probably be in mid to late June of ’08.

Peter Stone said the by-laws committee had no proposed by-law changes.

Secretary David Henehan asked if the board thought we needed a procedure, such as a nominating committee, for assuring that each year there is at least a full slate of nominees for the board. Ken Blackwell made a motion which Warren Allen Smith seconded to add a Section to the by-laws specifying the procedure for insuring a full slate of nominees. Marvin Kohl amended it to have the board recommend such a change to the members at the membership meeting, and, as amended, the motion was passed.

Ken Blackwell discussed the increase in production costs of the Russell journal. On motion made by Ken, seconded by David Goldman and unanimously carried, it was resolved that the annual payment for cost of producing the journal be increased from $21 to $25 per year per subscription.

Ken Blackwell discussed paypal fees and other increases and suggested that a dues increase is justified. After discussion, Ken withdrew the suggestion.

Rosalind Carey asked the board to donate $1,000 to the fall 2008 Conference on Language Narrative to be held in Rijga, Latvia at the Center for Cognitive Sciences and Semantics at the University of Latvia. Rosalind has been asked to host a segment on Russell. She discussed the possible benefits of such involvement. After discussion, on motion made by Marvin Kohl, seconded by Nicolas Griffin and carried, the donation was approved.

A motion to adjourn was seconded and concluded the business meeting.

David Henehan, BRS Secretary


June 9, 2007

The BRS membership meeting was held on June 9, 2007 at Monmouth University in Monmouth, New Jersey. Alan Schwerin presided as President. A quorum was present.

Ken Blackwell made and Warren Allen Smith seconded a motion to amend the by-laws to add a section specifying the procedure for assuring that there is a full slate of nominees for board positions each year. After discussion the motion was not adopted. Peter Stone made and Phil Ebersole seconded a motion which passed that it was the sense of the Society that it is understood to be a part of the functions of the Society’s officers to insure that there is a full slate of nominees to run the board positions. After discussion, the motion was passed.

David Goldman proposed passing a resolution addressing the need to end the war in Iraq. After discussion, a motion made by Ray Perkins and duly seconded was carried reaffirming the Society’s prior resolution published in the August, 2004 Quarterly regarding the withdrawal of forces from Iraq.

Rosalind Carey reported on the board’s approval of her request that the Society donate $1,000 in connection with the fall 2008 conference on Language Narrative to be held in Rijga, Latvia at the Center for Cognitive Sciences and Semantics at the University of Latvia.

Muriel Walton of Florida discussed the possibility of starting a BRS chapter in Florida. John Ongley offered her excess Quarterlies if she could use them. The discussion showed that there is no by-law or other organizational guidelines for creating BRS chapters. Such groups are simply local groups who carry on activities at a local level relating to the life, writings, accomplishments and ideas of Bertrand Russell.

David Henehan, BRS Secretary