DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS CHAPTER 23 (WEST SEATTLE)
February 11, 2017 5 pm
At the Chapter House, 4857 Delridge Way, Seattle WA
PRESENT: Commander Robert Williams Jr., Senior Vice Commander Ronald Bryant, Junior Vice Commander Antonio Callier, Chaplain Ken Corsey, Treasurer Jack Kegley, Sargeant At Arms Fred Beavers, Trustee Nate Ford, Terry, Randy Winn, Judy Kyle.
There were no motions made or votes taken.
These are my personal notes on a lively and freewheeling discussion. Feel free to add.
1) SERVICE OFFICER PROGRAM.
a. Call Volume: We are getting several calls every day. Calls are being logged so we keep track of who called when and what we did for them.
b. Publicity: Ron is coordinating the Sandwich Board, which will be set out when the building is open so passers-by know we’re open. Building signage now includes phone numbers plainly readable from the road. Word is getting around that we’re open for business.
c. Scheduling: Ed Hartman instructed Commander to have Building open for service Monday. Commander informed Hartman this is already being done. Uncle Mike, Ron and others have been staffing the building many hours each week.
d. Staffing: None of the four registered and appointed Service Officers have responded to Commander’s inquiries. They are all welcome and encouraged to service, but hours must be scheduled and publicized. Although it is their personal responsibility to sign up for hours, the Commander reached out several times to all of them, and none have even offered hours of service. This may change but if it does not we will have to train more reliable persons to take the job.
e. Logs: All service contacts must be logged (who called or walked in, what they wanted, contact information, disposition, etc.) None of the Service Officers have provided the Chapter with logs of their Service. As a result, the Chapter doesn’t know who was served, how many were served and how. This must change. All Service will be logged in the book in the office or it didn’t happen.
f. Commitment: DAV invests a lot of money and effort to train up Service Officers. Those who take advantage of this training but are then unable or unwilling to repay that investment with documented service need to think about repaying the money.
g. Referrals: The Chapter will refer callers to other resources until we get a reliable corps of Service Officers. Terry has a lot of professional experience with veterans benefits.
2) PRUIT COMPLAINT
a. John Pruit complained in writing to National (Ed Hartman) about being locked out. This was the wrong procedure.
b. Following the Chain-of-Command requires first complaining in writing to Commander, and this was not done. THE RULE: If you have a problem, put it in writing and give it to the commander BEFORE escalating it out of the building. You can still escalate it but you have to give the Commander a chance to fix it first.
c. Pruit was not locked out. He was told to schedule service hours with the Commander and he chose not to do so. We have to have a schedule – that’s just common sense.
3) MONTHLY REPORT TO DEPARTMENT + NATIONAL
a. This report is being written. Get your contributions to Randy. It will be presented to Membership next Meeting. The goal is to get in the mail early but let membership comment first.
4) BUILDING LEASE
a. A lease has been discovered that has a major impact on the Chapter. It binds the Chapter to rent the top floor to the Church for 5 years at $700 a month.
b. There was a lot of discussion about this lease. It has technical defects but breaking it would be messy and expensive; we don’t want to waste money and goodwill on that route if we can work something out. It’s always better for landlords and tenants to negotiate instead of fight. The Senior Vice and the Commander will open negotiations with all deliberate speed.
c. There are big questions about the Trustees secretly signing the lease and then hiding it from the Membership and from National. It is a clear violation of their fiduciary duty to rent at 23 cents a square foot, for example. However, those issues are different from the obligations (if any) of the Chapter as a Landlord under the Lease. If we have to, we can expect National to take responsibility for the actions of the Trustees that it appointed, but we can take leadership in fixing the problem on our own, which is much better.
5) MISSING PROPERTY
a. It should not have to be repeated that Trustees and the officers they appointed must hand over all Chapter property to the Chapter at the end of their Trusteeship.
b. The Lease was not handed over. It was not filed in the Office. An unsigned copy was found in the safe deposit box (which is now closed.) A signed copy was obtained from the former Trustees. Finding this one thing is evidence that the former Trustees and their Officers are still in possession of other Chapter property, such as minute books, a laptop, an audio recorder, other papers and possibly money.
c. It would be better if the Membership did not have to take steps to recover property. Anyone who is a friend of the holders of missing property should encourage them to hand it over by the next meeting.