February 1992 Home   Newsletters

March 1992

April 1992

President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Annual Meeting
Answering Questions about the League Can Help Increase Membership
Proposed Budget FY 1992-1993
League of Women Voters Presents (Dee Lum)
Nominating Committee Report - 1991
Another Unpublished Letter to the Editor
Legislators and Public Wising Up on Rail (George Mason)
1992 Development Plan Amendment Package (Astrid Monson)

President's Message

One of the most important committees in this organization is the Nominating Committee. The job begins at the close of the Annual Membership Meeting and continues through January, when interviews with prospective nominees are held in preparation for reporting a new slate of officers and directors to the Board.

Searching for talent and leadership abilities among the membership, new and old, is a formidable task -- especially when coupled with finding those willing to serve. More and more, we are finding fewer and fewer members willing to take on a one or two-year commitment. However, it is imperative for the well-being of League, that we constantly be on the alert and search and probe in the hopes of discovering a new President, a new Vice-President to train for the Presidency, a new Treasurer, a Secretary, Board members, and even Standing Committee Chairs.

Our Bylaws describe the duties of the President as that of presiding at all meetings of the organization and of the Board of Directors and being an ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee. The President also has the usual powers of supervision and management As may pertain to the office of President and perform other duties as may be designated by the Board.

The President relies heavily on the knowledge and advise of the members of the Board and the Committee Chairs. As spokesperson of the League, the President usually gives public testimony and speaks to the media. Such occurrences can be frequent or not, depending on the action needed on those issues on which League has a position. It is therefore incumbent upon the President to understand the issues on which we take action, so that when questioned, answers can be given or in some cases, the questions can be referred to the proper person within League.

Each President operates in different ways. One who can delegate and organize well, could set the office up in such a way that a number of volunteers could staff the office for a few hours each day -- sorting the mail, taking calls and referring them to the proper persons for response, and capable of doing so, edit and type letters to the editor, or type and FAX testimony, Xerox Voter articles, etc.

This President would spend a minimum number of hours in the office, but be available whenever needed. There will always be meetings to attend, but some of these could be delegated to the Vice-President or Committee Chairs. Some one could be appointed to handle radio viewpoints: get suggestion for topics from various Committee Chairs, the Board, etc. and tape the viewpoints for parcel them out.

This President would see to it that the Voter editor sets up a crew to Xerox, collate and mail the Voter monthly.

At the other extreme, the President could be a workaholic who insists on being around constantly and over-seeing everything. This President would try to participate in every Committee meeting that did not overlap, attend all Public Hearings at a drop of a hat no matter the hour or the location, represent League at Community organizations and coalitions, personally do three radio viewpoints a month, type all communication, all testimony, and FAX them, spend evenings and weekends Xeroxing, collating and mailing the Voter monthly, and then coordinate and supervise all the vote counts.

This President would, without shame, take her sister out of her retirement and coerce her to spend countless hours in the service of League.

Obviously, this latter President is a disaster heading for a burn-out. This is not what the League needs, or what the League is looking for.

After six stimulating years, your current President had been looking forward to an extended period of rest and relaxation -far from the madding crowd. Apparently, that is not to be. The Nominating Committee, after a long and thorough search, told her that they had a couple of possibilities who would not be available until next year and prevailed upon her to consider the office for one more year at which time, she could leave. Against her better judgment, she reluctantly agreed.

The bomb burst at the last Board meeting. The Nominating Committee Chair reported that there was no possibility of replacing the President in a year, so the current President had to serve another two years.

The President you want is the alternative described first. To obtain this, changes must be made -- now. Members must come forward to help make this change possible. Volunteers are needed to give three or four hours a week to help in the office. Call Jean Aoki and sign up for one day a week. If you have but one day a month, call Yvonne Kearns and help Xerox, collate or put labels on the Voter. This is your opportunity to do your bit for League.

And be vigilant and look about you for those folk that show promise. Better yet, come forward and offer yourself.

Arlene Ellis

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