Nominations for Club President

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LarryWilson
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Nominations for Club President

Post by LarryWilson » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:52 pm

Hello All,

During Saturday’s meeting the floor was opened for nominations for club president and no one was nominated. In light of these events, nominations will remain open until our next meeting (December 7th). At that meeting, we will hopefully have someone interested in being club president, they will be nominated, nominations will be closed, and we will have elections immediately after.

After the meeting, someone asked how much time does being club president take? That is a rather difficult question to answer, as we all have different knowledge, skills and abilities and those differences can make us more efficient in the different aspects of the position. My personal experience is no more than a couple hours per month outside of the monthly meeting/activities. Having more people volunteer to help out definitely eases the burden. That being said, below are the duties of the president per the bylaws:

A. The President shall preside over all members and shall be present at all scheduled events when possible. The President will maintain order at all Club events and meetings and take appropriate action when Club bylaws are violated.
B. The President shall have the duty to carry out the policies and decisions of the members and board of directors.
C. In the absence of the President at meeting, the Vice President shall serve in that capacity.


I hope that you think about how you can best serve your club.

Larry

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Re: Nominations for Club President

Post by frankstruwe » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:23 pm

Starting this post with the recognition that we had no member at our November meeting interested in accepting the nomination for President, and despite the fact that Larry has noted that the position only requires a few hours of input or work per month, it appears that none of us want to accept the burden of either the time commitment (potentially the commitment to attend as many meetings as possible) nor the responsibility of leading the meetings. I understand that sentiment. I feel that way.

I would like to make a proposal or the proposal of an idea that may change the burden of the position of president thereby making it much less burdensome. Most of the basis for this idea came from a conversation I had with Dave Lennie this past weekend after the meeting. Since most if the idea came from Dave, I call it the ‘Lennie Plan.’

The basic idea is as follows: with the significant use of the internet (both via our forum and our Facebook page), the information presented in our meetings by the president is largely redundant. The access and exchange of information via the internet has, arguably, reduced the ‘need’ for presentation of information in a meeting for the club to function properly. And since it appears no one wants to accept the duties of the present, mostly in conducting monthly meetings, we eliminate the meeting aspect of the meeting. We can still gather monthly, but such an event would be reduced to a ‘monthly social gathering’ where there is no expectation of conducting a meeting. The president’s role would be reduced to being the head member of the board of directors and accountable for overall club leadership. However, the president is no longer required to lead monthly meetings nor should the individual be expected (per the bylaws to be present at all club functions to the extent possible, which is what the bylaws currently read).

There a lot of fine details to work out if the basic ideas of the above proposal are attractive to the club. First, I think the secretary should still publish a monthly report which would include the information we capture today, including and especially a monthly treasure’s report. This monthly report would continue to be published on the forum.

The annual dinner will continue to include a meeting of some form where minutes are recorded. The extent or depth of this meeting may be altered, again, to streamline it. We are required to conduct an annual meeting, collect meeting minutes and submit them to our attorney to be complaint with the General Not For Profit Corporation Act of 1986 per the State of Illinois, per our incorporation papers (both of which I have recently read).

The main idea here, specifically not having monthly meetings led by a president, are not in conflict with either our incorporation papers nor General Not For Profit Corporation Act of 1986 per the State of Illinois, which, again, our incorporation papers require that we comply with. The only meeting we need to have and record is that of the annual meeting. There is no lawful need to have monthly meetings. There is, in general, need to ensure our members, per the Corporation Act, are afforded a means to vote on any item any member wishes to bring up for discussion. I believe we can do that via the forum. Few final comments on this idea and the requirements in the Corporation Act:

1. We use the club website form to continue to communicate as we do today, but we also use the forum’s ‘poll’ function to fulfill our needs to vote on items such as spending money for food on trips or a picnics.
2. The use of the forum for voting for our club is actually protected and recognized in the Corporation Act as a viable and appropriate way to conduct votes and allow individuals to cast their vote, as long as the club agrees to such an approach. Per Section 107.50, part (d), the ability to participate in meetings and vote through ‘interactive technology, including …internet usage’ is allowed. Thus the above approach is not in violation of our incorporation nor the Act.
3. Members should still be empowered to raise any pertinent point at a social gathering, but further conversation and voting should be subsequently conducted on the forum.
4. For voting on the forum, we will require a member quorum of 1/10th the overall membership to participate for a vote to be official. The quorum of 1/10th the membership is an idea put forth in the Corporation Act Section 107.60 as a default definition of a member quorum for a vote.

Lastly, if we adopt this approach we will need to develop, propos and agree to significant changes to our bylaws to codify our new definition of president and changing meetings to social gatherings. Dave Lennie and I are willing to draft proposed bylaws changes, follow current process for bylaws changes via presenting in a series of meetings, voting in-person and then adopting the changes.

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Re: Nominations for Club President

Post by Fraser » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:43 pm

Interesting concept. Having been club president myself quite some time back, I know it's a thankless job.

For the sake of perspective, we currently have 45 paid memberships, so 1/10th of the membership to make a vote official would be 5 people (I rounded up).
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Re: Nominations for Club President

Post by wdln » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:06 am

Frank and I started talking in the context of, "well, NOW what?" Specifically, what happens if nobody wants to be president, and the snowball effect from there. Does that mean that Larry Haas becomes the de-facto president, or at least has the job of leading the monthly meetings? What if this sentiment spreads and nobody wants to hold any officer position because of the work involved? How does it affect our legal status with the state as a club? The solution above seemed like something that would allow the club to continue to exist, but in a more laid-back, easier-to-manage form that we could all live with. I think it's safe to say that everyone in the club has some form of internet access and could participate in decision-making when needed.

In other words, just because we've always done something a certain way doesn't mean we have to keep doing it that way. I for one support this new arrangement.
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Re: Nominations for Club President

Post by wdln » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:41 pm

I would love to hear thoughts on this from other former MIJC presidents (and other past and present office-holders).
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Re: Nominations for Club President

Post by DrDirt » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:20 pm

Rants from an old guy:
I rejoined the club this year after being out of the club for several years. I looked at the club member list of 45, and I only know 24 names on the list. So, many who may read this post probably will wonder who this guy is. So, to those who don’t know me, my club history includes being a charter member back in the last century (1997). I held every office position in the years from 97 to 2004. This was before there was an MIJC web page, and those of us who had cell phones had flip phones! Texting was unheard of. Our club communications were primarily via a monthly newsletter that the poor secretary had to compose, print, and mail, and the monthly meeting.

Club communication capability has certainly improved over the years. But looking at the MIJC.org site, I don’t see a lot of club member postings. Yeah, there are postings, but primarily by a small group of members. And, looking at Facebook, I am confused. There are 2 Mid-Illini Jeepers Facebook pages. The last post on one page was in August of 2017. The other page appears to be used more often, however, it is used more by ‘friends’ of MIJC, rather than MIJC club members. (I noticed the 2 pages when I searched for Mid Illini Jeepers on Facebook. One is named Mid-Illini Jeepers, Inc and the other is named Mid-Illini Jeepers, Inc. , ??

Are newer members confused on where to get club information?

Frank and Dave’s suggestions should be fine tuned and implemented. On line voting on club business could possibly get more members involved. It sounds like a nightmare for Dave Lennie to manage though.

I have only been to a couple meetings this year, I was amazed at the lack of respect for the President trying to run the meeting. He was trying to take care of business, and people were not listening, others were talking to others while the President was talking, and when he was trying to get a vote on a motion, many of the attendees were ignoring him. So, I can see why people would not want to be President and look forward to this bs.

Would a ‘Board of Directors’ (BoD) who were responsible for managing all club business be better than individual officer positions? There could still be a member voting requirement. The BoD members could decide which one presides over a particular meeting, so that one person is not stuck with the job. Individual BoD members could be appointed to manage secretarial and treasurer duties. The primary difference with a BoD is the ‘sharing’ of meeting management.

Lastly, maybe some incentives or perks for officers should be implemented. Be an officer and get a dues discount?
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Re: Nominations for Club President

Post by wdln » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:30 pm

I was asked at a club meeting earlier this year to look into the Facebook issue, which I agree does cause some confusion. One of the Facebook pages is a "page", where only the administrator of the page (and duly authorized deputies) can post. The other, which is the one with all the activity, is a "group", where anyone can post... basically more like the forum. Jill is the admin of both; I don't know the history or why two different things ended up being created.

Facebook does have a procedure where you can apply to have a page and a group merged. Based on what I've read, I think we have a good chance of being able to merge the two. Or we could just shut down the page, and proceed with only the group. My thought process was to merge them so we didn't lose anyone. The page has 327 "likes" and the group has 275 members; I would imagine that there's quite a bit of crossover between the lists, but also some unique people as well.
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Re: Nominations for Club President

Post by Jeepers_Creepers » Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:31 am

It certainly appears that it is time for a change. I do appreciate the work the officers put in on behalf of the club. I would love to be able to step up and volunteer to be an officer, but the seasonal demands of my job would force me to miss over half the meetings. I agree that changing the monthly meetings to a social meeting makes sense. The last couple meetings I have been able to attend were more social than business. A board of directors making business decisions or polling on the forum are both good ideas.
I also think it makes sense to merge the facebook page and the facebook group. Personally it is much easier to check facebook for information than the Forum with my cell phone.

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Re: Nominations for Club President

Post by DrDirt » Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:02 pm

I think the MIJC.org website should stay up, but it should become a ‘Members Only’ website. Club specific things can be discussed or announced on this site. The forum categories ‘MIJC events’, ‘The Back room’, ‘website q & a’, and ‘MIJC club info’ should stay on the forum. All the other categories are things that could be handled via Facebook posts.
Pics from trips and club activity reports are things that should go on the Facebook page for all friends to see.
The Facebook page is a good way to let others see activities etc. that members are involved in, and also act as an invitation for people who want to join the club. If there is a ‘Club specific’ announcement, then the person making the announcement should do it on MIJC.org. And, should also post a heads up note on Facebook to let club members know they should check the website for further info.
I agree with Jeeper Creepers, FB is easy to access via cell phone.
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Re: Nominations for Club President

Post by lhaas » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:13 pm

I like the idea of MIJC.org for members only.
Use Facebook for public communication and PR.
Monthly gathering for socializing only, is good.
Having friends,kids,prospective members at restaurants and drive-inns is enjoyable and adds to the club experience but it’s not the proper setting for a meeting.
The B of D sounds like a good plan.
Maybe roll the current 6 office holders to board members to start.
Have board meetings quarterly before the bigger club gatherings. Meet an hour or so ahead of time in quiet private setting. Like before annual meeting,inspections,hog eat and maybe November. A meeting could always be called in between if needed.

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Re: Nominations for Club President

Post by komats » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:15 pm

We also have the ability to do email updates to members since the creation of a club account that the officers have access to. I think we should check on combining the Facebook pages and add admins or moderators. I've had several people ask what's up with the multiple accounts.
I like the plan that Larry laid out, but that sounds like some intense by-law changes. I like the idea of discounted membership for officers and it's not just because I'm an officer :)
How difficult will it be to make the changes to the website to member only? Do we need to find Dave a back-up to the web page admin in case he gets burnt out?
Sorry, I seem to have more questions than suggestions.

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Re: Nominations for Club President

Post by wdln » Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:04 am

A few comments.

Although I'm on Facebook, and you could even say that most people are, not everybody is, and I think it's unfair to ask people to join that third-party website to participate in the conversation or view club pictures (even if all the important stuff happens on the forum). Yes, it's free, yes it's easy to access from any device, but there are privacy implications as well that some people are not comfortable with. I'm not sure how all of you navigate to the forum (most, I'm guessing, via a direct bookmark), but don't forget we have the regular club website as well. That's a perfectly good place to host pictures (as we always have) as well as general club information, like how to join. It's also the #1 hit if you google Mid-Illini Jeepers. The forum isn't even on the first five pages of results. I gave up looking.

The forum can indeed be set to members-only. This could be as extreme as booting off all non-member users, but that would be quite a standoffish approach for potential new members, many of whom reach out via the Contact Us page on the main site (which comes to me). New members often have a specific tech question they want to ask, and I always recommend that they sign up for a forum account and ask there. We could send them to Facebook instead, at least until they're a full member, but again, not everyone is on Facebook.

Less extreme would be to limit individual forum category access by membership. So as DrDirt said, club-specific areas of the forum like Club Information, MIJC Events, and any others could limit non-members to read-only access (no posting) or no access at all... those categories just wouldn't show up when they log into the forum, nor would they be viewable by people who don't log in or search bots scouring our pages. But categories like Wanted and For Sale could be left open.

Either of those changes would require a bit more closely monitoring/maintaining the forum than I'm used to, but I'm willing to do it. Once it's set up, most of the work would be at the beginning of the year when members do/don't renew their membership.

Article 7, section B of our bylaws describes the duties of the webmaster and how you get someone into and out of that position. This language was all revised when Frank and I worked on the bylaws a few years ago, and we did that specifically to ensure the position was documented and controllable. Consequently, as the Webmaster, I serve at the pleasure of the Board of Directors and the club as a whole. While the bylaws specifically detail how to boot me out and replace me, it also allows for me to resign for whatever reason. At the moment I have no plans to do so, and as one of several people who started this discussion, I'm willing to do the extra work described if we move towards a more online model for club communication.
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Re: Nominations for Club President

Post by wdln » Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:16 am

Also, regarding the MIJC Facebook "page" and "group". Jill added me as an admin to both this week. Further research indicates I was wrong; we can't merge a Facebook page with a group. I suggested to Larry W. that we keep the group (which has all our activity) and ditch the page, after giving warning to the page's "fans". Deciding the page's fate will be on the December meeting's agenda.

Now that I'm an admin, I get notifications on the page's activity. Despite having no posts for over 3 years, the page is picking up seemingly random users as followers at a rate of about one every 2-3 days. I believe the majority of the people who are fans of the page are fake Facebook accounts, accounts that have been compromised, or people who don't live anywhere near Peoria who clicked "like" for unknown reasons. This jives with my experience as an admin on another Facebook page, a student activity at Bradley for which I am a faculty advisor. Despite there being zero recent activity on that page for years, it still picks up random users regularly. This is not unlike what the forum used to be like before I implemented that "spam code" that you have to go look for when signing up for a forum account... we had tons of phantom users signing up.
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Re: Nominations for Club President

Post by Matt Brown » Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:02 pm

Posting to the forum my suggestions I voiced at the December meeting on the number of meetings held over the year. My proposal would drop from 12 monthly meeting to have 4 'official' presidential led meetings a year. The 1st meeting would occur at the Annual dinner and be semi informal to cover the goings on of the club for the previous year. The 2nd meeting would happen during the March Inspections. By March, most of the dues will have been paid for the year so the officers should be able to put forth a quasi budget that will cover major expenditures for the year i.e. monies for the bigger/longer trips, meeting food and donations to 'wheeling' entities (tread lightly and/or blue ribbon coalition). The third meeting would occur during the August picnic and would serve as a state of the club/cover any new business for the remainder of the year. The fourth would be the December official voting for the club officers. As for nominations, my proposal would also include a 'members only' sub forum that can be used for club member only questions/concerns/action items and officer nominations during the month of November.

Again, this is only one person's suggestions as these 4 times seem to be the best attended events and would reach the largest number of club members and would ease the responsibility of the President.
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Re: Nominations for Club President

Post by Fraser » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:11 pm

Matt - that seems reasonable to me. I've been checking here often anxiously awaiting the meeting minutes to find out what happened and what was decided, if anything.
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