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Chapter Election for 2011 BoD and discussion of the bylaws.

by George Anderson on October 25, 2010  •   Print This Post Print This Post   •   

The Chesapeake Chapter Constitution and Bylaws dated 14 December 1993, amended 16 January 2001, addresses how we conduct both nominations and elections.

The operative phrases in the time sequence of performance are:

  • President recommends and board approves the nomination and elections committee (N&E) 90 days before election.
  • The N&E committee provides validated candidates for the open offices.
  • Balloting by mail shall be conducted during the month of October.
  • Election results shall be announced and the new board members introduced at the November membership meeting.
  • Newly elected board members assume office on January 1st of the New Year.

Our recent experience suggests that we need to examine each of these items.  First, the requirement to send ballots by mail is financially onerous and has been not been used in the recent past.  We have normally conducted a voice or paper ballot at the annual holiday party in December.  By delaying this vote to December, the timeline is compressed and moves the installation back to January at the earliest.  The new president as a result has to delay his or her first meeting to February.

I would suggest that we have three issues that can be summarized as:

  1. Not using the postal service to mail ballots
  2. Slipping the election schedule to December
  3. Not providing ballots to all members in good standing

Let me offer a brief analysis of these issues. My experience suggests that the use of the US mail is an artifact of the past and could be removed from the bylaws without harm. For example, I would be financially remiss if, this year, the board spent chapter funds to mail ballots to 280 members at a cost of over $140 not including preparation time and envelopes.  Other methods such as email are not perfect solutions but require much less time and effort to execute.

The second and third issues are another matter.   I believe that the relevant bylaws as written are beneficial for us to follow and it is in the Chapter’s best interest to adhere to them.

We can and should try to get our nominations completed so that we are able to have October elections and it is very important that we also make the attempt to place a ballot in every member’s hand regardless of the response rate.

Finally, if the new board so decides, we should convene a by-laws revision committee as soon as practicable in 2011.

I welcome chapter members to contribute to the dialog on the bylaws. Contact me at:

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