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Forums —» General Caching —» General —» Executive decisions and defending those decisions
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Executive decisions and defending those decisions
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CAMOKELLY



Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 482
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:02 pm    Post subject: Executive decisions and defending those decisions Reply with quote

The executive has had their admin privileges removed during the election process so I am going to copy and past some questions asked in another thread as I have an opinion on the matter and would like to respond to it and invite anyone else to respond here as well.

So the questions were:

1) If a motion is voted on and passed with a majority - is the vote recorded as the actual vote or the nonsensical 7-0 way it has been done in previous years?

Most executives choose to give the total rather than list each executives vote as they simply do not want to have members cornering them demanding that they defend their vote. I don’t feel this way is nonsensical at all far from it in fact. You see usually it is only the irate members who are bold enough to demand an executive member defend his/her vote. Most of the time they are not even interested in finding out why the executive member voted the way they did but are more interested in whether they can make that individual change his/her vote.

2) Are they willing to defend their vote if questioned? In my experience over the last few years - there has been little to no discussion with the membership (before or after the decision) about why certain decisions were made and afterward if questions were raised on the forums, the questioner was treated like a leper at a beauty pageant. Either ignored or put down for daring to question the "obvious" superior knowledge of the Executive.

Most executives are willing to answer questions about their decisions if asked appropriately. However when individually asked " to defend' their decision they usually are less likely to respond. I mean why should they have to defend themselves as an individual when it was the entire executive that made the decision? That is the reason why there is more than one member to an executive so that any decisions being made are done so democratically by a vote from all the executive members rather than any one individual.

I believe the Executive is elected to do the job of running the BCGA but I also believe the Executive members are elected by the membership and the membership deserves that same Executive to engage in a meaningful dialogue should the decisions be questioned.

I agree the members of the association do have a right to engage their executive if done respectfully. However to many times we have seen irate members trying to corner individual members to defend themselves and continuing to do so until the member either quits or the board is split in two by all the controversy. This has happened far too many times in this association and many like it.


I would understand if something majorly wrong was being brought forward by a vast majority of the members of the association. That would warrant the executive’s full attention. However that rarely if at all happens in most non profit associations. What we do see happen all too often is very small percentages of members for whatever reason trying to stirring up controversy and or attempting to discredit an executive with anything they are trying to accomplish. These individuals seem to have all the time in the world to pick at and question most if not everything an executive does.

These small groups get together and gossip about what the executive is doing wrong and what they should be doing instead. They have all the answers and are not afraid to tell you so. Sometimes they will even claim to have offered to help the executive however usually that is just an excuse when they are confronted themselves. For the most part they are not even the slightest bit interested in helping rather just want to continue enjoying themselves with their antics and gossip. So you tell me why would an executive want to submit themselves to this kind of treatment by listing individual votes and defending all their actions as individuals.

United we stand divided we fall seems to say it all.
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jangor



Joined: Jan 05, 2007
Posts: 144
Location: Surrey, BC

PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Executive decisions and defending those decisions Reply with quote

The simplest reason for recording individual votes is to give the membership some guidelines in deciding whom to support in future elections. That is the way our Parliamentary system works. People usually like to support candidates with similar views to their own.
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CAMOKELLY



Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 482
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Executive decisions and defending those decisions Reply with quote

jangor wrote:
The simplest reason for recording individual votes is to give the membership some guidelines in deciding whom to support in future elections. That is the way our Parliamentary system works. People usually like to support candidates with similar views to their own.

I see your point but do you really feel like your going to get a true sense of an individuals view through how that executive member voted when deciding which colors to use for the next Geocoin or which city to hold the next geocaching 101 session in? Not everything needs to have an officially recorded vote.
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dragonflyer



Joined: Sep 14, 2008
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:11 am    Post subject: Re: Executive decisions and defending those decisions Reply with quote

I'm quite surprised that this would come up; why would you record who voted how? Once a motion is moved it belongs to the meeting, and I know of no reason the minutes need to record anything other than that it was passed or defeated.

And does this mean there's somewhere that members can access board meeting minutes, even though I haven't been able to figure out where?
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CAMOKELLY



Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 482
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:19 am    Post subject: Re: Executive decisions and defending those decisions Reply with quote

dragonflyer wrote:
I'm quite surprised that this would come up; why would you record who voted how? Once a motion is moved it belongs to the meeting, and I know of no reason the minutes need to record anything other than that it was passed or defeated.

And does this mean there's somewhere that members can access board meeting minutes, even though I haven't been able to figure out where?

You can access the minutes by clicking "About BCGA"
On the left hand column of the home page.
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dragonflyer



Joined: Sep 14, 2008
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Executive decisions and defending those decisions Reply with quote

Thanks, teskelly - I'll look forward to seeing what the current board is working on.
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plumbrokeacres



Joined: Feb 16, 2007
Posts: 172
Location: Prince George BC

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Executive decisions and defending those decisions Reply with quote

In my experiance on the board, the majority of issuses were unanimous. In both terms there were individuals who were determined to divide the board and it was not productive. Once the board decided to act as one things were more productive and the individuals who attempted to disrupt the board became ineffective. I personally see no need for individual votes recorded.
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Magicman65



Joined: Nov 02, 2009
Posts: 109
Location: Victoria

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:51 am    Post subject: Re: Executive decisions and defending those decisions Reply with quote

plumbrokeacres wrote:
In my experiance on the board, the majority of issuses were unanimous. In both terms there were individuals who were determined to divide the board and it was not productive. Once the board decided to act as one things were more productive and the individuals who attempted to disrupt the board became ineffective. I personally see no need for individual votes recorded.

Totally agree with you plumbrokeacres!!! Last term I believe all of our decisions were unanimous, but there is always some out there, does not matter what board or association, that they want to nitpic. These are also the people that are too afraid to step up and help organize anything. Such a sad life that must be.

Chris
Magicman65
BCGA VP

_________________
Believe in Magic!!
www.cymagic.ca
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IRLPGUY



Joined: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Executive decisions and defending those decisions Reply with quote

I would like to post a few comments relating to the recording in the minutes how a Board member votes.

Firstly there is no need for “any” vote that this Association or it’s Board has to deal with, which must be unanimous, the “majority” will either pass or defeat all motions. It is of little or no importance for votes to be unanimous.

It is most important that every Board member feels free to disagree and vote against any motion. That does not mean he/she is not a team player, it does however tell the membership that this person has the conviction of their beliefs and is willing to oppose something they do not agree with. Having a free vote and recording that vote is what democracy is all about.

When I served on a Board as President and other capacities I wanted my vote to be recorded in the way in which I voted, it seemed those working with me felt the same way, and throughout those years our votes were recorded to reflect the way we voted without exception. On occasion I had to defend “my” vote whether in favor or opposed, I accepted that as part of my responsibility to the membership.

Dragonflyer, I have not heard this terminology used before, however for clarification, when a motion is put on the floor it does not “belong” to the meeting, it belongs to the person who made the motion, only after it has been discussed, voted on and has passed does it no longer belong to him/her. At any time prior to voting the person may retract their motion from further discussion or a vote.

Plumbrokeacres I have read emails from 2 years ago where Board members were exhorted by other Board members to be united and together on what you were doing. What a monumental mess that caused. Perhaps if one or more on that Board had felt free to cast an opposing vote, things might have gone down a different road. Suggesting everyone vote in a particular manner by any member of the Board to other Board members is disgusting and removes the right of a free vote to those that may be weakest in the group. You cannot call it a unanimous vote if the vote were not taken freely.

Magicman65 Let me get this straight. If I sit on the same board as you, and do “not” vote in the same manner as you, then I am nitpicking and am afraid to step up and do anything. Not to mention having a sad life. I hope that comment does not discourage those working with you this year from casting a dissenting vote should they disagree with you on some issue. Lets record the votes.

I am most definitely in favor of recording how each Board member votes, it is not significant when dealing with the colors on the coin, however it becomes very important when you are dealing with votes on issues that disregard the Bylaws or are not in the best interest of the membership. If you are not prepared on some occasions to defend the way you voted, then simply abstain from voting. However you might want to make sure your abstention was “recorded” otherwise we might assume the vote was “unanimous”.
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scruffster



Joined: Sep 29, 2004
Posts: 1207
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:27 am    Post subject: Re: Executive decisions and defending those decisions Reply with quote

As a member, I've been more concerned with how the executive works to benefit the geocaching community as a whole. I've always thought that if I had a certain issue with a BCGA decision, I could contact the executive members individually before the time to vote.

Having said that, I think IRLPGUY has a good point. There may be times that a member of the executive might feel that a particular decision is not in the best interest of the membership, and they might like the membership to know how the vote transpired.

So, I propose this. If someone on the executive feels the vote should be recorded, they should have the opportunity to formally request, at a meeting, that the secretary of the BCGA record the vote for the membership. Recording that vote for the membership would be done at one executive member's request without fail
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Magicman65



Joined: Nov 02, 2009
Posts: 109
Location: Victoria

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:32 am    Post subject: Re: Executive decisions and defending those decisions Reply with quote

Hi IRLPGUY,

I think you may have misread what I stated when I said:
Last term I believe all of our decisions were unanimous, but there is always some out there, does not matter what board or association, that they want to nitpic. These are also the people that are too afraid to step up and help organize anything.

I was responding to what Plumbrokeacres said:

"In both terms there were individuals who were determined to divide the board and it was not productive. Once the board decided to act as one things were more productive and the individuals who attempted to disrupt the board became ineffective."



When I said “BUT there is always some out there” I was refering to those people outside the board that will complain about what decisions are being made, but will not try to help with those decisions. They are also those that try to divide the board(as Plumbrokeacres said) and take us away from the tasks that need to be taken care of.

All the people I sat on the board with last year and this year, are like minded people that just want whats best for cachers in BC, they are NOT the people I was refering to.

Having said that I do agree in part with you, and with scruffster about recording the vote on more important issues, and if the board as a whole or even one board member feels it need be recorded, than it should be.


Chris Yuill
BCGA VP

_________________
Believe in Magic!!
www.cymagic.ca
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HwyGuy



Joined: Oct 25, 2005
Posts: 129
Location: Langley BC

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Executive decisions and defending those decisions Reply with quote

Since it was my post (during the election process) that started this discussion, I feel I can weigh in about some of the discussion.

I totally agree with the statement that for the most part the elected executive makes decisions that are neither controversial nor especially interesting. The vast majority of the decisions made on executives I have served on are mundane and totally ordinary. However, some have great consequences for the electorate as Irlpguy stated.

In my original post I stated the process of recording any vote, no matter the actual tally, as being unanimous as "nonsensical". I stand by that. Even a motion to accept the previous minutes should be voted on and recorded - even though I have never heard of that motion being defeated.

Over the years I have agreed and I have disagreed with various decisions by the Executive. The ONLY place I have to voice that point of view appears to me to be on the forums. At NO time has a member of the Executive emailed me to say they agree or disagree with one of my points. One time I sent an email to every Executive member - about 9 at the time - and received 2 replies - both answering that it would be discussed. I checked the future meeting minutes and never found any mention of the subject - whatever it was.

My disenchantment with the BCGA Executive is solely due to non communication. When does the membership find out about most decisions? In the minutes of meetings. When are they posted? After the next meeting. I am in agreement - most decisions are non brainers - but some are open to various opinions. If the Executive isn't willing to discuss the decision - why did they run?

It appears that the current vice president feels that if I express my disagreement - 2 months after a vote - that I am a nit picker and am trying to divide the Executive. But I am unclear how that works. I have no idea who voted in what way (due to policy), I have never met most of them ( had forgotten I had met the President while volunteering at a Metro Van event) and am only disagreeing NOT planning a coup d'etat.

This attitude sums up my belief that the Executive listens to the vocal, "like-minded" people who support their decisions and don't want to listen to any other vocal MEMBER who disagrees and the Executive isn't interested in the vast majority who could care less one way or the other - they just want to cache.

Perhaps an idea would be to post an agenda of what will be discussed at an Executive meeting and (horror of horrors!!!) solicit opinions from members for items that may be discussed. I realize this could be a can of worms - but how else does an Executive - supposedly representing members in a far flung province find out what WE want? It is easy to find out what your "like minded" friends want - you can talk to them - but what about the vast majority who you wouldn't know if they ran over your toes with a shopping cart?

Every time I get on one of these rants - and it happened with the first couple of replies to the original post - I am put down with the statement about not having a valid point because I have never run for election. I imagine that same old reasoning will be brought out again as to why nothing will be done with any idea I may have accidentally made that sounds remotely plausible.


My only reply is - Don't you need to be nominated to run?


Oh well - such is the life of a nit picker.
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CAMOKELLY



Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 482
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Executive decisions and defending those decisions Reply with quote

Quote::
"My disenchantment with the BCGA Executive is solely due to non communication. When does the membership find out about most decisions? In the minutes of meetings. When are they posted? After the next meeting. I am in agreement - most decisions are non brainers - but some are open to various opinions. If the Executive isn't willing to discuss the decision - why did they run?"

Some decisions made by our executive may be open to various opinions but in my opinion that is why you have more than one executive member. More than one allows for several opinions on the decision making process and if important enough or requiring a large sum of money then a vote included to make sure a fair decision is made. Isn’t that why you elect a board to make those nessosary decisions as a group on behalf of a membership? If you can’t trust the board to do that for you then why have one?

I am interested by HwyGuy’s comment regarding membership finding out about the decision made by an executive. Most boards I have worked with have always used the posting of the minutes to a website to inform the membership of the decisions being made. One board I was involved with would go beyond that and send out a short newsletter quarterly to inform the membership of decisions that were made but that’s all I have ever seen done. I’m curious HwyGuy how else would you like to see the decision distributed?

As for discussing them I have never seen an executive unwilling to discuss a decision if it warranted one. However that it rarely necessary like you mentioned in the day to day operation of an association. One can't deny though that there are people out there who love to make requests and or comments simply to throw a wrench into the gears to drum up controversy and with little if any intent to actually discuss a decision being made. That's probably the "nit pickers" that Magicman is referring to.

Quote::
This attitude sums up my belief that the Executive listens to the vocal, "like-minded" people who support their decisions and don't want to listen to any other vocal MEMBER who disagrees and the Executive isn't interested in the vast majority who could care less one way or the other - they just want to cache.

Yikes that’s a pretty big assumption seeing how you haven’t heard from all the other executive members. That kind of statement only confirms why an executive would be less inclined to answer any of your posts as you have already made up your mind just what kind of executive they are. Why would they want to involve someone who comes up with such a negative assumption from just one comment?

Quote::
Perhaps an idea would be to post an agenda of what will be discussed at an Executive meeting and (horror of horrors!!!) solicit opinions from members for items that may be discussed. I realize this could be a can of worms - but how else does an Executive - supposedly representing members in a far flung province find out what WE want? It is easy to find out what your "like minded" friends want - you can talk to them - but what about the vast majority who you wouldn't know if they ran over your toes with a shopping cart?

I agree if important enough of an agenda item or decision to be made sure post it up on the forums for comments. I seem to remember an executive doing just that very thing for what was probably one of the biggest purchases made by the BCGA. Remember the GPSR’s purchase post?

However I don’t agree with posting the entire agenda for discussion. Again why have an executive if you can’t let them handle the associations business not to mention it would only bog down the meeting scheduling. I mean what if an agenda item is being contested or someone wants more information on the agenda item? Do you then as an executive postpone the meeting each time to deal with all the questions all the while waiting for each and every member asking to respond and hope they actually do respond in a timely manner ect ect. Yes a big can of worms and or a horror show in my opinion.
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katcogo



Joined: Feb 21, 2009
Posts: 535
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:31 am    Post subject: Re: Executive decisions and defending those decisions Reply with quote

This is an interesting discussion. Most of what is discussed in the Directors Meetings has to do with the nuts and bolts of running the Association. If there is a decision to be made that we feel may be controversial we will seek feedback from the membership - after all the membership is who we represent.

In return we would expect the membership to respond. In our last newsletter we asked for volunteers for various projects and have received an underwhelming response to everything except our request for regional reps where we heard from the existing reps in two regions (thanks Plumbroke Acres and Aggasiz Angel). We approached several members to be on the Bylaw committee and have had one positive response so far.

Granted, a request for volunteers to assist in positive ways with what we are trying to accomplish is different than a request for feedback to make a decision. However, both are important to the vitality of the organization.

I'll toss out this request for feedback now - how can we better engage you, the members, to be involved in what we are doing?

What decisions do you feel you should be consulted about?
Are there a group of people willing to step up and volunteer that we haven't been able to reach?
What is the best way to get in touch with members?

Thank you - we will look forward to your suggestions.
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HwyGuy



Joined: Oct 25, 2005
Posts: 129
Location: Langley BC

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 6:02 am    Post subject: Re: Executive decisions and defending those decisions Reply with quote

TSKelly is right:

Quote::
This attitude sums up my belief that the Executive listens to the vocal, "like-minded" people who support their decisions and don't want to listen to any other vocal MEMBER who disagrees and the Executive isn't interested in the vast majority who could care less one way or the other - they just want to cache.

Yikes that’s a pretty big assumption seeing how you haven’t heard from all the other executive members. That kind of statement only confirms why an executive would be less inclined to answer any of your posts as you have already made up your mind just what kind of executive they are. Why would they want to involve someone who comes up with such a negative assumption from just one comment?

I made a big assumption when Magicman65 - the vice president - said :

Quote::
All the people I sat on the board with last year and this year, are like minded people that just want whats best for cachers in BC, they are NOT the people I was refering to.

that he knew them and was able to correctly gauge their response. Or was it him making a big assumption and he has already made up his mind? I am fairly sure we areboth nit-picking what each other is trying to say here. I want to know what is going on and he feels the Executive knows what we want and is going in that direction. If that is indeed the case - he is probably mostly correct but I feel there needs to be a vehicle for input from the vast silent majority (or the ranters) to the Executive - this doesn't seem to work that well.

The use of an example for how a previous board engaged the membership with a survey would hold a whole lot more water if the survey had not been 65 - 35 against what the board wanted to purchase and then they went ahead and did it anyway. In retrospect - I am not sure whether it was a good or bad decision - it certainly had given an opportunity for the BCGA to demonstrate geocaching at events.

I believe my point about the minutes was not direct enough. I was trying - and failing miserably it appears - to make a point that is can be 2 months after a decision is made before it shows up in the minutes. The meeting is held but the minutes aren't approved until whenever the next meeting is held and then they are posted. This is too long a delay if the membership is at all interested in what direction the Executive is moving on a topic. No hidden attempt to undermine the Executive there.

What I am attempting to get across is that I as a member would like to know what is going on, who is supporting the things I would like to see, what things I would like to comment on or ignore, what events is the BCGA looking at participating in etc. The main way is the minutes and the occasional newsletter. As I have stated before - the minutes can at times come out after the event etc has happened.

I do not want to divide the Executive. I do not want to see the BCGA fail. It is an important organization in British Columiba in general and geocaching in particular.

What I do want is the feeling that a BCGA member matters - not just an Executive BCGA member. Only open communication can ensure that.
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Cuddlefish



Joined: Oct 20, 2008
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 7:31 am    Post subject: Re: Executive decisions and defending those decisions Reply with quote

Certainly the purchasing of GPSrs turned into a great decision and I'm glad that went ahead. Similarly sponsoring events, such as the upcoming Island Mega would be along the same vein. Although, I believe the executive did the right thing in agreeing to support this important event even without general input.

However, these are very isolated. Most of the time the meetings are about doing WORK and who and how this work is going to take place. As has been noted, there is an underwhelming lack of people putting their name forward to volunteer positions within the organisation. In fact, most of the time exec work is the anti-thesis of geocaching - it is indoors and not much fun!

A newsletter would be nice, for sure. I think, however for that to happen, there needs to be some people stepping up to the plate to help produce this newsletter. Hopefully the executive will reach out to see if anyone is up for that task.
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