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Old 12-18-2009, 09:06 PM   #1
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An Amendment to the WBCCI Constitution

I have been asked to provide specifics regarding how, what, and when a change in the club can be made. Here is just one proposal for anyone’s consideration, or use. It is possible that this motion or one like it could make it in time for the Delegates to cast votes at the International Rally this June, 2010. However, time is fast running out. Otherwise, the soonest it can be acted on will be in 2011. Here is the wording of a motion that I believe must be made if the membership is to ever have a voice in the running of the Club:

I MOVE to STRIKE from the WBCCI Constitution, Sec. 4 of ARTICLE IX, BOARD OF TRUSTEES and in its place INSERT, under ARTICLE XII, DELEGATES MEETINGS, the words, “The Delegates shall have full authority to construe and interpret the Club’s Constitution and annually review and/or repeal any Club Bylaw and/or Policy.”

RATIONALE:

Currently, ARTICLE XV, BYLAWS AND POLICY, Sec. 1 provides that, “Bylaws and Policies not inconsistent with this Constitution embodying additional provisions for the government of the Wally Byam Caravan Club International, Inc., may be adopted by the Board of Trustees.”

In addition, the Constitution, under Sec. 4 of ARTICLE IX, BOARD OF TRUSTEES, provides that, “The Board of Trustees shall have full authority to construe and interpret the Club's Constitution and Bylaws and Policy and may delegate this authority to its Constitution and Bylaws Committee.”

These two sections of the Constitution create an imbalance of authority in the Club. It is improper for a society governed by parliamentary procedure and democratic principles to allow one governing body to create bylaws and then determine if those bylaws are consistent with its given constitutional authority. In effect, this allows the Board of Trustees to review and audit its own efficiency, effectiveness, accuracy, and appropriateness of action.

An audit process by definition is an assessment typically carried out by an independent review. Since it is in the Board’s own interest to approve its own actions, an impartial review is unlikely and improbable. Therefore, the Delegates, who directly carry with them the interests and instructions of the membership, are best suited to review and/or repeal actions taken by the Board of Trustees.

It should be noted that this motion continues to allow the Board of Trustees the right to create bylaw and policy. It simply changes how those bylaws and policies are reviewed and audited.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:31 PM   #2
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Forrest, I think you've made a very good point. (As usual, I might add.)

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Old 12-19-2009, 01:05 AM   #3
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Good check and balance. I'll be looking for the amendment and encouraging those I can to pass it. Thank you for the work.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:02 AM   #4
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"In effect, this allows the Board of Trustees to review and audit its own efficiency, effectiveness, accuracy, and appropriateness of action."

No entity can effectively monitor itself, there are just not that many people with an active moral compass in this world. There has to be an external authority with the power and willingness to act. The question is---can sanctions be imposed which might affect a delegate's willingness to go against the grain?

“The Delegates shall have full authority to construe and interpret the Club’s Constitution and annually review and/or repeal any Club Bylaw and/or Policy.”

This sounds good. Each Unit has a delegate? Keep us posted.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:25 AM   #5
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Forrest that is wonderful. That would open up that bottleneck of addressing so many issues that occur and give members more voice through their delegates. I wonder if it is possible for the delegates to conduct meetings more often or online or via teleconference? I would hope they could preside over their own meetings in the future. It would probably intice and embolden many more members to become involved and encouraged in helping to shape the future of WBCCI. Sometimes I wonder if much complacency has not settled in because of feeling unable to buck the current system.

What happens now? A unit submits the amendment? What if many units submitted the amendment together? And can members add onto it outside their unit?
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:55 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for your response. I've already sent the motion to the DENCO Units's Executive Committee for consideration and hope to have the members vote on it within a month or two.

I'm also considering a motion to amend my Unit's Constitution regarding how we select a delegate. Currently, it is an appointed position. I'm wondering if it shouldn't be an elected office. Usually, it is the Unit President who becomes the delegate, but most presidents actually don't want to be delegate. This would take that responsibility off their busy agenda, and the delegate would then become a year around position. A delegate ought to be someone who takes the time to study Robert's Rules, in particular study the section on Conventions. That is the actual purpose of the International Rally, it is a business meeting and a convention of delegates. Each unit should utilize someone who actually has some interest in the job, as opposed to making the president do double duty.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:59 PM   #7
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Hey, Forrest, do we (DenCO) have virtual voting for this kind of thing now?

I guess having a delegate elected would be ok. Bet it might boil down to who is going to be able to attend the international. (Sure wish we could, but the July 4th period is just plain out for us.)


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forrest View Post
Thanks everyone for your response. I've already sent the motion to the DENCO Units's Executive Committee for consideration and hope to have the members vote on it within a month or two.

I'm also considering a motion to amend my Unit's Constitution regarding how we select a delegate. Currently, it is an appointed position. I'm wondering if it shouldn't be an elected office. Usually, it is the Unit President who becomes the delegate, but most presidents actually don't want to be delegate. This would take that responsibility off their busy agenda, and the delegate would then become a year around position. A delegate ought to be someone who takes the time to study Robert's Rules, in particular study the section on Conventions. That is the actual purpose of the International Rally, it is a business meeting and a convention of delegates. Each unit should utilize someone who actually has some interest in the job, as opposed to making the president do double duty.
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:15 PM   #8
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Hi Lynn,

No, DENCO doesn't have virtual voting. Here is the procedure outlined in the unit constitution:

Section 1 Proposed amendments to this Constitution shall be submitted to the Executive Board in writing. The Executive Board
shall submit all such amendments to the members for their consideration.
Section 2 Any Article or Section of this Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Regular members present and
voting at a business meeting of the Unit or a special meeting called for that purpose, providing in either case a notice containing
the proposed amendment or amendments has been mailed first-class mail or Email to each member of the Unit at least fifteen days
prior to such meeting.
Section 3 All amendments to this Constitution shall become effective upon adoption.

In addition a mail ballot can be used for voting (see Article 6, Section 7)
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:19 PM   #9
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Hi Lynn,
No, DENCO doesn't have virtual voting. Here is the procedure outlined in the unit constitution:
Well, drat. Maybe that's something that we could talk about sometime.

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Old 12-22-2009, 01:34 AM   #10
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Hi Forrest,
It appears you would like to have some one other then the board audit the constitutionality of changes made to bylaws and policies, or at least that is what I am reading.

Question: I guess I am a little confused how your change would change how the audit process would happen.

Right now the IBT makes Bylaw and policy and also determines if those decisions are constitutional. As a result we’ve ended up with bylaws and policy that I believe are not “consistent” with the intent of the constitution. For instance, the constitution doesn’t mention flags, or that the IBT can create bylaws equivalent to HOA covenants that dictate what and how you can use your own property (your trailer that is). Yet, we have 18 pages of flag regulations, and a bylaw that says we can only fly authorized flags. Also, there is nothing in the constitution to suggest that the IBT has the right to stifle or control freedom of speech, either at a rally or on-line. Yet, the IBT has decided that the Code of Ethics is a policy and for the last few years has entertained grievances against members and even suspended a Region president for “violating” the Code of Ethics because they were critical of the IBT and Int’l President.

The Code of Ethics by the way, isn’t even codified as an International Bylaw. It is mentioned throughout the Bylaws, but isn’t found there. It is found in the Membership Directory and in Unit Bylaws only. All of the grievances that have been filed in the past three years have alleged a violation of the Code of Ethics. Not one grievance appears to have been filed for anything else, even though the Blue Book is over 172 pages long. Imagine that, out of all the rules the club has, the only rule that anyone in the last several years has had a sustained grievance for is the Code of Ethics. That’s very telling.

The situation is a little like allowing the City Council pass law, enforce the law, and tell the courts whether the law is constitutional. If we allowed that we’d be abandoning the three tiers of government - Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. In other words, there would be no balance of power, and we’d be living in tyranny.

I want to amend our Constitution to end the IBT’s power to “construe and interpret the Club's Constitution and Bylaws and Policy.” We don’t have a Supreme Court to do the job though, and the only way available for us to create a separation of power is to give that task to the Delegates, who directly carry with them the instructions and directions of the membership. That is who the IBT should be answerable to – the membership.

Question: Could you explain in a less formal way (for me) what your goal is and how your proposed amendment would meet your goal?

If we are able to give the Delegates Meeting the power to “construe and interpret the Club's Constitution and Bylaws and Policy,” then how would that work? Let’s say that the members of a Unit in Region 1 are pretty upset over their President being suspended over the Code of Ethics. They could instruct their Delegate to make a motion at the annual Delegates Meeting that revokes and removes the Code of Ethics all together. This wouldn’t require a 2/3 vote of the Delegates, nor would it have to meet the same standard as what is needed to amend the Constitution. Why? Because it is a “procedural” matter and the motion can be made directly from the floor of the Delegates meeting, and will only require a majority vote (50+%) to pass.

Now, possibly a Delegate from another Unit will oppose the motion, or want to amend the motion in some way, such as to reword the Code of Ethics so that it becomes a voluntary guideline, not a policy. He/She will have the opportunity to do that after the motion is first made, as the Delegates will have the right, under Robert’s Rules, to debate and modify the motion prior to a vote being taken.

This is what Delegates are supposed to be doing, and in other societies that have annual conventions that is what their delegates do. Only the WBCCI has such a warped and twisted view of the Delegate and Convention process.

Question: Also could you explain to me the process of moving your amendment forward in a little more detail?

Moving the amendment forward is described in detail by the WBCCI Constitution under ARTICLE XVI, but it is admittedly a little confusing. Basically, our DENCO Constitution implies that such a motion will be “submitted” to the Executive Committee. It doesn’t say why, but it does then go on to say that the motion “shall” (meaning that it will) be brought before the members for a majority vote. The submission is to give the EC the opportunity to critique and discuss the motion with the maker, with the hope that it can be improved on, or if it is shown to be faulty, encourage the maker to withdraw it.

If the Unit members pass the motion, it then goes to the Region president, who will move it forward in one of two ways.

The first way is for the Region President to distribute it to the other Units in his/her Region. They then present it to their members for a majority vote, and if the majority of Units approve it then the motion goes to HQ. From there it is distributed to all the other Units in the International Club. Each of those Units will do a majority vote to approve it, and if 2/3 of all the Units in the International Club end up approving it then the motion is adopted and the Constitution amended. The motion has one year following the distribution to get 2/3 of the Units to approve it.

The second path, is that the Region President will present the motion to his/her Regional Board (composed of Unit Presidents) for a majority vote. If it passes there, it then must arrive at Int’l HQ by March 1st. It is then distributed to all the Int’l Units who then do a vote. Their Delegate then carries that vote (both yea and nay) to the Delegates Meeting per his/her instructions and 2/3 of the total membership votes tallied are required to pass the motion.
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Old 12-22-2009, 02:39 PM   #11
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more info needed

Not to disregard at all what you have already said, this has also been posted on the Goodbye WBCCI thread:

"It has really all been said--so many times, in so many ways and from every possible angle--ad nauseum. The WBCCI is a wreck, we hear that, and the status quo cannot be tolerated. It would seem that the mere history, here, warrants the effort to resolve the issues. We cannot be the only ones who simply don't know enough to know who to contact, how to reach them, etc., and these Forums are reaching a lot of people.

How about a new thread pertaining strictly to Saving the WBCCI? No pissing and moaning about what is wrong with the WBCCI allowed, (that can still be done for those who must on this and other threads) but an action plan for starting to bring about needed change. Seriously!! This notion has been partially addressed but something separate and concise that interested but unknowledgeable persons can go to, where you do not have to wade through all of this stuff to try to figure out what you can do!

There is a month or so before the IBT meets, during which time members can lobby the relevant parties regarding the most important issues. We will be reading and watching and will do what we can, but we need guidance.

Let's have an action plan!!"
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:24 PM   #12
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...Let's have an action plan!!"
I think Forrest's motion is a plan of action. If you think about it, the motion provides the basis for more change within the wbcci than practically any other that you can think of because it basically makes the whole of the by-laws subject to review by the assembly.

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Old 12-22-2009, 03:50 PM   #13
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But what do individual members need to do---if that sounds highly simplistic, it is. Those of you with the big picture may not realize how really small some of our "picture" is.
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:55 PM   #14
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But what do individual members need to do---
Hi Doug & Maggie,

Print out the motion to amend and take it to your next luncheon or rally or caravan and discuss it with your fellow members. My action plan is to NOT discuss ideas quietly, behind the scenes, and play politics. I know I'm regarded by some as being naive and simplistic in that regard, but I don't think I can ask for transparency but then not practice it myself. I believe in open, public sharing of ideas, and debate.

If someone doesn't agree, has doubts, I think that is what I want hear. That way, by the time the amendment comes to your Unit for a discussion and vote, there will be at least some who are informed, both pro and con. That's the plan of action, keep it simple, stay involved.
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