[Watchdogs] Some Thoughts about the Bylaws Revision Process and theUpcoming 2010 Election
billc_lists at greenbuilder.com
Wed Nov 18 21:54:13 CST 2009
At 8:29 AM -0600 11/18/09, joesummy at moment.net wrote:
>Here is one "reform" the board passed at Monday's meeting to be more "open
>and transparent"...the PEC will now provide any member with a list of
>co-op members and their mailing addresses for limited and justifiable
>reasons...the only justifiable reason listed was for candidates running
>for the board. What are the other justifiable reasons?
>There is no opt-out provision for members as indicated at the last board
>meeting. In addition, a member's request to opt-out will not be honored.
>How does providing a membership list to a candidate have anything to do
>with openness and transparency?
Ok, definitely add this one as something to make a stink about.
There's another "coop" (in quotes because it's not particularly
cooperative), CoServ up near Denton that's currently embroiled in a
lawsuit with one of their Board members. Their game was that the
incumbents and presumably their friends got copies of the voting
lists from previous elections complete with phone numbers and
addresses, but challengers weren't allowed to have them. Since their
elections, like ours, have low participation knowing who voted
historically can greatly help a candidate target their audience for
calls and mails about the election, giving them a much better chance
of winning. One Board member let a challenger use his list, and is
now being sued by the coop for having done so. He's posted on this
list and has be greatly inspired by what he saw happening at PEC.
More details at <http://coservwatchdogs.org>
The difference there is that the CoServ Board already had been
getting voter lists for a fair while. I suspect - or at least, I
hope - that PEC wasn't playing that game. They probably didn't
have to, since there weren't actual elections prior to the past two
The lack of an opt-out is a definite problem. We, like Joe,
constantly work to reduce the noise level in our mailbox. Election
campaigning materials are usually just one more piece of unwanted
junk to me.
There are probably legitimate and justifiable reasons for certain
parties to have access to member lists. I certainly don't think
election campaigning is one of them.
If the Board actually wants to increase openness and transparency,
they should be responding to member requests more, checking in with
members needs more, and listening and responding to the feedback from
those concerned "old heads" as Paul calls them who take time to
attend the Board meetings. They should be making more of an effort
to tell us what is really happening at the coop, without all the PR
scrubbing-up that we've been getting.
>Where was the membership input on this issue?
And on many others. It seems that this Board is not bouncing ideas
off anyone but themselves.
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