Friday, June 20, 2008

Election 2008

(Note: this is a cumulative post,
with new campaign literature
being added at the end -
eventually followed
by the voting results)

This is Val Yachik's explanation
for why he is running for a third term as President,
despite the term limits imposed by a bylaw amendment
approved by a 2/3 vote
at a quarterly membership meeting
in the year 2000.

Why does Val now say
that term limits
"was not passed by
the required number of members"?


Going back to at least 1990 (and maybe earlier) amendments to the bylaws were passed by a 2/3 majority of BALLOTS COUNTED. (including the 1990 amendment that established the position of Executive Director)

However, in 2004, when we went to modify the by-laws yet again -- Jan Tracy, an attorney then serving on the board, informed the board that a 2/3 majority of ALL VOTING MEMBERS was required for passage, and the board agreed to accept that as a requirement for all future changes (although a motion to this effect was never made)

This is a significantly steeper hill to climb -- since it is very difficult to even contact 2/3 of our voting members, much less get them to vote on something.

The complete bylaws can be found here, and the relevant section reads as follows:

Section 2. Amendments to by-laws. The by-laws of the Academy shall be amended as follows. Any Voting Member may introduce an amendment to these by-laws by submitting a proposed amendment in writing to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will review and clarify the proposed amendment and submit the proposed amendment to the Voting Members in writing not less than 5 days nor more than 30 days prior to the next quarterly meeting, at which time the Voting Members shall debate and vote on the proposed amendment, a 2/3 vote being required for passage.

And the term limit amendment reads as follows:

Amendment: No Elected officer and/or board member
may serve more than two elected complete terms in
any office. They may, however, serve in another office,
but will be precluded from serving in the same past
office for three full elected cycles.

Val is now saying that the 2000 bylaw amendment
was not approved by 2/3 of ALL VOTING MEMBERS
- therefore the motion never passed -
and he can run for a third term as President.


This is the letter that Ed Wentz
sent to the voting members, promoting his
own candidacy for President.

I like that he's ready for the P&C
to move beyond "Stage one"
(i.e. remodeling, improving our building)
but I disagree about "Stage two"
with it's emphasis on promotion.

Because what we really need is something
worth promoting.

Should we have more
famous artist special workshops?
I tend to agree with Val that we've got enough
(because they compete for space with open studios)
we create a new, large studio space
(like on the second floor of the coach house)

Instead, I would like to see our gallery
hosting important, non member shows
(but neither candidate has proposed this)

And, yes, I like the idea
of following our bylaws,
not because I'm a legal beagle,
but because its democratic structure
enables member participation.

(which is a very,very rare thing
in the world of
cultural not-for-profits)

This is Jim Kujaca's
campaign letter
on behalf of Ed Wentz

reminding us that if you like the
way the P&C looks today
(new kitchen, library, stairwell etc)

it's largely (though not completely)
due to the contributions
of Ed and Jane Ellen.

This is Val's second letter to the membership.

Note that he rejects the mission of
showcasing the "arts"
as he proclaims that
"The P&C was founded by artists for artists"

(and note that he gives scare quotes
to the word "arts",
but not to the word "artists")

But he fails to mention
that the founders vetted each other -
i.e. a person was an artist if he made
something that deserved to be called art.

In today's Palette,
an artist is anyone
willing to pay the annual dues.

So -- maybe
we really should be showcasing
art instead of "artists"

I like Val's emphasis on the open studios
(since this is the primary reason I'm a member)

And, I like how he doesn't want to make the P&C
"a culture center for the elite"
(although - I don't see how Ed, or anyone else, would disagree)

And I like his romantic passion for the aura of the place.
I think its sincere -- and I feel it too -- as does Ed
and most of the long-time members.

But I don't see any plans or goals here
for future growth.

These are Val's endorsements
for the directors and other officers

(and this should not be
considered a slate,
i.e. these candidates have not necessarily
endorsed Val or each other)

This is the absentee ballot

(if you're a voting member,
and you didn't get one in the mail,
print this one out and mail it in)

These are candidate profiles,
compiled, edited, and mailed
from the P&C office

Here's the contest
in which I am a candidate

What disappoints me about all these profiles ---

is that I read lots of biography,
but very little about issues,
and absolutely nothing
about how each candidate intends to contribute.

So though I know most of these candidates,
enjoy them as people,
and often admire them as artists,
I'm thinking
that what we have here are
the ingredients for yet another rubber-stamp,
do-nothing board.

It doesn't really make much difference
who is president,
as long the board takes itself seriously.

(postscript: I talked with one these candidates last night,
and he actually does have some ideas about improvements
he would like to make,
but the office asked him to keep his
profile short)

This is my letter
to the membership
regarding term limits.

Back in October of 2000
when the amendment was passed,
I opposed it,
since it was especially drafted
to remove me from the position of Treasurer
(nobody wants to be Treasurer, so usually,
just as with this year's election,
that candidate runs unopposed)

But now that I've seen
the enormous advantage
that an incumbent president has
by controlling the office
(and all communications, elections, and information associated with it)
I think term limits are very important.

Scott Tallman Powers
is one of our most successful young artists

In addition to her wonderful florals,
Diane Rath is also well known
as a very popular teacher.

Scott's and Diane's letters both came in the
same envelope
to serve as a kind of double-endorsement.

Both of them have apparently enjoyed working with Val
in scheduling their special week-long workshops
at the Palette.

Since there are no committees,
everything now goes through the president's office:
special workshops, classes, private studios,
and whatever gets displayed in the building.

It's been all up to Val.

Here is Jim Kujaca's second letter.

I'm not sure why he's gotten so involved.

He's got a private studio at the club,
and apparently raised some issues
at the May board meeting.
(but nothing appears in the minutes)

he realized that he was not insider,
but he didn't want to become one, either.

Voting results as follows:

Val Yachik 80 (President)
Edwin Wentz 31

Jack Beckstrom 86 (Vice President)
Chris Miller 26

John Dolan & Lenin Delsol unopposed

Rich Morrow 101 (Directors)
Mary Qian 98
Charlotte Arnold 88
Janet Tracy 82

Robert Pernau 33
Jim Kujaca 30


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