Louisville Forum Policies and Procedures Manual

The Louisville Forum Board Policies and Procedures Manual

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Membership in the Louisville Forum is open to anyone who pays annual dues, with the membership year beginning on March 1 of each year and extending to the end of February of the following year. Dues are pro-rated for those joining the Forum at a time other than the beginning of the membership year. (Current dues levels and meeting charges are provided in Appendix A.)

There are two categories of membership: Full and Basic.

A. Full Members: Full members pay annual dues at a level set by the Board of Directors to include pre-payment of lunches at 11 monthly meetings and the dinner at the one meeting that serves as the Annual Meeting. Full members are entitled to send a substitute to a meeting without any additional payment by that substitute.

B. Basic Members: Basic members pay annual dues at a level set by the Board of Directors plus payment of an additional, reduced fee for any of the 11 monthly lunches and the Annual Meeting dinner they choose to attend. The Board shall set the reduced fee at a level sufficient to cover these costs. Past Presidents of the Forum receive Basic membership for life, at no cost to them. They may upgrade to Full membership in any membership year by paying the difference of the Full member annual dues minus the Basic member annual dues.

C. Guests: When space is available, others may attend the Forum meetings at the fee for the event, with those prices established by the Board of Directors.

D. Reservations: No reservations are confirmed until payment is received. Full members who are current in their annual dues may make either a telephone or Web reservation; Basic members who are current in their annual dues must either pay the Basic member meeting charge on-line or send a check to the Forum’s Post Office box; and Guests must either pay the non-member meeting charge on-line or send a check for payment to the Post Office box. If payment is not received by the reservation deadline set by the Board of Directors (normally three days prior to the meeting), the reservation will be cancelled. If a reservation is cancelled by the reservation deadline, any fee already paid will be refunded. Otherwise, the meeting fee will be retained by the Forum.

E. Late Arrivals: Forum meetings begin at the stated time established by the Board of Directors and set forth in announcements of the meetings, and anyone arriving more than 15 minutes following that starting time will not be served the meal and no fee already paid for the meal will be refunded.


A. Moderating Programs: A program moderator shall be chosen either at the Programs and Issues Committee meeting or at the full Board meeting before a luncheon program or the Annual Meeting at which the moderator will moderate. The presiding officer may refer to the Forum topic to be discussed. The moderator shall introduce the Forum topic for discussion, as well as the featured panelists. The moderator shall limit the introduction of the topic and panelists to five minutes. Questions from the audience may be allowed following the presentations; in that event, forms shall normally be provided on the meeting room tables for questions from meeting attendees to be submitted in written form, and persons designated by the Forum Board shall collect and pose the questions to the panelists. The moderator shall direct the first question of the program to a specific panelist and shall first identify by name any panelist providing comment during the question and answer portion of the program. The moderator shall afford each panelist an opportunity to respond to any question asked, and shall have the discretion to end discussion on a particular point to facilitate discussion on additional points.

B. Introduction: When a presiding officer or moderator introduces a topic or program for the Forum, there shall be no statement providing the personal beliefs or position of that individual. The Forum is not responsible for statements or opinions expressed by any speaker or panelist participating in a Forum program, or for any statements or opinions contained in audience questions posed to program participants.

C. Distribution of Material During a Program: Material may be distributed to program attendees if the material: [1] is provided by a panelist and is complementary to that panelist’s presentation; [2] serves an educational purpose in providing information regarding the program topic; and [3] does not defame the Louisville Forum, the Forum Board, any attendee or panelist, or any Louisville Forum member. All other material is prohibited inside the Forum meeting room and may be made available to Forum attendees by placing the material on a table outside the meeting room designated by the Forum for such material. All uncollected material shall be discarded at the discretion of the Forum Board. No materials supporting a political candidate or political party may be distributed within the meeting room, but may be distributed on a table outside of the room. This applies even if political candidates are participating as panelists.

D. Program Questioners: Individuals designated by the Forum Board to pose questions to panelists are to be neutral in choosing questions to pose from the audience. The questioner(s) shall first ask any non-defamatory question posed by the audience, and shall only ask previously prepared questions if there seems not to be adequate questions from the audience to fill the question and answer period. In no event shall a questioner demean, defame or monopolize a panelist.

E. Single Speaker Programs: From time to time, at the discretion of the Programs and Issues Committee Chair and with majority Board approval, the Forum may feature a single speaker program. Single speaker programs shall not be permitted to allow a candidate for elective office to campaign for office. F. Appreciation Note to Program Speakers: The Programs and Issues Chairperson shall be responsible for sending a note of appreciation to any program speaker.

G. Programs Involving Candidate Debates: Generally, a candidate for an elective office in a general election that is the subject of a Forum debate shall be asked to participate in such debate, provided that the candidate meets the following criteria:
[a] the candidate meets all constitutional and statutory requirements for the office sought and [b] the candidate has the support of at least 15% of the electorate eligible to vote for the office the candidate seeks, as demonstrated by any bona fide polling organization reporting the same at the time of the determination. When the Louisville Forum presents a political debate or forum, candidates must be in attendance at least five minutes prior to the stated beginning time of the event. This will facilitate understanding of the rules for the event, including any draws for the order of presentation by the candidates. Any invited participant who is not present at least five minutes prior to the start of the event will not be included in the program. Any exception to this policy is at the discretion of the president or presider at that month’s meeting.

Except under extraordinary circumstances, candidates should not be permitted to appear at a debate by telephone. If a candidate who confirms his or her participation in a debate program cancels his or her appearance, then the debate may proceed with any other candidates, even if only one candidate remains in the debate program.


A. Eligibility Requirements for Board Membership: Anyone desiring to serve as a Director of the Louisville Forum must hold a Full membership in the organization.

B. Election of Board Members: In December of each year, the President of the Forum shall announce to the Forum membership that anyone interested in being elected to the Forum Board should inform the President within 30 days of the announcement. All individuals indicating an interest to campaign for election to the Board shall be placed on the ballot for consideration, along with those nominated under provisions of the Forum bylaws (restated and amended as of September 4, 2013). The election shall take place during the next occurring Annual Meeting and shall be conducted by secret paper ballot. As part of the ballot for board of directors, each person will be asked to submit a brief description of themselves and their qualifications for the board. All descriptions will be summarized and presented prior to being listed on the ballot.

C. Election of Board Officers: During the regular December and/or January meeting of the Board, the President shall announce that any Board member interested in serving as a Board Officer should submit his or her name as a candidate for an officer position to the President prior to or during the conduct of the monthly Board of Directors meeting. Election of Board Officers will take place at the Annual Board of Directors Meeting and shall be held by secret ballot among the Board of Directors if more than one person is seeking to serve a single position. Any person seeking election as an officer of the Board will have the right to be considered by the board. The counting of the ballots will be done by the outgoing President and Secretary of the Forum, unless one of those person’s names is up for consideration. If a replacement observer is needed, the board will select the additional election observer. When a ballot is necessary, the names of those persons recommended by the nominating committee will be listed first and in alphabetical order. All other persons seeking election will be listed in alphabetical order.

D. Board of Directors’ Guest Privilege: Members of the Forum Board are entitled to host first-time guests to a Forum meeting at a special reduced price set by the Board of Directors. This privilege is not available after the guest’s initial attendance at a Forum meeting.

E. Advocacy Disclosure: Each Director of the Louisville Forum is expected to file an
annual Advocacy Disclosure statement with the Forum Secretary. The statement is
due to the Secretary at the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors. (See Appendix
B for text of statement.)


Since 1985 the Louisville Forum has presented an annual award to a person or persons in honor of their contributions to the Louisville Metro area. The award is designated as the Fleur-de-lis Award.

A. Award Logistics: The recipient(s) of the award are determined by vote of the Forum Board of Directors and the award shall be presented at the Forum’s Annual Meeting. The recipient(s) must agree to be present to receive the award; the Forum will cover the cost of the meeting for the honoree(s) and one guest. At the presentation, the honoree(s) will be invited to give acceptance remarks, the length to be determined by the Forum Board. The Board also determines the person who will make the presentation to the honoree.

B. Criteria: In choosing the honoree(s), the Board will consider potential candidates’ lifetime contributions to the Louisville area, including but not limited to the following: [1] his or her activities have affected the Louisville area in a significant, substantial and positive way; [2] he or she has been in the public eye and active in the public life of the community but may not have received significant public recognition for their accomplishments; [3] the award focus is on the honoree(s)’ contributions to civic life in the Louisville area; and [4] the honoree(s) is/are retired or near retirement.

Revised, September 4, 2013

Appendix A


The Louisville Forum’s membership dues and meeting charges are established by the Board of Directors of the Forum, and may be changed from time to time by vote of the Directors. The following dues and charges are in effect as of March 2011 but may be changed by the Board of Directors at any regular or annual meeting of the Board.

Membership Dues

Full membership: $225
Basic membership: $100

Meeting Charges

Basic members shall pay a $15 supplement for monthly luncheon meetings and shall receive a $10 reduction in the cost for the Annual Meeting dinner.

Non-members shall pay $25 for monthly luncheon meetings and $50 for the Annual Meeting dinner. Board members who host a first-time guest to a Forum luncheon shall pay $15 for that guest’s lunch.


The Forum’s Board of Directors shall approve a budget, submitted by the Treasurer, at the Annual Meeting of the Board.

Payment of Expenses

The Forum Treasurer shall pay all approved invoices upon receipt, provided that all checks written for amounts in excess of $500 shall be signed by two of the authorized Officers (President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer).

Appendix B

Advocacy Disclosure Statement

The Louisville Forum exists to educate citizens of the Metro Louisville area on important and sometimes controversial community issues. While the Forum is non-partisan and takes no position on candidates or issues, it is in the best interest of the Forum that Directors be persons who are active and involved in the community, which may include their participation in and leadership of organizations that exist to advocate on behalf of policy issues or specific political viewpoints. It is essential, however, that this personal involvement of Directors be totally transparent. In that spirit, each Director shall complete and sign this annual disclosure statement of activities and involvements that could be viewed as compromising the Forum’s nonpartisanship. It also is incumbent upon each Director to scrupulously avoid any implication that his or her civic involvements are used to influence or advance an agenda through his or her involvement in the Forum, which may lead the Director to recuse him/herself from participation in Board decision-making on Forum programming.


Principal Occupation/Company: 

Please list involvement in any organizations that focus primarily on advocacy or actions that promote a particular political point of view or candidate:  

Please list any leadership positions with those organizations, or with any political campaign:  



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