I'm starting this forum topic for anyone who is interested in talking about the new Aquaponics Association. While nothing will be set in stone when we officially adopt the Charter at the Conference on Sept 16, we'd like to get it as close to representative of what the aquaponics community is hoping for by that time.
If you go to the page that we've set up on the Association site (click here) you can download the Charter and Organizational structure, and answer some questions about your constructive feedback and how can we give you value for your membership dues. Please take the survey!
Feel free to ask any questions about what we are doing here - the Organizing Committee (myself, Gina Cavaliero, Murray Hallam and Wayne Hall) is an open book, and everyone is a member in this community site. We are 100% committed to creating an organization that will serve aquaponics well...although we obviously won't be able to do everything right out of the gate, nor will we be able to make everyone happy.
I'd like to start the discussion rolling by asking a question that I asked on Murray's forum this morning - how can we bring value to both Individual Members and Commercial members for their dues? We've listed several things we could do on the survey linked above. What are we missing? What sounds great?
Not a big deal, but I would probably change
The Association Officer Emeritus shall be recognized as a Life Time Officer of The Association.
The Association Officer Emeritus shall be recognized as a Life Time Honorary Officer of The Association.
... for clarity purposes.
Article 12. Voting
12.1 Voting shall be orchestrated via the Association website and facilitated by sending each financial member an invitation to vote in the form of electronic media or email and instructing the member to cast votes via the website.
12.2 Each Member in Good Standing shall be entitled to one (1) vote, except Affiliate Members who shall be none voting members.
Might it be better if each chapter (or branch) casts a single vote for the Association officers and the voting results of each chapter (or branch) are made public (open) following the end of the election period? The individual member places their vote at the chapter/branch level, and the winning candidate at the chapter/branch level is presented as their chapter/branch vote to the association. It would vastly decrease the complexity of recording and tallying votes. It would also help to assure members that no human error or manipulation occurred, and no data/system errors occurred with the voting system itself. In this sense, it would be "semi-open". Not so "open" that someone would be angry because a "buddy" didn't vote for them, but open enough to ensure accuracy and fairness. Thoughts?
12.5 In an election for the office of the Chairman of The Association the successful candidate must obtain more than one half of the votes.
What happens if there is less than a 50% vote for the Association Chairman candidate? If there are even just 4 or 5 candidates, this seems like a very difficult mark for any single candidate to achieve.
Kellen, if I am understanding what you are proposing, there would still be the same number of votes cast in totality, but now just multiple elections for the same office. There would still be the recording and tallying of the same number of votes, it would just take place at different levels. Facilitating the vote via the website and software applications available, human error and/or manipulation would be easily minimized.
In the event there is less than a 50% vote for the Association Chair, the candidate with the least amount of votes would fall off and there would be a re-vote until one candidate received more than half the vote.
Re: voting procedure, I would picture it like this....
Individual Members would submit their votes to their Branch/Chapter (via meeting, electronic submission, etc.). The winning candidate at the Branch/Chapter level would be submitted to the Association HQ by the Branch/Chapter Chairman of that Branch/Chapter as a single vote. The Association HQ would record and tally votes and announce the winner, and voting results by Branch/Chapter would accompany it.
Re: Chairman voting and the 50% rule...
How you described it makes sense, but it might be better clarified in the document. As it is written, it's a bit confusing.
Re: ANOTHER issue I just thought of involving voting... hehe
How would candidates nominated for multiple offices be handled?
Kellen, thanks for your input regarding the voting structure at the Branch/Chapter and on up to the Association level. We will of course, take this too into consideration.
Re: Chairman and the 50% rule, we can clarify.
Re: ANOTHER issue (good grief man! ;-) - I would propose that the candidate would choose for which of the multiple offices he would prefer to run.
This is to answer about terms.
I'm used to 3 year terms for the association I'm involved in too. One year terms seems pretty short since there is generally a three month or so overlap between voting and the new officers taking office only really leaving 9 months for "normal business" and if there are elections every year ya gotta figure there will be about three months before the election that is dealing with nominations and acceptance or declines of nominations and then the time between final balloting and the vote. Takes a big chunk out of the terms of officers trying to get anything done if they only last a year.
2 years would be a minimum in my opinion and three might be more useful but I could see wanting to keep them short here in the beginning since some people may not know if they are suited or want to put in for such a thing for very long.
Just a thought here - how about each seat having a different term length. Our association has 3 board members - one a 3 year term, one a 2 year and one a 1 year term. There's always at least 2 seats that are up to speed so there's not a total change in one year. Of course the member may run again and be reelected as was mentioned. Gives the board some continuity.