The rumblings have started again. Like the jungle drums in an old black and white movie, telling us that something bad is going to happen in the next scene, the malcontents have sent their messages of destruction off over the emails and chat lists, trying to incite anyone who will listen into joining their ranks of unhappiness and unrest.
With barely a month under our belts, the new officers and board members of the ACCC have come under attack. Wow! I think that’s some sort of a record. Thirty-one days in office and already there are those who are unhappy that we haven’t solved all the problems of this club. (Sorry, but my magic wand is still in the shop!) Since some of these attacks have been very specific and personal (slanderous, by some measures), I feel that I must respond. My deepest apologies to the majority of you who seem to be happy with the way the club is moving.
First of all, Rome wasn’t built in a day and we (as good are we are) can’t solve all the problems that this club has piled up in more than 20 years in such a short time. We’re doing pretty well, all things considered. A recent widely spread email claims that even though the board members have pleasant personalities (thank you for that, at least!), we don’t care about the wishes of the membership. This is nonsense. How could anyone even tell in 31 days?! Any correspondence that has come directly to me (I won’t speak for anyone else) has been answered promptly and the issues have been considered and, when possible, dealt with. Keep in mind, we can’t make everyone happy. Not everyone in the club wants the same thing. If we jump one way, someone else in upset. We do the best we can.
We meet once a month – more if necessary. We have had one meeting since the national. Things must be prioritized. Your issue may not be a t the top of the list. We (I) were accused of referring “everything” at the national meeting to committee. The only thing that I remember that we sent to committee was Julie’s issue regarding entry fees. The appointment of the committee to study this is on the board agenda for next week. Be prepared to be asked to work on this committee. It should be a one shot, one meeting issue. Surely, anyone could do that.
Which brings up another point. Would the person who was sitting behind Steve Kelly at the national meeting who has volunteered 5 times without any response from the board please call me immediately? I want to know who you are because I have some jobs for you. Since I have been president, the only volunteers who have contacted me personally were the 3 or 4 people who were interested in the board vacancy. Unfortunately, there was only one position to fill. On another note – volunteering is only part of the deal. Some folks who volunteer just don’t have the skills to do the job. And sometimes, people lack the people skills to work in groups (don’t play well with others) and it would be counterproductive to put these people into that kind of situation. We will try to find other kinds of jobs for them. But we do try to be tactful – unlike the email mongers whose mothers apparently didn’t teach the importance of that.
To the discontented person who accused me and my board of not caring about our members, I say, “What is it that you want?” Do you just want to argue the merits of Robert’s Rules of Order? When I was in college, I took 3 semesters of parliamentary procedure and RRO. We discussed the intricacies of the text and some of the farfetched possibilities of how to use this tool, but the bottom line is that this is a tool, not the heart of the club. Is it more important to discuss HOW to do something or is it more important to get it done?
This club is moving forward. It will move more quickly if we all try to work together, but, unfortunately, some folks are only happy when they are unhappy. How sad. But, we probably can’t fix those people. Mr. Smith requested that the committee liaisons be disbanded. (This was left to us be another administration.) This has been done. An example of the sensitivity of your board to the request of a member. What else do you want? PLEASE, let us know. It’s just not nice to go around talking behind our backs. Talk to our fronts. (I know, it’s harder that way, huh?!) We can’t go against the bylaws and there are things that AKC won’t let us do (like take motions from the general membership at board meetings), but, I can tell you that this board has no hidden agendas. We’re not perfect (well, pretty close), but we are doing our best to run this club for you the best we can.
We will be starting to make committee assignments this week for the next year. If you weren’t at the national and want to work on a committee, please let us or me or someone know. And, when we call to ask you to work on a committee, or next year to run for an office of the board, just smile and say, “Of course, I’d love to.”