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New "Member At Large" Positions Proposed for Chapter Executive Committee

AMC WM Executive Committee in July 2022

Are you a chapter member who is interested in learning more about the AMC and how your all-volunteer AMC chapter is organized and managed? Would you like to have influence on and contribute to future chapter initiatives, programs and policies?

Responsibility for chapter operations is vested in the chapter’s Executive Committee (also called the ExCom). Four officers – Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary – plus the chairs of all chapter activity committees currently comprise the ExCom. This group of dedicated volunteers meets almost every month to coordinate chapter activities, set policies, and allocate the chapter’s financial resources in support of the AMC mission. They are committed to what they do and value the opportunity to successfully advance chapter initiatives and AMC's mission each year.

To draw fresh perspectives and build a diverse pool of candidates for future officer and activity chair positions, the ExCom voted on September 12th to amend the chapter’s bylaws to create two “Member At Large” positions with full voting rights. Members At Large are required only to attend and participate in the monthly ExCom meetings. Additional duties may be assigned by mutual consent. Nominations for Member At Large positions must be sent to the chapter’s Nominating Committee (via email to nominating@amc-wma.org) for review. Recommendations from the Nominating Committee are then presented to the ExCom for approval.

Details of the proposed bylaw revision are below. Although the ExCom has approved this revision, per the bylaws it does not take effect until a quorum of chapter members vote to approve it at the chapter’s annual business meeting, scheduled for Friday, November 4th. (More details on the annual meeting will be shared soon.) In the interim, chapter members are invited to send comments to the Chapter Chair (chair@amc-wma.org) and any nominations, including self-nominations, for future Member At Large roles to the Nominating Committee (nominating@amc-wma.org).

DETAILS ON THE BYLAW REVISION PROPOSAL

To keep things simple, the ExCom is proposing the smallest possible change to the current bylaws needed to achieve the objective of adding two Member At Large positions to the ExCom:

Current Bylaw

ARTICLE IV -- Administration

Section 1: The administration of the Chapter shall be vested in a Chapter Executive Committee (known as the Executive Committee) consisting of four officers: Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer, and the Chairpersons of all Standing Committees of the Chapter. (Each Executive Committee member shall have one vote in matters set before that committee for discussion.) The Regional Director shall be an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee, without voting rights. Five members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business.

Revised Bylaw Proposal

ARTICLE IV -- Administration

Section 1: The administration of the Chapter shall be vested in a Chapter Executive Committee (known as the Executive Committee) consisting of four officers: Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer; two Members At Large; and the Chairpersons of all Standing Committees of the Chapter. Each Executive Committee member shall have one vote in matters set before that committee for discussion. The Regional Director shall be an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee, without voting rights. Five members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business.

New bylaw text is highlighted above in boldface text. Note that the parentheses around “Each Executive Committee member … discussion” have been removed. Defining who has voting rights is an essential part of this bylaw section and should not be relegated to a parenthetical. Also, the change clarifies that all Executive Committee members including the Members At Large shall have voting rights.

Justification

The bylaws of four other AMC chapters (Boston, Connecticut, Maine, and Potomac) currently include Member At Large positions on their Executive Committees. In each case, the goal is accomplished similarly to what is proposed here, the addition of a few words to the section of the bylaw that defines the composition of the Executive Committee. Chapter bylaws vary by whether they place a numeric cap on the number of Member At Large positions. In all cases, bylaws are silent on the duties of the Members At Large, leaving those details to be worked out by each ExCom following local norms and expectations. The Western MA ExCom has proposed a cap of two (2) Members At Large in the interest of limiting additional volunteer time demands that might be associated with reviewing and approving nominations, as well as onboarding, training and guiding active Members At Large during the year.

Please email chair@amc-wma.org with any comments or questions.