By Law Committee Prepares Changes for Vote in Fall 2021
Over the last 20 years the Bluegrass Music Association of Maine has functioned smoothly with our By Laws that were set up prior to incorporation. We have had minor amendments that the membership has voted on in the past, and they worked well for the organization.
As BMAM has grown and made its way into the twenty first century, we have modernized and matured. The Board of Directors realized that the current By Laws were not reflecting our operation and need to be reviewed. A By Law Committee with Nellie Kennedy at the helm, was formed to go through the document with a fine-tooth comb in order to reflect our current practices becoming fully compliant to our own rules. And after a few years of working on the revisions, we were very fortunate to have the expertise of attorney Fred Frawley to guide us to the point where were are now, ready to propose changes to you, the membership.
One of the biggest changes has to do with the process of Elections and appointments. When BMAM was in its infancy, we met primarily at one place, the Roost in Buxton, where Elections were done in person. To hold a legal Election, a quorum of 20% was needed. As the membership was more spread out from Southern Maine to Cambridge to Brewer, BMAM found it nearly impossible to reach a quorum at any physical location. Years ago, the Board made provisions to do the voting by mail, and it worked so well that we have continued and expect to continue the same way for the foreseeable future. Because of this we no longer need absentee ballots, additional nominations are no longer solicited prior to the vote at the annual meeting, and anticipating society and online trends, a provision will now be there to use electronic communication in the future.
And along those lines, other changes proposed involve allowances for Board Meetings and votes by teleconferences and video conferences as needed. Also, it gives the Board of Directors a little flexibility for the Annual Meeting date.
On occasion, over the years, Board Members and Officers have had to step down from their duties prior to finishing their year or two year term. In some cases, this has left the Board very empty at times. Our By Laws do allow for the Board of Directors to number from 3 to 10 members, but experience has shown that it is difficult to function with utmost efficiency. The way BMAM was set up, a special election could fill the Board in those cases. But because of the extra cost and sometimes Directors are only needed to fill in for a few months that has not proven to be the best procedure. Therefore, another proposed changed will allow the Board of Directors to appoint an individual to temporarily fill an open seat until the nearest Election.
The By Laws and the proposed changes will be available for review on our website (as they are too long for the newsletter) at mainebluegrass.org. In the upcoming 2021 Fall Election, these changes will be voted on.