April 12, 2011 Board Meeting

Montgomery Sister Cities Board Minutes for April 12, 2011

The meeting was held at the Lemon Center in the Town of Chevy Chase.  Board members in attendance were: Hudnut, Adams, Smith, Gonzalez, Nance, Bogage, Cameron, Raffa

The Board discussed how the newly forming county sister cities committees would function.  A Morazan committee is active, a Beit Shemesh committee is close to forming officially as is a Luhansk, Ukraine committee.  The Board agreed that these committees should function independently to the extent that no board official committee rules would be established.  The committees will elect a chair, a vice-chair and a Secretary.  The Sister Cities board chair will serve as treasurer for the committees as well as for the Board.  The Board agreed to appoint the Chair of each committee formed to the Board for purposes of good coordination of activities.

The Board received a recommendation from Theresa and Tom that we ask for a $200 contribution from each Board member to defray costs that the organization is incurring.  The major cost is membership to the International Sister Cities organization which has helped us in each phase of developing our program.  The Board voted to adopt this recommendation and several pledges and cheeks were given to Mier at the meeting to get this proposal off and running.  It’s hoped we’ll have 100% board participation in this effort.

There was an update of this coming Morazan visit plan.  47 people including the Leggett delegation, Habitat For Humanity, and Mover Moms have signed up for the trip so far.  Ike Leggett and the Morazan Governor will sign the partnership agreement during this visit.  The travelers in the Leggett delegation may include two days of commitment to projects in Morazan in addition to the other efforts of Habitat For Humanity and Mover Moms.  Habitat For Humanity volunteers will most likely renovate or build a house while Mover Moms will work in Perquin on school and other matters.  Bruce will be trying to find funds to donate to the community center in Perquin for musical instruments they badly need.  Bruce is looking into finding funding for the Long Branch Athletic Association to send soccer players to Morazan for some games there.  Later in the meeting the Board agreed to ask each Morazan visitor this summer to contribute $100 to the project on which they work or one which they support.

Beit Shemesh remains ready and eager to partner with the county in the sister cities program.  Their Mayor recently visited the county and took a tour of the Rockville City Center after his meeting with Ike Leggett.  It is thought that the agreement signing for Beit Shemesh need not be in person since the Mayor visited here and Ike Leggett has visited Beit Shemesh.  The signing will be sometime after the Morazan signing, perhaps in early or late fall.

Our next meeting will be held on June 7, 2011 at the Lawton Center.  There will be a presentation at that meeting about possible Chinese participation in our sister cities program.  It may be that the county African Advisory board will soon be ready to present several possibilities for county partnering in Africa from which the Board will be asked to choose the best option for exploring partnership purposes.

Evelyn Gonzalez