Rocking the House
This has been another busy year for the House of Delegates. We have considered structural changes to the Executive Committee, we have considered a new dues structure, we have developed a new code of conduct for the officers, we have looked closely at the petition candidate issue, we have chosen candidates for office, we have chosen awardees, we have looked into the AAPG election process, we are looking into a Regional name change and we are looking to reunite Russia. First I would like to share our work with the structural changes to the Executive Committee.
When I started office last year it was clear to me that AAPG was running efficiently and that there would be very few legislative things for us to do this year. AAPG President Pete Rose suggested differently. He brought a number of changes to the House for consideration. I quickly called David Hawk, chairman of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee and Bob Cowdery, Chairman of the Rules and Procedures Committee and gave them the items to consider. Their committees met and considered the changes.
We gathered the Committee Chairs and invited a number of experienced and knowledgeable members to hold a Mid-year meeting last November in Long Beach to work over the issues. We came to unanimous decisions on our actions. Considering that the group was well represented by most of the Sections and Regions and that we had several past presidents in attendance and several serving members of the current Executive Committee, this was quite an achievement. So what did we decide to do?
First, we decided not to change the petition candidate process. Many felt that the process had been abused in recent years but overall the process works just how it is suppose to.
Next, we decided to bring one new vice president onto the Executive Committee. The proposal to bring in two vice presidents was deemed unacceptable. We figured that one VP would ease the work of the Executive Committee and we could then task the VP with specific duties. The original proposal was to provide better Regional support through the VPs. We felt that the Sections were somewhat ignored also. Better representation was needed. The Executive Committee typically does not have well-balanced representation.
The solution was to change the current VP to a Vice President, Sections and the new VP would be a Vice President, Regions. They would serve staggered two year terms.
Why two years?
The Regional members felt that the international representation would not be effective unless the member served for two years. It was a good argument. So to be fair the VP, Sections term was increased to two years. Staggered terms will allow yearly cycling of people through the Executive Committee. This compromise will help both the Sections and Regions. In my opinion we satisfied the needs of both groups. This was submitted to the Executive Committee and approved. Please check out the AAPG website and review the actual changes at http://www.apg.org/bylawschanges.cfm prior to the HoD meeting in Houston.
We also evaluated several ideas on a new dues structure.
The idea was to build a dues structure that would be easier for financially troubled members to pay. The focus was to help members overseas. Many felt that they did not want to subsidize other members. Others felt that AAPG would be better off without those members. Most felt that providing seed money to help them to get started was a good idea. Once started the new groups would flourish on their own and bring great value to AAPG. These discussions were lively and enlightening. This work will continue under a new Ad Hoc Committee formed by Pete Rose.
AAPG is an ever-changing organization and as we change the way that we deal with each other friction arises. The officers and candidates are very active and busy people with filled schedules. Some guidelines were written to help the officers and candidates as they go about their AAPG duties. All are volunteers and most are highly dedicated. This kind of devotion brings strong opinions. It should always be remembered that AAPG belongs to all of us not just one of us.
We are also considering a name change for the "Latin American" Region ( the current name is Mexican, Central American and South American Region). Any ideas?
The election process was questioned when one of the candidates was told that he lost the election before the results were announced. Our researches indicate that this did not happen. The ballot counting company is located in Minnesota and certified that no leak occurred. We speculate that some highly placed member made a prediction as to the election outcome and shared it as a fact with the candidate.
A move is afoot to bring Russia back together into one country. Russia has been divided into two sections, one part in the European Region and the other in the Asia/Pacific Region. This has led to some confusion. Currently Russia has very few AAPG members (about 20).We hope that this reunification will encourage more Russians to join AAPG.
Please visit the AAPG website and review the changes at http://www.aapg.org/bylawschanges.cfm that will be brought forward to this years House of Delegates Meeting in Houston this April. I hope to meet you there. Please bring your ideas for AAPG to me and we can work together to make the Association stronger and better at serving our needs.