WashCo Dems Op-Ed: June 18 SCC Conference Call Meeting
By Catherine Condron, WashCo Dems PCP
The State Central Committee attempted to conduct a continuation of their second quarter meeting on June 18, 2019 using Maestro, an electronic meeting platform. One hundred and thirteen delegates called into the meeting where the only accomplishment after 2 and a half hours was to adjourn the meeting with a fixed time to reconvene on Aug 11th at the third quarter meeting in Newburg, OR.
Prior to the meeting, several delegates expressed their concern over using Maestro or any electronic meeting system which limits member participation and visibility. Conversely, Committee Chair, KC Hanson, attempted to assure the body that it was the most efficient way to meet the requirement voted on in the May 19th meeting to reconvene within 30 days. Electronic meetings may be the easiest way to meet the challenge of gathering a geographically spread membership in a short amount of time, but it did not appear to be the most efficient.
Fifteen minutes into the meeting the board was still trying to unmute callers and crying for them to please self-mute unless they were recognized. Communication was through a keypad entry with 1 for Yes votes, 5 for No votes, 4 for Personal Privilege, and 3 for Points of Information. Throughout the next hour calls were dropped and reestablished, feedback and background noises were constant, and member frustration was apparent.
The first order of business was to determine how the meeting would be conducted with an immediate call for division coming in the first thirty minutes. It was then decided by the Parliamentarian that the only logical way to handle division was with a roll call vote, which she did not approve of given the time constraints. The Chair agreed, and it was immediately appealed. Members were allowed to provide points of information where they expressed concern over not being able to distinguish who was speaking and how people were voting. One hour in there was a motion to adjourn as it was obvious that no business was going to be accomplished and that the Chair was not going to allow a vote on the appeal. The motion was amended to adjourn to July 21 st in Salem, and then further amended to adjourn to Aug 11th in Newburg. After the vote was called for the second amendment and completed, a roll call vote was held and passed. A final vote to adjourn was then taken and also passed.
There is a definite division in the party between committee members who prefer to decide party business without opposition, or the constraints of Roberts Rules of Order, or the adherence to SCC Standing Rules and By-laws; and those members who prefer to conduct business under proven democratic procedures. Until these two factions can come to an understanding, it is unlikely that any party business will move forward.
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