Dear United States Kerry Blue Terrier members,
There have been a number of comments recently on the USKBTC Facebook page regarding the By-Laws change and ballot process. I would like to explain the procedures that took place to arrive at where we currently are.
The Board appointed 5 current members as a By-Law committee to determine updates to our current by-laws. The members were Stephanie Clark, Melanie Feldges, Carl Ashby, John Garahan and Janie MacBryde. The committee met a number of times and corresponded by e-mail. The changes were documented. The committee members voted to pass these recommendations to the Board for approval. If the Board approved the recommendations this meant that they would be sent to the AKC for AKC approval and then sent to the full membership for their vote. The AKC approved the wording and advised that we could move this onto the membership for a vote.
A simple ballot form, yes or no, was designed since the vote was all or none. There wasn’t a line item veto offered. The AKC has stated that if there is a linkage between items, in this case the reduction of Board members and the elimination of term limits, then the items cannot be decoupled. Looking at the membership list most family memberships have two members with very few having three. No one was greater than three so the ballot was designed for one, two or three people. I produced labels, return envelopes, copies of the by-laws and a sheet outlining the major changes to the by-laws for 295 memberships. This was mailed to the current membership list.
We have currently received 75 returned envelopes of which 55 have been opened awaiting the count. This past weekend, Bonnie Whelehan, Laura King and Ellen Hinds stepped up and volunteered to count the ballots before the general meeting which is held prior to the annual dinner. No additional envelopes will be opened without supervision.
There were a number of comments this weekend regarding “trust” issues. One set of comments questioned if the ballots should have been sent to the home of the Corresponding Secretary, John Garahan, since he had a vested interest in the passing of the term limits change. Another trust issue was whether John Garahan should count the votes since he had a vested interest in the term limits. As you see from the prior paragraph, that should not be an issue any longer.
I will also address this issue in another way. I am removing my name from the slate of incoming Board members for 2016. Last year I accepted the Board position for one year because Bill Kearney resigned. I took over the Corresponding Secretary position from Bill as well. I have not had my one full year off the Board of Governors. Dropping my name will provide me at least one year off the Board according to current by-laws. If the Nominating Committee wishes me to consider a Board position, I will next year. Remember, no one put their name forward to have their name placed on the ballot for a Board position so my acceptance of being considered for the Board again this year was moot. This past weekend, Elaine Randall and Sharon Burnett mentioned that they were not contacted to run. As I said, any member in good standing could follow the procedures in the Constitution to have their name placed on the ballot for a vote. No one did. The current Board can now consider these two names or anyone else interested in the opening.
This in no way precludes me from volunteering to help with the website or the Pedigree database. I will continue to volunteer to have the perpetual trophies engraved. I also volunteer to move the perpetual trophies to a new storage facility near the Montgomery site. I do not wish to volunteer to pick up or return the perpetual trophies to said storage this year. I will hand over the keys to another Board member prior to the Board meeting. Dropping my name for consideration from the Board also in no way precludes my wife, Kathy, from volunteering to help with the annual dinner and the website. There should not be any trust issues with these roles. If there is, I will drop those items as well. This past weekend there was a discussion about volunteering to help the club. Several people said they were not “asked” to volunteer. That is not how it works. Now they have an opportunity.