MAA President's Message
August would normally mean membership would be getting ready to attend our annual summer conference and the business meeting to be updated on the items the MAA Board has been working on this year. As you know this pandemic has halted many of the plans for this year and at this time we are still trying to determine if we will be able to meet some place in the fall for a business meeting. If things do not change then we will have to look at the potential for a zoom meeting.
The MAA By-laws Committee has proposed (5) changes to our by-laws that have been approved by the MAA Board for publication in the MAA Magazine. This is a brief description of those changes.
Allow the subscribing member to vote on all association business. The objective is to engage the subscribing member so they have an active role in the association and to encourage their membership. These members possess a vast amount of knowledge that can be shared with our members and it does not change the make-up of the Executive Board. The president will appoint this position, but will now provide the individual a vote on the Board.
Establish a student membership class, the objective is to encourage and help new people to enter the property tax profession. This membership would be a nonvoting position and would be offered at a reduced membership fee determined by the Executive Board. This membership would be provided an electronic copy of the magazine and make scholarships available to these individuals, and it is designed to increase membership.
Establish quarterly Board of Director Meetings and to allow non-quarterly meetings to be held via video conferencing. The proposed change is a result of the stay at home orders due to the pandemic. This amendment would allow ongoing video meetings of the Board and require that four meetings are held with physical presence annually. The Board member must visually be present to establish a quorum and to vote on issues presented to the Board. This change is to encourage Board participation from Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula and to provide cost savings to the association from reduced travel for Board Members.
Amend the nominating process and establish electronic voting of elected positions for Officer and Directors. Currently nominations are presented by the Nominating Committee which establishes the slate of officers, with usually only one candidate for an open position. This amendment will provide to the Nominating Committee the ability to vet all interested individuals and eliminating the petition process. The goal is to create opportunity for increased participation on the Board and to ease the voting process for the membership. Individual candidates meeting the eligibility requirements would appear on a secret electronic ballot wherein all members can participate in the election process. At this time only members that attend the annual meeting can vote on the slate of officer.
President appointed Ex-Officio of all Committees, this amendment will allow the President to sit on any committee meeting and to discuss, debate and vote.
These proposed amendment changes are to enhance the participation of our membership and to encourage the growth of our association. I would like to thank Mr. Matthew Raftary, Chair and the By-laws Committee for all their hard work in putting together these amendments.
I hope that all of you and your families have continued to stay safe and healthy.
All my best,
John Dahlquist, President