STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

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Wednesday, September 25, 2002

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Ladyslipper Conference Room

Ground Level, Centennial Office Building

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MINUTES

 

Meeting was called to order by Chair Kelley.

 

Members present:  Chambers, Fluegel, Kelley, Miller, Pauly, Spear

Others present:  Olson, Sigurdson, Swanson, Drilias, staff; Huwe, counsel

 

MINUTES  (August 28, 2002)

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:                     To approve the August 28, 2002, minutes as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed by four members (Chambers and Spear absent).

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

 

·         Board Meeting Schedule

 

Next meeting is scheduled for October 23, 2002.

 

·         Legislative Recommendations

 

Board members reviewed a list of potential legislative recommendations for the 2003 legislative session (see copy of recommendations attached).   

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

Ms. Olson submitted the following written report:

 

·            Staff Activities

 

On September 10th Ms. Olson met with Esther Williams from Fiji.  Ms. Williams is a guest of the U.S. State Department's International Visitor program.  They discussed Minnesota's disclosure laws and public subsidy program.

 

 

 

 

A graph of government services offered via the Internet was available for Board review.  Of the agencies listed, the Board offers the fourth highest level of electronic services (see copy of graph attached).  Staff has received many positive comments about the website.  In addition, each time a client uses the site instead of calling the office, it allows staff time to be more proactive than reactive.  Chair Kelley signed a letter thanking Mark Scipioni, Senior Management Consultant in the Department of Administration, for his work on the website. 

 

On September 12th Ms. Olson was a guest lecturer at a University of Minnesota Journalism class.  The class is studying campaign reporting and was interested in data that is available on the Board's website and data that may only be viewed in the Board office.

 

·            Late Filing Procedure (see August 28th minutes)

 

A copy of the late filing procedure adopted by the Board at its meeting of August 28th was available for Board members.  The new procedure has been posted on the Board's website and will be mailed to clients with the periodic reports (see copy of procedure attached).

 

·            Public Subsidy

 

Based on the Laws of 2002, a candidate has the option to be released from expenditure limits based on the conduct of that candidate's opponent in the primary election.  One candidate had that option and chose not to be released from the limits.  The deadline for choosing that option was September 18th.

 

·            Personnel

 

Monica Fuentes, student worker, is attending school again.  She will work 16 hours a week during fall semester and additional hours on semester breaks.

 

We have contracted with the Department of Administration for a data entry operator.  The operator will assist the staff in entering campaign finance reports in an effort to make the contribution data more timely available on the Board's website.

 

·         Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) Conference (see June 6th, July 24th, and August 28th, minutes)

 

Ms. Chambers, Mr. Sigurdson, and Ms. Olson will attend the annual COGEL Conference in Ottawa, Canada, September 29th to October 2nd.  Ms. Olson will be a facilitator for a discussion about executive director issues.

 

 

 

Enforcement Report

 

Consent Item

 

Board Action: Authorization to refer to the Attorney General's Office individuals who have failed to file the Report of Receipts and Expenditures due August 26, 2002, if the report is not filed by October 4, 2002, and late filing fees are not paid. 

                        A reminder notice and two certified letters have been sent to each individual.  Before referral to the Attorney General's Office, staff will attempt to contact these individuals by telephone. 

 

                                    Mark Borsheim, candidate, (Mark) Borsheim for Representative

                                    Bill Dahn, candidate, Bill Dahn for Governor 2002

                                    Kristin Fallenstein, treasurer, (Troy) Haefner for Senate

                                    Tom Porter, candidate, Tom Porter for State Legislature Committee

                                    Sheila Sudbeck, candidate, Citizens for (Sheila) Sudbeck

                                    Eleanor Frengi, treasurer, (Laverne) Turner for Senate

                                    Brenda Welborn, treasurer, Darryl Spence for State Representative

                                    Michael Fetzek, treasurer, 17th Senate District DFL

                                    Thor Carlson, treasurer, 19th Senate District DFL

                                    Marianne Beck, treasurer, 43rd Senate District RPM

                                    Christopher Berg, treasurer, 4th Congressional District Republican Labor Federation

 

                                    Greg Dolce, treasurer, 61st Senate District RPM

                                    Richard Thomas, treasurer, Ames Construction PAC

                                    Patrick Bristol, treasurer, Lakes & Plains Regional Council Carpenters & Joiners PAC Fund

 

                                    James Meffert-Nelson, treasurer, Minnesota Optometric Political Action Committee

 

                                    Jennifer O'Rourke, treasurer, Minnesotans for a Democratic Majority

                                    Patricia Ford, treasurer, Service Employees International Union

                                    Thomas Diedrich, treasurer, United Northwest Sales Representatives Association

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To authorize the actions specified in the consent matters.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

Discussion Items

 

Request to administratively terminate a lobbyist registration

 

Bruce A. Miller, Common Cause Minnesota - In July 2002, Marc Asch, President of Common Cause, verbally stated to Board staff that Mr. Miller left Common Cause of Minnesota in 2001.  Mr. Asch stated that he did not have knowledge of Mr. Miller's whereabouts.  By letter received on August 26, 2002, Mr. Asch stated “Bruce Miller was not employed by Common Cause Minnesota in 2002."

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:            To direct staff to administratively terminate the lobbyist registration of Bruce A. Miller for Common Cause Minnesota.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Request to administratively terminate a political committee with a cash balance in excess of $100

 

Alliance of American Insurers - In a letter from the Alliance of American Insurers (“ALLPAC") dated August 21, 2002, Gregory Heidrich, Senior Vice President, notified the Board that ALLPAC, a federal political committee, made a one-time contribution in Minnesota on April 24, 2002.  Mr. Heidrich stated that ALLPAC mistakenly registered with the Board as a political committee.  ALLPAC filed a Report of Receipts and Expenditures for the period covering January 1, 2002, through August 19, 2002.  In addition, Mr. Heidrich stated that subsequent to making a one-time political contribution in Minnesota, ALLPAC accepted two contributions from committees that were not registered in Minnesota.  Mr. Heidrich requests that the Board not take any action against ALLPAC for acceptance of these contributions. 

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:            To direct staff to administratively terminate the committee registration of the Alliance of American Insurers.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Request to waive late filing fee and administratively terminate a political committee retroactive to December 31, 2001

 

·         IUE Committee on Political Education AFL-CIO - In a letter dated July 30, 2002, Margaret McCormick, legal counsel for IUE Committee on Political Education (“IUE-COPE"), stated that she believed IUE-COPE terminated its registration with the Board after filing the Report of Receipts and Expenditures for calendar year 2000.   Ms. McCormick filed the 2001 Report of Receipts and Expenditures disclosing that IUE-COPE received no contributions from Minnesotans, and did not make expenditures in Minnesota in 2001.

 

Ms. Chamber's MOTION:            To direct staff to administratively terminate the committee registration of the IUE Committee on Political Education.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

·         John Birrenbach, candidate, (John) Birrenbach Campaign Committee - In a letter dated September 9, 2002, John Birrenbach stated that he believed he had terminated the Birrenbach Campaign Committee in 2001.  Mr. Birrenbach noted that the committee's cash balance was less than $100 and that the only unpaid obligation was a loan from the candidate, which had been forgiven.  Mr. Birrenbach stated that the committee did not receive contributions or make expenditures in 2001.  All previous reports were filed on time. 

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To direct staff to administratively terminate the committee registration of the (John) Birrenbach Campaign Committee.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Waiver Requests

 

·            Pre-primary Report of Receipts and Expenditures due August 26, 2002

 

Patrick Haley, candidate, Friends for Patrick Haley Committee, $500 – The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office on September 13, 2002.  Mr. Haley disclosed receiving $50 in contributions and making $25 in expenditures.  In his letter dated September 13, 2002, Mr. Haley stated that he was out of town on military leave for most of August, 2002, and he encountered difficulties in uploading his report on September 12, 2002.

 

Mr. Kelley's MOTION:            To approve Mr. Haley's request to waive the $500 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Linda Ellingson, treasurer, (Arlon) Lindner for State Representative Committee, $100 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received via facsimile in the Board office on September 3, 2002.  In a letter accompanying the report Ms. Ellingson stated that the report was late due to family illness and requests that the late filing fee be waived.  All previous reports were filed on time.  

 

Ms. Chamber's MOTION:            To approve Ms. Ellingson's request to waive the $100 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Raymond D. Morris, treasurer, (J.) Wedel for Senate, $50 – The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office on September 2, 2002.  In his letter dated August 30, 2002, Mr. Morris indicated that he was out of town at the time the report was due and requested that the late filing fee be waived.  No motion was made.

 

LeRoy Sundblom, treasurer, 2B House District RPM, $50 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office on August 30, 2002.  In his letter dated August 30, 2002, Mr. Sundblom stated that he did not receive the form until August 29, 2002.  Mr. Sundblom also stated that he intends to terminate the committee.  All previous reports were filed on time.  No motion was made.

 

Matthew Sosniecki, Jr., treasurer, Senate District 56 DFL, $50 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office on August 30, 2002.  In his letter dated August 30, 2002, Mr. Sosniecki stated that he never received the report and that he filed his report in the Board office one day after receiving the late notice.  Mr. Sosniecki has paid the $50 fine, but has also indicated that he seeks a refund of this fine.  All previous reports were filed on time.  No motion was made.

 

Fred Meyer, treasurer, 65A House District RPM, $200 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office on September 5, 2002.  In his letter dated September 19, 2002, Mr. Meyer stated that he had moved and that the report information was delayed in the forwarding of his mail.  Board staff had an incorrect address on file for Mr. Meyer.  Mr. Meyer filed a termination statement with his report showing that the committee had a $0 cash balance.

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To approve Mr. Meyer's request to waive the $200 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Barbara Allen, treasurer, Brainerd Green Party, $500 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office on September 19, 2002.  In her letter dated September 19, 2002, Ms. Allen stated that as new treasurer of a political party unit she was unaware of all the reporting requirements.  The Brainerd Green Party's year end 2000 Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2001, was not received until March 8, 2002. 

 

Holly Feehan, treasurer, Carlton County RPM, $500 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office on September 22, 2002.  In her letter dated September 21, 2002, Ms. Feehan stated that she believed she only had a year-end report due and that she did not receive the August 27, 2002, reminder letter.  Ms. Feehan has resigned as treasurer.  The committee's 2001 Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2002, was received February 21, 2002.  The committee's 2000 Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2001, was received February 7, 2001, no late filing fee accrued.

 

Mr. Kelley's MOTION:            To deny Ms. Allen's and Ms. Feehan's request to waive the $500 late filing fees and reduce the late fees for the Brainerd Green Party and the Carlton County RPM to $100.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Joan Molenaar, treasurer, Champlain DFLers, $150 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office via facsimile on September 4, 2002.  In the letter accompanying the report, and in a telephone conversation with Board staff, Ms. Molenaar stated that the report was late because the committee is defunct.  Ms. Molenaar indicated that the committee will be terminating in the next reporting period and noted that the committee's cash balance is $200.  No motion was made.

 

Jerry Waller, treasurer, Dodge County DFL, $100 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office on September 3, 2002.  In a letter dated September 2, 2002, Mr. Waller stated that the report was late due to a death in his immediate family and requested that the late filing fee be waived.   All previous reports were filed on time.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:            To approve Mr. Waller's request to waive the $100 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Norma Klingler, treasurer, Lincoln County Republican Committee, $200 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office via facsimile on September 5, 2002.   In a letter dated September 9, 2002, Ms. Klinger stated that the report was late due to family illness.  All previous reports were filed on time.

 

Mr. Flugel's MOTION:            To approve Ms. Klingler's request to waive the $200 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Stephen Plunkett, treasurer, Olmsted County Green Party, $150 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office via facsimile on September 4, 2002.  In a letter accompanying the report, Mr. Plunkett stated that he was on vacation for both the receipt of the form and the notice of a possible late filing fee.  All previous reports were filed on time.  No motion was made.

 

Tammy Houle, treasurer, 2nd Congressional District Constitution Party, $100 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office via facsimile on September 3, 2002.  In her letter dated September 11, 2002, Ms. Houle stated that she was on vacation at the time the report was due.  The committee's 2001 report due January 31, 2002, was received February 28, 2002, no late filing fee accrued.  No motion was made.

 

Jerry Waller, treasurer, AFL-CIO Southeast Central Labor Council, $100 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office on September 3, 2002.  In his letter Mr. Waller stated that the report was late due to a death in his immediate family.  All previous reports were filed on time.

 

Ms. Chamber's MOTION:            To approve Mr. Waller's request to waive the $100 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

John Caile, treasurer, CCRN-PAC, $450 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was hand-delivered to the Board office on September 12, 2002.  In his letter accompanying his report, Mr. Caile stated that he did not receive prior notice of this report and that he just became treasurer of CCRN-PAC in March, 2002.  Mr. Caile stated that CCRN-PAC's account balance is $26.00.  

 

Ms. Chamber's MOTION:            To deny Mr. Caile's request to waive the $450 and impose a late filing fee of $50.

 

Ms. Chamber accepted Mr. Fluegel's amendment to the motion to impose a $100 late filing fee.

 

Ms. Chamber's AMENDED MOTION:            To deny Mr. Caile's request to waive the $450 and impose a late filing fee of $100.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Jim Farrell, Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, $100 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office after 4:30 p.m. on August 30, 2002.  In his letter dated September 13, 2002, Jim Farrell, Executive Director, indicated that the report was late due to poor time management.   The committee's 2001 report due January 31, 2002, was received February 11, 2002.  The committee's 2000 report due January 31, 2001, was received February 28, 2001, and the committee's 1999 report due January 31, 2000, was received February 28, 2000, no late filing fees accrued.  No motion was made.

 

Jeff Ross, treasurer, Zelle Hofmann Voelbel Gette LLP, $500 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office on September 16, 2002.  In his letter dated September 16, 2002, Mr. Ross indicated that he believed he had terminated the committee's registration after filing the committee's Report of Receipts and Expenditures for calendar year 2001.  Mr. Ross indicated that the committee has been dormant for more than one year, and has no assets.  The committee's 2001 Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2002, was received on March 8, 2002.  No motion was made.  

                                                                

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Informational Items

 

Payment of Late filing fees
 
·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2002
 
 
·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due August 26, 2002

 

 

·            Original Statement of Economic Interest due July 22, 2002

 

Paul Auger, People for (Paul) Auger:  $35

 

Anonymous Contribution Paid to State Elections Campaign Fund

 

Robert Hansen, treasurer, Volunteers for (Larry) Nornes:  $200

 

Civil Fines

 

Brian Biele, Elect Brian Biele Campaign Committee:  $100, remaining balance $200 

 

Katie Sieben, Katie Sieben Volunteer Committee - The Katie Sieben Volunteer Committee accepted a contribution from a lobbyist during the 2002 legislative session.  The committee returned the contribution to the lobbyist, and paid a civil fine of $100 on September 4, 2002.

 

Financial statement and agency deposits - Mr. Sigurdson submitted a final report for fiscal year 2002, July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2002 and a report covering July and August 2002. 

 

Public Subsidy Payments

 

In order to receive a public subsidy payment a legislative candidate must: 1) sign and file a Public Subsidy Agreement and an Affidavit of Contributions with the Board in a timely manner, 2) have an opponent in the primary or general election, and 3) win the primary election, or if not running as a major party candidate wins at least 10 percent of the vote in the general election.  Six candidates do not meet one of the criteria as listed above, but have extenuating circumstances that may justify paying public subsidy to the candidate.  Staff will reserve enough money to make the payments to the candidates if so directed by the Board. 

 

Dean Kluge, Republican, House District 23B, estimated public subsidy payment $3,640 – The Affidavit of Contributions due no later than September 3, 2002, was received in the Board office on September 4th.  By letter dated September 4th, Mr. Kluge stated that he believed he had faxed the document on September 3rd.  Technical problems prevented him from printing a fax log from his machine.  The Affidavit was notarized on September 3rd.

 

Mr. Kelley's MOTION:                     To approve payment of public subsidy to Dean Kluge.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Mary Ellen Otremba, Democrat Farmer Labor, House District 11B, estimated public subsidy payment $3,187.14 – The Affidavit of Contributions due no later than September 3, 2002, was received in the Board office on September 5th.  By letter dated September 5th, Ms. Otremba stated that flooding in her area knocked out her phone line.  Because of the Labor Day weekend she did not have her phone line restored until after the deadline, and only then did she realize that the Board had not received the fax.  The Affidavit was notarized on August 26, 2002. 

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To approve payment of public subsidy to Mary Ellen Otremba.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Duane Reed, Independent, House District 58B, estimated public subsidy payment $2,486 – Because Mr. Reed is running as an independent he is not eligible for the party account payment.  However, under the terms of the transitional language in Laws of 2002, Chapter 363, independent and minor party candidates who have filed a valid public subsidy agreement with the Board prior to August 1, 2002, may still receive the general account payment for the 2002 election if they file the required documents and receive at least 10 percent of the vote on the general election ballot.  Mr. Reed filed a Public Subsidy Agreement with the Board on July 25, 2002.  However, on September 3, 2002, Mr. Reed filed a new public Subsidy Agreement and the Affidavit of Contributions.  If the Public Subsidy Agreement filed in September supersedes the agreement filed in July then under terms of the transitional language Mr. Reed is not eligible for a general account payment.  The only benefit to filing a new Public Subsidy Agreement in August is to major party candidates so that they may receive their general account payment after the primary election.  Because Mr. Reed is running without major party affiliation there was no reason or benefit for him to file an agreement after August 1, 2002.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:            To approve payment of the general account public subsidy to Mr. Reed following the general election if he receives at least ten percent of the vote in the general election.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Sheree Breedlove, Independence Party, Senate District 58, estimated public subsidy payment of $5,784 – The Sheree Breedlove Volunteer Committee failed to spend all of the 2000 public subsidy has an outstanding balance of $1,863.72 owed to the state as the portion of the payment she failed to spend on campaign purposes.  Staff has notified Ms. Breedlove that her 2002 public subsidy payment will be reduced by the amount of her remaining balance. 

 

Mr. Kelley's MOTION:            To ratify staff action to withhold $1,863.72 from the public subsidy payment to Sherre Breedlove and return it to the State General Fund.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Eric Starnes, Democrat Farmer Labor, House District 59B, estimated public subsidy payment $4,021.28 - Michael Cavlan, Green Party of Minnesota, House District 44A, lost primary election

Mr. Starnes and Mr. Cavlan both filed a Public Subsidy Agreement and Affidavit of Contributions with the Board prior to the September 3, 2002, deadline.  As of this date As of this date neither candidate has registered a committee with the Board.  Registration is required no later than 14 days after the committee receives contributions or makes expenditures of over $100, based on the fact that both candidates signed an affidavit that they raised $1,500 by September 3, 2002, staff sent certified letters requiring that the candidates register a committee with eight days of receipt of the letter or face a $5 a day fine.  Without a registered committee a candidate cannot receive a public subsidy payment (Minn. Stat. 10A.105, subd. 1).  Staff interprets this to mean that a Public Subsidy Agreement filed by a candidate without a registered committee is invalid, and cannot be made valid by registering a committee because the September 3rd deadline has expired.  Mr. Cavlan lost the primary election which makes him ineligible for a public subsidy payment.  Because Mr. Cavlan will be registering a committee with the Board after September 3rd, staff does not believe that Mr. Cavlan can issue Political Contribution Refund receipts for this election cycle.

 

Ms. Chamber's MOTION:            To direct staff to withhold the public subsidy payment from Eric Starnes and inform Mr. Cavlan that he is not eligible to distribute Political Contribution Refund receipts to contributors.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Board members were provided a list of candidates who received public subsidy payments following the primary election and the amounts paid.

 

ADVISORY OPINION REQUEST

 

The following advisory opinion requests are nonpublic data

 

Advisory Opinion Request #343 – Corporations may contribute funds and services to a political committee or political fund registered to promote a constitutional amendment (laid over from August 28th meeting)

 

Board members reviewed the advisory opinion request from legal counsel for a national nonprofit organization that is in the process of organizing a political committee in Minnesota for ballot question issues who asked about appropriate sources of contributions.   

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To approve the advisory opinion as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #343 signed by Chair Douglas A. Kelley, September 25, 2002:

Political committees and political funds (committees) may receive corporate contributions if the committee limits its activities to supporting or opposing a constitutional amendment.  Corporations do not need to register with the Board, or provide disclosure to political committees to which the corporation has contributed. 

 

Advisory Opinion Request #344 – Registration requirements for political party units

 

Board members reviewed a letter from counsel for a political committee requesting an advisory opinion on how the committee should register.  

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To lay over the request for Advisory Opinion 344 to the next Board meeting.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

LEGAL COUNSEL'S REPORT

 

Counsel Huwe presented the legal counsel report outlining the status of cases that have been turned over to the Attorney General's office and provided Board members with a copy of the Reply Memorandum in Support of Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment in the case of the Board vs. the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.  (see copy of memo attached).

 

REPORT FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

COMPLAINT REGARDING PHILIP HEIR - The Board issued a finding showing that there is no probable cause to believe that Philip Heir or the (Philip) Heir Volunteer Committee violated Minn. Stat. § 10A.24 by terminating a principal campaign committee with an outstanding debt, notifying the creditor of the termination, and subsequently registering another principal campaign committee for the same office.  The Board ordered that the finding and the record of the investigation be made a part of the public records of the Board (see copy of findings attached).

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Meeting adjourned.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Jeanne Olson

Executive Director