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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

AHBA Membership & Bylaws

It's that time of year again where the AHBA is soliciting membership.  (In case you missed my review of this issue in February of this year where I was moderated on the yahoo group for asking questions, HERE IT IS AGAIN.) 

It's a great program, and those of us that run in it should support it.  It takes a lot of time, effort and energy to run such an organization, and I, for one, appreciate having the program available to everyone.

That being said ... I just pulled up the application for membership.  Just above the signature line, it reads:

"I agree to abide by the constitution and by-laws of the American Herding Breed Association..."

So I went and took another look at those by-laws, and a lot of questions popped up, other than the ones raised in my previous post about this. 

Keep in mind, you do not need to be a member in order to judge, compete in, or hold an AHBA trial.

"D. Good Standing
Those members who have paid the required dues, fees, and assessments in accordance with these bylaws and who are not suspended shall be members in good standing."

In other words, those who bought the newsletter are "members" in good standing.  If you don't buy the newsletter ... what does that make you?

"E. Termination and Suspension of Membership
1. Causes of Termination
A membership shall terminate on occurrence of any of the following events:
                                  . . .
(e) Expulsion of the member under Section III.E.3. of these bylaws, based on the good faith determination by the board, or a committee or person authorized by the board to make such a determination, that the member has failed in a material and serious degree to observe the rules of conduct of the corporation, or has engaged in conduct materially and seriously prejudicial to the purposes and interests of the corporation."

So what?  You don't get the newsletter anymore but are still allowed to judge, compete in, and hold trials?

"2. Suspension of Membership
A member may be suspended, under Section III.E.3. of these bylaws, based on the good faith determination by the board, or a committee or person authorized by the-board to make such a determination, that the member has failed in a material and serious degree to observe the corporation's rules of conduct, or has engaged in conduct materially and seriously prejudicial to the purposes and interests of the corporation.
A person whose membership is suspended shall not be a member during the period of suspension."

So if you seriously fail to "observe the corporation's rules of conduct," you don't get the newsletter for a month or two?  Is that how that works?

"3. Procedure for Expulsion or Suspension
If grounds appear to exist for expulsion or suspension of a. member under Section III.E. of these bylaws, the procedure set forth below shall be followed:
(a) The member shall be given thirty (30) days' prior notice of the proposed expulsion or suspension and the reasons for the proposed expulsion or suspension. Notice shall be given by any method reasonably calculated to provide actual notice. Any notice given by mail shall be sent by first-class or registered mail to the member's last address as shown on the corporation's records.
(b) The member shall be given an opportunity to be heard, either orally or in writing as determined by the Board in each such instance, at least five days before the effective date of the proposed suspension or expulsion. The hearing shall be held, or the written statement considered, by the board or by a committee or person authorized by the board to determine whether the expulsion or suspension should take place.
(c) The board, committee, or person shall decide whether or not the member should be expelled, suspended, or sanctioned in some other way. The decision of the board, committee, or person shall be final.
(d) Any action challenging an expulsion, suspension, or termination of membership, including a claim alleging defective notice, must be commenced within one year after the date of the expulsion, suspension, or termination."

So if you're up for explusion, you're giving a 30-day notice that you will no longer receive the newsletter because you'll no longer be a member?  Remember ... you do not need to be a member to judge, compete in, or hold trials.

"A. Place of Meeting
Meetings of the members shall be held at any place within or outside California designated by the board ..."


"B. Annual Meeting
An annual members' meeting shall be held on a date and time in January of each year to be designated by the board no later than November 1 of the preceding year and stated in a notice to the members as provided in Section IV.D. of these bylaws. If the board fails to so designate a date and time for such meeting, the meeting shall be held on January 31 at noon, Pacific Standard Time. At this meeting, directors shall be elected and any other proper business may be transacted, subject to Sections IV.D.2. and IV.E. of these bylaws."

I wonder when the next meeting will be.  Anyone know where they announce that?

"A. Nomination
During the month of September, the board shall appoint a committee to select qualified candidates for election to the board. The secretary shall immediately notify the committee members and any alternates of their selection. The board shall name a chair for the committee and it shall be that chairs duty to call a committee meeting which shall be held on or before October 1 of that same year. The committee shall make its selection of candidates for election to the board no later than October 25. This nominating committee, shall make its report to the board within five (5) days of its selection of nominees. No later than November 1, the secretary shall forward to each member, with the notice of meeting required by Section IV.D. of these bylaws, a list of all candidates nominated by committee under this Section.
Additional nominations may be made by members if received by the secretary no later than December 31. Such nominations shall be in writing and shall be signed by at least ten (10) members. Such nominations shall also include a signed statement by the proposed nominee agreeing to serve if elected.
The committee shall designate those nominees it has selected who are specifically nominated to hold the office of President, Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer. Additional nominations by members shall be for non-officer positions on the board unless the nomination specifically states the officer position for which the nomination is made."

Did anyone see anything about that this year?

"E. Annual Report
(1) An annual report shall be prepared within 120 days after the end of the corporation's fiscal year. That report shall contain the following information in appropriate detail:
(a) A balance sheet as of the end of the fiscal year, and an income statement and statement of changes in financial position for the fiscal year, accompanied by any report on them by independent accountants, or, if there is no such report, by the certificate of an authorized officer of the corporation that they were prepared without audit from the books and records of the corporation.
(b) A statement of the place where the names and addresses of current members are located.
(c) Any information that is required by Section XIII.F.
(2) The corporation shall notify each member annually of the member's right to receive a financial report under this Section. Except as provided in subsection (3) of this bylaw, on written request by a member, the board shall promptly cause the most recent annual report to be sent to the requesting member.
(3) This Section shall not apply if the corporation receives less than $10,000 in gross revenues or receipts during the fiscal year."

Has anyone ever seen this?  Would I get this if I became a member?

It's unfortunate that the "powers that be" won't take a look at this, and instead, will moderate all those that question it.  I'd buy the newsletter if they called it that.  I won't buy it under the guise that it's a "membership," when, in fact, it's not, as defined by their own by-laws.  If they wanted to allow the members to vote to change the by-laws to reflect what their actual procedures are, or if they'd like to start allowing members the rights as outlined in their current by-laws, I'd not only become a member, but promote it.  I can't do that the way it is.

What I'd like to see happen is have the by-laws followed, and then require judges and trial hosts to become members, and therefore, be bound by the code of conduct.  It would generate more cash for the organization.  Then they could do a higher sanction fee for non-members, perhaps something like: 

Members:  $30 per run ($2 sanction fee, $28 to the host.)
Non-members:  $35 per run ($7 sanction fee, $28 to the host.)

It would certainly encourage membership. 


1 comment:

  1. I participate in this program often. I love it and support it with my entry fees. I share some of your views about it. I never understood what my membership fee bought me. I don't have to be member to receive my title certificates, finish my championship, be a judge, or hold a trial. So what is the point?