December 4, 2007
At its December 2 teleconference, the Libertarian Executive Committee voted 6 to 3 to close the Lansing office, so its costs can be diverted to electing Libertarians. This decision was a difficult one, with good arguments and strong advocates on both sides.
The office is currently used to provide the LPM a street address in our state’s capital, provide a monthly meeting place for the Capital Area Libertarian Party, permit the LEC the use of the building’s conference room for meetings a few times a year, and store LPM property and records. Unfortunately, it is not staffed on a regular basis, or used as a campaign headquarters. Because it is a windowless room in the building’s basement, it is not suitable for meeting with the media or easily improved into professional-looking office space. Arguments for keeping it open included the sense of permanence and physical presence in Lansing it affords the LPM, the storage space it provides, and the free use of the building’s conference room it affords. Arguments against keeping it open included our rare use of the space, our inability to economically upgrade it into professional-looking office space, and our ability to realize savings in rent, insurance, telephone and internet connection charges. In the end, a two-thirds majority of the LEC felt that it was best to close the office and use the savings from doing so in more meaningful ways to advance our goals.
Here are our specific plans for closing the office:
• We will continue on a month-to-month lease from our landlord and generous supporter, Jon Addiss, with hopes that we can close the office no later than April 1, 2008.
• We will maintain our PO Box in Lansing (PO Box 27065; Lansing MI 48909-7065);
• Our phone (1-888-FREE NOW) will be a virtual phone that will continue to be kept and monitored by the Chair;
• Party records have already been distributed to the officers who will maintain and pass them on to their successors. The Chair will store the few remaining LPM assets (e.g., our banner, past campaign signs, current literature, miscellaneous office supplies);
• Historical information and miscellaneous records have been saved and are being sorted by Vice Chair Erin Stahl. What we don’t keep will be archived at the Labadie Collection of the University of Michigan Library, which has many of our other historical records.
• The furniture, old literature and equipment in the office will be disposed of in 3 ways:
1) anyone who donated an item may reclaim it–please let LPM Secretary, Emily Salvette (email@example.com), know right away, but no later than January 15, 2008, which items are yours so she can tag them and arrange a time for you to pick them up;
2) all unclaimed items will be sold at a silent auction on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008, with a snow date of Feb. 10. Viewing will start at 11 a.m.; bidding closes at 1 p.m. This will be a cash and carry event, so bring your truck and cash or checkbook! An inventory list will be on the web site soon. If you would like the list immediately or would like to see a picture of an item, contact Emily Salvette (firstname.lastname@example.org).
3) all unclaimed items will be disposed of, either to charity or at the dump.
While we regret closing the office, we will use the saved money (about $200/month in rent, plus other costs) to further build our party. As our volunteer and donor base grows, a fully functioning office will be in our future. In the meantime, we will continue to look for ways to maximize our efficiency in bringing our message of freedom to the public. As always, we appreciate your feedback (send to email@example.com) and continued support.
After several years’ service on the Libertarian Party of Michigan Executive Committee, Will White recently resigned. At its meeting on February 3, 2008, at the Lansing office, the LEC plans to select a replacement to serve the balance of his term (through June 8, 2008) as an At-Large Member of the LEC. The LEC is seeking a passionate and responsible libertarian eager to pitch in and work hard and well with others to make our party a success. Any LPM member interested in the appointment should submit their request for appointment and a resume setting forth their qualifications to LPM Secretary Emily Salvette at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Wednesday, January 30.
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