A Member’s Voice
I read a lot of correspondence from GVR members, mostly email. Email specifically meant for me is received at firstname.lastname@example.org, whereas email intended for the GVR Board is sent to the Board’s generic email account at email@example.com.
At a Board work session on August 9, the latest version of the proposed 2018/2019 GVR Work Plan was discussed. One suggested Work Plan task is to create a list of responses to open-ended member questions reported in the 2018 Member Survey.
I read the suggested list of member questions proposed for the Work Plan. The first question reads, “Why does the CEO censure emails to the Board.” Hmmmmmmm. I don’t censure emails sent to the Board. Never have, never will, and I wondered where this false assumption might have come from.
Perhaps it came from either not reading or mis-reading a part of GVR’s Corporate Policy Manual (CPM).
In 2014, GVR’s Board adopted an email policy to govern their communications. The policy was crafted by GVR’s legal counsel and adopted by the Board. It set in place procedures meant to keep GVR compliant with Arizona Nonprofit Corporation Act statutes and our own Bylaws, and to manage the volume of email correspondence received from members.
You can find and read for yourself the Board Email Policy in the CPM, Section VI – Board/Board Committees; Subsection 1. Powers, Duties, and Responsibilities of Directors HERE.
These are the pertinent parts of the policy:
- GVR must ‘maintain a password-protected generic email account which shall serve as the sole means of email communication between members and GVR Directors relating to GVR business and/or operations.’
- The CEO or CEO designee shall serve as GVR Email Administrator and shall have the following responsibilities with respect to email sent to the GVR Director Email Address: (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Responding to member emails requesting general information or forwarding same to the appropriate GVR administrative staff member;
- Acknowledging receipt of all other member emails and forwarding same to the GVR Board President for review and response; and
- Archiving email messages.
In practice, processing email correspondence sent to the Board has always been much more expansive than the policy calls for. EVERY email received at the generic Board email account is sent to EACH AND EVERY GVR DIRECTOR, not just to the GVR Board President as directed by the Board policy. Always. No exceptions. Note that the policy calls on the Board President ‘for review and response’ to emails beyond staff-handed, general information requests.
The generic Board email account is managed by my designee, GVR’s Director of Administrative Services Jen Morningstar. Jen sends a polite confirmation to the author of each email that it’s been received and forwarded to the Board of Directors. If Jen has information that could benefit the member, she’ll include that information with the confirmation of receipt and forwarding to the Board.
I read all member emails that Jen forwards to the full Board. GVR Bylaws stipulate that the CEO is a non-voting Board member, and I’m included on the Board’s email distribution list.
As I wrote this edition of Kent’s Korner, I thought it important to provide an example of a type of communication sent to the Board from members to the generic Board email account. One of the most recent communications sent to the GVR Board generic email account is from member Beverly Tobiason, received on Thursday, August 9. She gave me permission to reprint her communication and share it with you in this edition of Kent’s Korner.
I’ve spoken with Beverly in-person maybe five times since 2014. She’s upbeat and funny, kind and considerate. A full-time psychologist, Beverly and her husband are volunteer leaders of GVR dance clubs. Beverly’s message to the Board demonstrates enlightened and progressive thinking about what it takes to keep GVR vibrant and relevant.
Here is Beverly’s communication to the GVR Board:
Sent: Thursday, August 9, 2018 8:09 PM
To: Board <email@example.com>
Subject: thoughts to share
I wrote this in a neighborhood chat and was highly encouraged to forward it to you. My words and thoughts seemed to resonant with lots of GVR members…
I moved here approximately 15 years ago and have worked full time in Tucson, thus have not been able to use many of the facilities. I do not begrudge this as I like living in a community that offers so much (yes, even if I can’t use it). The social, recreational, and educational opportunities offered through GVR is what attracts most people to this community. I have viewed the annual fees as low as compared to purchasing many of these activities separately, say in Tucson. In turn, I don’t play pickleball, but I want to support the building of the courts for friends and neighbors who do play. I don’t do most of the arts offered by the clubs who still don’t have space. However, I want my annual fees to support those clubs getting designated space. I want to live in a community that offers a diverse array of social, recreational, and educational activities. I guess that I don’t see this differently as paying for other services that benefit the community. I haven’t used the public schools in many decades as I don’t have children or grandchildren. But because I don’t have children benefiting from public schools, doesn’t mean that my taxes should be lower or eliminated altogether. I don’t like paying for things that I don’t need or use, but I understand that by educating everyone else’s children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, that it benefits our communities and overall communities. My greatest fear in all of this is in the defunding of GVR or having GVR staff delegated to spending their time monitoring tiered systems of payment. With some people paying less based on use, this will result in an increase of general fees for full time active users and/or eventual defunding. Any community that loses funding becomes worn down and undesirable after time. That is not the kind of community that I want to live in nor one that will attract new people to GV. Just my thoughts…
As to the member question from the 2018 survey, ‘Why does the CEO censor emails sent to the Board?” The answer is, ‘He doesn’t.’