By Connie Pool, F140306, National President
Every two years, FMCA members hold elections for national president, senior vice president, treasurer, and secretary.
As I write this, there are five candidates for the office of president and three for senior vice president. FMCA’s Bylaws limit president and senior vice president positions to a two-year term, but the national secretary and national treasurer can seek re-election for a second two-year term if they wish. This year the current secretary is seeking re-election, and two new candidates are seeking the office of treasurer.
Beginning on page 46 of this issue is an article titled “2009 Officer Nominations,” which has the resumes of all the candidates who are seeking a national office for the 2009-2011 term. Elections for these positions will take place during the Governing Board meeting held on Monday, July 20, at FMCA’s 82nd International Convention in Bowling Green, Ohio. The newly elected national officers will be installed during the Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday, July 23.
Candidates can be nominated in three different ways. The first process started in December 2008 when the Nominating Committee sent a letter to members of the Executive Board, chapter presidents, national directors, alternate national directors, and past national officers who had served in the past two years, asking them to identify members who were qualified and would accept nominations. The Nominating Committee interviewed those nominees prior to FMCA’s convention in Perry, Georgia, this past March and selected a slate of candidates. The Nominating Committee also conducted a Candidates Forum at the Perry convention and will host another one on Sunday, July 19, in Bowling Green.
The second way to nominate a candidate is to have 50 FMCA membership numbers (in other words, one signature per family membership number) sign a petition suggesting an eligible FMCA member for national office. The petition must be submitted to the Governing Board, through the national president, not less than three months prior to the date of the election, the deadline being April 20, 2009, for this year. These nominations are called “at-large nominations,” and these candidates are included and published with the slate recommended by the Nominating Committee. There are three at-large candidates included in the election process this year. Their resumes appear with the others in this issue of the magazine.
The third way for a member to be considered as a national officer candidate is to be nominated during the Governing Board meeting. When the Nominating Committee’s report is presented, the presiding officer calls for nominations from the floor. Any nomination from the floor must be seconded, and the nominee must accept the nomination and attest that he or she is qualified to hold the national office.
At the Governing Board meeting, the ballots for each office will contain the names of those candidates nominated by the Nominating Committee or by petition. There will also be space on the ballots for any nominations from the floor, which must be a write-in on the ballot. Governing Board members need to exercise care when casting a vote for a write-in candidate. The name must be written legibly on the line with a check or “X” placed in the box in front of the write-in name. This ensures the person casting the ballot wanted to vote for the write-in candidate.
If past procedures prevail, the elections will take place near the end of the Governing Board meeting. Each candidate will have the opportunity to address the Governing Board before the voting takes place.
Since there currently are more than two candidates for the offices of president and senior vice president, it may require additional balloting, as FMCA’s Bylaws require the four nationally elected officers to be elected by majority vote. If this does not happen with the first vote, a run-off will be held between the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes. If there is a tie vote for the second-highest number of votes, the run-off will include the person receiving the highest votes and the two tied for second highest. If none of these candidates receives a majority vote, another run-off will be held for the two receiving the highest votes. Voting continues until one candidate receives a majority vote.
Each time ballots are marked, the ballots are collected by members of the President’s Council, with assistance from the Nominating Committee. The President’s Council counts the ballots in a secure room and provides the president with the results. The president announces the results to the Governing Board. The process starts with the election of the president. After that, the senior vice president is elected. The results of one election are announced before moving to the next.
There is currently one candidate for secretary, and even if there are no nominations from the floor, according to Robert’s Rules of Order, the Governing Board members must cast a ballot for secretary. The votes will be counted and the results will be announced, making the election official. The final election at the meeting will be for treasurer.
The entire election process could be fairly lengthy, since each of the current 11 candidates will have an opportunity to address the Governing Board, and as many as six balloting processes may take place.
These elections are extremely important to all members of FMCA in that strong leadership will be required to guide FMCA through the challenging times we are facing with our current economy and the tenuous status of the recreation vehicle industry. Tough decisions will need to be made to ensure FMCA remains a strong and viable association that continues to meet the needs of its members. If you are a chapter member and want to have a voice in these elections, let your thoughts and desires be known to your chapter’s national director or voting delegate who will be representing you at the Governing Board meeting.
I would like to urge all readers to review the resumes of all the candidates for each office and determine which ones you think are the best qualified to lead this organization forward. You do not have to be a member of a chapter to voice your thoughts and recommendations. Simply contact the area vice president of the geographical area in which you live and express your thoughts. Each issue of FMC magazine has a list of area vice presidents and their contact information; this month’s list is on page 10. If you are unsure which FMCA area you live in, see the map on page 193 of the January 2009 issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine, or call FMCA’s national office at (513) 474-3622; (800) 543-3622. A copy of the map also is online at FMCA.com; under Chapters/Areas, click on Chapter Search, and then click on the multicolored map.
On a related subject, while you’re in this section of the magazine or FMCA.com, continue your search a bit further and you will find a list of the many FMCA chapters. These groups always have the welcome mat out. I would encourage you to try chapter membership firsthand. I feel sure you’ll have a wonderful experience.
Until next month, peace, and may all your travels be safe and trouble-free.