Steering Committee Meeting on October 4th, 2009.
Duration: one hour plus.
Chairperson: M.B. Krubally.
Secretary: Bakary M. Jallow
Attendees: M.B. Krubally, Pa Joof, Bakary Jallow, Ousainou Krubally, Yerro Sanyang (Wuyeh), Cherno B. Jallow.
1. Ratification of the Basse Association (BA), inc. constitution.
2. A member’s upcoming visit to Basse.
3. Conducting meetings for the steering committee.
4. Generating funds.
5. Any other business (AOB).
Ratification of the constitution
The meeting was opened by Yorro Sanyang upon request from the chairperson. Yorro welcomed everybody and expressed his gratitude to the members for answering to the call of duty on behalf of the Basse Association, Inc.
Ratification of the BA constitution was deferred due to some identifiable errors in the document. Yorro pointed out some grammar and spelling errors. Cherno B. Jallow also expressed similar sentiments. Yorro stated that some clarifications were needed on some of the articles of the constitutional draft. Members affirmed their wish for a resolution of any defects of the drafted constitution in order that the Association do not run into problems in the future.
Ousainou Krubally expressed his concern regarding the time being taken to come up with a constitution. He suggested deferring the ratification to a later date. Pa Joof agreed with Ousainou's contention regarding the enormous time being taken to complete the drafted constitution. Pa suggested that amendments to the constitution could always be made in the future. He stated that the constitutional document could never be perfected after the first time it was written. He cited the U.S Constitution as an example which has been amended numerous times and is still subject to possible amendments in the future. Bakary Jallow, on the other hand, agreed with the suggestion to suspend the ratification until after all the errors had been corrected. This, he believed, would also give Haruna Farage the opportunity to consult with other constitutional experts by Monday as he had promised in his communication with the Steering Committee.
Bakary objected to Yorro's suggestion of re-posting the constitution on the website for further review by the membership. Bakary was concerned about the possibility of over-extending the time for the constitutional ratification. He worried that this might create extra huddles and we might never get a finished constitution on the table to be ratified and signed. Bakary stressed that members had already been given the opportunity to come up with their suggestions and comments. He said that a constitution would never be enacted if everyone’s opinion had to be reflected.
The committee came to a consensus to defer the ratification up till Monday October 12, 2009. Members agreed for the committee chair to sign the document thereby making it legal. MB Krubally yielded and requested Yorro Sanyang to sign the document, instead. Yorro acceded to the request. He will be the signer of the constitution upon ratification.
A member’s upcoming visit to Basse
The committee used this meeting as an opportunity to assign a member who will be visiting Basse soon as a delegate to engage in some fact-finding mission. Committee members posed questions and requested the identified member to do some research for the Association. It was agreed that this member attend one of the meetings of the Basse society in the Kombos (Yorro proposed this idea). It was hoped that this would help clarify some of the lingering misunderstandings about the co-existence between the Basse Association, Inc. in the Diaspora and the sister societies at home. It was also hoped that by his participation in such a meeting, this member could help clear the impression about the Basse Association., Inc. as being only for Basse folks in the Diaspora. Pa Joof suggested that the member be accompanied by Filly Sabally, the Basse Association's Kombo representative, to the meeting.
The visiting member was also urged to meet with some of the Basse elders and mosque committee members to gauge some of the mosque’s needs. He was also entrusted with the task of representing the Basse Association in his dealings with the community elders and other relevant parties. The visiting member, in response, told the committee that his visit was a personal one, but he would do his best to work on behalf of the Association. He suggested other ways of bringing the youths together and allowing them the chance to air their views on how well we all can work together to make Basse a better place. Bakary told the member to use this opportunity to identify other priority areas in Basse for the Association to embark on in its drive for community development. Bakary warned that in order to effect a change, strengths and weaknesses had to be assessed first before any project implementation. Cherno Baba stated that he and his colleagues Mutarr Jallow and Samba Johm, who were assigned to make contacts in Basse, would liaise with the visiting member in order to get a better picture of the mosque situation and other parts of community life in Basse.
Both the chairperson and Yorro Sanyang advised the member to be tactful and resourceful during his meetings with the folks on the ground.
Members agreed to conduct a meeting every month until the executive is in place. Yorro asked about the modalities for electing an election committee. Members came up with several suggestions but they were determined not to contradict with what was already stipulated in the drafted constitution. The issue was adjourned for future meetings.
The chairperson suggested sending out donation letters to well-wishers. Committee members agreed that it was a good strategy.Yorro was tasked to draft a general donation letter. But Pa Joof warned against collecting or raising funds without a constitution in place and before registration with the United States Internal Revenue Service. His concern was duly noted.
Any Other Business (AOB)
The chairperson proposed that acknowledgment letters be sent to all new members upon paying their membership dues. One of the active members would be assigned the task of writing such letters as and when the need arises.