JARS v36n3 - The A.R.S. District Plan

The A.R.S. District Plan
Richard Brooks, Concord, Massachusetts

As most A.R.S. members are now aware, the Society's new bylaws, approved by the membership in 1980, provide that the national Board of Directors be composed of the officers of the Society plus directors elected directly by the members of groups of chapters, or districts. The grouping of the chapters into districts and the phasing in of the election procedures for District Directors are the responsibility of an ad hoc Bylaws Implementation Committee, working in collaboration with the chapters. According to the Bylaws, the grouping of the chapters into geographical districts "shall be achieved by mutual agreement between the chapters and the Board of Directors."

The committee appointed by Past President Fred Galle for this purpose consists of the following members:

Dr. E.C. Brockenbrough, Bellevue, WA
A. Richard Brooks, Concord, MA (chairman)
Dr. Furman Cantrell, Piedmont, SC
Marge Farwell, Woodside, CA
Dr. Sandra McDonald, Hampton, VA
Britt Smith, Kent, WA
Ted Van Veen, Portland, OR
Dr. Franklin West, Philadelphia, PA

As a result of its deliberations, the Committee tentatively adopted a grouping of the chapters into twelve geographical districts, as listed in the Journal , Spring 1982, page 82 subject to approval by the chapters and the Board. It was also agreed that the first four districts whose component chapters accepted the district plan should each elect a District Director and a District Director Alternate in the spring of 1982; the remaining districts, in sequence of ratification, would hold elections in the springs of 1983 and 1984. Thus each group of new District Directors annually for the ensuing three years would replace the outgoing four elected members of the present Board, as well as the chapter presidents from the districts electing new Directors.

The district plan was forwarded to each chapter president, with a request for feedback or affirmative action by the chapter. Following subsequent communications between the chapters and the Committee members responsible for each geographical area, Districts 4 (Oregon), 5 (California), 7 (New York/northern New Jersey), 8 (Philadelphia area) and 9 (Virginia/Maryland) accepted the plan and were approved as districts by the Board at its meeting in Newport, Oregon, in October 1981. Districts 4, 5, 8 and 9, the first four to accept, proceeded to elect District Directors and Alternates in April 1982, as follows:

District 4 David W. Goheen, Ph.D.; Herbert Spady, M.D., Alternate
District 5 Everett E. Farwell, Jr.; Keith Elliott, Alternate
District 8 Edward W. Collins; Fred Winter, M.D., Alternate
District 9 Austin Kennell; Donald W. Hyatt, Alternate

Three additional districts — Districts 1 (British Columbia/Komo Kulshan), 2 (Seattle) and 10 (Southeast) — have since accepted the plan and were approved by the Board at its meeting in Bethesda, Maryland, in May 1982. These three, together with District 7, will hold their elections in the spring of 1983. Assuming agreement between the chapters and the Board, the remaining districts will elect their District Directors in the spring of 1984, thus completing the phasing-in process.

The Denmark Chapter has chosen to be represented on the Board by the Director-at-Large, who also represents all non-chapter members, rather than electing its own District Director.

It should be emphasized that while participation by chapters and individuals in the nomination process is encouraged, names of possible candidates should be submitted to the chapter presidents in the District, who under the new Bylaws act as a nominating committee for the District, rather than to the Executive Secretary. The nominating committee in each District is responsible for transmitting the names and biographies of its candidates to the Executive Secretary, who in turn mails ballots to all the members in each District holding an election.

As a further point of clarification, the Bylaws call for candidates to be named for each of the two positions — District Director and District Director Alternate — not for the election of the runner-up as District Director Alternate.

An encouraging aspect of the elections just held in Districts 4, 5, 8 and 9 was the 44% response in ballots received from the members in those districts, a much higher return than in any recent nationwide election under the former bylaws. Quite apparently, this increased participation in Society affairs is a beneficial result of the representational restructuring of the Society, as embodied in the new Bylaws.

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