New deadline imposed June 8 reduced remaining time from 101 days to 53 days
At its June 8, 2007, board of directors meeting, RCA changed its by-laws to make the deadline earlier for filing petitions to nominate candidates in its annual elections. Under the previous by-law provision that had been in effect for about 35 years, and until the change was made, this year’s deadline was Sept. 17.
A new deadline of August 1 was set for this year only; in subsequent years, the deadline will be July 1.
RCA said the reason for advancing the petition deadline was to allow sufficient time for candidates to present position statements and circulate information relative to their running for office. Actually, the new deadline allows more time for RCA to publish position statements and circulate information, not the candidates. Members, candidates and anyone else interested in the election can circulate information at any time, regardless of the petition deadline. What the earlier deadline might do is to make it somewhat less likely that members would use the petition process.
Really? Maybe. The fact of the matter appears to be that since the 1970s, when the number of signatures required on a petition was raised from three to 25, I may be the only RCA member who has submitted petitions, with the exception of Arch Doty, who submitted one last year. Uh … he nominated me. Anyway, I’ve used petitions to nominate about 10 candidates over the years, and about half of them were elected. Another member intended to submit petitions this year, but he might not make the new, earlier deadline. I probably will have some petitions ready by Aug. 1, and I hope you will vote for those candidates.
The RCA nominating committee also has the power to nominate candidates. Unlike petitioners, it can add and remove names from its list of candidates after the August 1 petition deadline, up until the ballots are mailed. Members who are nominated by petition know for sure that their names will be included because the nominating committee cannot remove them. I like petitions because they offer the only way of guaranteeing a candidate a place on the ballot.
The nominating committee has a vital role and an important responsibility, because in modern times individual members have not nominated enough candidates to fill all the elected positions. This year, for example, RCA is advertising for candidates for treasurer and secretary. I don’t know that RCA has made available a description of the tasks that those positions entail. It might help if possible volunteers could learn what would be required. I believe help may be available for the treasurer from other volunteers, from paid consultants or accountants or a combination, and help may be available for the secretary from paid headquarters staff, but those details are elusive.
Meanwhile, the election is conducted by postal mail. Previously, the by-laws stated that the polls closed 24 hours before the start of the annual meeting. Although it conflicted with the by-laws, the Club traditionally stated on its ballot information sheet that the ballots had to be received at headquarters a week before that. Another change to the by-laws made on June 8 cleared up that matter and set November 1 as the date on which the polls close. RCA stated that the reason for the change was so “the ballot count will be done well in advance of having to report the election results. No more mad scrambles on the morning of the meeting.”
Let me know if you would like to run for office, won’t you?