Sep 132017
 

Secretary Cubicle
Summer is almost over and fall is fast approaching and I am making this column a reminder column.

Email
Email is great. I appreciate those who use email. Please email me at mainestategrangeatmyfairpointdotnet  (mainestategrangeatmyfairpointdotnet)   and cc grangenutatnetscapedotnet  (grangenutatnetscapedotnet)  .

Annual Session

Delegates are your Master and spouse and if they are unable to attend your grange will then have the opportunity to appoint two delegates. East grange is allowed two delegates so please make sure that you take advantage of this opportunity to serve your grange.

Quarterly and Yearly Dues
Subordinate Granges your quarterly dues must be paid in full for the quarter ending September 30, 2019. You may have up to the 10th day to have your quarterly reports postmarked to avoid $5.00 assessment to defray collection costs. I will be leaving for State Grange Session Wednesday, October 18, 2017, so please have them in before that date to avoid confusion at State Session. ALL DUES MUST BE PAID THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2017 IN ORDER FOR YOUR DELEGATES TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE.

Pomona Granges your yearly dues must be paid in full for the year ending June 30, 2017.  As I write this column I have three Pomona’s who have not filed the yearly report.  I will be forwarding to those Pomona’s the paperwork to be completed and filed with me before State Session in order for the delegates from these Pomona’s to take advantage of the voting privileges at State Session.

Until I see you at State Session be safe.

Jul 132017
 

Secretary CubicleBy Sharon Morton, MSG Secretary

Summertime is upon us and we are busy with gardens, canning, fair exhibits and planning for the upcoming new Grange year.

Reminders:

  • 990Ns- Please disregard any notice you may receive from the IRS advising that your 990N has not been filed. I have just finished up filing for this year.
  • Quarterly Reports– I am receiving them daily and will now begin updating the membership records as well as the Roster Information. Please do not forget or neglect to send in the roster information. The only information I will be using this year will be what I receive from you so if you have not received a copy of this form, please contact me here at headquarters and I will see that you receive one.
  • Donations- I am receiving donations for the Kelley Farm and as stated in a previous Bulletin I requested that donations to the Kelley Farm should be mailed directly to: National Grange, 1616 H Street, Washington DC 20006 with checks made payable to the Grange Foundation earmarked “Kelley Farm Fund” and donations to the CWA Committee should be sent to Karen Flagg whose address is 3 Jeanie Drive, Leeds ME. So please make sure your committee chairperson realizes they should be mailing donations to the correct place as indicated in the request letter. Donations for the Junior, Youth, and Agriculture Departments need to be mailed to State Grange Headquarters as they have been in the past.
  • Resolutions– Due at State Grange Headquarters by August 15, 2017. Don’t miss the deadline!

Summer is the time to get ready for State Session in October. The Sessions are open to every Grange member. You can’t vote unless you are a delegate but you can witness the activities that are there.

Until next time have a safe and productive “Grange” summer.

May 152017
 

Secretary CubicleBy Sharon Morton, MSG Secretary

 

Spring has arrived on the farm and in our Grange lives.  New growth is everywhere from the budding trees to the planted seedlings.

The following Continuous Membership Certificates have been issued and will have been or are already presented to our members.  Androscoggin Grange #8:  Janice Brewer for 25 years; Joanne Boyington for 25 years; Carol Buzzell for 25 years and Merton Buzzell for 25 years; Danville Junction Grange #65:  Beverly Lashua for 75 years; Mildred Brainerd for 70 years; Glenys Ryder for 65 years; Neil Peaco for 60 years; Gleason Sturtevant for 55 years; and Ken Brewer for 40 years; Norway Grange #45:  Timothy Pike for 55 years; Willow Grange #366:  Hazel Kleinschmidt for 70 years; Farmington Grange #12:  Robert Smith for 50 years; Stephen Scharoun for 25 years; Marion Scharoun for 25 years; L. Herbert York for 65 years and Andrew Milliken for 55 years; Pioneer Grange 219:  Joel Morse for 60 years; Margaret Morse for 60 years and Bruce Stimpson for 55 years and Jacksonville Grange #358: Nathan Pennell for 25 years.

If you are printing your Continuous Membership Certificate Application from the website you will note the change that National Grange is now charging shipping and handling using the chart below:

*Please use the following Shipping & Handling Chart

  • Orders: Up to $10.00 = $4.00
  • Orders: $10.0l – $19.99 = $5.00
  • Orders: $20.00 – $49.99 = $7.00
  • Orders: $50.00 – $74.99 = $9.00
  • Orders: $75.00 – $99.99 = $10.00
  • Orders: $100.00 – $124.99 = $12.00
  • Orders: $125.00 – $249.99 = $15.00
  • Orders: $250 and above = $20.00

Example:             Three Golden Sheaf Certificates at $10.00 each  =  $30.00
One 75 Year Diamond Certificate & Folder at $10.00 =   $10.00
Sub Total: $40.00

You will then use the chart and find the correct shipping and handling for your $40.00 order which is $7.00.  You would then make your check payable to National Grange in the amount of $47.00 and mail your application form to me for processing.  If you have the old form please feel free to use them but use the shipping and handling chart above to correctly pay for your certificates being issued from the National Grange.  If you would like your certificate by a certain date please note that on the application form. I will advise National of your request.

Recording the minutes of your Grange is one of your most important duties.  They should be exact, concise, detailed, yet comprehensive history of your records maintained in a permanent record book.

A membership record book of all members should be kept with the complete address, degree affiliations, dates, dues records and any other necessary information which should be kept available and up to date.

Grange Secretaries are constantly required to fill out all kinds of forms.  It is imperative that all directions on each form be read and carefully understood before proceeding.    Be sure all questions are properly answered in full, that names, addresses, including Zip Codes are correct and complete and all information legible.

“Let us not forget the precepts of our Order. Let us add dignity to labor and in our dealings with our fellow men, be honest, be just and fear not… The record of your Grange will be held as a memento of your labors long after the recording hand has crumbled into dust.  Let them be exact that they may redound to your honor an exhibit a faithful history of the work of your Grange to all who come after us.”

Until next month!

Apr 272017
 

With thanks to State Secretary Sharon Morton, we’ve recently added two documents to the “Program Books and Information” Page:

  1. The Journal of Proceedings – 2016 Convention is a summary (93 pages) of last year’s convention, including committee reports, budget information, etc.
  2. The Membership Recognition Order Form which has been updated to reflect the recent price increases announced by National Grange.

The Maine State Grange website is your “goto” place for information!

Apr 142017
 

Secretary CubicleBy Sharon Morton, MSG Secretary

April is a busy month here at State Headquarters as well as in our Subordinate Granges. My time has been busy with the finishing of the 2016 Journal of Proceedings, which will be published on the website. April is a month to celebrate our grange heritage and what a great way to do so is to have an open house, invite all to enjoy a great meal and program.

I have had the opportunity to issue these Continuous Membership Certificates which have been or will be presented to our members.  Somerset Grange #18, Gwendolyn Knight for 65 years; Farrilyn Chase for 70 years; Bernice Chase for 55 years; Norman Chase for 55 years; Elizabeth Wilder for 25 years; Alice Jones for 70 years; and Marjorie Farrand for 50 years; Manchester Grange #172, Mark L. Johnston 50 years; Brenda L. Lake for 50 years; and Edward Lincoln III for 50 years; Mousam Lake Grange #467, Sylvia Young for 70 years and Clayton Chute for 65 years; Bingham Grange #237, Terry Spencer for 40 years; Bear Mt. Grange #62, Linda Davis for 50 years; Clara Hamlin for 60 years; Prentiss Kimball for 60 years; and Glenn Chute for 60 years; Huntoon Hill #398, Sharon Leeman for 55 and 60 years; Fairview Grange #342, Marilyn Giroux for 75 years; Ellie Zarcone for 40 years and George Merry for 75 years; Hollis Grange #132, Valerie Joy for 50 years; Maple Grove Grange #148, Carol R. Brown for 50 years and Esther L. Kilborn for 80 years; Topsham Grange #37, Julia Wallace for 50 years and Merton Ricker for 70 years; Valley Grange #144, Elizabeth Herring for 70 years; Roderick Lander for 50 years and Harriet Mitchell for 70 years and White Rock Grange #380, Gloria McBee for 55 years.

Quarterly Reports:  Please remember the quarterly reports are due March 31st; June 30th; September 30th and December 31st and are due at headquarters postmarked on or before the 10th of the month following each quarter.

KEEPING MINUTES – As Secretary, your first priority is keeping a record of the meetings of your Grange.  Accuracy should be the goal, for your minutes are your Grange’s permanent record.  Remember that “Robert’s Rules of Order” advises, “They (the minutes) should contain mainly a record of what was done at a meeting, not what was said by the members unless in the form of a motion… Minutes should never reflect the Secretary’s opinion on anything said or done.”

Resolutions and motions should be included in the minutes word for word, as well as the action taken on them.  Detailed accounts of receipts and expenses should be included.  Communications read need not be included word for word, only that they were read and their general subject.  You can refer members to the communication if they wish details.

An exception might be the description of the lecturer’s programs.  If a member says something particularly worthy, or a discussion is important, including it in the minutes should be approved by the Grange.

Next time I will touch on the Secretary’s responsibility on maintaining records.

I will be updating the Roster Information Form that will be sent with your June Quarterly Report. This form will include the name and number of your Grange; physical location of your Grange Hall; contact name and phone number; name, address, phone number, and email address of your elected Master, Lecturer, Secretary and CWA Chairman.

Please contact me immediately with any address changes or any changes to the officers listed above so that our records will be correct and updated.

Happy Spring, and enjoy the nice weather.

Feb 142017
 

Secretary CubicleBy Sharon Morton, MSG Secretary

As I sit here and look out at the snow I am pondering what spring will bring. Grange activities will start anew, as well as, new life on the farm.

Yearly Dues

As I write this column I hope that you have sent your first request for your Grange’s yearly dues.  If you need to obtain first dues notices they are available here at the office.  It is now time to send your second notices.  Both notices are available here at headquarters for .25 cents each.

April is Grange Month

The Maine State Grange has memorial flags and grave markers for sale.  This is a great way to honor our deceased members.   We have two styles of memorial flags black emblem ($7) and colored emblem ($8) and grave marker $30.  You can purchase a memorial flag with a grave marker for $35.  I have a limited number of grave markers so if you would like one please get your request in early.

You will also be receiving in a mailing shortly the Grange Month information from National Grange.  It is also available on our website:  mainestategrange.org.  You will be receiving the 2017 Proclamation, Letter from our National Master and a poster to use for inviting the public to a grange meeting.

National Grange Convention 2018 – Unique as a Snowflake

As I have been chosen the Coordinator for the State of Maine I have been given the task of obtaining funds for the convention.  I have short sleeved and long sleeved t-shirts.  I have a variety of sizes in both styles.  The prices are short-sleeved $10 and the long-sleeved $15.

Membership Recognition Form

I will be updating the Membership Recognition Form as National Grange has made a change in the shipping cost0 Effective March 1, 2017.  Golden Sheaf is $10 plus $4.00 for shipping and handling and the 75 Year Diamond Certificates with folder is $10 plus $4.00 for shipping and handling.  I believe that if you forget to add the shipping and handling National Grange will bill you.

Until next month have a safe winter and a great beginning of spring.

Jan 142017
 

Secretary CubicleBy Sharon Morton, MSG Secretary

A new year is upon us and with that the hope of spring.

The Roster for 2017 has been mailed.  We, at State Headquarters, hope that you find the Roster helpful.  Roster updates and additions are available and will be published in the Bulletin or through the State Secretary.

You will be receiving requests for donations from the various directors and/or committee chairs in the near future.  I am requesting that all donations from your Grange be sent directly to the director unless their request states otherwise.  Donations to the Kelley Farm should be mailed directly to: National Grange, 1616 H St., Washington DC 20006 with checks made payable to the Grange Foundation earmarked “Kelley Farm Fund.”

Worthy Secretary, “The duties of your office are the most arduous of all.” During the past 149 years Grange Secretaries have realized that their tasks have been somewhat demanding, requiring that they be present at all meetings, that they be alert in recording the minutes, that they be accurate in their accounts, and that they be courteous to all at all times.

Materials for Grange Secretaries

In an effort to aid the Grange Secretary and Treasurer in their labors the following are available from State Headquarters: Secretary’s Receipts, $8.00; Improved Order Book, $6.50; Treasurer’s Receipt Book, $6.00.

The Secretary’s Receipt Books are used to record the yearly dues received from your members.

Treasurer’s Receipt Books are used to record monies received from the Secretary.  All money goes through the Secretary to be recorded in the record book and then turned over to the Treasurer.  The Treasurer will then complete a receipt listing what the monies received from the Secretary was for and gives the receipt to the Secretary to have for her records.

The Improved Order Book is used at each meeting.  The Secretary will fill out the Order form and have the Master sign the form and it should have the grange seal embossed on it.  This is a record that provides the Treasurer with information to pay what bills.  Some bills are automatic as they may come due before a meeting is held but these should be included in the next Order to the Treasurer with a notation that the bill was paid and the date of payment.  This gives you as the Secretary a check and balance with the Treasurer of what bills may be outstanding.

It is to the advantage of every Grange Secretary and Treasurer to have the Grange Accounts audited at least once a year, and also whenever one of these Officers changes.  Using the above record keeping forms will help greatly in your audits.

Bonding

It is to the advantage of every Grange Secretary and Treasurer to be bonded.  This is not that we expect a Grange Secretary or Treasurer to embezzle funds; it is for their protection in case of theft, loss, or being mislaid.

The Maine State Grange does offer coverage for $5000.00 and administrative cost will be $25.00 for three years.  This is an administrative cost, not a premium, as the State Grange cannot sell insurance.  We are only making an agreement with your Grange that if you have a loss caused by mishandling of Grange money by a covered individual, the State Grange will cover that loss and prosecute the offender.  An application must be filed and the administrative cost paid prior to coverage.  An audit must be taken of all Grange accounts covered by the Maine State Grange prior to filing and each year henceforth.  These audits must be available for inspection any time during the term of the bond.

Dues

First of all, it is very necessary that they be collected in a businesslike manner, and that every effort is made to collect them.  Most people pay their indebtedness when they are billed.

A notice should be sent 60 days prior to the first of the year as to the amount of the dues which states that they are payable in advance.

Second, on February 1 send a follow-up notice to each member who has overlooked paying their dues the first of the year.

Final, on April 1 send a final notice and at the next Grange meeting announce to the Grange that you have “X” number of members who have not paid their dues. You may use phone, personal contact, special delivery mail with return receipt, or any other method you see fit.  But every effort should be made to collect these dues and maintain these Patrons on the rolls.

Under no conditions does the Secretary have the right to drop anyone from the books for nonpayment of dues without the action of the Grange.

Quarterly Reports

Quarterly reports are the official membership and dues reporting of Grange Secretaries.   These reports are due on March 31st—June 30th—September 30th and December 31st.  I make available to Subordinate and Pomona Granges who are expected to report, the proper and necessary forms upon which to file these reports. These reports are requested to be mailed no later than the 10th of the month following each quarter.

When mailing your quarterly reports, you should mail the top (white copy) to me at headquarters, middle copy (yellow) is mailed to your POMONA SECRETARY (not State Headquarters) and the last page kept for your records.

As I have been reminded that we must provide our Ganges with the proper paperwork and information I will be adding forms to the Secretary Help Page.  I am sure that those of you who are working more with the internet will find these helpful.  I have not forgotten the fact that some secretaries still need mailings so these will not stop.

Be safe and enjoy the New Year.

Aug 052016
 
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Maine State Grange Secretary Sharon Morton has asked us to advise the secretaries of the Subordinate and Pomona Granges that she has completed the forms and if they have received notification from the IRS that their filing had not been received to please disregard that notice.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Sharon.

Mar 132015
 

caution signAUGUSTA – Numerous Maine corporations have received mailings recently from a business operating under the name Maine Council for Corporations, whose address is usually listed as 126 Western Ave., #338, Augusta, ME 04330-7252.  Please be advised that the form provided by the Maine Council for Corporations is not a document prescribed or recognized by the Department of the Secretary of State.  This is not being sent on behalf of the Department of the Secretary of State, and the records described are not required to be filed with the Secretary of State.

The mailings from the “Maine Council for Corporations” include an official-looking document titled “2015 – Annual Records Solicitation Form” and instructions for completing the form. The Solicitation Form includes an offer from the Maine Council for Corporations to prepare “corporate consent records in lieu of meeting minutes” for a fee of $125.

The Solicitation Form looks somewhat like the CEC’s annual report form. Although the solicitation correctly states that Maine Council for Corporations is not a government agency, some corporations have confused the Solicitation Form for the CEC’s prescribed annual report.

The form provided in this mailing is not an official annual report and will not be accepted as an annual report if submitted to the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions. Additionally, the preparation of these records does not satisfy the requirements to file the annual report with the Secretary of State.

The legal deadline to file annual reports with the Secretary of State’s office is June 1st, and those reports may be filed online:  http://icrs.informe.org/nei-sos-icrs/ICRS. Please note that the Division of Corporations does not mail out the annual report form.

The Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions posted an alert last year about similar solicitations to Maine corporations from Corporate Records Service, whose address is identical to the address for Maine Council for Corporations.

Any corporation that has questions about the solicitation or form is encouraged to obtain advice from its lawyer or business advisor. Also, the Maine Division of Corporations can be contacted at (207) 624-7752 for information about corporate annual report and other business entity filing requirements under Maine law.

Jan 132015
 

We’ve been advised by National Grange that prices for these are increasing as of January 2015. Silver Star and Seals will be $2.50, Gold Sheaf and 75 Year Award will be $3.50, and 100 & 125 Year Grange Hall will be $4.00. Please check with State Secretary Sharon for more information. (Remember, your order for these materials must be sent to Maine State Grange.) A new order form will be available soon! (Check the “program books and information” page under the secretary heading.)