Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
moosetracker

district committee problems

Recommended Posts

I am new to the district committee, went to my first meeting and just got voting rights. I plan to go on the training committee. My husband has been in a district position but is taking a new position where he is new to the committee also. This was his 2nd meeting.

 

I had met the DE several times, he is young, but friendly and is trying. Several people on the committee I have met, they are dedicated hard workers, with alot of knowledge and enthusiasm.

 

But the meeting was very disturbing. There is serious problems between the committee & the DE. Some of what it's about I have seen. Our DE needs to learn how to communicate, especially when there is a problem. Where good communication would solve a problem, he shuts off all communication and goes off and does it his way. The CC is resigning, his last day was at this meeting, and you can tell the CC & DD are not at all friendly. For the new CC, the DE is recommending someone no one on the committee knows, and they are adament they will not accept him feeling the DE is putting in a "yes" man for himself.

 

Three very verbal committee members made the meeting very long by disrupting it with nit-picky committee rules and regulations. I originally thought they were attacking both the CC & DE, but some comments made it a little less harsh on the CC.. They even said they want him to stay as CC.

 

Other Committee members quietly put up with the spatting, and I feel are uncomfortable with it, and are trying to get district issues worked on around it. Those who are verbally negative, though seem to be the ones taking on the most difficult jobs or assignments. They're the shakers and the rollers and want to get the DE to stop trying to control the committee or work around them.

 

I guess because I was an impartial observer, I was able to see things. They are on a downward spiral. I don't know what started it, but currently the DE works around the committee because of their attitude toward him, and his lack of communicating with them is due to that also. The more he does this the more angry he is making the committee.. They are somehow trying to regain power by being disruptive. The angrier they get the more disruptive they are. Which of course is not showing the DE that they are capable of running their committee.

 

So here am I the newbie.. The DE wants to talk to my husband and I about the meeting we attended. (And I think about the person he wants to become the new CC.) Thing is hubby & I do not think a new guy should be appointed the CC. For the simple fact it is unfair to the poor guy to put him into a hostile situation simply due to his association with the DE. The situation must be solved before a new CC is appointed, unless the committee knows and respect them. But none of them want the job.

 

I have my opinion that both the DE & committee members a good talking to. It needs to be pointed out what they are doing, and that it is not helping our district or our boys.. If they can channel all that negative energy into positive energy for the district & the boys we could be amazing. I think our DE needs to go to woodbadge (I am surprised the council wont give him the opportunity to do so, due to they don't want him taking time off from work) But this is a great place to learn teamwork & communication, and in the meantime he needs to make an effort to learn new skills with the help of the committee. The committee needs to stop disrupting the meeting and start proving they are capable of running a good meeting by positive example. And help the DE with his communication skills and teamwork by positive example.

 

All things considered, this group has passion and enthusiasm.. It has just been set off in a negitive direction and needs to be put back on track.

 

Would I be way out of line to butt in? I don't want to be tossed out on my ear on my second meeting. Would I be better to just be one of the quiet ones that puts up with this and hope it will blow over on it's own?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moosetracker,

 

Welcome.

 

It depends on what YOU want from the position. I will give you a background: I just spent a year as DAC (District Adv. Chair) for my District. I was told who would run what Eagle boards, I was told I could not interfere with Eagle boards, and I received NO support from District/Council when I reported violations of the Advancement guidelines/regulations for BSA. That being said, I did receive great satisfaction from the Scouters that did want to "do it right" and wanted to learn. I have held many Merit Badge Councellor courses since I started teaching it last year. Many have had thier eyes opened as they thought "Troop Only" would benefit thier Troop best.

 

On the Training side, you will have the opportunity to train many. Just ensure that the training is in line with BSA and not with "Rumor Control". We have all seen trainers that thought they were training BSA items only to find that they were taught wrong and BSA did NOT state what they thought. (Ref: Sheath Knife & Camping. BSA does NOT ban.)

 

You will meet many enthusiastic people that want training. If you Chair has a lot of training available, you will have many opportunities. Unless you are the "Chair", I would let the Training Chairman worry about the polotics of the Distict and enjoy training. If you are the Chair, then you have to decide wether what you will offer is worth the stress.

 

Yours in Scouting (YiS),

 

Rick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Couple of things that stand out for me.

 

1/ A selection of a new District Chairman should be managed by the District Nominating Committee.

The DE should have little or no say in this what so ever.

 

2/Where was the District Commissioner?

 

3/ Having served as a District Chairman. I was lucky to have a DE with whom I had a great working relationship with. I think the secret to good committee meetings is a good agenda.

The agenda should be planned by the Chair with input from the DE and the District Commissioner.

Having said that, very often a fixed agenda can work well. As long as the chairs in charge of the smaller committees (Camping, Training, Membership and so on.) Know what they are doing and are doing their job.

I found that having the smaller committees meet and deal with what needed to be dealt with and then have that committee chair make a report to the District Committee worked best and did away with a lot of the stuff that wasted time.

For example if the Training Committee were making plans for future Training's. They would meet decide the what, when, where and who.

The Chair would try and avoid any clashes of dates and maybe move the training's around the District, so as to make it fair for everyone in the District. The committee would find the location and pick who was running what courses.

At the District Meeting all that was needed was for the Training Chair to make a report of all this with little or no discussion.

Having the Membership Chair. Who had no intention of attending any of the Trainings tell everyone that the dates didn't work for him? Was just silly and a waste of everyones time.

3/ If things are as bad as they sound?

You need to talk to the Council President (In my book volunteers talk to volunteers.) I'm sure he can help with the selection of the next District Chairman, as this person will also serve on the Council Executive Board. The President might offer to send an experienced Board member to serve on the nominating committee and maybe attend a few District Committee Meetings (The District Committee is part of the Council.)

4/ You need to focus on what role is on the committee you serve.

Most District Committees rarely if ever do stuff that requires a vote. The idea being that everyone knows what needs done and is tasked with ensuring it gets done.

5/ If the outgoing District Chair feels that he is unable to work with the present DE? That's up to him. What he does or doesn't do is his choice.

I think I'd be bending the ear off the Council President in the hope that he would in turn bring this up at a Council Key 3 Meeting and bend the ear off the SE!

Ea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of that I got & some I didn't being so new to the district level..

 

I guess I should have used DC not CC (District Chair) not (committee Chair). So yes the DC was there..

 

From what I know there was no nominating committee, but sounds like that would be a good idea given the atmosphere rather then a choice being solely that of the DE.

 

I did offer to do the training Chair position. But only because the whole training staff is empty down to those who do the actual training, those position are fully staffed. I probably would prefer starting in a smaller position, but no one is in any of the other positions for training, and no one is interested in any of these positions, and it has been empty like this for a LONG time.. So I didn't think I could take a lower position when no one is in above me.

 

Since the most disruptive guy on the committee use to be the training chair, I think there is a story here.

 

Committee members are excited about my taking the chair. I met with the DE & DC once on it, then emailed them with follow up questions. DC responded, DE not. Already knowing his non-communication with a problem, I tested the waters with a few more attempts, no response. So at the committee meeting I marched up to him and asked if he wanted me to take the position. With no way to back out, no he does not. He wants me on the training committee but wants the training chair empty because he feels I would be overwhelmed. He might be right. As I said, I would prefer starting lower, I just did not see how that would work with no one in the seat above. Wont everything still fall on me?

 

But I foresee I will be the next "issue" when everyone is welcoming into the vacant position of chair, to discover I am not taking the position will be seen by the committee members of the DE trying to run the Committee. I might be able to smooth the waters a little, with the fact I am fine with it, but not alot. The leaving DC knows and is not happy with the DE, so the 'why' will not stay secret.

 

Right now the committee is a twitter about another committee member who was moved by the DE by his figuring out he was unwanted by the DE not communicating to him and working around him, rather then having good communication with him. So one way or another, I fear I will be the next 'poster child' to use as an example of the DE usurping his power.

 

Wouldn't going to the Council President, by going over the DE head? In my dealings not using the chain of command and starting with the lower positions, but going straight to the top would make me seem like someone that wants to make the DE look bad. I don't see that as making things better, and will get the DE to really hate & mistrust me as a whistle blower. That is not something I want to do at all.

 

What is the SE? My limited council knowledge left me puzzled.. Am I right that the Council President is the head of the Council. SE sounds like Scout Executive, but what level that is at is beyond me.

 

Someone from the Council did attend the committee meeting. I think he was observing because the DE thought there would be trouble. But, from what I heard, the DE was not expecting the level of hostility. Which is why he called us to meet with us privately. As the DE says, he does deserve some of the anger, but not all that. He feels what he tried to do was for the best of the district, but he did it wrong.

 

The district visitor was assessing the situation. He never said much except addressed a question posed to him, and utter a shocked response when the committee said they would not welcome the recommended new DC.. Hopefully he will come back to the committee and say what I think should be said. Because I am getting the feeling you think it is not my place. I will respect your opinion.

 

I do not know what I will say when addressing the DE directly about the problem on a one on one meeting. I know I will not play dumb to the situtation. If the district chair is just appointed I will support him where I can, but if the committee is voting him in, I will not vote him in. It's not fair to him to volunteer his time and come in to hostility toward him.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Wouldn't going to the Council President, by going over the DE head?"

 

As volunteers we do not in way shape or form work for the DE.

We do our best to work with them and partner with them to work toward the goals of the Council.

As a member of the District Committee and the District Training Committee. If you are not the Training Chair, your first port of call should be to your District Training Chairman (Person.)

If you are the Chair you report to the District Chairman. (This helps prevent DE's from doing what they think they want to do and keeps the lines of communication clear and in good order.)

As it seems the problem here is both the DE and the District Chairman. You as a volunteer should address your concerns to the Council President.

He should be meeting with the SE (Scout Executive) On a very regular basis. (Just as the DE, District Chair and District Commissioner should also be meeting at least once a month, if not more.)

The DE works for the Council and reports to the SE. (Most Councils have other professionals with fancy titles that DE's report to. But the top guy is the SE.)

A DE is very un-lightly to tell his bosses that he is messing up!

If you were to go to the DE's boss? That really would be going over his head.

Most of the professionals I have met, do not like it when the President is brought in. He after all has the Executive Board on his side and they were the people that hired the SE.

Talking with a DE about his poor performance, is most lightly going to end up with him telling you either what you want to hear or him trying to shift blame onto others.

Talking to anyone other than the Council President might be seen as gossiping.

You have to know what you want?

Know what you are willing to do to get what you want.

The goal should be doing what is best for the Council and the District.

If this DE is not doing a good job? Is unwilling or unable to work with and for the volunteers he needs to be trained, re-trained, cautioned, or thanked for his past services.

DE's do not have the same goals as us volunteers. Chances are that in 3 years or so he will have moved on. While many of the volunteers will still be around.

A good DE will see from the get go that working with and alongside the volunteers is the way to go and will result in his job being a lot easier, while at the same time his bosses will notice that he has a way of bringing out the best in the volunteers, which is his most important job.

This being able to get he needed results while keeping the District Committee happy makes him look like a true professional.

Sadly all to often volunteers in a District will moan and groan and walk away from serving the District, leaving it in shambles rather than do what is needed to sort things out.

Please don't get me wrong.

Nearly all of the DE's and professionals I have worked with have been wonderful hardworking people who really want to do a good job.

I seen my role when I was District Commissioner and more so when I was Chairman as training them in how to do a good job while serving the Council and the District.

We did have one young pup! A 23 year old know it all, who only lasted two years. He is now selling used cars.

Ea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the risk of sounding thickheaded. The DE reports to the SE, the Council President meets with the SE.. the title Council President means to me he is higher then district level. So where does he fall into the hiearchy and why isn't talking to him seen as going over the DE's head?

 

Maybe someone has already done this hence the visit from someone from the Council at the last meeting. My husband said his first District Committee meeting was brutal also, but the 2nd one (my first one) more so.. Maybe some of the disruption was for our visitors benefit. I don't know his title, but definatly higher up the food chain then the DE. So I will wait to see what happens with the committee in the next few sessions, if nothing improves then I will think about my next step.

 

The DC is staying with the committee but stepping down from the position of DC.. So the rift between the two of them is over at least at that level.

 

We may have a new DC next month that only a handful on the committee will respect, because he is hand picked by the DE, and has never worked on a District Committee. Or, we may have the position vacant for a while.

 

Where that leaves me in my position I don't know. Currently I am unassigned until assigned by the new DC.. But, by the sounds of it the DE will be calling the shots if the new DE is the man he wants in the position, because the DE has already decided where I should be.

 

So, currently I am unsure if the committee will win out an I will be the new training chair, or if the DE will win out and I will on the training staff, reporting to hmmm... no one because there is no training chair.. So if I am on the training staff and have no chair to report to, who do I report to? Wouldn't it be the DC until someone takes on the Training chair position which may still be a long, long time from now, because no one wants to be in that position.

 

But then if the DC position is vacant for a period of time.. Who would I report to? Would it then be the DE??? Until a DC is appointed am I part of any specific committee?? Wow very confusing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moosetracker

Eamonn gives some good advice, however since you are new and without a specific position I would add to get one or more of the experienced committee members to go with you for support and to give the history to the council president. Going alone to complain may get you left out of committee decisions or even getting tossed off the committee, I have seen it happen before as a volunteer and DE. Make sure you have a solid game plan in place before you take action. Good Luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The DE is the secretary of your district. The volunteers are in charge, and the professionals advise us and help get things done. The DC and DComm are the nuts and bolts of the Key 3. It's important to remember that volunteers run the show!

 

Get a copy of the bylaws and rules for Councils, and a copy of the job description cards for District Committee positions. This will show you how your district should go about filling a vacancy.

 

If you're simply going to sit on the training committee and help provide training to leaders (and there are LOTS of exciting things happening with training right now), then leave the politics to the operating chairmen. If your husband isn't keen on the job description, then it's best he begs off for now, too.

 

DC and DComm can be fun jobs, but you also have to love politics, solving problems, and dealing with DEs, SEs, and council bureaucracy.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, there is no DC and no Training Chair at this time, and may not be for some time. Whatever position I take I will be the highest position on the District training staff until other people want to join the staff.

 

Oh my husband is excited about his future position he has been on the Advancement Eagle board for a while, and likes the idea of doing the Advancement Chair position, although it sounds like alot.

 

Both of us may not be official in anything until a DC is position.

 

I am beginning to figure out what you say about the DE & the DC, and I am more aware of why the committee is upset due to this thread. Until now I thought the DC worked for the DE.. That is because of how the DE acts, he is definately making the decisions as to who will do what jobs on the committee, both in highering, fireing & repositioning. I was interveiwed by him, not the DC for the position of Training Chair, the DC wasn't even there. He is also the sole person who decided who he wanted for the new DC, and probably the old DC is stepping down due to the DE deciding he didn't want him there anymore and made it impossible for him to do his job..

 

Nope the more I am understanding, the more I am believing this is something someone higher up the food chain must solve That is because DE has already angered the committee about his interferance, yet he is definatly not showing any signs of changing his way. If he is unwilling to change his stance on running the committee, the committee will be unwilling to offer him a chance to change. The DE will need to get the order from his superior to change, or be relocated. I would imagine others in the committee, the old DC and others have approached the right people to talk to about the issue in the council.. I am too new to get involved..

 

Yet still I have to meet with the DE with just my husband & I to discuss the issue of the disturbance in the committee meeting we witnessed. The DE will probably be trying to swing us to his side of the cause, and I will refuse to be a part of him running the committee his way if he should not be there. So what I will say I don't know, but it won't be blind agreement with him.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Neither you, or your husband are part of the District Key 3. You don't even have an official position on the Committee other than someone in the Training Committee, but not the Chair.

 

No offense meant, but why on earth would the DE want to discuss the problems within the Committee with you and your husband?

 

Since the District Chairman has resigned, and you don't feel it is your place to talk to the Council President (who is basically the next level up for volunteers), I would talk to the District Commissioner. The District Commissioner is part of the District Key 3 (along with the DE and the District Chairman).

 

BTW, you might be part of the Training Committee, but simply having no District Training Chair does not mean that you will be in charge of the District Training Committee. The Council Training Chair is over all of the District Training Committees, and would be the one you would report to, and who should be filling in at District Committee meetings until a District Training Chair is found.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We will find out tommorrow, when we meet with him. But, my guess is he is trying to find support from those of us who are too green to know better, or the members who were not being disruptive. Why? I don't know.. But, it sounds like the committee will have a say somehow in if we accept or reject the DE's choice for DC.. He is not only meeting with us privately, he is meeting with alot of committee members privately. I think he is lobbying for his choice of a DC.

 

I fear I will be answing specifically to the DE, no matter how it "Should" be.. With the abscense of the Training Chair, the DE has been running the Training chair position himself, for years. By what he said to me "We really don't need anyone in the training chair position".. I think he wants to continue running it himself. But it is good to know that if I do email the Council Training Chair, asking for advice due to the fact I have no one else to report to, no one can accuse me of stepping out of line. This is who I should report to..

 

I don't think what he is doing is right, but I don't think as new & green as I am that I should put myself in the position of complaining to others in council about him.. If a group gets together to do so, I may be part of a group. But, although I am getting an inkling of why this is wrong, I am not a voice of an expierienced district scouter.

 

In some ways it is still a "Good old boys club" especially at council level. Again I am going to hope that the guy who was visiting the committee meeting from council, will report what he saw. I do not know if he will side with the DE or the committee, but if he doesn't side with the committee, then my going to council after the fact to complain will do nothing. If he reports that the committee is at fault not the DE, then I am doing nothing but sticking my neck out to get it chopped off. If he reports the DE is wrong, then the council has heard from someone with the experience. If they don't act on it, then what I say will be of no importance. I have only attended the same committee meeting he attended. He should know better then me who is doing wrong and why.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

no matter how it "Should" be..

 

Your district sounds a lot like my district. It is already April and my district still has not had their business meeting (It happens in December).

 

The past District Chair finished her tenure in December and there has been nobody to replace her (the district did not have a vice chair).

 

Turns out that her chosen nominiating committee never got sent to the council president for approval. Instead is was not accepted by the Director of Field Service. So at the end of the year, the DC stepped down as her tenure was up. In the meantime, our DE was transferred to another district in January and the Field Director is now standing in as DE. He has finally announced that we will have our district business meeting next month in May. He has been informed by our district commissioner that there are procedures that are supposed to be followed and asked him if the COR's would be notified of who the nominating committee will be etc. His response was the vote for the new district committee should take only a minute.

 

In my council, the professionals are running the program. It is they who choose their executive board, not the other way around - as it should be.

 

Total snafu.

 

For my other fellow Scouters who are part of good councils that are functional, my hats off to you. But there are in fact some very dysfunctional councils out there. I can relate to moosetracker's situation.

 

Able

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moosetracker

If you decide to make it a contest between you the DE and other committee members you are going to end up on the losing end and probably removed from the committee. You need to learn how to work with people with different approachs than yourself. IMHO you seem to have an agressive my way is the only way attitude and that will not help the situation, just make it a whole lot worse. You are in a very tenuous position right now, kind of on the committee but with no real position or duties, sounds to me like the committee has you on probation to see whether or not you will be a good fit. Going after the DC, DE, and other committee members will give them cause to boot you off the committee and probably all district responsibilities in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BadenP. I think your anger at me on the other thread, has caused you not to read this one very well. If you made this comment after my first or second message, you might be making sense.

 

Currently the issue went from me thinking that the DE was a position above the DC due to the fact the DE is interviewing the canadates for the committee positions and the DC is not involved at all.

 

The more I talked with people the more they made me realize that the DE should not be involved in the committee member positions at all. I have benifited from the knowledge of this group and have been listening to what they have to teach me, about the district relations.. But, have done an about fact on how to handle it. And that can be seen slowly throught the discussions and the posting.

 

I guess at district you do not approach the people with the problems, I should be talking not to them but about them to other people. That is not my way. If I can not talk to your face, I will not talk behind your back to your superiors. So I have decide to talk to no one..

 

So your post that I am going to be thrown out on my ear, for not talking with anyone, and hoping that the DE's superior from council will deal with the issue, just does not make sense. And saying I have an "an agressive my way is the only way attitude".. When I just went through so many post talking to and listening to and altering my perspective based on what I learned, does not make any sense.

 

Also I am not on probation. There is just so many vacancies because so many people have abandoned their positions, no one is around to appoint anyone anything.. That can be figured out if you had followed the entire conversation also.

 

Seriously I think you are just upset because of the other thread, read the first one or two posts and are trying to stir up a confrontation on this thread.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not at all moosetracker, I have read your posts and your intent is quite clear, to rile up both council and committee members to view things your way when in fact you are not in any key position in the district at present. You are going into battle without any ammunition or backup which is a guaranteed disaster. I am not mad at you at all just not in agreement with the aggressive way you approach this problem. If I were the district training chair or one of the district Key 3 this would give me ample reason not to have you on the dist. committee.

 

While your intent may be good your methodology leaves much to be desired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...