April 3, 2019 Minutes

Attendees:  Millyn Gasserud, Sue Okie,  Evonne Klein, Carolyn Bayne, Laurie Williamson, Vicki Baldwin, Joan Davis, Mary Genco, Amy Zerbe, Tiffany O’Connor, Clara Sartori, Gwen Mogenson,  Arlene Tulacro, Deepika Saksena, Laura Mosher, Jill McCammon, and Enid Oresman

Call to Order:  Gwen Mogenson called the meeting to order at 9:35 AM.

Treasurers Report: Clara Sartori reported for Stephanie Maher that the bank balances at the end of March totaled $17,805.72, a very little change from February.  Annual Director and Officers Insurance (D&O) premium is due.  For an additional premium, we obtain coverage through the State League blanket policy. This protects us from potential legal issues related to our public events.

Secretarial Report: A motion to approve the Minutes of the March 6th meeting was made by Evonne Klein and seconded by Mary Genco. The Minutes were approved by a unanimous vote.

Membership Update: Gwen Mogenson reported for Stephanie Maher. She reminded attendees to encourage friends to join at any time. Go online at lwv.darien.org and click the JOIN button on the upper right of our home page. Individual dues are $55/year and Household (spouse or 2 or more household residents) are $80/year.

Town Officials Event: Clara Sartori reported that our annual event was co-sponsored with the Darien Library and held at the Darien Library Auditorium on Thursday March 28th with a 6:30 PM reception and 7:00 PM program. TV79 taped the program for rebroadcast and about 30 attended. Speakers included First Selectwoman Jayme Stevenson, Board of Education Chair Tara Ochman, Board of Finance Chair Jon Zadgrodzky, Planning and Zoning Commission Vice-Chair Steve Olvaney and RTM Moderator Seth Morton. Questions from the audience were taken at the end after all speakers had presented.

Thank you was expressed to all who helped with the event, Program Committee members Liz Mao and Susan Vogel (who also moderated), Clara Sartori, and Gwen Mogenson with Hospitality coordinated by Sandy McDonnell.

Laurie Williamson commented that now is the time to speak up and give feedback on legislative proposals to our four state legislators.

CDSP Outreach: Gwen Mogenson reported for Shelly Skoglund who presented to the CDSP (Council of Darien School Parents, the umbrella organization for various public school Parent Teacher Organizations) on Thursday, March 7th. The goal was to make parent school leaders aware of the League and our activities, promote the March 28th Town Officials Event, and recruit new members.

With regard to future speakers, Clara is in touch with The Hartford Foundation regarding a possible speaker, Orlando Rodriguez, on a fact-based school consolidation study. We could co-sponsor a program with CDSP, preferably on a May date, so as to not compete with our Annual Meeting. Millyn Gasserud will additionally reach out to the YWCA.

Darien LWV Annual Meeting: Karla Coe has sourced an Annual Meeting speaker.  Date and location TBD. Watch for “Save the Date” Announcement.

Nominating: Sue Okie reported that all Darien League of Women Voters members are encouraged to volunteer for our many Board positions. We have a large and vibrant board structure. This organization is dependent upon its members to work together to organize our amazing programming and services. We have jobs that you can do on your own time or you can work as part of a group. We have jobs that require small amounts of time all year and those that just require effort for a single event or project. Whatever your interests, we can find a match for you.

To clarify: At-large Board Members are expected to attend our monthly meetings and our sponsored events, help publicize our activities (personal email/invite a friend etc.) and agree to fill smaller, specific volunteer requests as they arise.

Specifically, Sue needs volunteers for the Voter’s Guide and Candidates Night.

If you have any questions or want more information on job descriptions, feel free to contact our nominating committee members Sue Okie, Stacey Tie or Shelly Skoglund.

Observer Corps Light (Invited Speakers): BYO (Bring Your Own) is advocating for passage of a Darien Town Ordinance to promote the use of reusable customer supplied shopping bags rather than single use plastic bags. For more information go to their website  BYO Darien.

Carolyn Bayne presented her draft of the Darien LWV statement regarding BYO which was accepted as written. It will be submitted to print and electronic media from the LWV.

A motion was made by Carolyn Bayne and seconded by Deepika Saksena to amend the Agenda for a presentation by Deepika Saksena and Juliet Cain on the importance of and threat to pollinating insects.

Presenters described the multi-town effort in our area, the Darien Pollinator Pathway, and specifically how everyone can help to make Darien a part of the solution. Pollinators and other insects are under environmental attack and disappearing at rapid rates. Causes include air pollution, invasive plants, lawns, and use of chemical pesticides. Solutions include Pollinator Pathways which link areas combating these factors. Darien has a Steering Committee and the support of local business which are sponsoring various events. Attendees can sign a Pledge in support of solutions. Go to their website Pollinator Pathway Darien for more information.

Save the Dates: The LWVCT Education Fund Symposium on International Relations (SIR), “Food Matters! Combat Hunger, Recover Waste, Create Energy” will be held on Friday May 17th, 9:00 AM-12:30 PM, at the Jones Auditorium, 123 Huntington Street, New Haven, CT

Food For Thought (Karla Coe): FFT usually meets on the 3rd Thursday of the month, but the April meeting is cancelled. Meetings are usually 12:30-2:00 PM and hosted by Ann Ferris, 30 Hale Lane. All members are invited.

Join a freewheeling discussion of a topical news subject. The topic is not announced in advanced so no preparation is required. Great Fun.

The next monthly meeting will be held at the Darien Historical Society at 9:30 on Wednesday, May 1.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 AM.


Respectfully submitted,

Vicki Baldwin, Co-Secretary