FSNE Board Meeting Minutes 1/29/2013

FSNE Board Meeting Minutes 1/29/2013

FSNE Board Meeting
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Tallahassee Democrat

Present: Sam Morley, Doug Ray, Dave Carlson, Jim Baltzelle, McNelly Torres, Rick Hirsch, Frank Denton, Mike Wilson

On conference call: Mark Russell, Cory Lancaster, Chris Porter, Kenny Irby, Dennis Durkee

We started with a brief presentation from Andy McLeod of Visit Florida, who wanted the board to know about resources available to editors covering the 500th anniversary of Ponce de Leon’s arrival in Florida.

A motion was made by Russell to install Bob Gabordi as vice president and Mike Wilson as secretary/treasurer. Seconded by Baltzelle and passed unanimously.

The October board minutes were introduced, moved by Russell, seconded by Hirsch, and passed unanimously.

Mike Wilson gave the financial report; we had $106,841 in cash on hand at the end of the year, up about $3,000 but mostly in line the total in recent years. Adoption of the report was moved by Russell, seconded by Carlson, and unanimously passed.

Sam Morley gave the legislative update. We will be watching several initiatives. One proposed bill would move public notices from newspapers to digital formats. Another would take sample ballots out of print. Another would remove foreclosure notices from print and put them to clerks of court websites. Sam notified the board that we will be monitoring the costs of copying documents, citizens’ right to speak in public meetings, and several smaller bills.

The contest update was given by Chris Porter. Chris reported that the call for entries went out today. There were glitches with the establishment of the PayPal account for accepting entry fees but Chris expected them to be worked out. There was a brief discussion of the notion of a contest for student journalists, but the board agreed that we have not made sufficient progress on the idea to make it happen this cycle.

We had a Sunshine Week update. Dennis Durkee reported that the Sunshine Coalition Conference will be held Saturday, March 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Diane Roberts will speak. The First Amendment Foundation is seeking a $250 donation from the FSNE board to help with expenses. Baltzelle moved that we make the contribution, Carlson seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Terry Spencer of the AP was given the floor. He proposed an initiative in which Florida journalism organizations, under the auspices of FSNE, would ask clerks of the court for documents and track their responses. The project arises from the Jan. 2012 law requiring clerks to redact personal information from public records. A long discussion ensued. The board agreed to support the project and Spencer promised to arrange a conference call with key parties to get it started.

Rick Hirsch gave a State Decoded report. He said an intern funded by a 4-year, $2,000 grant is going through the sunshinestatutes.com site and cleaning it up. Rick said the state is charging an annual $1,000 fee for a digital copy of the new statutes. He said he will have a column in the Herald about Sunshine Week and will make it available to other editors.

Mark Russell led a discussion of plans for the convention July 18-19 at the JW Marriott Grand Lakes in Orlando. Mark said he is working with Dean Ridings of the FPA on planning. Room costs will be $149; there is no theme yet; we are seeking a big-name speaker. There was discussion of the possible convention program; ideas included how papers are approaching paywalls, community news, data visualization, and the Trayvon Martin case. The board discussed getting together socially on Wednesday night before the FSNE board meeting on Thursday morning.

Frank Denton gave a report on public records and enterprise reporting training. This was a particular interest of Mike Connolly and the board has not done much on it. McNelly, Jim and Frank agreed to discuss ideas and report back to the board.

After a brief discussion of other business, Russell moved that we adjourn and Baltzelle seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Submitted by Mike Wilson, Secretary/Treasurer