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Minutes, Taxes and Knowledge, Oh My!
By Chuck Mulidore
While winter is in full force in some parts of the country, you’re probably not thinking much about things such as meeting minutes or taxes. But in this Postal Supervisor issue, I want to talk to you, once again, about the importance of reading meeting minutes and filing your branch taxes.
I previously have written columns in which I described the importance of reading the minutes of meetings, particularly the minutes of the Executive Board’s twice-yearly meetings held at NAPS Headquarters each spring and fall. As I explained then, one of my duties as your secretary/treasurer is to take the minutes of meetings, whether they are NAPS Executive Board meetings or meetings with postal officials.
In this month’s Postal Supervisor, you will find the minutes of the fall 2020 NAPS Executive Board meeting held in October—not at NAPS Headquarters, as it normally is, but via Zoom. We all have had to adjust during the pandemic. Official meetings can be held virtually, but the minutes still must be taken.
It is important that you, as a member, read the minutes. Hopefully, this not only will lead you to better understand the decisions made by your Executive Board members, but, perhaps, direct you to ask questions or show a nonmember what NAPS can do for them.
The minutes record how your organization is conducting business—not only the business of NAPS, but also representing you in discussions with postal leadership. For example, at the fall board meeting, we met virtually with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to hear his perspective on a host of issues, as well as his vision for the Postal Service under his leadership.
During the spring and fall Executive Board meetings, the entire board meets with postal representatives for a consultative meeting. Agenda questions generally come from the field. The responses are important, so use them to better represent your members. Minutes from the Oct. 20 consultative meeting were printed in the January 2021 issue.
From a NAPS organizational perspective, the minutes in this issue provide an overview of NAPS’ financial health and our constant drive to promote membership, which, thanks to your efforts, continues to increase. Updates from vendors were provided to the Executive Board from across the entire spectrum of our organization: ConferenceDirect’s Sheri Davies on the 2021 National Convention, our legal team headed by Bruce Moyer, financial updates about the NAPS investment portfolio from PNC, management of the Vincent A. Palladino NAPS Headquarters building and our Disciplinary Defense Fund led by Labor Relations Admin Group. It always is important to note that DDF services are provided at no additional cost to NAPS members, unlike the other, much smaller management organization that primarily represents postmasters.
Finally, in the minutes, you will read updates from the committees on which your Executive Board members serve and the work they have been doing on behalf of our essential management organization. Each board member serves on one or more committees. Please read everything they have been doing to support you in the field and represent NAPS legislatively and at USPS Headquarters.
Now, one final point: It’s February and, while Valentine’s Day and love may be in the air, your branch’s taxes need to be filed with the IRS. The first step of that process is to obtain nonprofit status as a NAPS branch. Once accomplished, your branch treasurer or secretary/treasurer should file your branch’s 990 with the IRS each year. This generally is due by May 15 for the previous year.
All this information is available here. Scroll down to NAPS Documents and then look for the subsection entitled "Training." All the relevant information is there to guide your branch through the entire process.
There you have it! Another column on the importance of meeting minutes and taxes. I hope you take the time to read the minutes this month, remind your branch to file its taxes by May 15 and do all you can to keep informed in the months ahead.
In 1817, Thomas Jefferson, while discussing the establishment of state universities, wrote: “Knowledge is power, that knowledge is safety, and that knowledge is happiness.” Now, more than ever in our world, those words mean so much.
Be safe and be well.