General News · 19th February 2018
I have been involved with the WCC in various roles including board member for nearly 20 years now. I can tell you that there have been and are many instances where the letter of the club constitution is not followed or applied. As I am currently off island, travelling for work, I do not have all my files, notes and copy of the constitution at hand, but two come to mind quite readily:
Too many people on the executive. We have often had more people willing to stand for election than the constitution allowed for. Recognizing that there is much work to be done and many hands make light work, I and for years my predecessor in running the AGM elections Ralph, would consult with those in attendance and if nobody objected, move forward with flagrantly violating the constitution. I’m fairly sure there’s nothing in the Societies Act about this efficient and effective “Cortes Island constitutional work around”.
At the start of the recent special meeting on the hall tax, I read aloud a section of the constitution that deals with procedure at special meetings. It indicates any individual can only speak twice to the issue on the floor. Many rose to speak more than two times, one did so within the first ten minutes of the meeting. Should they have been have cut off and not allowed to speak …. or perhaps ejected from the meeting? There are no doubt rules that would allow for that. We don’t tend do things that way in Whaletown.
Board governance is a complex, legalistic and sometimes difficult task. Perhaps a necessary evil of keeping some of our local institutions running. Almost all of the members on the board have an awful lot of other things happening in their lives. Some are working two or three jobs. Some volunteer for other roles in our community. They simply do not have the hours required to become intimately familiar with all of the rules and regulations required by the letter of the laws regarding board governance. I know there are courses available on board governance. Perhaps those who feel the need for every rule to be followed to the last letter would be so kind as to donate the funds for some of the people on the board to head off island and take one of these courses.
To the individual who insinuated “where do you live?” was enmity, I would respectfully suggest that you are being very selective about your constitutional observations. If you had read and understand it all, you would know there are geographic boundaries that apply to member voting rights laid out in the constitution. Did it ever occur to you that the questioner was simply asking to determine if you were a voting member or not?
In closing, I cannot help but wonder what is next. Will both sides lawyer up and let a judge decide what is reasonable? Or will many people of good character simply say “I’m not putting up with this” and quit? I hope those pointing fingers have a lot of spare time and are willing to step up and take their place, because in a community of about 200 people, we often struggle to fill all the required spots. I also hope they have a complete contingent of executive members who have the same outlook as they do; that every rule must be followed to the minutest detail and if it is not, we accuse them of autocracy and begin to publicly question their character.