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Board Meeting Minutes – May, 2024


Brandon SOWERS

Quintyn (Kuo) BOBB

David BECK

Charlotte BURTON


Enrique Haro MARQUEZ


Ĉeestas sen Voĉdonrajtoj

Vilĉjo (Bill) HARRIS


Matt (Mateo) BROOKS

Peggy (Pegazo) DOLTER

The meeting was called to order. A quorum was declared. New items were added to the agenda.

Standing reports


Amanda and Bill report on behalf of the Central Office as to how the transition is going. Bill has taught Amanda how to create the virtual ballot. Amanda shows the Board what the current draft of the ballot looks like in its virtual form. The Board will review the final ballot before it is sent to members, but Amanda will ensure that the ballots are sent out by the date listed in the current bylaws.


The President and Vice President have been in talks with an organization to seek clarity regarding the HE Reed fund. Quintyn has been looking into ways that the board can better support each other and the organization.


David reports that the financial reports have been sent to him and that he will reach out to the Board if anything needs to be discussed or reviewed within the financial reports. The LKK has met again with the liaison and director of archives to allow for the LK to meet inside the library, including eating inside the library when needed. The first board activity of the LK will be at 4PM on Friday. Mini-NASK will begin at noon on Friday, and other members can come early to join excursions or not. The board meetings will also be accessible via Zoom. Discussions with the Toronto group for a Du-Landa Kongreso are going well, and this seems to be a promising option. Amanda clarifies that they have a large team who are wanting to be involved and are moving forward with ideas. Current registration count is around 75, but count is expected to be closer to 80 or 90. 

Old Business

Ballot Language

David campaigned, and a group of petitioners did also vote to put some amendments on the ballot, in addition to the board voting to put these same amendments to the ballot. Quintyn has drafted some language to explain the bylaws changes, which will be added to the ballot along with the proposed changes. Charlotte asks that the proposal brought forth by Tim in January also be clarified in this way. The full bylaws change proposed at ViA will not be appearing on the ballot at this time, in order to give more time to take member opinions into consideration and to determine what the process would be for such an extensive change. Margo raises a question about the wording of the clarification, as to why the Board voted and also 25 members petitioned, so that it does not appear that members separately, on their own, came up with and petitioned for the same changes that the board was simultaneously voting for. Discussion arises as to whether the Board needs to vote on the explanatory wording, and the Board generally agrees that a formal vote is not necessary. David will provide the Board with a list of the names of those who petitioned, but asks that, as the petition was not necessary, the names of the petitioners will not be made public.


No updates are available regarding the website. The KpK is still working on a skeleton of the website, but nothing is up and running. Charlotte asks whether the committee has worked with Hoss, as she states that he had offered to get the website back up and running within a couple of weeks, but others on the board state that discussions with Hoss had not successfully resulted in recreating the old website and that the best strategy for now is to recreate a new website which serves at least the basic functions. When the website would be ready to launch is difficult to estimate, but Quintyn believes that the new website can be functional before tha Landa Kongreso.

Eduka Komitato

Margo reports that she is working with others on a new app for the Lernu course, which will provide more Esperanto learning materials for learners in the USA, including YouTube videos. Derek Roff is also working on improving the quality of Pasporto al la Tuta Mondo. The 10-lesson course has been fully scanned in, and the committee is discussing paying $180 to put it in an easily editable format and has been looking into possible uses of the Reed Fund. Brandon suggests that Alex MILLER might know people who have the skills to support the Pasporto al la Tuta Mondo project.

Funds Working Group

Margo reports that progress has been made, and we have extensive documentation as to how much is in each fund and where these funds originated. Stephanie, the CPA with whom the organization has been consulting, is looking into the laws regarding how Esperanto-USA can use certain funds, including what the laws are regarding repurposing funds, and regarding the endowment funds. We have so far not been able to find the original documentation of the endowment funds, to clarify what restrictions were placed with the original donations. Quintyn asks, if we can’t find the information regarding these funds, how would this impact our relationship with these funds. Margo states that this is a question we need to ask the CPA, as there are tax implications. Mateo mentions that endowment funds are typically gifts left after someone passes away, and these are typically a whole separate thing, so we do need to clarify with the CPA. Margo states that these funds are called endowment funds, and yet we do not have any documentation clarifying that these are endowment funds. Mateo states that an endowment fund is technically a separate account, and agrees with Margo that we need to clarify whether these are truly, explicitly endowment funds. Anna Bennet’s articles were not based on primary sources but were based on previous articles and word of mouth. Amanda asks Bill about the “endowment funds,” but Bill states that he does not have any additional information about these funds, as these were already called endowment funds by the time Bill Harris took office in the CO. Quintyn thanks the Funds Working Group for their work in gathering all this vital information, and Brandon thanks Ruth for presenting it.

Bank Information

Charlotte proposes that Esperanto-USA allow Amanda Schmidt to be bonded and access the bank account. 

David seconds the motion. 

The proposal passes by acclamation.

New Business

Compensation for Editors

Hoss was the editor of the bulteno for over 10 years. When he took office, the standard was that the editor would receive a stipend of $250/issue and would release 6 issues per year. Hoss generously donated his stipend back to the organization and did a lot to improve the bulletin during his time as editor. For the new editors to produce something comparable to what Hoss was producing, they each spent about 140 hours on the issue. Some of this was due to it being the first time, but they do expect that to produce a similar quality bulletin going forward will continue to take a lot of work. If we were to pay a straight wage, that would be a huge amount of money. The editors are not employees of Esperanto-USA but are contractors, so minimum wage laws do not clearly apply here. Brandon requests that we pay a higher stipend for issue and release only 4 high-quality issues per year, at a rate of $500 per editor per issue, with four issues per year. This would be around $3-4 per hour but would allow the editors to complete the work with less likelihood of feeling burnt out. Margo asks if we can afford this increased expense in the budget, and Brandon expresses that he considers himself a fiscal conservative within the organization but that, with the Swenson bequest, we are in a position where we can afford this, and that it will not impact our finances within the next couple of years but would make a big difference in the quality of our bulletin, which would allow us to attract and retain members. David expresses concern that they may burn out with that amount of work regardless of pay, and Brandon says that, as time goes on, the bulletin might have fewer pages, and they might find other ways to reduce the amount of time, but that in his discussions with them, they have indicated that they would be more than content with this arrangement. Quintyn suggests that the bulteno can also be viewed as an investment, as it may help with attracting and retaining members. Fred emphasized the importance of the bulteno as a communications tool, and Quintyn states that the KpK is also working on communication tools for members who do not have internet access. Charlotte suggests that this would be an expenditure that most of our members would likely support. David inquires about the cost of the bulteno, with this increased rate. Brandon states that he does not have the exact numbers but that he will pull together those numbers and report to the board. Amanda states that, as an organization, our most important priority should be to honor the people who volunteer and prevent burnout. Brandon recommends that the board periodically review the work of the people who work for the organization and that any proposal include when we would review the work and compensation of the editors. Charlotte recommends that if we are to look at this again, it should be in less than three years, given the term of a board member. Quintyn and Brandon suggest that this would make sense to be a task of the CO Director, and that it be a part of the budgeting process. 

Fred moves to set the rate of compensation for editors at $500 per editor (with no more than two editors) per issue, with four issues per year, to be reviewed no later than March 2025, when the Director of the CO will present such a review to the board. 

Ruth seconds the motion. 

The motion passes unanimously, with seven votes in favor.


The Board discusses the  need to find a time when Esperanto-USA can pause the retbutiko. This would enableBill to have time to send everything out before leaving for the kongreso, and so that the retbutiko duties can transfer to Amanda. Fred states that we need to clearly inform members. Charlotte asks how long this pause would need to last. Brandon says that we do not know how long the pause would last, but that the current website would become non-functional when Bill retired. Amanda clarifies that all the books we sell, which are currently sold out of Bill’s house, need to be brought or shipped to LA for the Kongreso, to be sold in person. Discussion moves to what the future of the retbutiko would look like. David asserts that the retbutiko cannot be down for more than a couple of weeks, as this would cause a significant negative reaction from members. Matt requests that he be made a part of the conversation if it is continued at the LK. Matt asks why the current website cannot be moved to Amanda as a temporary solution. Quintyn asks Bill what has worked well with the current book service, and asks Amanda what she would like to see the book service look like as it relates to her parts. Amanda says that Matt’s idea of continuing the current book service until Esperanto-USA has something to replace it with is a possibility but that only Bill can modify the current retbutiko. Brandon agrees that this is a larger conversation and that Bill and Amanda’s voices are important to take into account moving forward along with contacting the members regarding a possible change ahead of time. Ruth says that we should accept Amanda’s offer to continue running the current retbutiko until we have something already prepared with which to replace it. David recommends a separate meeting prior to our next board meeting to discuss this. The board agrees with this idea. 

The meeting is adjourned.