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A Message From the State Secretary

Carl's Questions & Answers

As Lodge secretary, what sessions am I required to attend at the state convention? This will help me determine how many nights I need to reserve at the hotel.

There is nothing set in stone as to what you "should" attend but my feeling is you should at a minimum attend all three of the general sessions. They begin on Friday afternoon and there are two on Saturday, a morning session and an afternoon session.

Additionally, the secretary should attend the major projects luncheon. Three tickets are sent to the Exalted Ruler with instructions to keep one for themselves and give the other two to someone who will attend the luncheon. As Lodge secretary there is no guarantee you will receive one.

Where in the Statutes or by-laws can I find the duties and responsibilities of a Lodge Adviser.

It is a state thing and not mandated by statute or bylaw. It is an honorary designation for mostly PDD’s and provides one more opportunity for a Lodge to keep dirty laundry in-house prior to involving an outsider! It's a good thing! The individual has no authority! It is generally a person well respected and well thought of in the Lodge and one whom is generally constructive with their advice.

A question arose last night at a HC meeting in regards as to who needs to be bonded in the lodge. We know that some are bonded through the Grand Lodge but can you provide a list of who should be? We have District Audits coming up and need this info. A lot of different opinions.

The fidelity portion of the Property Plus Insurance policy includes Employee Dishonesty coverage which satisfies the  bonding requirement for the officers named in the Elks statutes.  In addition to satisfying that bonding requirement, there is also coverage if any other employee at the Lodge with access to funds were to steal or embezzle same.

Carl, being a new secretary I am in the process of re-organizing the files. How long do we have to keep membership applications?

Officially membership records, including applications CANNOT be destroyed. However, you may want to scan them onto a flash drive or DVD and greatly reduce your physical storage needs.

Carl, We are trying to secure private grant monies and wonder if it is possible to funnel these monies thru Harry-Anna to allow us to put them in long-range accounts such as building funds?

I'm afraid not. Money solicited for a 501(c)(3) purpose must be used for a 501(c)(3) purpose. I'm afraid building funds are not allowable for this purpose.

Can a non-member be a bar manager? I know the statutes state you do not have to be a member to act a club manager. Does that relate to being a bar manager as well?

Bar vs. club manager is a case of semantics. It does not matter what you want to designate as the title as long as your Governing Body or House Committee are the ones employing the individual.

Is volunteer insurance part of our workman’s comp? Do other lodges have a good policy you might know about if not included in workman’s comp?

Volunteer insurance is not part of your workman's comp insurance and must be purchased separately. I would advise checking with a local commercial producer.

Is there a recommended amount of time that Lodge Secretary minutes should be kept? We've got stuff going back to the 80's.

As incorporated entities, all lodges are required by Florida corporate law to keep all minutes for at least three years. Any minutes where something special or out of the ordinary took place should also be kept.

Statute 14.260 re: life membership states, "All members shall be sent notice at least 10 days prior to date of meeting." No specification as to how notified. Can I use email?

The answer is in GL Statute 1.115 – Notice: Any notice required to be sent or mailed to all Members of a Lodge may be included in the Lodge Bulletin or sent electronically to any Member who has given written authorization to receive notices electronically.

Will you please clarify what is needed under 'Lodge Projects' for the FSEA Roster updates? Some feel it means Lodge community projects while others thought it meant amenities, such as pools, etc. Thank you.

This is in response to PGER Robert Grafton’s admonitions over the last few years for the Lodge to adopt a project in your community that will serve as your Lodge’s “Major Project” and provide an awareness to the community of what the Elks stand for other than boozing and gambling, etc. This concept is going to take a while to catch on but we thought if we get our Lodges thinking in this direction we will one day accomplish the goal. It is hoped that by improving our profiles in our communities that more people will want to join with us and become involved in their community through the local Elks Lodge. I hope this helps!

I do not think it is a good idea to hold FSEA conferences at the same time when required annual Lodge programs are scheduled such as Memorial Day and July 4th. This results in many of our Lodge key members missing our Lodge programs. Can anything be done about this?

I know that this can be a problem but our state meetings are scheduled 3-5 years in advance. A creative approach may be to anticipate the absence of the Lodge leaders and plan around it. Allow others in the Lodge to take the lead or be recognized! I think members will understand if the leaders send their regrets. After all, one or two members does not a Lodge make.

Several members have asked me what, if any positions from the Grand Lodge to the State level receive monetary compensation. If so, where would that information be located for any Elk to Review?

Only employees of the Grand Lodge and State receive compensation. No officers, directors or committeemen are paid.

Could you advise me as to whether it is mandatory to drop all the delinquents before November 1? There’s a difference of opinion here at the Lodge. How can you give an accurate six month report if you do not drop the delinquents?

Short answer: It is your option. My opinion: Why would you want to? Keep them on the delinquent list and try every possible option to contact them. If all else fails then you could drop them on March 31. As for the accuracy of your report, reporting membership with the delinquents is really an accurate snapshot of your membership.

No one at our Lodge seems to know the colors for the Elks. We are under the impression that they are royal purple and gold. Can you weigh in please?

The Elk colors are Royal Purple and White, a combination deriving its origin from the history of the clergy, nobility and the people. Purple is the badge of Kinship, the color for the robes of Emperors and High Priests, and signifies highest favor. Blending of white and royal purple indicates the favor of the people, which bespeaks the status of Elkdom.

Our Lodge would like to raffle a wheel barrel full of liquor. We want to ask members to donate unopened bottles of liquor or beer to fill the barrel. I was told it may not be allowed. Can you direct me on this?

Not sure. If tickets are sold only to Lodge members and not to the public it is probably not a problem.

Our Lodge would like to use email to inform members of Lodge events. I have been told that this is an unacceptable use of Elks information unless they give written authorization to receive notices electronically. Can you please provide some guidance on this issue?

Common sense must prevail and when applied to this issue, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with using email to convey Lodge activities. In fact, many Lodges are already doing this. One thing I have recommended to the Lodge Secretaries is that they contact their members at least once a year and ask them how they would like to receive Lodge communications.

Can a “significant other” who does not renew membership still be considered an Elk and not be considered delinquent if their partner is a paid-up member?

Per GL Statute 14.190, there is no recognition given to a significant other, only to a spouse. The significant other is considered an unaffiliated Elk and remains delinquent.

Is there a GL Statute that forbids family and spouses from witnessing the Initiation Ritual?

The short answer is yes, but heck, in Florida we do the institution of a new Lodge in public and it includes the initiatory ritual. Probably best to take a vote on the Lodge floor on this one. All it takes is for one member to object and bring up Statute charges.

Our Lodge wants to become a member in the Chamber of Commerce. We feel we could attract more members and have more community visibility. Are there any reasons why we can’t do this?
Several Lodges have taken membership in their Local Chamber. Due to our “public accommodation” rules, the GL frowns on Lodges being Chamber members, but does not specifically say you cannot. See
Constitution, Article III, Section 18, Opinion 23.
Who in the Lodge is responsible for setting Lodge hours, and would changes need to be approved by the membership?

Per GL Statutes, 16.040, opinion 12: “If the House Rules do not set the hours during which the Club will be open, the Governing Body may set the hours.”

Louisiana State Legislature Increases New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax

The Legislature of the State of Louisiana has acted to increase the New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax from 13% to 14.75% effective April 1, 2014. This will affect our convention room rates and they will go from $128.56 to $130.52 per night.

Convention Attendees With ADA Transportation Needs Urged To Contact Grand Lodge

In order for the Grand Lodge to support the transportation needs of attendees with disabilities you are urged to contact the Grand Lodge if you require special assistance. Special coaches capable of kneeling to accommodate wheel chairs will be placed along the routes for those in need. If you require assistance please contact Tina or Jessica at the Grand Lodge as follows:

TinaH@elks.org

JessicaR@elks.org

 

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