Dear Members of Surrey Canadian Baseball Association:
At the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Surrey Canadian Baseball Association, a motion was considered by the membership that recommended the appointment of an executive committee of the Board that would have the delegated authority to conduct the day-to-day business of the Society. The rationale for the motion was not well articulated, the required effort to propose accompanying changes to the Constitution and Bylaws was not completed, and communication regarding the proposed changes was not provided in detail, in advance of the meeting to the membership. In addition, the proposal was made after individual nominations were made for positions on the Board without the members being made aware of what positions were to be included on the executive committee. As a result, and not surprisingly, the motion failed to receive the required 75% consent of the membership in attendance.
Believing that the rationale for the recommended changes proposed last year is still valid, a working group of the membership has invested time and effort in 2018 in hopes of acquiring the 75% consent of the general membership at this years’ AGM. The working group is proposing changes to the Constitution and Bylaws of the Society it feels are necessary to streamline the operation of the Association to increase its overall efficiency and effectiveness for the future.
On Tuesday, October 16, 2018, the membership of Surrey Canadian Baseball Association will be presented with a motion that will ask that the current bylaws of the Society be repealed and replaced. The new bylaws would reduce the overall number of board members from 31 to 24 and create an executive committee of 7 members with delegated authority to conduct the day-to-day business of the Society.
The rationale for these changes includes the following:
- Changes to the BC Societies Act have reduced the number of elected members a Society must have given the challenges non-profit organizations are having recruiting board members.
- The job of overseeing a Society is becoming more and more complex (eg. legal, child protection issues, freedom of information, managing paid staff, Society reporting requirements, social media, budgets and finance) and it is becoming increasingly difficult to ensure that all board members remain informed in all areas necessary to make effective board decisions.
- Currently, all SCBA board decisions require a majority of 31 board members. This process slows down business and decision-making. By comparison, the City of Surrey, this community’s board with the largest responsibility and $750M budget, is managed by 9 board members (elected officials) who are re-elected only every four years.
- The proposal recognizes that many of the elected boards that serve the sport of baseball have moved in this direction in recent years, including Newton and Cloverdale minor baseball associations.
- It is becoming increasingly difficult to fill 31 board positions each year. It has become common to see individual board members elected to multiple positions on the board. All national volunteer trending is downward. Young parents are not volunteering like their parents did. They want to fulfill required tasks within a preferred time period, and do so willingly, but prefer to entrust the governance of their organizations to fewer and fewer people. Most do not want the responsibility to attend regular meetings. There are amazing human resources in our Association who can not commit to participation on the board of directors. But they absolutely could take on more of the responsibility for getting things done. With almost everyone involved in the organization raising kids….people are just too busy.
There is a need to re-structure our organization. There are those who are committed at a high level who will seek opportunities to serve on an executive committee, many of whom have a great amount of experience in this organization or others. There are those who will provide leadership and coordination in specific areas as willing members of the board of directors. And there are others who will commit to tasks involved in running the business of the association who don’t want to be involved in the governance of it, nor attend regular meetings. We need to find a way to involve everyone!
An executive committee can work with total transparency. Its meetings can be open to the membership and all meeting minutes can be provided to all directors and posted on the website to ensure accountability.
And if the membership is ever not happy with its executive, it has the ability to replace it every year!
It will be proposed at this years’ AGM that an executive be elected to provide the delegated authority to exercise all the powers and do all the acts and function that the Society may exercise and do, and which are not by these bylaws or by statute or otherwise lawfully directed or required to be exercised or done by the society in a general meeting, but subject, nevertheless, to:
i) all laws affecting the society;
iii) rules, not being inconsistent with these bylaws, which are made from time to time by the society in a general meeting.
With the 75% approval of the general membership, the Society will be able proceed to elect a 7 person executive and up to an additional 17 coordinators to conduct the affairs of the Society. Together they would become the directors of the Association for the 2019 season.
I welcome any questions you might have in advance of the AGM. And I will be asking for your support for this restructuring on October 16, 2018. I hope that you will choose to attend to help ensure that the future of our association remains healthy and strong.
President – Surrey Canadian Baseball Association