General Meeting Minutes - December 23, 2012
Participants via Skype:
Alhagie Saibo Drammeh
Mamadou Salieu Jallow
Alh. Sellou Jallow
Date & Time: 12/23/12 @ 16:00 GMT
· Welcome and opening prayers
· Financial Update
· Address by the President Alh. Sellou Jallow
· General Elections
· Project Update
· Open Forum
The meeting was opened with a prayer lead by Alh. Saibo Drammeh and chaired by MB Krubally.
After the prayers, Wuyeh thanked the members for attending the meeting and emphasized on the importance of continuing the good effort we are doing. He reiterated for members to continue the good effort of giving back to our community back home. Wuyeh extended special appreciation to fellow attendees calling from The Gambia; Kawsu, Alfusainey and Maimuna Sey.
He moved on suggesting the addition of more positions to the current portfolio. He said that, it is his hope that members on the ground will step up for executive positions on the coming elections. He also suggested for the likes of Kawsu Sillah that have access to the internet to help with the election process, thus include members on the ground.
The matter relating to Kawsu helping with the election was discussed with some expressing hesitation in fear for conflict of interest or influencing the electoral process should Kawsu decide to run for a position. Other’s suggested that we look into setting up an “Advisory Board” that could help in such cases.
Regarding adding more portfolios or creating an assistant for each of the elected officials, the goal here is to ensure that there is back up should some of the newly elected officials not follow through on their responsibility. Suggestions were noted for further discussion at the executive level. The executive members will look into how to ensure that the association’s new officials continue the good work started without disruption.
Mamadou Salieu Jallow : Gave a breakdown of FOB fund as listed below:
· FOB Europe 80.00 EUR
· In FOB Account, (Gambia Account) – D7310.00
· In FOB Account (US Account) - $1886.00
· In FOB Account (UK) - £60.00
Alh. Sellou is still working on getting hold of the remaining balances from the projects. He has also changed the 506.00 EUR in his possession to be deposited into the FOB Gambia account.
Coming Elections Preparations:
In preparation for the election, Alh. Sellou Jallow’s informed the attendees that he is still having trouble getting hold of the member list showing the names of the paid up members on the ground. It was also noted that more members have paid their dues to Mr. Modou Kuto Jaiteh.
After a brief introduction by Wuyeh Sanyang on where the electoral committee stands, members suggested for the electoral committee to look into other methods of voting. Suggestions were made to encourage local manual voting at either an internet café or reaching out to senior, responsible and easily accessible members on the ground that can host the local elections should members wish to cast their vote manually.
Attendees took the time to thank the electoral committee for the wonderful job they are doing and encouraged them to keep up the good work and energy. Others seconded the idea of seriously looking into the “Advisory Board” suggestion and even expanding it to our seniors on the ground including the Alkalo, governor and other leaders on the ground.
The treasurers will send an updated membership list to the electoral committee. Upon receiving the list, the electoral committee will send election information to the general public. They would also like to hear from anyone that is not receiving email from them directly. Members are welcome to reach out if they have not received any information about the coming elections. Emails have already been sent and more will follow explaining the entire process.
Due to the low turnout at the meeting, suggestions were made for the members on the ground to be consulted on the list projects they would like FOB to embark on this coming year. The new executive and recently recommended committee will take on this task immediately following the elections.
Members especially those on the ground expressed concerns on the lack of a structured process in the allocation of scholarships. Different suggestions were presents and other shared a similar program they are involved in. Suggestions and recommendations were noted to be discussed at the next executive meeting.
It was generally agreed that a structured selection process must be put into place to further avoid any confusion, thus make it transparent. It was believed that some of these suggestions were the exact steps used for the recent process but it was not communicate to the general public, thus resulting to speculation that the process was not fair.
Members wanted the general public to know that there are very limited funds for the scholarship program contrary to the general notion that there were large funds available that the project manager refused to allocate. Also, members recommended that FOB programs be widely communicated to the general public via radio broadcast or by simply distributing flyers in town.
Members spoke about the importance of sending an update membership list to the electoral offices before the election. Discussions continued with some suggesting raising the annual membership fees. Some suggested increasing the current dues by 20% across the board. Others expressed hesitation not to raise annual dues citing the current short list of members as a reason. They fear that increasing the dues might drive the few dedicated members away. This was countered with the notion that those currently paying are committed and will continue to support FOB even if dues were increased. Suggestions were made to instead look into getting more members on board rather than raising the fees and possibly driving people away. The executive members will discuss this issue and come up with a final decision.
It was noted that local attendance on the ground in Basse was low due to the on going Safra Soccer tournament in Guinea. Basse represented the Gambia and a large number of Basserians are in attendance. Members wished The Gambia good luck at tournament. Kawsu Sillah will look into printing the meeting minutes and distributing them.
Next Meeting: The meeting was adjourned at around 7pm GMT.