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Cburkhardt

Positive Council Changes during Financial Reorganization

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Good Council Executive Boards result from finding good people and recruiting them, not changing election or voting systems.  Financial restructuring will provide an opportunity to recast ineffective boards.  Start now to recruit and promote outstanding candidates.

We have a representative republican for of government whereby we select people to represent us and repose in them the ability to make decisions and govern.  It is an imperfect system but seems to work for our society.  Having regular society-wide votes on policy matters would have an occasional advantage -- but for the most part that system of governance is really problematic.  Our Council Executive Boards play a similar role.  The COR's elect them and delegate the responsibility and authority to govern.  If the EB gets entirely out of line, the CORs can effectively recall them at the next annual business meeting and install a replacement Board.  That has happened  several times.  Before it gets to that point CORs and their similarly-minded volunteers can usually take effective action if they are factually accurate, thoughtful, economic in approach and persuasive. 

Many of the suggestions seem to be calculated to limit the influence of dominant SEs.  The route to address this problem is to be direct and assure adequate COR representation on the nominating committee.  I have been a nominating committee chair several times.  The challenge in that position is … follow me here …. a lack of credible suggested new board members!  After all of the disappointments expressed about voting systems, current boards and members, the complaining folks rarely had great people to suggest as new board members.  The suggestions tended to include very upset people who were dug-in on a narrow issue (often a sub-issue about a camp facility or camp program), or others who had deep personal disagreements with certain staff or volunteer officers.  These people disqualify themselves for failing to satisfy the basic qualification of board membership (see Parkman's many suggested criteria, above).  

To the issue of Bankruptcy and financial tightening -- This will provide wholesale opportunities to replace ineffective Board members.  My belief is that if you want to be an effective part of recasting your local Council Executive Board, do a service for your Council and begin now to think of names of who would be effective members.  Think about those Scouters who are the finest, selfless individuals.  Think of business leaders who are well-regarded and know how to operate sophisticated enterprises.  Think about a few people that are role models for our youth and ourselves -- whether they have Scouting experience or not.  Think of principal economic leaders who are good-hearted, active in promoting civic life and capable of helping the BSA restore its financial health.  When the annual meeting approaches, contact the nominating committee chair and ask to be on that committee.  Or, ask to present a number of your candidate suggestions to the committee - live and in-person. 

Building a better Council Executive Board is not about figuring out how the election voting process can be recalculated to favor one type of voter or another.  It is all about finding the very best people to serve Scouting recruiting them to our Boards.

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1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

Good Council Executive Boards result from finding good people and recruiting them, not changing election or voting systems.  Financial restructuring will provide an opportunity to recast ineffective boards.  Start now to recruit and promote outstanding candidates.

Agree

1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

We have a representative republican for of government whereby we select people to represent us and repose in them the ability to make decisions and govern.  It is an imperfect system but seems to work for our society.  Having regular society-wide votes on policy matters would have an occasional advantage -- but for the most part that system of governance is really problematic.  Our Council Executive Boards play a similar role.  The COR's elect them and delegate the responsibility and authority to govern.  If the EB gets entirely out of line, the CORs can effectively recall them at the next annual business meeting and install a replacement Board.  That has happened  several times.  Before it gets to that point CORs and their similarly-minded volunteers can usually take effective action if they are factually accurate, thoughtful, economic in approach and persuasive. 

The problem with COR's is that unless the council puts a lot of effort in educating the COs of their responsibilities, the COR's aren't typical of understanding (or caring) about the Executive Board. The SE needs to develop a relationship with the COs and teach (sell) them the vision and the value of the vision for the youth.

1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

Many of the suggestions seem to be calculated to limit the influence of dominant SEs.  The route to address this problem is to be direct and assure adequate COR representation on the nominating committee.  I have been a nominating committee chair several times.  The challenge in that position is … follow me here …. a lack of credible suggested new board members!  After all of the disappointments expressed about voting systems, current boards and members, the complaining folks rarely had great people to suggest as new board members.  The suggestions tended to include very upset people who were dug-in on a narrow issue (often a sub-issue about a camp facility or camp program), or others who had deep personal disagreements with certain staff or volunteer officers.  These people disqualify themselves for failing to satisfy the basic qualification of board membership (see Parkman's many suggested criteria, above).  

Yep, the lack of credible suggestions is the whole of the problem both at the Council and district level. In fact it's common unit problem too. This goes back to if the Council is serious about building a performing board, they have to start at the base and educate the COs. THEN, the nominating board needs to do research to find candidates with the qualifications they are looking for. Too often nominating committees wait for names to come to them from where ever. The nominating committee needs to be led by a dynamic person who knows how to seek out proactive committee members with the talent for using resources to seek and research candidates. The committee must be proactive.

1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

To the issue of Bankruptcy and financial tightening -- This will provide wholesale opportunities to replace ineffective Board membersMy belief is that if you want to be an effective part of recasting your local Council Executive Board, do a service for your Council and begin now to think of names of who would be effective members.  Think about those Scouters who are the finest, selfless individuals.  Think of business leaders who are well-regarded and know how to operate sophisticated enterprises.  Think about a few people that are role models for our youth and ourselves -- whether they have Scouting experience or not.  Think of principal economic leaders who are good-hearted, active in promoting civic life and capable of helping the BSA restore its financial health.  When the annual meeting approaches, contact the nominating committee chair and ask to be on that committee.  Or, ask to present a number of your candidate suggestions to the committee - live and in-person. 

Yes, here is the struggle. One thing to say, go out and find these candidates, but it's another thing to find the right nominating committee to seek out the the right candidates. How are they going to get the word out? Who can they personally call, or even visit. It's very much who you know, so who does the committee know, and who do they know, and on and on. The passion of the candidates for the Executive Board is usually reflective of the nominating committee. So, the committee needs to be well respected high performers.

1. know and understand the vision.

2. Train and build a relationship with the COs and teach them the values of the vision.

3. Find the right person who believes in the vision, and knows how to build teams to lead the nominating committee.

4. Build a high qualified and productive nominating committee to search candidates that fit the vision.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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I think it is clear that the powers that be will never step down from their control of BSA.  Positive council changes can only occur if a bankruptcy process forces them out.  I hope it happens soon.

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48 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

1. know and understand the vision.

I agree in that what a council really needs is just one person with a vision. One of two people needs that vision. Either the council president or the SE. If they don't, as in my council's case, I'm not sure how any of the changes discussed can happen. My council is broke and the board is just another income stream. That's all it does.

7 minutes ago, David CO said:

I think it is clear that the powers that be will never step down from their control of BSA.  Positive council changes can only occur if a bankruptcy process forces them out.  I hope it happens soon.

But bankruptcy will likely not change anything with the councils. If anything, there will be less oversight. I'm not sure how there could be less, though.

@David CO, I will add one thing, though. I like your idea of getting the CO's more interested. Every CO I know of is interested in helping kids and in particular, kids that need more help. Their input would be very valuable. And the goodwill between CO's and the council would help the local scouting scene.

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The Executive Council needs good people but guided with sound rules to effectively serve and oversee council operations.   Some thoughts

1. Post on Council website the names of all Executive Board Members (not all Councils do) , the Board Bylaws., meeting minutes, ...

2. Key 3 and Board of Directors  may attend meetings but  they are not members, have no vote, and cannot  chair or otherwise control meetings.

3. Quorum is 50% of all Executive Board members (not 50% of all those present). Members may assign proxies or send votes electronically.

Board should be representative, transparent, independent.

My $0.01

Edited by RememberSchiff
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1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

The Executive Council needs good people but guided with sound rules to effectively serve and oversee council operations.   Some thoughts

1. Post on Council website the names of all Executive Board Members (not all Councils do) , the Board Bylaws., meeting minutes, ...

2. Key 3 and Board of Directors  may attend meetings but  they are not members, have no vote, and cannot  chair or otherwise control meetings.

3. Quorum is 50% of all Executive Board members (not 50% of all those present). Members may assign proxies or send votes electronically.

Board should be representative, transparent, independent.

My $0.01

Absolutely spot on.  I'd like to add an additional call for meeting minutes.  I've been a volunteer off/on since the mid '80s and have yet to see EB minutes posted, distributed, or even discussed. 

Edited by desertrat77
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4. After National Annual Meeting, Executive Council should, at their next meeting, receive a written report from Council attendees. Report would reveal NAM announcements,  policy and rules changes, elections, votes taken (and their votes),  ...and be entered into minutes.

Edited by RememberSchiff
clarity
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Saw a letter from a council saying they were closing two scout shops, one national and one council run. Mentions there is a list at national with 18 stores plannned for closure due to the pending bankruptcy.

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