Minutes for September 6, 2017


In attendance:  Antiss Agnew, Carolyn Bayne, Nancy Cahoon, Jim Cameron, Taylor Carter, Joan Davis, Millyn Gaaserud, Mary Genco,  Kathy Hammell, Stephanie Maher, Liz Mao,  Jill McCammon, Sandy McDonnell, Gwen Mogenson,  Laura Mosher,  Tiffany O’Connor, Sue Okie, Enid Oresman, Clara Sartori, Betsy Shay, Shelly Skoglund, Judy Slotkin, Susan Spain, Barbara Thorne, Arlene Tulacro. Mimi van Dyke, Laurie Williamson. David de Milhou

Call to order:  Gwen Mogenson, Co-President, called the meeting to order at 9:40am

Approval of May 25th, Annual Meeting, Minutes: As moved by Jim Cameron and seconded by Laurie Williamson, members voted to approve these minutes.

Treasurer’s Report: Stephanie Maher, distributed the 2017-2018 Financial Statement to league members. Minimal financial activity occurred over the summer although we paid both State and National membership dues in full.

Observer Corps Light:

  •  Gwen introduced and welcomed our speaker. Elona Vaisnys, LWVCT Chair of CEProud, a three year initiative to support continued funding for the Citizens Election Program. Elona addressed our group about the importance of the CEP in providing public funding for state election candidates. This program is under consideration for de-funding by both the Democrat and Republican Parties.
  • Advocacy is needed to continue public funding for elections. To preserve CEP, Elonasuggested that every League member contact their state Representative The Darien League is being asked to sign on as a supporter of CEProud.
  • Following Elona’s presentation and group discussion, we voted 17/25 in favor of continuing public funding for elections. Individual members are also encouraged to sign on as a supporter and to contact their legislators.
  • In order for us to have more information on this subject, Elona recommended we have a member of the SEEC speak at one of our future meetings.

Fall Kick-Off Program

Clara reported for Karla Coe and urged all to attend a dinner on September 28that Wee Burn Beach Club, Rowayton. Clara encouraged members and guests to join the Darien LWV in welcoming Keith Phaneuf, Connecticut Mirror Chief Financial reporter. Mr. Phaneuf has spent 24 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances. He will speak to us about the Connecticut state budget dilemma. Details are on our league website:  lwv.darien.org


Betsy Shay announced there are 20 New Members who have joined us during the past two years. Membership Co-chairs, Betsy and Jean Sweeney, will be developing new member outreach efforts.

2017-18 Membership Renewal and Fundraising Drive

    • Betsy asked us to stay after our October 4th monthly meeting to personalize solicitation materials. A personal contact is our best recruiting tool.
    • Dues are unchanged at $55 Individual and $80 per Household
    • We will again pair this with a fundraising outreach featuring various named giving levels. Additional contributions are important since we retain very little of our dues revenue after paying mandatory State and National Dues.

Voters Service:

            Board of Education Candidate Forum,

            Thursday October 19th , Town Hall 7 PM

            Candidates Night,

            Tuesday Oct 24th, Town Hall

            6:30 PM Reception – 7:00 PM Program, 

2017 is a municipal election year and there are big issues confronting our town and state. We will elect a new First Selectman, Board of Selectmen, Board ofFinance, Board of Education, Planning and Zoning Commission, 1/2 of the RTM (Representative Town Meeting members) and numerous other town officials. The league sponsors, timed and moderated discussions that ensure equal opportunity for all candidates to respond to audience questions (in person or online).

Thanks in advance to cable Channel 79 for live broadcast and subsequent running of both the BOE and Candidates Night forums.

Volunteers are needed for both events. Contact Sue Okie to be a volunteer timer and Nancy Cahoon for general volunteers.

Voters Guide Publication

Thursday Nov 2ndHard Copy at Darien Times and on-line at lwv.darien.org

The Darien LWV is in the process of developing position specific questions for our local and state candidates. Each candidate on the ballot is asked a position appropriate question and asked to provide a limited word response. The responses are published unedited.

Thank you to the Darien Times newspaper for their pro-bono publication of our efforts.  Also, thanks to the bi-partisan committee of LWV volunteers  who met over the summer to develop draft questions. Mary Genco distributed lists of suggested questions for the candidates and asked for further ideas.

If you would like to volunteer for this project – contact Nancy Cahoon

National Voter Registration Day

Tuesday September 26 DHS Auditorium, 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Gwen requested volunteers to help our Registrars register DHS Seniors turning 18 on or before November 7th.

Also needed are volunteers for DHS voter registration on

Wednesday October 18th, 11AM – 1 PM

Contact Clara Sartori to volunteer

Food for Thought 

Gwen announced that this stalwart group met over the summer and will continue their discussions on September 21st, 12:30 – 2:00 PM, hosted by Ann Ferris, 30 Hale Lane. All members are invited to these freewheeling discussions of topical news.

Other Information (411)

Gwen thanked Jim Cameron for coordinating our social media presence.

Follow us on Facebook(Darien Connecticut League of Women Voters) or

Twitter (LWV Darien@lwvdarien).

Jim will provide a tutorial at our October 4thmeeting on how to set up these links if you need assistance.

Note: we will continue to meet at The Depot the first Wednesday of each month, September – May, excluding December.

9:10 AM  – Coffee and Conversation  

            9:30 AM – Business Meeting

            **The next meeting will be October 4, 2017**

Adjournment:  Members voted to adjourn at 11:20 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Spain,  Co-Secretary