January, 1982 Home   Newsletters

February, 1982

March, 1982

General Meeting on Reapportionment and Initiative
President's Message (Barbara Farwell)
Public Hearing - HECO's Kahe Power Plant Proposal
LWV Ed Fund: Election, Criminal Justice Projects Planned
Legislative Hotline
Vote Counts: Volunteers Needed
On Women
Updated Transportation Position
Conference on Environmental Protection & Inflation
Paired Housing Program
Let's Do Something About It! (Jerry Hess)
Membership Update
Legislative Tour
Scholarship Fund
Initiative ("Pull and Save")

League Retreat

"Let's Do Something About It!"

MEMBERS, MONEY AND BURN-OUT -- the three plagues of the League. This was the reason there was a call from Honolulu Board President Barbara Farwell for a retreat at Lona Wyatt's on Saturday, January 23rd. As things turned out, the "retreat" turned into a "charge" as the members of the Honolulu Board faced this problem and decided to present to our members their ideas for structural and attitudinal changes.

As President Farwell described in the last VOTER, our problem is the same as other volunteer organizations -- fewer members, less money, and burn-out of present members. But, we are the League of Women Voters, and for the hundredth time, members of the Honolulu Board asked themselves what are we going to do about it? As "burn-out" showed on every face present at the retreat, they settled down to do something about it.

Our energies are being used up "by beating dead horses" as one of the members put it. It is more important than ever to the League to get members involved as well as informed. People join to get involved and to become informed -- but they get lost and disinterested, floundering around, wondering how to go about it. The committee structure seems more attractive to members than the Units -- the committees are alive and active, the Units are not. We're wasting energy and valuable members' time hoping the old Unit structure will work. Let's concentrate on committees and getting members into them.

SUGGESTION: Committee Chairs, with the help of the Board, will set up more effective methods to recruit and involve members in League program.

It takes at least one year for elected Board members to understand their purpose on the Board. The result is frustration and irritation. Board training is usually done after they are elected at the Annual Meeting. Often new Board members feel isolated and alone as they are immediately barraged by esoteric League procedure and "the League doesn't do it that way" remarks. Further, they are elected to the Board without a portfolio (League talk for a job). The reason they accepted the nomination was to become active and to make a difference to the community through the League, but they are weighted down with piles of paper and expected to do something they don't know for sure how to do.

SUGGESTION: Arrange a two-day orientation for nominated Board members (and other League members) before the Annual Meeting. Possibly one day on management training and one day on League. This could be a responsibility of the Nominating Cmte which has a stake in the effectiveness of the new Board.

The By-Laws allow for a possible total of 21 on the Board of Directors of the Honolulu League. This is about 10% of the membership. There is no reason for so many sitting members. Oten the Board does not act like a Board because each member comes to discuss her particular job problems, and not as a member of a policy directing body.

SUGGESTION: A By-Law change cutting down the number of officers and directors to: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and four elected Directors. The necessary Board functions would be filled by the officers and directors holding portfolios in Resource Development, Program, Membership, and Aloha Voter Editor. The Board would act as a policy and goal setting body and committee heads would report to the Hoard.

We are not giving up the old structure by these suggestions. We are hoping that the results of our "retreat" will reactivate that structure.

Jerry Hess
Vice President and Chair of the Nominating Cmte

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