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  1. #1
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    Elected board vs. appointed board

    Looking for some feedback on the best way to organize the board of a trail advocacy group.

    I lean toward an elected board, This ensures that the group is responsive to the community, open to new blood, and accountable. I have heard concerns that having an elected board makes the group susceptible to hostile takeover from larger groups like the Sierra Club.

    Doing a little research on this, I see that IMBA had an elected board in 2006, but now it is appointed?

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    saddlemeat
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    An appointed board with no set terms is best if you want to be focused. Have a membership contribution without voting rights for general membership.
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  3. #3
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    Probably not a concern for small groups...

    From the "Homer the Great" episode of the Simpsons

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    Stonecutters, he will control our lives.
    Moe: Maybe...but _maybe_ we don't want to be Stonecutters no
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    ancient mystic society of...No Homers.
    [George Bush unveils a logo]
    Everyone: Yay!
    Homer: [knocking] Hey fellahs, can I join?
    Number One: Sorry...no Homers.
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  4. #4
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    Who is the appointing authority? I can't see a small club giving any individual the power to appoint its board.
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
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  5. #5
    saddlemeat
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    Quote Originally Posted by hado_pv View Post
    Who is the appointing authority? I can't see a small club giving any individual the power to appoint its board.
    The appointing authority is the guy (s) who are starting the organization. You appoint/solicit a board of like minded people to form the organization/club. The club, via it's board of directors, is the appointing authority, although in the beginning there probably aren't any members who aren't on the board of directors.

    A club that might give such authority to an individual might be one that doesn't have the desire or time for organizational and political matters and may have a leader who can see that things are done by good people who can work together. If you are looking for miles of singletrack to ride the rest is a time and energy suck.
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  6. #6
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    "Doing a little research on this, I see that IMBA had an elected board in 2006, but now it is appointed? "

    IMBA's bylaws still call for an elected board, but it seems that this has not happened for some time now. Does it concerns folks that IMBA does not seem to be following it's own bylaws?

  7. #7
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    Our club is an elected board. Keeps the complainers list slightly shorter when we can point out they could have run for a position if they thought they could do it so much better. The reality is though you will rarely have an issue with who is being elected. The trouble makers generally will flap their lips from the sidelines and not actually get involved enough to be voted into office.
    CAMBr West
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  8. #8
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Does it concerns folks that IMBA does not seem to be following it's own bylaws?
    To be honest, not really.

    Maybe at some future point it might.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  9. #9
    saddlemeat
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    As opposed to having a big group of people
    vote for a choice of two people who they don't even know like REI?
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    An appointed board with no set terms is best if you want to be focused. Have a membership contribution without voting rights for general membership.

    If I were asked to be a contributing member to an organization, but not given voting privileges, that would probably be a deal breaker on whether you'd get anything from me. (time or money)
    In fact, I see it as a real turn off. Organizations with minimal structure for the board are the groups where you can get a close knit "board", with indefinite terms, that can function like a (ego-driven) clique. New blood isn't being brought up to learnd the ropes and replace people before the inevitable burn out occurs, and things get done the way the clique decides to do it, instead of the organization being member driven.

    Depending on the state you live in, the structure of your group may somewhat be dictated by what is required to register the organization with the state. I know in WA state, there were certain elements of board structure and by-laws that were mandated by law. I do not recall the specifics, however (sorry)

  11. #11
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by thad View Post
    I have heard concerns that having an elected board makes the group susceptible to hostile takeover from larger groups like the Sierra Club.



    What are your thoughts?
    Takeover by the Sierra Club? I think for your average community advocacy/trail club this is paranoia at it's finest. I was president/board member of a local club, with a state registration and a 501(c)3 designation for over 5 years, and I never heard of such a thing. Sounds like a California thing, maybe...

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