Minutes of the International Costumers’ Guild meeting
April 2, 2004 at CostumeCon 22, Decatur, GA
The BOD meeting began at 9:20 AM (recalled from recess).
Carl Mami (acting as archivist) reported that there is a problem with the deterioration of the videotapes on which the masquerades and interviews are stored. The predicted estimated lifetime of a tape is 3 – 6 years, and many of the tapes are in excess of 20 years old. With a current deal through the distributor Carl deals with, he can get the Memorex DVDs he prefers to work with at $1.95 each, including labels and cases.
Carl (and the archives) has conversion capacity to transfer the videos to DVD. Five hundred (500) DVDs are needed. This is beyond the ICG’s budgeted $300/ year to maintain and record for the archives.
Estimated cost, $975.
The BOD discussed the value of the archives as maintenance of our history, and the voiced concern about the reaction of the membership to requesting this money when we are also asking for a dues increase. The consensus was that keeping and maintaining the archives is the ICG’s most important current activity, and the membership would/should be more receptive to accepting the proposed dues increase knowing we are doing something.
Carl reported on the Book of Costumes. This is an Official index of what costumes appeared at certain Conventions with documentation of the costumes, using official photos, or the next best thing, other thumbnails would also be included. It would be created as a book and also put on CD. It is anticipated that the hard copy will travel to Conventions.
The first attempt at this documentation of a CostumeCon has taken one year, but this was because of inexperience and unfamiliarity with the capabilities of the software. The format is established, but this project is not anticipated to request funding or recognition until sometimes in the future. This project is also dependant on the tapes.
With the support of the BOD, Carl will entertain a motion for the $975 at the General Meeting to cover the conversion of the archives.
Motion 0304-01, the formation of a Guidelines review committee had been moved and seconded on the ICG BOD list (on line).
WHEREAS both members and non-members of the International Costumers’ Guild have expressed dissatisfaction with the ICG Masquerade Guidelines as they now exist;
AND WHEREAS it appears that most of the dissatisfaction lies in the form rather than the substance of the guidelines;
AND WHEREAS certain topics pertinent to the concept of the guidelines were not addressed in the original document;
IT IS MOVED that the International Costumers’ Guild establish a committee to study and make recommendations regarding rewriting, modifying and expanding the ICG Masquerade Guidelines.
IT IS FURTHER MOVED that the responsibilities of the committee shall include, but not be limited to:
- Strengthen the focus on fairness in competition
2. Improve the clarity of the text
3. Make the guidelines more approachable
4. Preserve the basic concepts of the current guidelines
5. Create a new draft of the ICG Masquerade Guidelines
IT IS RECOMMENDED that the committee consist of the following individuals:
- Andy Trembley(Co-Chair) GBACG
2. Betsy Delaney (Co-Chair) NJ/NYCG
3.Karen Dick – Costume-Con Service Mark Owner
4. Dana MacDermott – SiWeb
5. Bruce Mai – SLCG
6. Kevin Roche – GBACG
7. Byron Connell – NJ/NYCG
8. John O’Halloran – GBACG
IT IS RECOGNIZED that the ICG president shall retain final authority to appoint these or any other individuals to the committee.
IT IS FURTHER RECOGNIZED that in accordance with common procedure the ICG president shall serve as a de facto member of the committee.
The motion was passed: 11 Aye; 0 Nay; 0 Abstain.
If any individuals are on the list who do not want to be on the committee, or if there is anyone who is not on the list and wants to participate, they should contact the ICG President, Carl Mami.
Carl pointed out that there has been a Lifetime Achievement award “mistake”. Pat Kennedy, in whose honor the archives were named, was never awarded the Lifetime Achievement award. Carl requests that the BOD take the actions required to give this award posthumously this year.
Pierre Pettinger, (Parliamentarian) indicated that the procedure was to wave the standing rule that limits the awarding of Lifetime Achievement Award to one per year.
Moved and seconded:
To suspend standing rule 15 B for the calendar year of 2004, and to give a posthumous Lifetime Achievement award to Pat Kennedy.
Passed by unanimous vote of Board Members present.
As there are no Kennedy survivors, no plaque will be made, but the award will appear in the roster.
Meeting recessed until the General Meeting.
General Meeting April 2, 2004 called to order at 10:29 AM
Tally of Proxies:
Northern Lights 16
Beyond Reality 4
Western Canada 3
Total: 49 Proxies
Members Present at start of Meeting: 33
Approval of Minutes
Moved (Byron Connell, Sick Pups) and seconded (Steve Swope, St Louis) to dispense with reading of the Minutes of the 2003 General Meeting.
Approved by voice vote. With one abstention
Moved (Ron Robinson, GCFCG ) and seconded (Kate McClure, Beyond Reality) to approve of the Official Minutes of the 2003 General Meeting.
Discussion: These are the minutes as posted on the Web site, the ones in the newsletter are abbreviated and are identified as such.
Approved by voice vote.
President’s report (Carl Mami):
This was not a bad year. All motions that appeared before the Board were handled. Carl was not particularly happy with the amount of people who voted, but we did get a lot done. All Officers performed well.
Vice President’s report (Nora Mai):
Nothing to report aside from she likes her job.
Treasurer’s report (Dora Buck):
Dora submitted three pages of documentation.
Right now there is $6, 282.32 in the bank. The 2004 proposed budget was passed by the BOD.
Byron Connell inquired about the projection of $1,340 deficit for the year, and ending up with a $2, 300 surplus.
Dora confirmed the figures and explained for the record that the ICG was in the hole because we owed money for the Costumers’ Quarterly. When the majority of the money we owed was donated back to the ICG, we saved $1,363.20 that we did not have to pay out.
Corresponding secretary was not present.
Carl reported that Randall handled something like 43 letters sent to him, and handed the publicity on to Ricky Dick, who acted as publicist. Ricky managed to get our name mentioned 6 times in magazines, shows and other places.
Where Randall could not answer the questions personally, he handed them over to the D-list. Carl does not believe that anyone was turned away without his or her questions being at least half-answered.
Randall will not be continuing in the position next year.
Australia is still bouncing back and forth with both sides trying to decide what they want, whether Australia will re-join, or go it’s own way. Australia had been voted out due to lack of communications.
Ricky will have the information as to where the ICG was mentioned. Carl will send the information to the D-list.
Recording Secretary (Dana MacDermott):
Nothing much to say, responsibilities met in confirming vote tally during the year, and is currently taking notes.
Newsletter Editor (Betsy Delaney):
Newsletter was later than intended but by only a week or so. Next one coming out soon, and a ton of materials have been received. She is limited to 4 times a year and 6 pages per issue, due to funding. We are considering those limitations at the meeting.
Beyond this, there are mostly positive responses; the complaints can be dealt with. Most concerns have to do with sending more than one issue to a single address. Currently, the ICG has no mechanism to do anything other than send one copy per individual.
We are looking at reducing mailing costs. Sharon Trembley has sent Betsy information on mailings for non-profits and forms so that we can be recognized by the Post Office as a 501 ( c) 3 non-profit. When she gets back, she will work on this.
Also there has been feedback that some people would be happy to get the Newsletter electronically. Generally, the reactions have been positive.
Archivist (Carl Mami):
There is a problem with the archives. The tape is deteriorating at a rapid rate; some are 20 years old, and the life expectancy of a tape is 6 years. Some has been transferred to DVDs. We need about $975 to take the remainder of the masquerades and transfer them to DVD.
We have a DVD burner, we have tapes, we need the media. Four discs are needed for each, so we can have a copy for each Library, and the one master disc. This comes to 130, but some can be combined. So, we are talking 500 discs. DVD + R are archival and media quality guaranteed for 25 years. The choice was made a year and a half ago when we first got the DVD writer. The object is that we do not have to do this again for 20 years.
Since then we have obtained a second writer from one of Carl’s customers. We still have 750 Masquerades, of which we have only copied 45.
Can you prioritize to do the oldest first?
Not for profit status does not help. The volume does.
Carl: May be able to get a better discount. The given cost is based on the cost of fifty at a time.
Parliamentarian (Pierre): Technically, this is discussing an issue not hearing a report, so we should wait.
The archives has produced three things new to this last year:
- The Book of Costumes. Prototype available here to see.
- The Lifetime Achievement Award
- The Slide show has been improved so we can set it to music. This makes watching the 450 slides easier to do.
We are still scanning stuff in, and getting ready to send out more between now and June so the satellite Libraries will have a new selection of CostumeCon stuff. We are still light on CC2 and CC12.
Parliamentarian (Pierre Pettinger):
The hand out of the Standing rules shows October 29, 2003 at the top. This is an error. The copies of the Standing rules are actually current as of January 31, 2004.
Addendum to Newsletter report:
Betsy has copies with her of the Newsletters in case someone has not seen them. If anyone has not received the Newsletters or knows of someone who has not, please contact the Treasurer to make sure the address we have is correct. Some are not.
Web Master is not present, so there is no report.
There is no old business.
5-minute break called before we start New Business.
Meeting called back to order at 11:15
- Standing Rules re: editorial Board for the Newsletter
- Archive Money request
- Dues increase
- Membership categories
Standing Rules re: editorial Board for the Newsletter
Current standing rule 23 currently states that two directors of the corporation be members of the editorial board. Want to amend this to substitute members for directors.
Moved Betsy Delaney, Second Byron Connell (NJ/NY):
Amend Standing Rule 23 by substituting the word members for directors.
What does this do?
This allows any member of the ICG to be on the Newsletter editorial board, rather than limiting the editorial board to members of the BOD, ie chapter representatives or ICG Officers.
Motion passed by verbal vote.
Archive Money request
Moved Ron Robinson (GCFCG), Second Steve Swope (St. Louis):
To take out up to $975 of the general funds to apply to the one time charge to secure the discs to save the video recordings that the Archives possess.
Do we have the money?
The money should cover all of the videodiscs. It will not cover the cost of the labels or the cases, which are covered in the regular budget. This is just for the media, which is only covered for 25 discs per year in the regular budget for the new stuff that is coming in.
Carl has a running agreement to cover the disc storage (cases) from the sales of Crying Baby Productions. When Carl shoots a masquerade, and it is sold to the members 25% of the gross total sales goes back to the archives. We are covered for storage.
Passed by verbal vote
Carl: We got through the easy stuff. Now we have to do the difficult ones.
We do not have enough everyday money to keep things even. We are running four issues of the Newsletter a year when we should be running six, but we cannot do it, because it is taking almost all of our dues money to maintain those four copies a year.
In order to send the six copies and to gradually build, we need a dues increase. Two years ago when the request was made for a dues increase, the reaction was that the Quarterly was a failure, and we wanted to see a successful Newsletter before the dues were increased. Then we will consider whether it is worthy.
Betsy has delivered. We need the extra money. I will entertain a motion from the floor to increase the dues by $2.
Moved Steve Swope (St Louis), second, Kevin Roche (GBACG):
to increase the dues by $2.
Question on start date for dues increase.
It is legal to do immediately.
Betsy recommends June or July so that the chapters, particularly the ones not present at the meeting can inform their members. It also gives Betsy one more issue on the current schedule.
With friendly amendment to add start date, the motion reads:
To increase dues by $2 per year for all new and renewing members, effective July 1, 2004.
Q: Why do we need this dues increase if the money in the bank actually increased by $2000 last year?
It was a fake increase. The bank balance did not change. We had a debt because of the Quarterly. The debt was given to us as donations instead of having to be charged to us (paid out).
The bank balance (showing approximately $6000) is not the entire story. There is a budget that commits money to be spent.
We have a negative cash flow.
Byron Connell: There was a one time increase in revenue over the last year because of the chapters who had failed to pay finally paying the money they owed the ICG.
Kevin Roche: We have to plan to have positive cash flow. It is bad fiscal management to have negative cash flow.
Carl: Originally we had planned to do some other work with the money. We have not been able to do this because we have always been in the hole for operating expenses. What we are trying to do is to stay in the black so we can support some of the other issues. The Archives have been lucky with donations. This might not always be the case.
At this point, every additional member we get, we lose more money. This is not a good thing to do. It is a negative incentive to seeking new members.
At this point, we can’t do publicity, we can’t do scholarships, and we can’t fund projects. At the very least we have to raise our dues so that the money in the bank can be earmarked for special things. We have to be looking towards growth.
Betsy: $3000 isn’t that much money. We can’t get more unless we do fundraising, or increase the dues.
Carl: You can’t get money unless you spend money.
Byron: Has the BOD discussed this?
Pierre: Yes, the topic has come up as part of various issues, but we have not formally done anything about it. This is an issue for the general membership.
Q: What do the BOD members think?
Kate (Beyond Reality): We just voted money for the archives. That will also short us.
Bruce Mai (St Louis): Having heard the discussion of the Archives, and seen what we want to do, I think the increase is justified.
David Kinnaman (Millennium): It’s a good idea.
Valerie Roberts (Chicago): If we want to be a reliable organization, we have to.
Sharon Trembley (SiW) I have to think about it.
Dana MacDermott (recording secretary), The SiW membership has given positive input on the issue.
Ron Dallas (Northern Lights):
We can’t keep running on a deficit. If we continue with the current Newsletter schedule, we will increase the deficit by about $500. The membership felt that a dues increase of $3 was probably OK, $4 was too much, and $5 was definitely a no. $2 is within the threshold.
Kate (Beyond Reality):As long as the membership has an explanation, I do not believe the $2 is out of line.
Betsy (as a member of Sick Pups as well as the Newsletter editor ): I would be told if there was a problem.
Ron Robinson (GCFCG): No one wants to pay more, but $2 per person is not out of reason. I reluctantly support this.
Andy Trembley, (speaking for GBACG):
GBACG is divided on this issue. The Officers are stridently against an increase of dues. A great deal of the membership is willing to do what ever is necessary to see that the Chapter and the ICG remain a functioning organization. I cannot vote for my chapter, only for myself.
I do not understand the view of the Officers of the GBACG. If it was because of lack of services, that is changing. And, you get what you pay for.
The $4, or $6 gets the GBACG its non-profit status.
Byron: Is there anyone speaking for Costumers’ Guild West?
Sandy Pettinger: I hold a proxy from CGW, but they seem to be 50-50, so I cannot tell for sure.
A benefits reminder is needed, to include at least the following:
501 (c) 3 status for the chapters (corporate veil)
It is noted that the 501 (c) 3 does nothing for out of US chapters.
Betsy will include a reminder in the Newsletter.
Dana: Being a member of an Organization legitimizes our nasty little costuming habits.
I want to remind us of the History of the ICG dues. The first increase of the dues was voted on in 2000, and increased the dues from $1/year to $4/year as of January 2001.
This occurred after discussion over 4 or 5 months, and a vote at the annual meeting. The outcome was that we went from 1000 members to 600, and lost two chapters.
I am not opposed to this, but I do want everyone to remember that two of our largest chapters are not on board about this.
Dana: The same two largest chapters do not have their official board representative present. We get their money, but if (the ICG does) not get their support, isn’t this something we have to simply let them react to?
Steve Swope: Under the current financial circumstances, if we lose our two biggest chapters, we lose our two biggest money losers.
Kevin Roche: The tax-free status is a major undertaking. They (chapters) have no idea how much trouble they will have if they drop out.
Carl: CGW knows that it may cost them $25,000 a year if they are honest.
(Clarification: because of Costume College.)
Kevin: GBACG is in denial; they will come back. They are not stupid.
We showed them something. We showed them the Newsletter and what they can get out of it.
We have to do it; we do not have a lot of choice. Unfortunately, we will lose members. They are going to have to think about it. A $2 increase is a small amount, not close to what you will get in value.
Andy Trembley (GBACG): If our cash flow exceeds our income, we don’t have a business anymore. That is really all we have to say.
Carole Parker (SiW):
$6 is less than it costs to go to a movie. I am tired of hearing of all the good ideas people have and being told the ICG doesn’t have the money. I want it to have the money. If this will do it, I’m for it.
Jacqui Ward (Western Canada):
I know there has been talk of the chapter seceding if there is a dues increase, but the talk has been eloquent about the need. I feel that it will be all right if it is explained to the chapters. Put a lot of honey on it, and make it clear what are the reasons why.
Vicki Warren (DVCG): We had a meeting and we did not discuss this. Can we table this for later discussion?
Carl: This has been brought up on the BOD. The BOD knew this was being considered.
Pierre: To do what Vicki asks would require another motion, or be agreed upon by Steve and Kevin (who made and seconded the motion). If it is tabled, we could not vote on it until the next annual meeting.
Kevin: I do not want to see this motion amended or put out back to the chapters.
Move Kate, (Beyond Reality), second David Kinnaman (Millennium):
Call the Question
The question is called by a clear voice vote.
Vote of present members: 29 yes, 0 no, 0 abstentions.
Proxy votes cast, final tally:
73 yes, 4 No, 0 abstentions; the motion carries.
Carl: ….A close vote…..
Dana: But we did vote with all kinds of discussion, and the understanding of the possible ramifications, particularly with CGW and GBACG; and we can only wait and see.
Betsy: In the next issue of the Newsletter, I will publish at least a column on why we are doing this, so that people understand what is coming in July.
Pierre: Just so you know, we are running very late on time, and we have some more issues.
The two issues on Membership are related, but are not exactly the same. One has to do with the Newsletter and mailing. Whether we can mail one to a household, and how we can do this. Or electronically.
And the other issue is whether we consider household memberships for the organization, itself.
Pierre: Technically, you could entertain a motion to form a committee to discuss and recommend a solution to this issue. That committee can report directly to the board of directors list, or to the annual meeting.
Dana: Can we make the board the committee?
Pierre: That is legitimate.
Moved Bruce MacDermott (SiW), seconded Betsy,
Form a committee composed of the Board of Directors of the corporation
to discuss and make recommendations to the BOD regarding membership issues and issues of Newsletter distribution.
Kevin: Other people can be added to the committee?
The President can ask others to report to and give input to the committee.
Motion passed by voice vote.
Slate of Candidates for the ICG BOD for the upcoming year presented by Carl:
The following members in good standing have been nominated for the offices indicated:
President: Carl Mami (New Jersey/New York Costumers’ Guild)
Vice President: Nora Mai (St. Louis Costumers’ Guild)
Treasurer: Dora Buck (New Jersey/New York Costumers’ Guild)
Corresponding Secretary: Sandy Pettinger (St. Louis Costumers’ Guild)
Recording Secretary: Dana MacDermott (Silicon Web Costumers’ Guild)
This is the same as last year except for Corresponding secretary. Randall Whitlock is unable to continue in this job. Sandy Pettinger is suggested for the position.
There were no nominees from the floor.
Candidates approved by voice vote.
There was an attempt made to adjourn, which was scuttled when it was realized that there was additional New Business.
Ken Warren (Delaware): The flow of information to the chapters has broken. This needs to be fixed.
The Newsletter is designed to fix this.
Ken: We didn’t vote to increase the number of Newsletters.
Moved Ken, and seconded Betsy:
To increase the number of Newsletters from 4 to 6 beginning July 2004.
Passed by voice vote.
In further attempt to fix the flow of information, it was moved by Kevin Roche and seconded by Ken Warren:
That the ICG establish an announcement only electronic mailing list
available by subscription to the General Public for the dissemination of
official announcements and information by the corporation.
This was passed by voice vote and proxies.
Steve Swope moved to adjourn, and Ron Robinson seconded.
Motion passed, General meeting adjourned.
Moved Ron Robinson and seconded Vicki Warren:
To affirm the action of the general meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 12:59 PM.
Carl: Go forth and Costume!