Our board, the people who run BIDA, are elected annually by our members -- you! People are nominated, or nominate themselves, and then at a dance in April we have an election where the seven people with the most votes become the new Board. You can read the details in our bylaws. While this format has worked well, there are a few problems:
- When seven or fewer people have been nominated, the outcome of the election will always be the same: everyone nominated will be elected to the new board. Getting the whole hall to fill out ballots that won't have any effect isn't a good use of anyone's time.
- If we have more than eight people running the bylaws still say members can only vote for up to seven. Which means if there are eight people you think are great and one you don't want to see join the board you still need to pick one of the eight not to vote for.
- Relatedly, if we get any ballots with more than seven people selected we need to ignore them, which isn't great.
- The board often has more than seven people on it because the board can add one or two extra people. This works well: often we learn about someone who would make a good board member at an arbitrary time during the year, and we'd rather bring them on right away instead of waiting until the annual election. When we get to election time, however, if there are more than seven people on the board they can't all be re-elected.
We've been thinking about how to fix this, and have three draft bylaw additions:
- In Article VII section A, add: "If, at the time the annual membership meeting is scheduled to begin, seven or fewer people have been nominated to join the BIDA board, instead of voting all nominees will join the board."
- In Article VII section A, add: "If, at the time the annual membership meeting is scheduled to begin, all nominees are currently members of the BIDA board, instead of voting all nominees will join the board."
- In Article VII section A, replace "Members will be able to vote for up to seven people to join the Board, and the seven candidates with the most votes will become members of the Board" with "Members will be able to vote for any number of people to join the Board, and the seven candidates with the most votes will become members of the Board".
Please let us know what you think about these proposed changes, either in the comments here or by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Whether you have disagreements about whether these are real problems to fix, suggestions for better ways to fix them, or wording suggestions, we'd love to hear it!
Once we get a set of changes we're happy with we'll give at least 30 days notice (as required by our bylaws) and have a vote at an upcoming dance. There's no urgency here: while it would be good to get these changes in before April, if we're going to make them, there's still lots of time to discuss!