At a Special State Committee Meeting held by teleconference on Sunday, February 21, 2010, the Libertarian Party of New York voted to reimburse members of the Capital District Libertarians $449.00 (7% of its current State Treasury Balance) for a Convention Registration Mailing sent out without prior State Committee authorization. This reimbursement was made even though Jeff Russell of the Capital District Libertarians had apologized to the LPNY State Committee and had indicated that those responsible for the mailing would cover its cost.
According to Dr. Tom Stevens, LPQC State Committee Representative, there were two major problems with the unauthorized mailing. The first problem was that it did not contain an option for LPNY members to register to attend only the Business Sessions of the convention for free. The second problem was that it was intentionally sent out well before the notice period required by the LPNY bylaws as an "extra mailing" and will, therefore, necessitate a second mailing being sent to all LPNY members formally announcing the convention.
The vote at the Special State Committee Meeting held solely for the purpose of authorizing this reimbursement was 9 in favor and 1 opposed. However, the one person opposed to the motion opposed it because it was felt a motion wasn't necessary to reimburse the Capital District Libertarians for the unauthorized mailing. Dr. Tom Stevens, LPQC State Representative, did not attend the Special State Committee Meeting.
Dr. Tom Stevens, LPQC State Representative, responding to the vote said:
Every State Committee Member has a fiduciary responsibility to spend LPNY State Treasury funds in a responsible manner. While I understand the desire many have to make sure that volunteers are not out money spent in good faith in support of LPNY activities, I also feel that seasoned LPNY activists should be responsible for their actions. It wouldn't have taken much effort to seek the approval of the State Committee before sending out a mailing that would cost 7% of the LPNY's State Treasury Balance, especially if the mailing was intended as an "extra mailing" that was not required by the LPNY bylaws. The Capital District Libertarians sought authorization for the deposit they needed to reserve the room at the hotel and should have come to the State Committee for authorization to do the mailing. The Capital District Libertarians also did not run the Convention Registration Fee Schedule by the State Committee for feedback. Had they done so, the absence of the "attending Business Session" for free option would have been caught immediately. People donate money to the LPNY and pay membership dues in the expectation that LPNY State Committee Members will spend that money wisely. This is a responsibility LPNY State Committee Members should take very seriously in the months and years ahead.
The LPNY State Convention will be held on Saturday, April 24, 2010 at the Hilton Garden Inn located at 1389 Washington Avenue in Albany, New York.