Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The By-Law discussion...

Over on the Official Unofficial Seminole Heights blog, the post on OSHNA nominations has become more of a debate on the by-laws. My blog already states my views. That post is restated below.

There is an extensive revision to the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association (OSHNA) by-laws. Naturally I have some opinions here. I strongly encourage a NO vote for the long term health and vitality of the organization.
I have reviewed the by-laws in detail. I still have a saved copy of the by-laws from when I first went on the board. Packed away in boxes notes on the first major re-write was back in 1994. I have copies of subsequent revisions. It is one thing to make corrections of spelling, grammar and such was a comprehensive revision. It is quite another to ram through a variety agenda driven changes in one big package. That is the kind of BULLSHIT Congress does to pass what could never stand on it's own merits. That is, in my opinion, what the By-law Committee and it's Chairperson have done.

Honorary membership is the one I have the most fun with; you see in the 1994-95 revisions Honorary Members included past Presidents who were given life-time voting privileges. In 1996-97 there was this rush to take away the voting privileges from those lifetime Honorary members. I was the only one that was the target for that little change, it too was mingled with other revisions to hide the agenda. Now we come full circle, now it is proposed that those rights are to be restored. Well I thought it was unnecessary then and I still do. There was no compelling reason for the first change and there is no compelling reason for the current proposal. But hey if I am wrong, and the members pass the revisions, I can save $10 a year and still have the benefits of running for office and voting.

But back to the serious side. All the bitching about no body wanting to get involved is bullshit. Yet that is the smoke screen for 2 year terms. That is the compromise for term limits.

Two year terms will prove to be a disaster and lead to a board out of touch and filled with their own self-importance.
Term limits are unnecessary. When people have choices they can choose to limit terms. Simply ask the one sitting board member who lost their trustee position in the fall of 1994. There may be people on the board that have been there far too long in my opinion but it should be up to them or the membership when their time on the board is up.
Why is it suddenly necessary to require one year of membership before being able to be a candidate? OSHNA has been in existance for 20 years. Has there been a crush of newbies storming the palace gates? It is yet one more BAR put forward to impede participation.
Why the prohibition against a sitting President running for any other position? Maybe there would be a President who still wish to serve but who because of a change in circumstances wanted a less demanding position (as a past President, I could see that happening). This also masks an unstated agenda.
In the guise of "the selection of a diverse and experienced board" the complete re-write of Article V, Section 2 "Eligibility" becomes self-serving of the incumbents.
The last time I checked it is the membership that is responsible for the selection of their governing Board.
On a 9 member board there is no sound reason to prohibit a President from voting. No President in OSHNA has ever had the sway over the Board to dictate outcomes of votes. Some have voted, some have abstained, some have selectively voted. In my time on the Board as President or as chairperson, I selectively voted but did not make motions in acting in the capacity of chair person.
There is no justification neutralize the President. The board has restricted the President's setting of meeting agenda's and speakers, and some would go so far as to say the President cannot express a view that has not already had the blessing of the board. This is to proscribe from the President the one tool or option at his or her disposal. Another hidden agenda masquerading as reform.

The board has the power to expel members from the association and remove other board members without the membership having any say but the members have no authority to recall board members before the next election???


"all animals are equal but some are more equal than others"


Anonymous said...

I have to say that I really disagree. I know of several people that have declined to run for office as one of the "regulars" was continuing again to run for office. I think if there are 2 year term limits, with one year required out, that you would see more people run. Most people don't want to run against someone if they like or know that person.

Rick Fifer said...

The bylaw revisions do not require one year out at the end of a 2 year term.

The only position required to take a year off before running for anything is the president according to these revisions, should they be adopted.

term limits are after 10 years. And only begin after the revisions are passed. I think you have misread what is proposed.

Anonymous said...

These might be interesting comments if it were not submitted by a person who has been in coninual conflict with just about every neighborhood association in Seminole Heights. Your agenda is clear and extremely self-centered.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:29
I would like to know where you get your opinions. They certainly do not square with the facts.

I served 5 years on South Seminole Heights' board. Developed their current newsletter. Wrote their bylaws, got the group incorporated, obtained a united way grant, initiated the egg hunt in the park (even wore an insufferably hot rabbit costume), organized the luminaries around rivercrest park and holiday concert in the park, served 3 years as president, and increased their membership from 27 to nearly 200 while on their board.
Served two years on OSHNA's board (trustee, VP, and President) before that, built membership from a 150 to nearly 400. At the end of my first year on OSHNA's board membership on the east side of 275 went from 12 to nearly 100. Initiated the effort to get the name changed to the current name. Worked to prevent break away efforts in the Lesley Plat section as well as an effort to break off the entire eastern half of today's OSHNA. Initiated the effort that became Hampton Terrace.
And last year I led the effort that killed the transfer station which is more than a mile from my home. Attending both city council and other meetings at the request of the OSHNA President.

"They might be interesting if they were not submitted by..." I have served on multiple organizations (not just the neighborhood)and haven't wrecked a single one (contrary to what a current OSHNA Trustee keeps telling people).

Yeah, I have a real clear, self-centered agenda. Hell I have horns and a tail too.

I have an archive of newsletters from both groups, newspaper clips, and notes to back up my claims.

What exactly do you have to back up a cowardly anonymous post?

--Rick Fifer

Anonymous said...

You did all that!
We need to send you to Iraq. You'd have that place wipped into shape in a week.
Short of that maybe we can get you a big bottle of Thorazine, or something to tone down that overactive "remake the world to my vision" gland.