[Watchdogs] Compensation for Board Members (Doug Moore)
naomiw at austin.rr.com
Tue Sep 14 13:35:33 CDT 2010
When I read your posting, I had to respond.
I understand everything you are saying - yes, it's hard work, and yes, it's
time consuming. But do I think that board members should be compensated for
a voluntary position? I have to say emphatically "No".
Every Board will eventually run into tough times, requiring its board
members to work hard and long hours to keep the entity going. However, that
doesn't justify paying someone for their service. Once PEC is humming along,
will the Board cut their pay? Probably not. Pay shouldn't be based on how
hard the work may be at one point in time, because (hopefully) if you do
your job as board members, it will get better.
Second - it's not a full-time job nor should it be. If the Board is spending
that much time managing the managers, then the board is overstepping its
bounds. You mentioned that some managers took too long to complete tasks
assigned by the Board - I can only hope and assume that the Board was
working through their ONE employee, Juan Garza (now his replacement), rather
than directly managing other staff. And the board has chosen to spend "long
hours reading, analyzing and writing papers". Want more help? Recruit
committee members from the general PEC population. There are PLENTY
intelligent and conscientious folks who I am sure would love to assist, and
do so for free. Heck - Joe and Milton write stuff all the time, and he's
just an "observer". Or do what the Board has done - fire the CEO and hire
one that does what you want, when you want it.
Third - I don't believe for a second that we should have to compensate a
board for making a "tough decision". That's what they are there for, period.
Can make the tough calls without change in your pocket? Then you don't need
to be there. We obviously did not lack for any volunteers, as evident during
the last election cycles.
Now, none of this is directed specifically towards your wife or the other
board members. But I am suspect when I have to pay folks to do what is a
volunteer job. Great - you decreased compensation and removed health
insurance, but to me, that's not enough. Pay them travel time, mileage, a
stipend for attending the meetings, and reimbursement for receipted supplies
used in the course of their Board work. But quit paying them an annual
salary - if they want to work for PEC, then they need to apply and get on
the other side of the table. It was the good ol' boys who started the crap
of compensation - let's NOT use their failings as an excuse to continue
their bad habits.
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