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 Post subject: proposed by-law changes
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 1:38 pm
Posts: 591
Location: Monroe, NJ
Received my latest issue of the Leap'n Lions News and was reading about the proposed by-law changes. Being that I will not be able to attend the national rally this year, I was wondering if it was proper procedure to discuss these changes here on the forum before the rally.

We have over 600 members and only 90 will be attending the rally. An affirmative vote is needed by 2/3 of those attending to pass the resolution. That means 60 attendees or about 10% of the membership can change the rules for the other 90% who can't attend.

Maybe the bylaws should be changed to allow some kind of electronic ballot so all or the majority of members could have the opportunity to decide on Club matters.

So, can one of the officers please advise whether or not the proposed by-law changes can be discussed here so I don't get banned from the forum :lol:

Thanks

John

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John and Maureen O'Brien
and our 2 German Shepherds
2006 RSB - sold
2008 Jeep Wrangler X


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 1:38 pm
Posts: 591
Location: Monroe, NJ
Well, 126 views and no repsonses :?

Anyone who knows me knows I am not a rebel rouser or an instigator by any means. I am also a former secretary/treasurer for the Club and had a chance to see first hand all the work our officers and rally hosts put into this Club. Every one of them is a volunteer, doing what the other 600+ members in the Club do not want to do, and we should all be appreciative of that. Since we have not had a rally coordinator for the past year, points out the fact that good volunteers are hard to come by.

That being said, I have some questions about the proposed bylaw changes, particularly article 5. It says, "Any member in good standing, other than a member who is employed by, or holds a management interest in an RV related association, or company, is eligible for election as an officer."

Does that mean if I work at Camping World I could not hold an office? Hopefully, someone on the committee could shed some light on the intent of the proposed change. Remember also, these are VOLUNTEERS who are offering their services to benefit Club members.

Under Regional VP, it says that "An appointed rally host must meet the same eligibility requirements as a VP." A VP must reside in the region they represent. So that is saying that someone who lives in the Southeast can not travel north for the summer and host a rally in the Norhteast? Has anyone ever attended a George and Sue Boley (only using this as an example) rolling rally in NH? I have and it was a blast. He would not be able to run a rally anywhere but in the Southeast. Is that what you really want?

I have not attended rallies outside of the NE area, so I don't know if the same conditions exist in the other regions. But if the North Central VP heads to AZ or FL for the winter, they couldn't host a rally while there? Why not, if the purpose of the Club is to promote social, recreational and informational exchange activities that provide for the enjoyment and pleasurable use of Born Free Motor Coaches. Boy, that sounds like it came right out of Article 2 of the bylaws :wink:

My purpose of this post is just to provide some thought for those who are attending the rally and will have the opportunity to vote on this proposal. Please, if you reply, keep your comments civil and address the issue. Don't make personal attacks, as these are bylaws changes we are talking about, not who you like or dislike.

My last thought is there should be someway for all members to have a chance to vote; via US mail, electronic poll, etc. With over 600 members, and the national rallies could only accomodate about 100, that means over 500 members lose out on a chance to vote on important issues that affect every member. Doesn't seem fair.

Respectfully submitted,

John O'Brien

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John and Maureen O'Brien
and our 2 German Shepherds
2006 RSB - sold
2008 Jeep Wrangler X


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 Post subject: Proxy Voting Protocol
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:53 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:07 am
Posts: 31
Location: Crystal River, FL
John,

Your observations are on target. There are other concerns as well with the subject proposed bylaws. However, the salient issue your raise is regarding the current voting protocols that disenfranchise most members – members that can not attend the semi-annual rally/meeting... due to either space availability or just travel distance.

What I have suggested too some is that the Bylaws be crafted incorporate a proxy voting protocol. This would allow all members who wish to weigh in with their vote to be able to do so. I'd like to understand why this has not been a part of our Bylaws.

Eric Sandstrom

PS - I was just made aware of your post by a fellow member.


Last edited by Eric Sandstrom on Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:07 pm 
I feel compelled to respond to your comments. Someone is "messing" with the club and proposing changes that will be detrimental to its continued existence. Your comments are on target. God help us if these by-laws get passed at the National Rally.

I need someone to tell me what item 5 under Article 7 means. I read it and it makes no sense. I have a Masters degree in engineering, an MBA and am currently a registered professional engineer. I said that to say that I believe I am intelligent enough to understand this if it made any sense.

We also will not be able to make the National Rally. If these by-law revisions pass, it probably makes no difference because the club will not survive as we know it.
Logan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:51 pm
Posts: 295
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
I'm glad some of you have gotten the News Letter -- I guess that we in the West may get ours sometime in the future - I was waiting to get the News Letter before commenting on the by-law changes


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 10:58 am
Posts: 65
Location: Whitefield Maine
The April 2011 Newsletter is available to read under the Member Section, Club Newsletter. Here all members can read the proposed amendments and judge for themselves if these are fair or even necessary. The Club exists for the enjoyment of the members, not to have a committee to act as " judge and jury" (article 7) concerning members and their Born Free Rallies and Caravan choices. PLEASE take the time to read the newsletter and think about this centralization of power amongst a few ( who by the way propose NO term limits going forward ~ last column, page 6). This does not seem to be in the general membership's best interest.
Tom and I have enjoyed wonderful experiences with this club and are concerned with what is happening. Born Free owners in the Northeast area are particularly upset with these proposed by-laws changes limiting the options of those members who organize these wonderful rallies, enjoyed by folks all over the country.
The real issue the bylaws committee needs to address is the voting procedure which John mentioned. It is interesting to note that the officers of this club can vote via electronic means, but this is not an option for the the members.
I hope all members will educate themselves about these proposed by-law changes and then add their opinion to this discussion.

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2004 RSB


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 Post subject: Proxy voting protocol
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 7:03 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Bellingham, WA
I believe something as important as changing the by laws should allow all members to vote. Electronic voting or mail in everyone should be able to participate.

BK Blackketter
Northwest Chapter

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BK Blackketter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:38 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Pacific Grove, California
I also support some means of electronic or by mail voting by members and believe this would be an advantage for the club and increase participation.

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Peter Robinson
2011 BF 22'


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 10:58 am
Posts: 65
Location: Whitefield Maine
In the Bylaws, under Club Administration, Article 6, 3-F states:

Balloting by electronic, telephonic, or any other means may be undertaken when a proposed matter is voted to be of such importance or urgency that a total membership vote is advisable.

Who initiates this procedure?

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2004 RSB


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:05 pm
Posts: 2071
Location: Spencer, IA
After serving the club as President for the last 6 years, Mel Wilbur is stepping down and the club needs a new leader. There has been some criticism of the new proposed club bylaws but remember, the 3 members appointed to prepare them are volunteers and the club needs more people like them to step up to the plate and help the club move forward.

So rather then criticize volunteer work, how about some qualified member of the club offering to lead the club as our new President. Please talk to LeRoy Molsbee about this issue as he needs help in finding someone to move into that position.

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Bill Hemme - Spencer, Iowa
E-mail: whemme@earthlink.net
2002 Born Free (Ford E-450 V10) 26' RSB
2016 VW Golf GTI - toad


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 2:39 pm
Posts: 617
Location: North Scituate, RI
Let me start by answering to the best of my ability many of the questions posted on the proposed bylaws.

John, you are correct that if you worked for Camping World you would not qualify as a candidate for office.

A rally host appointed by a Vice President must meet the eligibility requirements as a Vice President. Eligibility, in this case, is defined in Article 5, Officers as "Any member in good standing, other than a member who is employed by or holds a management interest in an RV related association or company, is eligible for election as and officer". The Vice President (not an appointed host) must live in his/her region and have at least one rally in their region per year. Other than the one required rally for that region the VP or host can have a rally in any state (with that regions VP approval) or outside of the country. This has always been done and would continue. The problem appears to be that some are confusing eligibility with duties. With this in mind I would recommend that the last sentence in item 2 of Regional Vice Presidents be deleted. I have also attended a Boley NH rolling rally and agree it was great.

As for a voting procedure, a full membership would be the preferred route. This has been discussed in the past but there are many things to consider. Electronic balloting certainly has merit but many of our members are not on the internet which means a mailing to those members, plus receiving and counting/verifying etc. A committee would be required to coordinate the operation and tabulate the findings. This bring us back to the old logistics situation as our membership is so scattered.

John, I would ask you and all reading this post to think about volunteering to chair a committee for electronic/usmail voting.

Logan, I am sorry that you feel that someone is messing with the club. The officers, past and present, have worked hard at improving all aspects of their positions and the club in general. As for item 5, Article 7 I have spoken to Bill Lyon and that line was supposed to have been removed but somehow Dick Simpson received the wrong draft, good catch on your part.

Concerning your last line, this club is made up of the same type of people as Dodgen Industries and like them, it will survive.

Tom & Jennifer, You are correct when you say this club exists for the enjoyment of its members. Looking at the Executive Board as "Judge & Jury" is not a fair assessment. These are your elected officers that as I stated before have worked hard to make this club one that we should all be proud of. John O'Brien certainly hit the nail on the head when he stated that a few officers did what 600+ other members do not want to do. This is the main reason for suggesting no term limits. You have no idea how difficult it is to get a member to accept an officer position or host a rally.

Many of the changes and additions to the current bylaws were taken from the bylaws of FMCA. It was felt that they have been around long enough with good legal support that it made sense to use them as a guide.
If anyone would like a copy I can send you a PDF file.

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Mel & Connie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:27 am 
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Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 1:38 pm
Posts: 591
Location: Monroe, NJ
Mel;

Thank you for the reply and explaination.

"John, you are correct that if you worked for Camping World you would not qualify as a candidate for office. "

Can you explain the reasoning for this? I guess I don't see how working at CW, or an RV dealership or in another RV related industry would affect one's ability to perform the duties of a regional VP. Would a trained and certified RV technician not be eligible, even though he/she has been on rallies and helped numerous members out at a discounted rate? It just doesn't seem fair to punish someone for what they do as a career, or even a part time job.

I can be wrong, but it seems like the voting issue would really only come up every 2 years. I think including a paper ballot in with the newsletter would not increase the cost that much and would go to everyone. Anyone who didn't want to take the time to return the ballot, or complain about having to pay the postage, etc. at least had the opportunity to vote. It's their choice. And if it is only every 2 years, I think a member would volunteer to have the ballots returned to him/her for counting. Doesn't have to be the same person every time, and yes I would volunteer to do it.
============================================
"With this in mind I would recommend that the last sentence in item 2 of Regional Vice Presidents be deleted."

I think that would eliminate some confusion also. Thanks.
============================================

at the rally, are the proposed changes submitted for approval as a package, or are the changes opened for discussion one at a time and voted on individually? Can they be modified from the floor before the vote?

There are many valid changes included in the proposal which should be passed.

Again thank you, and others who responded for sharing your thoughts and reasoning behind these proposals.

John

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John and Maureen O'Brien
and our 2 German Shepherds
2006 RSB - sold
2008 Jeep Wrangler X


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 Post subject: proposed by law changes
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 7:09 pm
Posts: 116
Location: Rio Grande, New Jersey
I would like to thank John O'Brien for bringing this topic to us members, and for his many contributions to the club as a volunteer.
I need to review the newsletter carefully and consider all that will be said in this post.
Thanks to the members who have written in, and especially to Mel Wilber for shedding some light, on what to me are some cloudy areas certainly worthy of intelligent and respectful discussion among us.
From what I read so far, the underlying question seems to be, who will volunteer? This is not my time to do that, but I hope that in the near future I will become more involved, in the club and camping and coaching.

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Every time I rush I hurt something
2008 27' RB, pick up 5/19/09
Honda Fury 2009


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 Post subject: Proposed bylaws changes
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:56 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:15 pm
Posts: 3
Location: McComb, MS
We are very new members of the club and are looking forward to attending the National Rally in Creede. As a preface to my comments, our kudos to those, present and past, who have volunteered to serve as officers. A special thanks to Mel Wilbur for his 6! years as president. That is surely above and beyond.

We have both belonged to many volunteer organizations. In every one of them we have held offices, usually as president. I fully agree that the main problem in any volunteer organization is securing workers and especially, officers. Almost everyone has an opinion, but few are willing to even take a committee chair, or for that matter, serve on a committee.

I, personally, cannot see anything in the new bylaws that should offend anyone. On the subject of voting on matters of interest to the membership, I would suggest that there should be a one-time trial of including a ballot in the newsletter regarding such matters. The advisability of future inclusions would be determined by the level of response to that initial ballot. Surely anyone who feels strongly about representation would take the time to peruse the issue carefully and invest in a first class stamp to send the ballot back.

I am willing to help in any way I can to resolve this problem.

Alice Ammons

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2000 RSB 26
Clarke and Alice Ammons


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 10:58 am
Posts: 65
Location: Whitefield Maine
Mel, thank you for responding to the concerns of members as stated on this forum. My comment was not meant as a criticism of current board members in any way and in fact I think everyone does a great job making this an active RV club. My concern is this proposed amendment ( Article 7) that appears to grant the Executive Committee with extraordinary power to take disciplinary action against other members.
If finding volunteers to help keep the Club vibrant is a problem now, it seems to me that if you start eliminating those members who do not "qualify" ( such as the example of a member who might work at Camping World) this will decrease the potential pool of volunteers. The time and effort to vet both present and future members of this club (aside from suggesting an invasion of privacy) would far exceed the time necessary to calculate electronic/paper voting results every few years, in my opinion.
Leap'n Lions RV Club is for fun and travel and social activities and we should keep it that way. Less is more when it comes to restrictions in any club or government.
Jennifer

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2004 RSB


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