Minutes of the February 21, 2008 Meeting of the Fort Smith Historical Society

Call to Order by President, Billy Higgins.  Quorum of Board members present.  This was a special meeting called specifically to address the proposed changes to the Constitution and By-Laws of the Society.

Carole Barger introduced Harold McDowell, Chair, Community Foundation.  Also introduced was Darrell Cunningham who presented a check to FSHS for the Oral History Project in the amount of a $1000 grant. Harold discussed  role of the Arkansas Community Foundation - its goals, mission and endowments.

Carole also announced a bequest from the Mrs Ann Bumpass Liddle Trust to the FSHS in the amount of $10,000.  Carole also pointed out that the FSHS has received over 30K in grants in the past year. 

President discussed Virginia Lang’s services as a consultant on grant writing for the FSHS.  All areas for grants to be researched but particularly emphasis on the Oral History Project and World War II interviews.  Proposal has compensation costs of $800 per month, consult time of 20 hours per month, and for a period of approximately six months.  The Board anticipates that possible grants received would offset the costs.  Clara Jane Rubarth, Chair of the Grants Committee presented their report to the Board with a recommendation that the Board accept the proposal from Ms Lang.  After a lengthy discussion among Board members, the Board voted unanimously   to accept the report and hire Ms Lang as a grant consultant. 

New Business: President discussed and presented a new draft proposal changing our Constitution and By-Laws.  One key proposal is to make possible separate projects from the Journal and possibly appointing a Director to manage that project.  The Oral History Project is an example.

Mission statement to be revised.  There was much discussion over the mission statement.  Also proposed is a change to the number of categories for membership.  Five categories would be the new number.  Emphasizes that the Historical Journal would still be the primary objective of the Society with Editors and the OHP or other projects could be added and a Director for each of these appointed should the Board so decide.  The Oral History Project should have a separate budget to track expenditures and grants but Society should have no more than two separate bank accounts to manage. 

There was a long and intense discussion of changes to the Constitution and By-Laws.  Two mission statements were shown for review.  A motion was made and seconded to accept the first mission statement listed and other amendments as changed.  Motion was unanimously approved. 

Proposed new Constitution and By-Laws approved by the Board will be printed for the April Journal and presented at the General Membership meeting in April for final approval.  Meeting adjourned.  Next meeting of the FSHS will be in April 2008.

Respectfully submitted

Chuck Raney