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By-law change

Discussion in 'By-law change' started by steven s, Jan 7, 2019.

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    steven s

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    Current Bylaws
    Section 2. All officers shall hold office for a period of three years, or the period of time that exists between one annual meeting and the one approximately three years later. The President, Executive Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer shall serve not more than two consecutive three-year terms and all Regional Vice-Presidents shall serve not more than three consecutive three-year terms. No member shall serve more than five consecutive three-year terms on the Board of Directors.

    Proposed Change
    Section 2. All officers shall hold office for a period of three years, or the period of time that exists between one annual meeting and the one approximately three years later. The President, Executive Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer shall serve not more than three consecutive three-year terms in any one position and all Regional Vice-Presidents shall serve not more than three consecutive three-year terms.

    Reason
    The current by law prevents sitting members of the Board from working their way through the chairs from RVP through President without a hiatus in service. For example, an RVP who serves their maximum of three terms could not then serve as Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Vice-President and then President, as the maximum amount of terms served without break is five.
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    trayson

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    I assume this applies to officers and members of the National board, not the individual chapter officers, correct?
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    joesbmwcca

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    Hello, I am new to the BMWCCA and look forward to getting involved. My question is why is this change needed? Are the current Executives needed to help implement a new program or project that will take more than 6 years or is it hard to find qualified people to take over from the current administration? I have sat on 2 non-profit boards and in both Associations, we looked forward to the changing of the guard, so to speak. Please send some light on why the change is needed. Thank you
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    028394

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    Please go to the Windy City BMW FB page to read my comments on this ill-conceived by-law change and why I urge a vote of "No". Thanks-Dave The Navigator Farnsworth, President of BMW CCA 1990-1994
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    028394

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    I served as BMW CCA President from 1990 to 1994. The term of office at that time was two years and there was no limit to how many times someone could run and be elected president. Into my second term I had a lot of encouragement to run for a third term. I was honored and, I think, justifiably proud of the club and what I was able to contribute. However, I also saw a potential threat to the continued progress, evolution and success of the club in the possibility of a leadership gone stale. As a result of my conviction in the belief that every organization deserves fresh infusion of new thought and insight I introduced, lobbied for and ultimately successfully sponsored with the support of the Board a bylaw which limited my own ability to remain president.
    Serving as president of CCA is a great privilege, a good amount of work, but make no mistake, although there is no salary there is a lot of compensation, now more so than when I was president. As such there is a real temptation to stay beyond one’s “use by” date to, I believe, the detriment of the organization and its members. When I was president the term was two years, now it is three, essentially changing the by-law we introduced in the early nineties from a service limit of two terms to three terms. The current by-law proposal now extends that to nearly a decade.
    I cannot believe that in this organization of tens of thousands of BMW enthusiasts, with a wide variety of backgrounds and expertise, we are incapable of finding someone suitable to lead us more often than once every decade or so. Certainly for all those members out there who might be interested in helping guide this club this by-law basically tells them to forget about it-we’re not interested.
    Having had the honor of leading this club I can assure you this is not some incredibly complex task that requires so many years to master we can’t take a chance on anyone who hasn’t been on the Board for nine or more years. The argument that experience is critical is, in my view, just another argument for entrenchment of leadership.
    The bottom line is we need fresh ideas and new people on a more regular basis than potentially every nine years. This is a bad by-law and I strongly recommend joining me and voting “no”. Thank you.

    Dave Farnsworth
    BMW CCA President 1990-1994
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    elliottsb BMW CCA Director of IT

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    Looks like we forgot to include the reason for the change in the original post. I've edited it to include it, but here it is again for your convenience:

    Reason
    The current by law prevents sitting members of the Board from working their way through the chairs from RVP through President without a hiatus in service. For example, an RVP who serves their maximum of three terms could not then serve as Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Vice-President and then President, as the maximum amount of terms served without break is five.
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    103563

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    This bylaw change would have been perfectly fine if the only change had been to add the "in any one position," but the change from "two consecutive" to "three consecutive" makes the proposed change undesirable.

    This leaves open the possibility that a person could take nine years in each position as they move through the President, Executive Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer positions, permitting them to be on the Board for 36 consecutive years. While this is highly unlikely to happen, the fact remains that this change would allow such a scenario to occur.

    I understand the difficulty of finding folks who are willing to run for elected positions or to serve as committee chairs, but I also recognize that organizations need fresh blood at regular intervals and that it's imperative to have controls in place to prevent empire-building, even if such empire-building is unintentional or is perceived neutrally or positively.

    Shawn Doughtie
    Peachtree Chapter Autocross Chairman
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    steven s

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    Correct. Chapters follow their own set of bylaws when it comes to elections.
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    peacockbell

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    This certainly doesn’t encourage people to move off the board. The perks involved of recognition and travel certainly make it a plum job, unpaid or not. All organizations need fresh blood!
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    steve johnson

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    BMW CCA Proposed Bylaw Change


    The BMW CCA National Board has submitted to the membership a change in the BMW CCA Bylaws regarding compulsory term-limits for service on the national board. It has come to our attention that there seem to be some concerns; indeed, at least one member suggests that we are attempting to ensure our own tenure in order to continue to "enrich" ourselves.

    I should point out that the term limits currently in place were proposed during my first year on the board—and mine was the only no vote. I can assure you that I needed the experience of several seats on my path to the presidency; I have served as an RVP, as executive VP, and then president—but because of the language of the present Bylaws, I had to leave the board for one year to accomplish this.

    The BMW CCA has grown into a successful business. But just as other businesses have evolved—you're not still renting VHS movies at Blockbuster, are you?—the BMW CCA is not the same business we had 25 years ago. It took planning, vision, and experience to achieve the success of the club that we all enjoy, and it takes a qualified, experienced Board to help continue that success.

    Clarifying the Bylaws simply eliminates the "sit-out" requirement of changing positions on the National Board. Our goal is to ensure that there will always be qualified individuals learning the business of the BMW CCA by serving on the board in a variety of positions. Having a lapse in service compelled by the current by-law has impacted our pursuit of that goal. The fact is that we simply do not have people stepping up to serve in these challenging positions. We have had to go so far as to create a special committee charged with recruiting qualified people to run for the board! We need to ensure that a competent, well-informed board is always in place to serve the BMW CCA and its members. And to do that, we need to keep effective leadership in each of its various positions rather than have a by-law that forces a lapse in service.

    The brief explanation in Roundel most accurately describes the board's intent; there is no hidden agenda.

    In the interest of fairness and to facilitate a better informed conversation, please join us in the BMW CCA Member Forum to review the proposed By Law change. This will allow all members to participate fully and transparently in this important discussion. https://www.bmwcca.org/forum/index.php?forums/by-law-change.381/

    Steve Johnson, president
    BMW CCA
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    455728

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    I don't think Members think there's a hidden agenda, and if they do it doesn't matter. The reaction to this change is the same I have to Congress having unlimited terms. It's bad to have the same representatives in the same jobs for too long. Encouraging the Board to find fresh blood every once in a while isn't a bad thing. It's an issue across the Club. People stay in their positions for too long. Term limits are necessary.

    I voted no and I encourage others to do the same.
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    adawil2002

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    I stand with Dave Farnsworth encouraging everyone I know to vote No.
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    Thumprs

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    Thank you again Steve Johnson for giving me the opportunity to express my opinion in Dallas and more importantly seeking input from the membership about this by-law rule change today. I understand the "no vote" and it should not be a surprise.The focus should be suggestions to resolve the problem. I would suggest improved member activities and more team building that engage members IN the activity.

    Do we have a Leadership Training & Development Standards Committee? What are the requirements to hold a leadership position? Do we have any documentation to support qualifications? What are those qualifications? Are they situation specific or general? Are they standardized or generalized? What are the requirements? What are the costs of a program like this for members? Can it be used in other situations, jobs or positions? Can we use a current curriculum or do we need to develop one? How do we record the data and who is responsible for the data? A suggested resolution to this problem of leadership shortage....

    There is no doubt we all love the BMW Brand. The Nov 2 minutes are reflective of issues to be confronted in terms of revenue. Revenue enables activities for members to build camaraderie. This is an important part of the "Happy Member Theory" and that is the economy is not rosy. We have an enormous pool of talent among the volunteers that could develop new sources of revenue to help in the revenue area however those ideas are gated from advancement as well as information to members is being gated in the other direction.

    I too am a new member and I really appreciated this opportunity then and this opportunity, this problem runs deep all the way down into the chapter levels. There is a failure to respect each other (guilty here too) but when your toes get stepped on or yank that hamstring, do you react in joy or reflexive pain?
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    sunzout

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    Some points for discussion....

    Each of the current board positions has distinct set of skills associated with it. A person that would make a good president would not necessarily make a good Treasurer or Secretary and vice versa. I find it very hard to believe that someone would really want to work all 5 different positions.

    And even if they were were suitable of each position, the current Bylaws do look to allow them to move from RVP to President without a break in service.

    15 years is a long time for someone to give service to a club in a volunteer position. (I've just reached 10yrs in my current chapter position). I would expect the level of effort (time,etc) that a person on the National board has to expend would be much higher and therefore the current term limits should be kept to ensure that new people are introduced. to ensure that the level of effort and quality of service to members at a high level.

    And at the end of 15years, they can still find plenty of ways outside of these board positions to help the club.
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    jstrine

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    I have, and encourage others to, vote "no". Simply put the reasons put forth are not compelling. No strong argument has been made that the existing scenario is not working. Therefore, my prima facie assumption is that nothing is broken and the suggested change benefits only those who advocate for it. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I squarely place the burden of proof on those that want it changed.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    I understand that Richard Stouder, president of the Smoky Mountain Chapter, has sent these comments to various members on the proposed change to the BMW CCA Bylaws:
    You should have gotten an e-mail from BMW CCA as well as an insert in your monthly Roundel. BMW CCA is asking for approval of the bylaw. YOUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS RECOMMENDS YOU VOTE NO.

    Why? Currently the members of the BMW CCA leadership are capped for serving. The proposed change would allow them to serve in perpetuity. In my years as serving as your president, I have had many interactions with many people from national. In my opinion, most of these people only care about what the elite of the BMW CCA membership wants. They do very little to help us at the chapter level. They levy requirements and policies that we have to obey or they withhold our payment increments of a share of your dues. I have tried to get national to work with BMW NA to be more user-friendly with US, the buyers of their products. BMW NA cares little about US and less about BMW CCA. Do you know that Porsche USA funds the Porsche Club of America? BMW NA hardly pays lip service to BMW CCA. And the leadership of BMW CCA is deaf to my complaints.
    The membership levels of BMW CCA is flat and has been flat for years. The leadership of BMW CCA has not done much but wring their hands.
    For BMW CCA to truly represent the membership, there has to be new blood. We must get the OLD GUARD out and get new people with fresh ideas. Please VOTE NO.
    I have no ferrets in this particular race, and unlike the members of the BMW CCA Board, I am paid for my efforts, but I have been attending BMW CCA National Board meetings for more than twenty years, so I am dismayed to hear these comments from a leader of one of our BMW CCA chapters (especially one with access to such great roads!). First, I have known many, many Board members over the years; some have become close friends, while others have drifted away after their tenure. Few have served in perpetuity, although I suppose that it is theoretically possible. Barbara Adams was the Board secretary for more than a decade, if I remember correctly, and Mark Jon Calabrese served in several positions for about that same length of time. The Board refused to let Louis Goldsman retire from the position of Treasurer until he had finished the gallant task of defeating the Internal Revenue Service, term limits or not.

    Steve Johnson had to be persuaded to run for the President’s chair again, but he agreed because he had his sights set on a vision of the BMW CCA—and how it would progress into the next fifty years. Part of that direction included the relocation of the BMW CCA headquarters to a fitting location, one that I hope to enjoy during our 50th-anniversary celebration in Spartanburg in October.
    Now, our Board members have not always been cordial colleagues; there have been passionate debates and heated diatribes from time to time. But I don’t believe that anyone on the Board has ever espoused any plan or procedure that was not meant to benefit the thousands of individual members of the BMW CCA. In fact, these lines, “most of these people only care about what the elite of the BMW CCA membership wants. They do very little to help us at the chapter level. They levy requirements and policies that we have to obey or they withhold our payment increments of a share of your dues” reveal a misunderstanding of the basic structure of the organization.
    All members are members of a national organization; in addition, most are automatically assigned to one of our 67 chapters, and those chapters are expected to serve their members; in fact, those requirements and policies all have to do with service to the members.
    One of the charter responsibilities of each chapter is communication with its members. To that end, each chapter is required to distribute a number of newsletters to its members, and the National Board, decades ago, proposed to support the chapters’ efforts in this regard by sending a stipend to each chapter to pay for printing and mailing. Over the years, of course, these funds came to be viewed as entitled income to the chapters—and sadly, in many cases, that income might also be called unearned. Think of chapters with large membership lists but few members actually participating in chapter events. Or “newsletters” that would embarrass a fifth-grade English class, grudgingly cranked out at the last possible second in order to retain chapter status—and avoid losing those entitlement funds.
    Other requirements include financial procedures and IRS procedures that must be followed in order to retain your not-for-profit status. There are no arbitrary “levies,” or requirements that don’t make good sense.
    I am taken aback somewhat by the statement, “I have tried to get National to work with BMW NA to be more user-friendly with US, the buyers of their products. BMW NA cares little about US and less about BMW CCA. Do you know that Porsche USA funds the Porsche Club of America? BMW NA hardly pays lip service to BMW CCA.” First of all, it is true that the BMW Car Club of America is independent of BMW of North America and BMW AG—and we wouldn’t want it otherwise. If we were an in-house organization, how could we criticize when we think BMW is headed in the wrong direction? (And believe me, we have members who have strong opinions of BMW’s directions!) We are proud of our independence from corporate control, even if it means we do not enjoy that corporate gravy.
    Roundel is the magazine of the BMW CCA, not the mouthpiece of BMW Corporate—but we do appreciate their support. For the magazine, they are an important source of advertising revenue; for the BMW CCA, their support is huge. The Membership Rewards rebate comes to mind; significantly, BMW NA has now agreed to immediate membership rebates with a multi-year membership, instead of the one-year waiting period in place before. I suspect that this new policy will garner quite a few new members; in any case, the program is a membership benefit that has returned millions of dollars to our members. BMW NA has long been a supporter of our national events, from Monterey to Oktoberfest; they have funded BMW corrals at major races; they even provide a specific liaison to the club, who incidentally writes a Roundel column at no charge. Every BMW executive I have met in the last twenty years, with one or two exceptions, has been an enthusiastic supporter of the BMW CCA; they appreciate us as an important, influential market. With the United States the leading market for BMW M cars, and BMW CCA members the most passionate enthusiasts of the marque, our mutual appreciation and support should be acknowledge and celebrated.
    Finally, there is the notion of what “the elite of the BMW CCY membership” might want. I do not think I know any of these elites, although we certainly have doctors and lawyers among our ranks. I fear that elite has become an amorphous term that means those guysthem, the ones on the other side. This sort of “us versus them” division is depressing, because the basic nature of the BMW CCA is sort of an e pluribus unum organization: Out of many, one. I often describe the BMW CCA as a huge religion with many different sects: There’s the Round Taillight Brigade, the Roadster Fanatics—I cheerfully cast myself among them—the Big Six group, the Real M3 believers (“If it isn’t an E30, the M is for Marketing!”), the X-Car Crowd (“Stop calling my BMW a truck!”), the Coupe Commandos—the list goes on and on.
    Every one of us is convinced that we have the ultimate expression of the spirit of the blau-mit-weiss—and I think that every one of us is probably right. But we’re all in this one big tent, and I think we should enjoy knowing each other.
    Maybe the elites are those with 3.0CS coupes.
    —Satch Carlson, editor, Roundel
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    Thumprs

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    "The first failure of communication is the belief that any is taking place."
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    @Thumprs : Indeed! In fact, that sentence used to be part of my e-mail signature!
    : )

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