MOVING TOWARD INCORPORATION:
The MAPLE Board of Directors met on February 14, 2018, at Stonehill College in Easton MA to discuss several pending issues related to incorporation, and other matters. President Dennis Galvin submitted a detailed report outlining issues for consideration with regard to recommendations offered by Attorney Liz Reinhardt. The recommendations pertained to MAPLE’s current by-laws. Attorney Reinhardt advised the Board that by-laws should be submitted along with the Articles of Organization, when the application for incorporation is filed. Based on her experience, she offered a draft set of by-laws, which the President reviewed. The issues of consideration filed with the board at this meeting were areas of divergence, between the current by-laws and the attorney’s recommendations.
The most prominent issue was the organization’s tax status. Previously, the President had informed Attorney Reinhardt, that the Board sought to file under a 501C3 tax status. The original purpose was to maximize the amount of tax write-offs, that could be granted to those contributing to the organization. Upon further review with the Attorney, President Galvin noted that under such status, legislative activity by the organization would be significantly curtailed. MAPLE would be required to limit its total legislative activity to 30%, and would have to keep extensive records on that activity. Members could not testify at public hearings, unless they were invited. In contrast, the President anticipated that legislative activity would comprise close to 50%, if not more, and that staff availability was insufficient to ensure compliance with the IRS reporting rules under 501C3 status. President Galvin recommended that the organization file under a 501C4 status, to avoid any issues with the IRS over legislative activity. Under that provision, there would be no restrictions. He noted that a refiling could occur under the 501C3 status at a later date, when public education and research begin to comprise a larger portion of total activities. The Board discussed this issue at length and then voted unanimously to file for incorporation under the 501C4 status.
The Board also rendered several recommendations with regard to by-law modifications. The Board accepted recommendations from Attorney Reinhardt to designate one meeting per year as the “General meeting” at which a 10 member quorum would be adopted; to establish Finance, Governance and Nominating subcommittees as part of the Board of Directors; grant the Board the right to make appointments to fill the seats of Board members not able to complete their terms. The Board rejected recommendations; to establish staggered three year terms for Board members, proxy voting, a requirement to file petitions to get nominations or business on the floor at a general meeting. The Board wanted to retain the option for members to bring new business and nominations for offices from the floor. President Galvin was charged with forward these recommendations back to Attorney Reinhardt.
Public commentary was also addressed. President Galvin offered a motion to establish a three member “editorial board”. The editorial board would be comprised of the three members of the Board of Directors, who would be charged with reviewing and approving all publications and productions prepared by members, seeking to identify themselves as members of MAPLE. The motion required that all such material be consistent with the principles and positions of the organization, and that proper decorum be observed. The motion also granted authority to the editorial board to reject any material that doesn’t comport with these requirements, however, an appeal process allowing for review by the full Board of Directors is included. The Board approved this motion unanimously. It will be presented to the general membership at the next meeting as an addition to the rules of procedure.
In other business, the Board approved an offer by Ms. Dina Donahue of Westford MA to construct and manage a website for the organization. Ms. Donahue offered to construct the site for $250.00 and maintain it for an additional $50.00. The $250.00
would be an upfront cost payable on the date the website goes live. The $50.00 would be paid at the end of the year for any added postings. The Treasurer indicated that there were sufficient funds on hand. The matter was put to a vote and approved unanimously.
Finally, the Board decided that it was time to address the chaotic conditions now evident within State Police top management. A committee was appointed to formulate written communications expressing the concerns of the organization to Governor Charles D. Baker.
Board members present at this meeting were Dennis Galvin President, Al Puller Vice President, Peter Carnes Treasurer, Bob Murphy Recording Secretary, Bill Coulter Director, Bob Champagne Director. Members present at the meeting included: Robert Cerra and William Rose. Guests present were Bertha Francois of the Stonehill College student body.
DAN REA’S NIGHTLINE:
The President was featured on Dan Rea’s nightline on Monday evening February 26, 2018. The topic was the action of the Broward County Sheriff’s Department with regard to the most recent school shooting in which 17 students in Parkland Florida were murdered. The President took the positon that there had been a complete breakdown in security in response to the event. There was prior activity by the perpetrator, that was not acted upon. There were tips about the perpetrators intentions, that were ignored, and the Sheriff’s Department response to the incident seem to run contrary to the most current “best practices” in responding to such incidents, which is to interdict the gunman as fast as possible. The President was also critical of the Sheriff’s statement that he believed his Department’s performance was outstanding. Dan Rea gave MAPLE the opportunity to identify itself on the air and to provide our phone number during the broadcast. Feed-back was received by listeners following the program. All of it was positive. We wish to thank Dan for his continued support. This is the second time we have been on the program with him.
We need your continued support to continue the work of this organization. We value your membership and your support. If you have not renewed your 2018 membership, we ask you to please do so by sending your $50.00 dues to MAPLE PO Box 323 Westford MA 01886. We value new members as well, call 978-846-2635 if you are interested in joining, the membership fee is $50.00 and that counts as your dues for the first year. Remember, as of this time, we are one of the few voices advocating for professional and responsible law enforcement. The public needs to hear what we have to say !
“The Law will never be respected, until those who enforce it are !!”