Executive Central Committee Meeting, October 20, 2022

Minutes of the Delaware County Democratic Party Executive Committee

Regular Meeting

October 20, 2022

The meeting was convened by Chair Peg Watkins at 7:06 p.m.  It was confirmed that a quorum was established and the meeting could commence.

Chair Watkins greeted the Executive Committee and asked Tony Yankus to lead the group in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Chair Watkins asked for a motion to approve the previous two meetings’ minutes. Tony Yankus moved to pass both minutes and was seconded by Chandler White. The motion passed unanimously.

Treasurer Saponaro gave the treasurer’s report, noting that the expenditures approved in the last meeting would reflect in the next month’s report. She explained that, in the previous meeting, a timeline was requested as to when the committee might expect to recoup the funds approved in said meeting. She noted that, on her report, she found an approximate timeline of a year could be expected. She further explained that most funds come in through ActBlue and personal checks.

Roo Dirrig moved to accept the treasurer’s report and was seconded by Molly Yankus. The motion passed unanimously.

Chair Watkins introduced Louise Valentine and asked her to deliver remarks on her candidacy for the office of State Representative in the 61st House District.

Ms. Valentine explained that, with less than three weeks until Election Day, she was exhausted but working hard on her campaign. She noted that she and volunteers were knocking on doors, and that radio and television ads would be used. She explained that she paid for her own polling, which found that she was slightly behind, though she expected the television ads to have an impact. She asked for volunteers for herself and every candidate running within the party.

Chair Watkins thanked Ms. Valentine and informed the committee an event would be held at Millstone Creek Park the following Saturday with Ms. Valentine and Justice Brunner.

Chandler White spoke on behalf of Heather Swiger, candidate for Ohio Senate in the 19th District. He offered thanks to the group for their support and requested assistance in sending postcards and canvassing. 

Said Haji, the committee’s Coordinated Campaign Field Organizer, informed the committee there would be a door-knocking event over the weekend, as well as a meeting at All Shepherd’s Church, where literature would be available. He added that the group was using persuasion canvassing and a Get Out the Vote event was upcoming.

Joyce Bourgault gave an update from the Candidate Support Committee. She explained that the group was looking for candidates for the following year and asked them to look within their precincts and wards for potential candidates. She asked the committee to attend commissioners’ meetings and informed them there were many training opportunities coming up within the next year. Ms. Valentine explained that training would start on January 28, 2023, with signups currently open.

Ms. Bourgault explained that the Candidate Support Committee was developing a plan for supporting statewide candidates, though a new account would be needed to provide funding to them. She added that a group unaffiliated with the party was looking into the logistics of starting a PAC. 

Ms. Bourgault moved that the committee spend $1911.72 to pay a month of utilities in exchange for the free use of Tamie Wilson’s downtown office. It was questioned whether the group had any responsibility in paying the bill and whether it would be considered an in-kind contribution. It was explained that payment of the bill would go directly to Ms. Wilson’s landlord. It was noted that the Ohio Democratic Party pays Ms. Wilson’s rent, and that ODP has an account to contribute to federal candidates.

It was proposed that the committee pay the funds to ODP and ask that they be earmarked for Ms. Wilson. It was concluded that investigation would need to be done with ODP to determine the legality and viability of paying the utility bill.

The parliamentarian asked if the motion could be altered to make clear the intention to pay the bill if a legal path was found for doing so; Ms. Bourgault accepted the friendly amendment.

Secretary McCaffery read the motion: to intend to pay one month of Ms. Wilson’s utility bill, totaling $1,911.72 if a legal path was found for doing so.

Chair Watkins called the question and the motion passed unanimously.

Members of the committee committed to look into an avenue which could be used to deliver on the motion.

Betty Marsh delivered an office update. Ms. Marsh explained that two volunteers were posted at the downtown office for three hours a day and the office was covered through Election Day. She explained that the group was putting together and distributing signs and postcards. It was inquired whether the committee could donate the extra desks and file cabinets to be scrapped, though it was argued it would be better to see the items go to use. Chair Watkins added that a group was putting out Tim Ryan yard signs in public areas and could use help. She added that, in the City of Delaware, signs could only be posted on private property, not public.

Pat Meter informed the group he was filling in for Guy Fischer; he explained that the Delaware County Fair booth went well and that postcards were ready to be sent out. He explained that he was working to plan a canvassing event over the weekend and would need help on First Friday.

Cheryl Luce moved to nominate Nancy Cline as a member of executive committee and was seconded by Julie Houston. The motion passed unanimously.

Nancy Cline moved to nominate Betty Marsh to the Executive Committee at large and was seconded by Pat Meter. The motion passed unanimously.

Chair Watkins informed the group that planning was in place for local elections in 2023. She stated that Heather Karr would be up for reelection in Powell and anyone interested for running for office could take training with Ms. Valentine.

Chair Watkins informed the group that slate cards would be distributed at the In-Person Absentee Vote Center and at polling locations on Election Day.

Jack Berlekamp informed the group that the Powell region would be dropping literature and Orange Township would be holding a door knocking event. He asked for assistance in both matters and stated there was a lot of literature to distribute.

Joyce Bourgault moved to adjourn the meeting and was seconded by James Sipek. The motion passed unanimously.