Together but Apart: MCIT Annual Meeting Goes Virtual

November 03, 2020

Computer monitor broadcasts a virtual board meetingUpdated Nov. 9, 2020, to reflect Nov. 3, 2020, county commissioner election results.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced MCIT to rethink how to conduct the work of the Trust, specifically the annual membership meeting. This meeting has typically been held in conjunction with the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) conference. This year, AMC is foregoing its traditional format and opting to conduct a virtual meeting. This development required MCIT to change how it holds its 2020 annual membership meeting. After much consideration, the meeting will be held virtually Dec. 11 at 11 a.m.

Meeting Requirements

The MCIT Bylaws require that a meeting of the membership be held on an annual basis. As a public entity, MCIT must comply with Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13D—The Open Meeting Law (OML).

There are exceptions to the requirements of the OML where a health pandemic risk exists. These exceptions apply to the board needing to have a quorum in person to conduct business and limiting or prohibiting attendance by the public.

In making its decisions regarding the 2020 annual meeting, the MCIT board reviewed Minnesota Statutes, Section 13D.021; the Minnesota Governor’s Executive Order 20-75; guidance provided by the Minnesota Department of Administration; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s social distancing requirements.

In a normal year, members would gather to learn about MCIT activities, catch up on news with friends and colleagues and share in refreshments. This year, members are invited to participate in the first virtual meeting of the membership.

Annual Meeting Details

MCIT will hold its 2020 Annual Membership Meeting Dec. 11 at 11 a.m. The MCIT board will gather in person for the meeting and provide members the ability to observe and participate in the meeting remotely.

Agenda items for the meeting include:

  • Report on the state of MCIT’s finances.
  • Board election results.
  • Report by the executive director.
  • Announcement of 2020 MCIT award winners.

Details about how members can attend MCIT’s virtual annual meeting of the membership will be provided closer to the event date. Check and e-mail for announcements.

Board of Directors Election

Richard (Dick) Downham
Richard (Dick) Downham

The MCIT Bylaws require that an election for the board of directors be held during the annual meeting. With this year’s virtual annual meeting, the election of at-large board positions will be conducted by a mailed paper ballot. Elections are required when the officer’s term on the MCIT Board expires and to ratify mid-term appointments.

This year, three seats are up for election.

Based on the Nov. 3, 2020, election, incumbent board member Richard (Dick) Downham, Cass County Commissioner, is no longer eligible to seek re-election to the MCIT Board of Directors.  Therefore,  this seat is now open to any county commissioner, auditor or auditor-treasurer from a member county to seek election. MCIT has also extended the deadline to submit a letter of interest for this position only until 4:30 p.m. Nov. 17, 2020. A letter explaining the deadline and how to submit a letter of interest was sent to eligible commissioners, auditors and auditor-treasurers Nov. 6.

Aitkin County Auditor Kirk Peysar has served on the board since his appointment in February 2020 to complete an unexpired term that ends Dec. 31, 2020. Peysar is seeking election to the board for a four-year term that expires Dec. 31, 2024.

Kirk Peysar portrait
Kirk Peysar

Winona County Commissioner Marcia Ward has served on the board since her appointment in July 2019 to complete an unexpired term. Ward is seeking election to the board for a four-year term that expires Dec. 31, 2024.

All county commissioners and county auditors/auditor-treasurers have been sent notice of the election. Persons interested in being a candidate are required to contact MCIT Deputy Director Steve Nelson and provide a letter of interest by the close of business Nov. 5, 2020.

A nominating committee of the board has been appointed to review the qualifications of candidates. Those selected by the committee will be contacted to schedule a virtual interview in early November.

Candidates selected by the Nominating Committee will have their names placed on the ballot.

Marcia Ward
Marcia Ward

Ballots will be mailed to the designated voting delegate in each member county for return by 4:30 p.m. Dec. 10. Only each county’s voting delegate or his or her alternate is eligible to vote. Ballots will be counted during the annual meeting at which time the winners will be announced.

Members are encouraged to register for the meeting to learn what issues are affecting MCIT and how the Trust is dealing with the changing landscape of providing services and conducting business in a world affected by COVID-19.

Return to November 2020 Bulletin …