Mecklenburg County Sponsorship Policy
Table of Contents
I. Purpose and Strategic Position
III. Rates and Terms
IV. Program Guidelines
V. Program Management and Accountability
VI. Revenue Administration
A. Mecklenburg County Sponsorship Policy
B. CharMeck.org Linking Policy
C. Rate Card
D. Sample Agreement
E. Special Revenue Fund
The following is not intended and should not be interpreted as a contract of any nature, either stated or implied. Mecklenburg procedures may change at any time without prior notice. Note that the following only applies to web pages on the CharMeck.org web site. Pages that appear after you click on a link may be controlled by a different agency or entity, whose practices are not under Mecklenburg County's control.
I. Purpose and Strategic Position
The purpose of the pilot program is to provide development and management guidance regarding the sponsorship and underwriting of Mecklenburg County web site pages, while acknowledging the revenue generating potential for such activities. It provides the framework for the County to enter into the sponsorship and underwriting arena for web pages in a planned manner.
Revenue generated from sponsorship will accrue to Mecklenburg County for targeted eGovernment product enhancement and development purposes.
For a potential partner, the program offers an opportunity to develop an affiliation with Mecklenburg County to complement or enhance its marketing efforts. The affiliation with the County is intended to serve as a mutually beneficial business arrangement between sponsors and the County. By participating in this opportunity, sponsors contribute to a public service while reaching its target audience.
SPONSORSHIP: The right of an external entity (for-profit or not-for-profit) to associate its name, products, or services with Mecklenburg County's programs, services, or name. Sponsorship is a business relationship in which Mecklenburg County and the external entity exchange goods, services and donations for the public display of a message on County property acknowledging private support.
STANDARD SPONSORSHIP SPACE: One space on the Mecklenburg County web site that measures 120 x 40 pixels.
BANNER: a graphical web-advertising unit, typically measuring 120 x 40 pixels.
Home Page: the first point of entry to a web site; help is often available there. (See http://www.Charmeck.org)
Far Right Channel (color): color Frame on the right of the page, that contains Sponsor spaces.
Far Left Channel (black): black Frame on the left of the page that contains Sponsor spaces.
III. Rates and Terms
There will be a one-time charge of $500 for linking to the Sponsors web site Home page URL from the County web site. Sponsors purchasing multiple spaces will earn a 25% discount on the monthly total for that page.
IV. Program Guidelines
The Mecklenburg County BSSA - Public Information Department will identify and approve appropriate sponsorship opportunities and determine the rates and terms for sponsorship spaces on web site pages owned by the County. Departments will be consulted to establish terms and conditions on which rights to programs are offered for sponsorship.
Mecklenburg County Government reserves the right to unconditionally approve or deny a sponsorship/underwriting request.
Mecklenburg County will review this policy on an ongoing basis.
All County web page sponsorship activity will comply with local, state, and federal laws, the Mecklenburg County Sponsorship Policy, and the CharMeck.org Linking Policy.
V. Program Management and Accountability
The Public Information Director and Resource Development Coordinator will be accountable for ensuring adherence to County policies.
VI. Revenue Administration
Payments and revenue collection will be in accordance with County policies, N.C. General Statutes, federal laws and regulations, and generally accepted accounting principals. Questions about Mecklenburg County Financial Policy can be answered here.
INTERNAL CONTROL PROCEDURES
- All monetary transactions are to be by company check payable to Mecklenburg County.
- Revenue received shall be deposited in accordance with County procedures.
- Record all revenue under the designated Web Page Sponsorship account code.
- Maintain subsidiary ledgers to provide an audit trail for the receipt of all sponsorships.
- Ensure that all financial information is documented in writing and retained in the file with monetary sponsorship receipts and copy of payment
- Maintain a record of all sponsorships to include company name, type and amount of sponsorship and the disposition/use of the sponsorship.
- Revenue accrued in the Technology Investment Fund. Any expenditure for products, services or items resulting from the Sponsorship Program requires approval by the County Manager and the Board of County Commissioners.
- An annual report summarizing the sponsorship program results will be made to the Strategic Executive Team.
MECKLENBURG COUNTY SPONSORSHIP POLICY
I. GENERAL POLICY STATEMENT
Mecklenburg County shall seek sponsors that further its mission by providing monetary or in-kind support for County programs or services. Mecklenburg County recognizes that the public trust and perception of its impartiality may be damaged by sponsorships that are aesthetically displeasing, politically oriented, or offensive to segments of its citizenry. When the County loses public trust and public perception of impartiality, its ability to govern effectively in the interests of its citizens is impaired. Therefore, Mecklenburg County permits private sponsorships of government programs or services in limited circumstances as a means to generate funds for improving or expanding those programs and services. Mecklenburg County currently limits its sponsorship program to nonpublic forums and exercises sole discretion over who is eligible to become a sponsor according to the terms of the Policy.
Whenever possible, sponsorships shall be linked to specific activities, events, programs, or publications. Mecklenburg County will neither seek nor accept sponsors that manufacture products or take positions inconsistent with local, State, or federal law or with Mecklenburg County policies, positions, or resolutions. The acceptance of an Application for Sponsorship or the establishment of a sponsorship agreement does not constitute an endorsement by Mecklenburg County of the sponsor's organization, products, or services.
II. PURPOSE AND INTENT
The purpose of this Policy and its related practices and guidelines is to define the conditions upon which sponsorship messages may be placed upon property or in publications of the County and to establish definitive guidelines for the acceptance and placement of such messages. It is the intent of the Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners to preserve its full rights and discretion to restrict access to County properties or in County publications and to reject or refuse placement of any or all sponsorship messages. To the extent that any such messages are accepted, Mecklenburg County reserves the right of full editorial control over the placement, content, appearance and wording and to determine and prohibit types of sponsorship messages which are deemed inappropriate for or inconsistent with the business of the County or the services provided to Mecklenburg County residents.
III. DEFINITION OF TERMS
"Sponsorship" is the right of an external entity (for-profit or not-for-profit) to associate its name, products, or services with Mecklenburg County's programs, services, or name. Sponsorship is a business relationship in which Mecklenburg County and the external entity exchange goods, services, and donations for the public display of a message on County property acknowledging private support.
The term "open, limited, or designated public forum" means either a forum under the control of the County that is traditionally open to the unfettered exchange of ideas, (such as a park or a sidewalk), or a forum under the control of the County that is non-traditionally open but is nevertheless intentionally and affirmatively opened by the County for speech (such as a street-side kiosk for posting pamphlets or a special area designated for making speeches).
The term "nonpublic forum" is broadly defined as any property that is not by tradition or designation a forum for public communication (such as most government publications and websites).
IV. AUTHORIZATION REQUIRED
All property and publications of Mecklenburg County are intended and exclusively used for business operations of the County in providing governmental services and programs to and for the County residents, and, except as required by law or expressly established by an affirmative action of the Board of County Commissioners, no property or publication of the County shall be intended or considered as an open, limited, or designated public forum, and no person shall have a right to access or use any County property or publication for any purpose other than the intended and authorized governmental purpose or service. Placement of sponsorship messages upon County property or in County publications shall require specific authorization.
Mecklenburg County possesses sole and final decision-making authority for determining the appropriateness of a sponsorship relationship and reserves the right to refuse to enter into any proposed sponsorship agreement. Sponsorship requests shall be submitted through an Application for Sponsorship ("Application") in a manner and form outlined in the following section, and sponsorship agreements based on responses to an Application shall be reviewed in accordance with the following procedures and guidelines:
- Sponsorship agreements projected to generate $50,000 or more shall require the written approval of the County Manager, who shall inform the Board of County Commissioners.
- Sponsorship agreements projected to generate less than $50,000 shall require the written approval of the head of the Mecklenburg County Public Service and Information Department.
- The Resource Development Coordinator may approve sponsorship agreements projected to generate less than $5,000, in consultation with the head of the Mecklenburg County Public Service and Information Department.
In the discretion of the County Manager, any proposed sponsorship agreement may be referred to the Board of County Commissioners for approval.
V. CRITERIA FOR APPLICATION REVIEW
Applications for sponsorship of Mecklenburg County programs or services shall clearly outline the forms of support sought and offered and the recognition to be given by the County. Acceptance of an Application by the County shall result in the creation of a sponsorship agreement that will detail the following information, at a minimum:
- Activities, products, and services of the private entity, its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates and predecessor companies;
- Benefits to be given to the proposed sponsor by Mecklenburg County, and the estimated monetary value of those benefits;
- Benefits to be given to Mecklenburg County by the proposed sponsor, and the estimated monetary value of those benefits;
- Prominence of the proposed public recognition of support;
- Content of the proposed public recognition of support;
- Duration of the proposed public recognition of support;
- Conditions under which the sponsorship agreement may be terminated.
Mecklenburg County recognizes that entering into a sponsorship agreement with an external entity does not constitute an endorsement of the entity or its services and products but does imply an affiliation. Such affiliation can affect the reputation of
Mecklenburg County among its residents and its ability to govern effectively. Therefore, any proposal for sponsorship of a Mecklenburg County program or service in which the involvement of an outside entity compromises the public interest will be rejected.
Mecklenburg County shall consider the following criteria before accepting an Application or entering into a sponsorship agreement:
- Extent and prominence of public display of sponsorship;
- Aesthetic characteristics of the public display of sponsorship;
- Importance of the sponsorship to the mission of Mecklenburg County;
- Level of support provided by the sponsor;
- Cooperation necessary from other Mecklenburg County units to implement the sponsorship;
- Inconsistencies between Mecklenburg County policies and the known policies or practices of the potential sponsor;
- Other factors that might undermine public confidence in the County's impartiality or interfere with the efficient delivery of County services or operations, including, but not limited to, current or potential conflicts of interest between the sponsor and Mecklenburg County employees, officials, or affiliates; and the potential for the sponsorship to tarnish the County's standing among its residents or otherwise impair the ability of Mecklenburg County to govern its residents.
VI. PERMISSIBLE SPONSORS AND MESSAGE CONTENT
Sponsorships on Mecklenburg County property are maintained as a nonpublic forum. Mecklenburg County intends to preserve its rights and discretion to exercise full editorial control over the placement, content, appearance, and wording of sponsorship affiliations and messages. Mecklenburg County may make distinctions on the appropriateness of sponsors on the basis of subject matter of a potential sponsorship recognition message. Mecklenburg County will not deny sponsorship opportunities on the basis of the potential sponsor's viewpoint.
Sponsorship from an organization that is engaged in any of the following activities, that has a mission of supporting any of the following subject matters, or that, in the sole discretion and judgment of the authorized representative of the County or the Board of County Commissioners, is deemed to be unsuitable for and contrary to community standards or appropriateness for government publications, shall be prohibited on any County property or in County publications:
- Promotion of the sale or consumption of alcoholic or cereal malt beverages, in name, likeness or implication or promotion of establishments that are licensed for and primarily sell alcoholic or cereal malt beverages, including bars; provided, however, restaurants or other food services es tablishments and hotels or other places of lodging may be authorized when the commercial message or advertisement promotes only the food services or lodging;
- Promotion of the sale or consumption of tobacco products or depiction of the use of tobacco products;
- Commentary, advocacy or promotion of issues, candidates, campaigns or organizations of a social, political, religious, or rhetorical nature;
- Promotion of gambling, pari-mutual betting, or games of chance, in name, likeness or implication, or promotion of establishments providing such services or activities of a related or similar nature;
- Depiction in any form of nudity or semi-nudity, profanity, obscenity, or lewdness, or characterizations which suggest, depict or promote any such element or sexually oriented products, activities or materials;
- Promotion in any form of illegal drugs, illegal drug use or illegal drug materials, or characterizations which suggest or depict the promotion or glorification of any such products, activities or materials;
- Promotion of the use or sale of firearms, explosives or other weapons, or the depiction, suggestion or glorification of violence or acts of a violent nature;
- Use of language or descriptive material which taken in form and context is deemed to be unsuitable for and contrary to community standards of appropriateness for governmental or family publications;
- Use of words, language, representations or descriptive material of any kind having more than one meaning or connotation, one of which would otherwise be prohibited under this Policy;
- Inclusion of materials, depictions, promotions or offerings which are the type prohibited by, or by their nature would violate, any postal restrictions or regulations or any federal, State, or local law, rule, or regulation.
VII. PERMISSIBLE RECOGNITION MESSAGES
Sponsorship recognition messages may identify the sponsor but ordinarily should not promote or endorse the organization or its products or services. Statements that advocate, contain price information or an indication of associated savings or value, request a response, or contain comparative or qualitative descriptions of products, services or organizations will ordinarily not be accepted. In accordance with the provisions of Section IV of this Policy, the County Manager, the head of the Public Service and Information Department, or the Resource Development Coordinator shall have the ultimate authority to determine what is permissible in a recognition message. Ordinarily, only the following content will be deemed appropriate:
- The legally recognized name of the sponsoring organization;
- The sponsor's organizational slogan if it identifies rather than promotes the organization or its products or services;
- The sponsor's product or services line, described in brief, generic, objective terms. Generally, only one product or service line may be identified;
- Brief contact information for the sponsor's organization, such as a phone number, address, or Internet website. Contact information should be stated in a manner that avoids an implication of urging the reader to action.
Mecklenburg County will not make any statements that directly or indirectly advocate or endorse a sponsor's organization, products, or services.
No materials or communications, including, but not limited to, print, video, Internet, broadcast, or display items developed to promote or communicate the sponsorship using Mecklenburg County's name, marks, or logo, may be issued without written approval from the Mecklenburg County Manager and County Attorney, or their designees.
VIII. GENERAL CONDITIONS
1. Sponsors are solely responsible for obtaining necessary permission to use photographs, trademarks, trade names, copyrighted material or any other legally protected property and shall hold the County harmless for any such use, including all consequences or damages resulting therefrom. All commercial messages or advertisements shall be accepted and published by the County upon the representation that the agency or sponsor is authorized to publish the entire contents and subject matter thereof. Sponsor agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the County, its officers, agents and employees against all damages, costs and expenses including, without limitation, attorney's fees resulting from any claim, action or proceeding alleging that the commercial message or sponsorship infringes on any copyright, violates any right of privacy, or other personal or property right, constitutes libelous matter, plagiarism, unfair competition, unfair trade practice, infringement of trademarks, or other matter contrary to law or contains any formula or instructions injurious to the user of a sponsor's product.
2. Sponsors assume liability for all content (including text photographs, representations, illustrations, sketches, maps, labels, trademarks or other copyrighted matter) of sponsorship message printed or placed and also assume responsibility of any claims arising therefrom made against the County.
3. The County is not liable for delays in publication or presentation of sponsorship messages in any event or for any reason, including acts of God, action by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity, lack of funds, fire, flood, insurrection, riot, explosion, embargo, strikes whether legal or illegal, labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slowdown, or any condition beyond the control of the County affecting publication or presentation of sponsorship in any manner.
4. If an error or omission occurs in the publication or placement of any sponsorship message, the County's liability shall be limited to the amount of the reduction in the value of the sponsorship due to the error or omission, but in no event shall liability exceed the total cost payable for the sponsorship space.
5. The words "a paid sponsorship", or some like term, may be added to sponsorship messages that, in the sole opinion of the County, might be confused with editorial matter.
IX. ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
A. USE OF FUNDS
All funds derived from the acceptance and placement of sponsorship messages shall be recorded, accounted for an used by the department, office, or related entity for authorized purposes in accordance with applicable, standard policies and procedures adopted by the Board of County Commissioners for the budgeting and expenditure of funds.
B. SPECIAL EVENTS
Nothing in this Policy shall be interpreted to prohibit the conduct of special events by the County or its offices, departments or related entities and the use and recognition of sponsors, products, sales or prizes, including the United Way, Arts and Science Council campaigns or similar programs and events.
C. ETHICAL CONDUCT
All offices, departments, and related entities of Mecklenburg County and its employees shall follow the highest level of ethical standards dealing with sponsors or in the implementation of this Policy.
This Policy shall be and become effective upon adoption by the Board of Commissioners and shall thereafter apply to the acceptance and placement of sponsorship messages as provided in the Policy; provided, however, that sponsorship messages which were made prior to the adoption of this Policy shall not be considered in violation of the Policy, and to the extent possible shall be construed and completed, if necessary, in the manner most consistent with the Policy.
Web Site Linking Policy
The mission of the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County is to provide governmental and other public services to and for the benefit of the local community. In accordance with this mission, our policy is to exclude from this web site all commercial advertising, links, and promotional material which do not serve or promote a public purpose of the City or County.
The following guidelines are used in determining when advertisements or links will be allowed for inclusion in this website.
1. Advertising/Promotional Materials Where City or County Has Public/Financial Interest
A. Public Benefit Facilities and Venues. The City and the County have established and maintain certain facilities which promote the arts, science, cultural studies, recreation and other public purposes (including, but not limited to the City and County parks, the Grady Cole Center, Discovery Place, Memorial Stadium, and the Nature Museum). Advertising, links and promotion of events, programs and exhibits at such facilities may be placed on this web site. This includes links to commercial enterprises that market tickets or other means of access to these facilities or foster participation in their programs.
B. Commercial Enterprises In Which the City or the County Has a Financial Interest. The City and the County possess leasehold and other financial interests in certain commercial enterprises, and derive a financial benefit from their activities. These financial benefits serve a public purpose. Accordingly, commercial advertising and other promotional materials concerning these enterprises may appear on this website. Links to the web sites of these enterprises may also be included on this web site.
C. Commercial Enterprises That Operate on City or County Owned Property. Departments may link to commercial enterprises that operate on City or County owned property, where such links will enhance the department's customer service. For example, the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport may link to vendors that provide food service in the concourse.
2. Lists of Private Enterprises That Provide a Service or Benefit To The Public Which Is Directly Related To A City or County Mission or Service
Certain commercial and public agencies maintain lists of private persons, enterprises, and organizations that provide services to the public ("Public Service Lists").
A. Public Agency. Where Public Service Lists are directly maintained by public agencies (such as lists of licensed child care providers or lists of restaurants that are graded by the Health Department ) this web site may display such information or provide links to the public agency that maintains it.
B. Private Agency. Where Public Service Lists are maintained by private commercial agencies but the persons or organizations listed provide services directly related to the mission or service of a City or County department, the department may display the Public Service List on its web site or provide a link to the Public Service List or the commercial agency that maintains it. However, in such cases, the department director or key business executive must make a good faith determination that:
i. The department's clients, service recipients, or interested City/County residents would benefit from the Public Service List;
ii. It would be duplicative for the department to independently create or maintain the Public Service List; and,
iii. The commercial agency maintaining the Public Service List has represented that it includes all legitimate or licensed service providers within the City or County, or within the geographical area served by the department.
When links to a list are permitted under subsection A or B above, the allowed link is to the Public Service List only. No link may be provided directly on this web site to any enterprise or organization included in the list, unless such link is permitted under other provisions of this policy.
1. A list maintained by a North Carolina State agency of licensed child care centers located in the local area could be displayed on the web site of a department that serves the needs of children and families. A link to the State agency or to the list could be included even if the list maintained by the State agency contained centers both in the County and throughout the State.
2. The Health Department could display a list of public health ratings of all restaurants in the County because public dissemination of such information is directly related to its mission. However, display or linking to a commercial list of popular ratings of restaurants or to an individual restaurant would not be permitted.
3. Links to Commercial Sites With Information Critical to or Vitally Enhancing a City or County Department's Mission Or Services Where Replication Of Information by Department Is Not Feasible
Certain private commercial sites maintain and display information that provide a community service or benefit not generally available through a governmental agency due to the cost of compiling, maintaining, and/or displaying such information. To support the cost of compilation and maintenance of this information, these private commercial sites may include advertising or promotional material in the information display.
Although the City and County neither support nor endorse entities advertised or promoted on such sites, they recognize that a public benefit is served by providing the underlying information to assist City and County residents. Accordingly, links to such sites that contain this information but also display commercial advertising or promotional material may be included on departmental web sites when the department director has made a good faith determination that:
A. The department's independent replication of the information targeted for linkage is infeasible due to financial or other considerations; and,
B. No non-commercial site provides the information targeted to linkage; and,
C. The information targeted for linkage is critical to a service provided by the department, or
D. The information targeted for linkage is a vital enhancement to the department's mission.
Example: The Park and Recreation Department could link to a commercial site for a local youth soccer league that plays on County soccer fields.
4. City and County Program Sponsors And Donors
Subject to any additional policies that the City or the County may adopt regarding sponsorship, business or organizations that donate cash or services to sponsor City or County programs may be acknowledged through a display of their names and a link to their web sites. However such links may be active only during the sponsored event and during a limited promotional period prior to the event.
5. Government Agencies; Academic Institutions; Public-Private Partnerships; Professional, Cultural, Community-Based And Non-Profit Organizations
A. Departments may link to other government agencies and accredited academic institutions.
B. Departments may link to professional, cultural, and community-based non-profit organizations: (i) that receive City or County funding; or (ii) that the City or County is a member of; or (iii) that partner with or have a contractual relationship with the City or County to provide a service to the public.
6. Private Commercial Enterprises That Have a Partnership or Contractual Relationship With the City or County to Provide a Service to the Public
Some City and County departments contract with private firms to provide services to the public that would otherwise be provided by the City or County ("Outsource Service Providers"). Departments may link to Outsource Service Providers when the department mission is best served by providing citizens direct access to the Outsource Service Provider.
7. Other Than the Board of Elections, No City or County Department May Link to Sites Containing Political Endorsements
To avoid the appearance of City or County endorsement of political content, links shall not be made to sites that are associated with, sponsored by, or serving a candidate for elected office, any political party or organization supporting or seeking to defeat any candidate for elective office or ballot proposal. The one exception to this rule is the Board of Elections. Due to the unique nature of its mission, the Board of Elections may link to political party web sites, as long as it allows links for all political parties that request them.
8. Notice of Leaving City/County Web Site and a Disclaimer
When providing links to non-City/County sites, departments must include a disclaimer on their home page disavowing endorsement or responsibility for the material on sites being linked.
9. Contractors That Create Web Sites for City and County Departments
Departments that hire website contractors to design or assist with their web sites shall provide such contractors with a copy of this policy and all web site design guidelines that may be adopted from time to time by the City/County Internet Management Committee (the "IMC"). All City and County contracts for web site design shall require the contractor to comply with this policy and the IMC web site design guidelines. City Corporate Communications and the County Public Service & Information Department, in approving web pages for departments, shall enforce the web site design guidelines.
10. Link Maintenance
Departments shall routinely check links on their web sites to ensure they are functional and contain no material that violates this policy. City Key Business Executives and County Department Directors are responsible for ensuring that all material posted on their key business department web pages are accurate and in compliance with these County Guidelines, Policies and the IMC web site design guidelines.
11. Authority of City Corporate Communications and the County Public Service & Information Department
City Corporate Communications and the County Public Service & Information Department are authorized to order removal of material non-compliant with this policy or the IMC web site design guidelines from key business department web sites.
Linked web sites are not under the control of, nor maintained by the City or the County. Neither the City nor the County is responsible for the content of linked web sites, nor for any internal links the linked web sites may contain. Inclusion of linked web sites does not constitute an endorsement or promotion by the City or the County of any persons or organizations sponsoring the displayed web sites.
MECKLENBURG COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
eGOVERNMENT and TECHNOLOGY IMPROVEMENTS
SPECIAL REVENUE FUND
The following ordinance was offered by Commissioner ________________, who moved its adoption:
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE MECKLENBURG BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS THIS THE _____ DAY OF _____________, 2003:
WHEREAS, the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners has recognized the need for additional sources of revenue, and
WHEREAS, Mecklenburg County has decided, in accordance with its eGovernment Strategic Plan, to pursue sponsorships for the underwriting of costs associated with the County's web site, and
WHERAS, the eGovernment Strategic Plan recommends setting aside revenue received from the sponsorship and underwriting of County web site pages in a special fund,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED that the eGovernment and Technology Improvements Special Revenue Fund is hereby established as follows:
SECTION I: The purpose of this fund is to hold and account for the revenue as specified above for eGovernment and Technology Improvement projects.
SECTION II: The County Director of Finance is authorized to receive and place the revenue collected into the Special Revenue Fund.
SECTION III: The County Director of Finance shall hold such revenue in the Special Revenue Fund until approval of the projects is given by the Board of County Commissioners.
SECTION IV: The eGovernment and Technology Improvements Special Revenue Fund will remain in place until terminated by the Board of County Commissioners.
The motion to adopt the foregoing ordinance was seconded by Commissioner _______________ and was adopted by the following vote:
Approved As To Form: