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Proposed DBC By-law changes

Contributors: Stu Bresnick, DBC board of directors

The Board of Directors has approved a draft By Laws change which is now being submitted to the membership for their review, as required in the By Laws, "...at least one month prior to the meeting at which the changes are submitted for a vote". The proposed change will be voted on at the membership meeting on August 8th, when we will be showing the award-winning documentary film "Bicycle Dreams". You must be present at the meeting to vote; proxy voting is not permitted. The vote will take place if at least 30 members are in attendance, and a simple majority is required for approval.

Following is a summary of the changes.

PROPOSED CHANGES to DBC BY-LAWS

At its June 6 meeting, the Board of Directors approved a proposed change to the By-Laws. Changes to the By-Laws require a majority vote of DBC members attending a monthly meeting at which at least 30 members are present, and members must be notified of the proposed changes at least 30 days before the vote is taken. The proposed change will be voted on at either the August or September general membership meeting as long as at least 30 members are present. The full text of the proposed changes is attached, but here is the summary:

1. Housekeeping changes to clean up outdated or obsolete items.

2. The substantive change reduces the number of Directors from 16 to 12. This was accomplished as follows:

a. The positions of Corresponding Secretary and Recording Secretary were consolidated into one position (Secretary).

b. The responsibilities of the Safety Director were added to that of the Touring Director, and the Safety Director position was eliminated.

c. The positions of Quartermaster and Public Relations Director were changed from elected Directors to Non-Board Positions, to be appointed by the President.

3. The individuals holding the two non-board positions will continue to be invited to all board meetings, but their attendance is not required.

Why is the board proposing these changes? Our By-Laws require board members to attend all scheduled board meetings (with exceptions for illness or other legitimate reasons). It has been difficult each year to find 16 members willing to serve on the board and commit to attending meetings each month. Reducing the number of individuals needed to make up the board will eliminate the need to recruit so many candidates for the positions. 

The desire to streamline was countered by the need to retain the functions each board member now fulfills. The duties of corresponding secretary and recording secretary were easily and logically combined, eliminating one position. Folding the safety director duties into those of the touring director reflects the emphasis the club puts on safe and responsible touring, whether on daily morning rides or on multi-day trips.

Some DBC members have said they would be willing to perform the duties required of a board position but did not want to attend meetings. The board hopes that converting the Quartermaster and Public Relations Director positions from elected to appointed, and making those appointees’ attendance at board meetings desirable but optional, will make those positions more appealing to members who are unwilling to commit to mandatory meeting attendance. Although appointed rather than elected, the individuals holding the two non-board positions will still be responsible to the board and the membership for fulfilling their duties as outlined in the By-Laws.

Twelve is a reasonable number of board members for an organization like DBC. It provides for a large sample of people who can represent different viewpoints and will permit a more streamlined and efficient meeting process. Other bike clubs of our size and scope have boards ranging from 6 to 11 members.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at president@davisbikeclub.org

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