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Proposed New BWA Bylaws

Posted by xsubdude99 
Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 09, 2017 10:45PM
Hi All,

Well here goes;

For years, as the needs of the club have grown, as technology has advanced and finally, as the need for the club to take on a more official standing has become apparent, it has become obvious that the BWA is in great need to have the Bylaws updated. Things like the BWA's official status, online voting for some issues of great importance to the club and an expansion and in many cases, official recognition of the offices and duties of many of the clubs officers, are just a few of the things that have prompted this push to move forward with a change in our bylaws.

One of the few things that have hampered updating the bylaws for so many years were the "perceived" requirements needed to make these changes. The original bylaws state that the bylaws can be changed whenever the club deems it necessary by "a majority vote of the clubs members". When this was first written, the club was much smaller and online voting was still years off in the future. It has been assumed that the only way to make a change to the bylaws was by a majority vote of the clubs membership "at a meeting". No where in the bylaws does it say that an "in person" vote is required to change the bylaws, but rather, simply a "yes" vote by a majority of our members.

Included as pdf's I've attached the Original BWA Bylaws, The New Proposed BWA Bylaws, and a brief Summary of Changes to the original bylaws.

So, after much thought, I think the best way for this process to be handled will be as follows;

The current bylaws, the new bylaws and a summery of changes will be posted in Bowlines as well as on the forum for (1) month. Discussion will be debated at the meetings on April 11th and May 9th, in which club members can discuss the new bylaws and any additional changes. Within a week after the close of the May 9th meeting, private online voting will be opened, as per a procedure that will be decided by the club at the 2 monthly meetings.(April 11th and May 9th). Voting will continue until a majority of the club has cast their ballots one way of the other. After the close of the May 9th meeting, no further changes will be accepted to the proposed bylaws and once voting starts, it will either be an up or down vote on the final revision agreed upon at the May 9th meeting.

Finally, voting will be private but a record of your vote will be maintained for a prescribed time, determined by the club during the two meetings, so that any challenges to the authenticity of the outcome can be verified.

The goal here is simply to act in the best interest of the club, both for now and in the future. A lot of effort has gone into the drafting of these changes, and I only ask that we all try to make our discussions as friendly and as productive as possible. Good luck everybody. I know changing the bylaws, or more accurately, redefining the bylaws will be a challenge, but I have faith in you that together, we can work to do what's best for the club.

Bob Larkin
BWA President
Attachments:
open | download - Original-BWA-Bylaws.pdf (185.1 KB)
open | download - Proposed BWA Bylaws 4-7-2017.pdf (140.5 KB)
open | download - Bylaws Summary of Changes.pdf (119.6 KB)
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 10, 2017 11:19AM
Bob, well done, sir! I'm so impressed. You all have done such a tremendous job making this as transparent as possible. The bylaws have needed an upgrade for as long as I can remember and you've taken the proper steps to make that possible. Thank you so much!! I think there should be a bronze statue of you at Elkhorn Acres.

I skimmed everything and am fully supportive of all the changes.
Again, well done!

love,
bethany (or beverly or whatever)
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 10, 2017 12:45PM
No statue. Unless you are the leader of North Korea , statues are for dead people

Dallas

Tattooed and Employed
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 10, 2017 04:33PM
Bob,

I never thought I would say this. But, I like them. Great job. Very balanced and hits salient issues. I support these.

Brent
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 10, 2017 09:35PM
Damn, I had a statue and got it taken away, all within the same topic. Thanks to both of you for your kind words and for not killing me off just so we can throw a dedication party for a statue. Brent, as always, thank you for your support. A lot of work went in to making these changes by a lot of really good people and I believe they'll be the backbone that carries the club into the next 40 years.

Bob
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 11, 2017 08:33AM
Except for a couple of new things, I think they accurately capture the way we have been operating for years now, so I can't think there would be any problems getting this through. Very good job.

On a quick read, there were a few minor things I might suggest changing. Maybe not specify the exact $ amount the SC spending limit is, but tie it to the dues. Make it, say, 20 to 25 times times the Individual dues amount, so when the dues go up, the spending limit goes up and you don't have to come back and change the bylaws.Clarify in Article VII that Past President is not an elected office (which is explained in Article VIII), and maybe state that one person cannot hold more than one elected office at a time. That would still allow the Past President to serve in one other office. State whether they get one or two votes in that case.

Jr.
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 12, 2017 10:48AM
Good discussion last night on the proposed by-law changes. Meeting stayed totally positive on the vibe. Turnout was light. Definitely need to see more members at the next meeting. The new venue is great!

Joe W.
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 13, 2017 08:19AM
Nice Job Bob!

Todd H.
smileys with beer
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 13, 2017 08:41AM
Bob, well done, see you in May for sure.


Also, are you sure you want US to make a statue of you? I'm thinking some kind of bronze, trash-pile in a camp-chair motif! I think you dodged a bullet right there amigo! hot smiley

MFW
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 13, 2017 10:10AM
FYI: I haven't had a chance to read the new by-laws yet, but I fully support the process and the concept.

_

Hanley Loller


"It's plum amazing what you can do when you damn well got no choice."
--Rickie Dale Larson
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 13, 2017 11:59AM
WTF Mike, no body said it was supposed to be ultra-realistic.

Bob
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 19, 2017 09:58AM
Sheesh, you mention considering Presidential bid and they go and change the bylaws making it so you can't. lmao - Just kidding guys....smiling bouncing smileyspinning smiley sticking its tongue out

The only part that really gets me on the new By-laws is the setting of a Minimum skill level to be President. I understand the possible thinking to back this insertion but as someone who has paddled for 7 years and who has dedicated endless hours to the club, it kinda hits me in a gut spot that because my Paddling Skills aren't "Good Enough", I could never be, or even consider, running for President of the club.
I mentioned wanting to run for President after my year as VP and was told that the SC had already been decided and that I could be Secretary if I wanted. So, don't challenge the sitting President because that's not how it's typically done. Ok. Whatever. I decided not to be on the SC that year and haven't since. I have, however, stayed relatively active in BWA events on and off the river. Now, if the new By-Laws are passed as they are currently written, I won't be able to run for President because I'm not a "Solid Class III" boater. Sure, I run Class III but I'm by no means what I would call solid.
So, I guess what's gonna be will be and the By-Laws will pass, probably exactly as they are written, but that's my 2 cents as to what I object to and my reasoning why ~ SKILL SHOULD NOT DETERMINE ABILITY TO LEAD in a Recreational Club designed to raise funds for River Conservation not just Class III and above Whitewater.

Adelessa
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 19, 2017 10:37AM
Okay, I said before that I hadn't read the new by-laws yet, but if what Adelessa says is true about a minimum set of boating skills being necessary to be president, then I'm dead set against it. That's a deal-breaker.

We've got a lot of very dedicated members who aren't really class III boaters, some of them in the officer corps, both past and present. Many of those folks have been dedicated public servants, volunteering and serving the club by taking officer positions that we are routinely struggling to fill. Telling these people that they're good enough for the more menial positions, but not good enough to be president, that's a slap in the face.

In the past there have been some efforts from time to time to cull the club of boaters who don't live up to someone's particular standards. PLEASE, let's not go back there. As a club, we should be defined by who we include, not who we exclude.

Bring me your tired, your poor of skillset, your huddled paddlers longing to roll up and breathe free. Seriously, bring them to rolling session and I'll help them reach their personal goals and I won't apply a litmus test to them about how big they intend to go before agreeing to teach them.

_

Hanley Loller


"It's plum amazing what you can do when you damn well got no choice."
--Rickie Dale Larson
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 19, 2017 02:07PM
Another addition is the requirement that candidates for all officer positions must have been members for two consecutive prior years. Why? This might make sense for some positions, but a blanket two year minimum prior to eligibility for all officer positions seems unnecessarily long. Many groups find that their newer members bring enthusiasm and diversity of ideas that can benefit the organization.

BAM
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 19, 2017 02:25PM
Eh, I'm less concerned about that because it's a simple objective standard. I'm not going to say any more until I give the proposed bylaws a complete read, which I should have done before now. I will say that (having read Bob's "Summary of Changes", nice touch Bob) I see some other things that I might disagree with to some level, but the class III requirement is the only thing that I see as flat-out unacceptable.

I'll also add that I'm sure that Bob didn't add that in any kind of mean-spirited manner.

I'll get back after I've had a chance to read the whole thing.

_

Hanley Loller


"It's plum amazing what you can do when you damn well got no choice."
--Rickie Dale Larson
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 19, 2017 06:45PM
Hi all,

The bylaws have two chances to be amended before they go to the full club for a vote, the first was the last club meeting, which had very poor attendance and the last chance is at the next club meeting on May 9th. At these meetings, things can be added, things can be deleted and things can be edited. A lot of changes were made at the last club meeting and I'm sorry but I haven't had the chance to post the updated bylaws yet but I'll do that soon.

A couple of personal thoughts:

As for the time and skill requirements, I do honestly believer that you should show a commitment to the club and to the sport before you decide to take a position running it, but just for the record, the class 3 requirement for president was dropped at the last meeting.

Adelessa, I consider you a class 3 boater. You may have your bad day from time to time but I've paddled a lot of class 3 rivers with you and you are one fearless lady. Keep up the good work, thanks for all the volunteer stuff you do.. You make the club a better organization to be a part of.

Ok folks, the next meeting is on May 9th at Rockhouse brewing. Come on out, I want to hear your thoughts.
Bob
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 19, 2017 07:24PM
1 vote big foot dragging dead midget

To Boof or not to Boof? What was the question? Why dont you use your name on your Signature?
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 19, 2017 08:20PM
Good way to vote

To Boof or not to Boof? What was the question? Why dont you use your name on your Signature?
Attachments:
open | download - Screenshot_2017-04-19-20-18-35.png (131.3 KB)
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 20, 2017 07:14AM
At the last meeting, we went through the entire proposed By-Laws line by line. Even though the meeting was poorly attended, interestly we had a pretty wide representation of the diversity our club enjoys. We really did try to look at the proposed By-Laws objectively, and we tried our best to amend those things that could be controversial and/or unnecessary, as well as add some things that may be for the collective good of the club. Needless to say, we had a very long meeting but a very productive one. I'm sure there will be a few more changes before it goes to a vote. When the revision is posted, and if you've already looked through the proposed By-Laws, I'm sure you'll notice some of those changes, including the topic Adelessa addressed above. Megan so kindly stepped in as Secretary so there was documentation of all that was discussed and voted on. I will tell you that all attendees took this task very seriously and I'm sure that the next meeting will be of similar accord. I would like to point out that there was no "fighting" nor long drawn out debate but there was a lot of constructive input that ultimately lead to some really good amending to what was previously written in the proposed By-Laws, IMO. I would encourage anyone that would like to have input come to the next meeting with an open mind and a reasonable (but hopefully concise) argument for or against the articles you think need revision.

Clay
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 20, 2017 07:40AM
Responding to KyJim:

From the Wild Apricot membership site

Voting/Elections
Current features:
Not supported, an external tool must be used (e.g. wufoo.com)


From a Wild Apricot help search:

A cleverly designed interim solution for folks wanting to start on-line voting is here:
[civs.cs.cornell.edu]
It works for polling too.

Joe W.
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 20, 2017 09:24PM
I think requiring a reasonable skill set should be required. Why ever have non-boaters be President? Without it, they can be and I think that would be folly. Class III seems reasonable and assures actual whitewater paddlers are running the ship. We are in fact a very active "whitewater" boating club and generally eschew flatwater. The top office should have a required skill set for whitewater. I guess I strongly disagree with Hanley on this one.
Cheers,
Brent
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 21, 2017 08:31AM
I'll chime in on the change that states that all officer positions must have been members for two consecutive prior years. Someone asked 'why' and I've been around long enough that I think I can answer that one (despite not speaking to anyone who tinkered with the bylaws).

Lots of new folks join the BWA each year; new members do bring enthusiasm and diversity and keep the club chugging along. However, some folks get jazzed about a new sport, dive in, and then end up figuring out that whitewater isn't really their bag. Or that they don't have enough time for the SC meetings. I've seen loads of folks drop out in the middle of their terms over the years and this almost always happens with new boaters. It puts a tremendous amount of stress on the other officers.

Also, it's important for the club to get to know new folks before they join the SC--a functioning Steering Committee is invaluable and a dysfunctional SC can literally halt all operations. Two years is a vetting process in a way.

Lastly, there are so many ways in which to get involved with the BWA that don't initially require an office. We need folks to help with the Beginners Clinic, to help with NPFF, to lead trips, work the roll sessions, etc. If you can't find the time to help with club functions for a couple of years to prove that you are dedicated to the BWA, an officer's position honestly probably isn't really for you.

love,
bethany (or beverly or whatever)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2017 08:33AM by bethany.
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 21, 2017 11:08AM
I'll go along with what Bethany says. I've got no problem with a time requirement, I even think it's a pretty good idea. Two years isn't a very big hurdle anyway. If you can't wait two years to be president, then maybe you're running for the wrong reason.

Before this next part, let me just say that I did see Bob's post about the skill set requirement being dropped. I'm specifically addressing this to Brent, with whom I have disagreed over the years but whom I still respect, although sometimes grudgingly. This is, a purely philosophical discussion.

Who's going to set the standard and what kind of arguments are we going to have over whether someone meets those standards or not? Are we going to use a Hanley Loller class III or a Brent Austin class III as the definition and will the Brent Austin class III continue to get bigger as boaters do harder stuff? Did someone just survive a class III rapid once or do they regularly paddle class III rivers? How many times is enough? I am sure that Bob had the best of intentions when he wrote this up and I have to respect him for doing the hard drudgery that makes the club run, but I'm glad this requirement was removed as I think it would have caused much contention, hard feelings, accusations of cliqueishness and division within the club. We have enough squabbling as it is.

I will point out that in my memory, I can't think of a president for whom this would have been an issue, but it smacks of arguments we had years ago about who would and would not be fit to be in the club and how the "problem with the club (was) not enough hard partying badass boaters". You really can't say that without strongly insinuating that people within the club don't belong because they don't go big enough or party hard enough. Advocate for hard partying badass boaters joining the club all you want, but don't act like they are any more of an asset to the club than a hard volunteering, tee-totaling, twice a week Elkhorn paddler. We all contribute and we all paddle.

Now, if you think that badass boaters or hard partyers are being somehow excluded or discriminated against, then we have a different issue, one Brent and I would be united in. Even though I may not agree with everyone's lifestyle, I wouldn't want to exclude someone from the club or from running for office. I might not vote for someone because I felt that they were too focused on partying to effectively run the club, but I wouldn't want them excluded from running. The majority will speak and the club will move on, whether that majority agrees with me or not.

Hope you're having a good day Brent. Hope to see you on the water soon.

_

Hanley Loller


"It's plum amazing what you can do when you damn well got no choice."
--Rickie Dale Larson
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 22, 2017 07:20AM
Hanley,

Glad to see I can still get you riled up. Now I didn't mention a party requirement, did I? Also, I am now the lame party guy and most of you know that I tend to go to bed early and get up early. Getting good rest to have a good fun day on a river is more important now that I am 58 years old. I admit that 20 years ago and more, I partied hard and boated Class 5 and 5+. That was then. Now, I prefer rest and Class Fun boating.

To your point, Class III does not require anything more than the usual AW definition. Your class III may or may not be different than mine, but that is something that can be hashed out in the election cycle if that became one of the issues. I am not sure we have ever had a Prez that was incompetent on Class III in 40 years. But, I have only been around the BWA since 1989, so can't speak to the before years. The Bylaws without a skill set requirement, would allow an incompetent paddler with good political skills to control the machinery and that is worrisome.

Class III is middle of the road skills. The President represents a broad spectrum in the BWA from novice to Class V+. We have all those ranges in the BWA currently. To lead a diverse group of paddlers, unless your goal is to alienate the class IV and V paddlers and only cater to novice and beginners, then the President should have the temerity to develop middle of the road skills. In other words, they should at least be able to take newer boaters down the Pigeon which has 3 classic Class III rapids. Without that, there is a respect issue related to basic skills, perhaps not found with dreamy eyed newbies. I have seen many many clubs lose their representation of Class IV-V boaters who simply drop out because the club has become lame and focused on Class II. Hanley you have probably seen it too with clubs you are aware of. Most of the bad ass class V boaters in Knoxville for example do not belong to Choata. They are unaffiliated and make fun of club boaters and there is a video out from a few years ago that does just that. It is called Club Boater and has a little jingle that many of you have heard.

I know that the BWA is one of the most active and perhaps coolest club in the country. And that is because in addition to working with beginners, we also cater to our bad asses (which I am not one of by any stretch).

We have one chance to do these Bylaws right and I believe setting a reasonable skill set for the person that is to lead all these range of kayaker skills in the club, is the right thing to do and will assure a continuation of the range and quality of paddlers we represent. Club boaters already have a bad rap as being lame in the at large boating community. We, the BWA, are the exception. In fact, Leland Davis (author) told me that the BWA is one of only two clubs in the country he would consider belonging to because of our cool factor. That does not mean just because we party. We have always had solid boaters out representing in the highest levels of this sport (like the Green and Russell Fork races). And that is because we are who we are and keep our eye on the ball and on keeping skill sets sharp with our members.

Anyway, you have your role, and I have mine. Because of that difference in approach and perspective, we have almost always disagreed on a number of topics and this issue goes to the core of our philosophical difference. I recognize the things you do for new boaters and appreciate it as I tend to focus on the up and coming committed boaters and tend to get to know them when they are stepping up. But, we both care deeply for the BWA, just with completely different focus. That is a good thing. You and I inspire others in very different ways and often with very different goals.

I would urge Bob and the club to add back a skill set for the President. We don't want a class I-II or a non-boater president in my opinion and it would not be good for the BWA. In fact, it would be bad for the BWA. I know the club will do what it will do, but truly this is very important in my view and if it does not go down, some day someone can look back at this post and see that I told you so. Time will tell. I guess my support for this is now waivering and I wonder if just sticking to traditions rather than bylaws might be better. We ain't broke, in fact we are more vibrant than ever, and we don't have working Bylaws. Just saying...

Cheers, and let's go boating sometime Hanley. (I never get to boat with you it seems and not sure we have boated together in the past 15 years, have we?). I boat all the time. Going to the Cheoah or something natural flow today. Probably do something tomorrow.

Brent
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 23, 2017 10:13AM
I think the club has had an unofficial policy of at least an intermediate skill level of its president for as long as I can remember (1980). Making it official or not doesn't bother me, but departing from the tradition does. Our president should be able to relate to beginners and advanced boaters and have familiarity with the rivers and creeks most people in our club paddle. Unfortunately a beginner cannot do that until they expand their experience and skill set. These avid beginners should seek mentors to improve their skill level if they want to become a president of BWA. Seek me out personally if you want to improve to say paddling the Ocoee, I go many weekends throughout the summer. Attend roll sessions. You have to pay your dues on the water (Not just the membership ones) if you want to advance as a boater. I say continue this tradition of solid and dedicated boaters as a club president.

Bethany states all the ways beginners can contribute, and over the years they have vastly contributed to the success of every club event that I have been part of.There are countless people in BWA that I do not paddle with much because I do not live in Central Kentucky that can always be counted on to help. No need to mention names, I think you know who you are (I do). The two years,except for members at large seems like a reasonable vetting period for club office. I wholeheartedly agree with those points.

I have also felt that any organization should always work to develop new and young leaders, mainly to stir things up a little with new perspectives and ideas. I wish the club and entire boating community would make a better effort to somehow encourage and support more women boaters and their development. I thought the speakers at NPFF were a refreshing change toward that goal.

Glad to see and hear people expressing their opinions all have some merit.

Chief
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 23, 2017 09:49PM
Wow, great debate here on this issue. If you are still on the fence on this, please go back the read the last 2 posts from Brent and Chief. I will tell you this, being President of this club should not be an easy job and I truly believe to do it right you should have both a passion for the club and a passion for the sport.

As many of you know, this was not a sport that came easy to me. I worked hard at it because I love it. I've swam damn near every river we paddle, I've busted boats, paddles, cut myself to the bone and for the past year, hell, for over a year I've been trying to recover from a back injury I got while paddling, but in my heart I truly believe that in order to head this club, you should have more than a desire to lead. This is not a social club, this is not a hiking club, this is not a church group, a dating club or even a gaggle of bird watchers, this is one of the best whitewater clubs in the sport and if you haven't taken the time to at least become a competent paddler, I really don't see how you could consider yourself qualified to lead a club as important to the sport of whitewater paddling as the BWA has been.

While reading though the posts on this issue I've seen a lot of stuff about the focus of the club. This issue isn't about "Bad ass boaters" running the club, simply put, it's about electing someone to head the club that represent "ALL" our members, and how you expect a solid class 2 boater to do that is beyond me. The President should understand the issues of new boaters as well as those that are more advanced. Think about it, rid your mind of the old debate about class 5 boaters verses new boaters, and think about the issue at hand.

Bob
ed
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 24, 2017 09:43AM
Observations from a Beginner:
Although I have my 2nd parking pass to park at the Elkhorn Campground and theoretically eligible for president, I would not consider it at this point. There is much that goes on in the club that I don't have a grasp on, and don't think anyone could have a firm grasp on all the club does in just two years of membership. I have been running some class 3 stuff as of late but still consider myself a class 2 paddler. But, I am an open boater and the learning curve is a little longer, or at least I would like to think so. My view on the subject is this:
1. Lengthen the membership requirement to at least three years or better yet, more. This gives members time to get to know their potential president; their passion for paddling, and their dedication to the club. Three years or more gives the potential president time to absorb all that goes in to leading the club; past contributions from the paddlers we beginners have all heard so much about, present activities the club is pursuing, and the future direction of the club.
2. Drop the mandatory class 3 requirement. In three years or more of membership, if the potential president is passionate about improving his/her skills, he/she will already be a solid class three paddler. If not, the club members at large will at least have had time to get to know the candidate and be able to make a judgement as to whether the candidate will represent the interests of the club and lead the club in a positive direction regardless of the level of river the he/she chooses to paddle. Yes, this is a white water club. There is no class zero in white water. Therefore, if person predominately paddles class 1/2, he/she is by definition a white water paddler and should be welcomed in the club and even in the role of president. In the same breath as a class 5 boater can have the best interests of the beginners and seasoned boaters, this person could have the best interest of the seasoned class 5 boaters as well as the rank beginners. Just give us the time to get to know them and make that determination ourselves.

edit: I mis-spoke when saying I'd be eligible for president with two years of membership. I realize a person would be eligible for general offices, but president would be at least three years. I still believe that it would take longer than even three years, and stand by my statement that time and activity in the club is more important than type of rivers a person likes to paddle to be an effective leader that can represent the club as a whole.

Ed Singleton



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/24/2017 10:27AM by ed.
Ace
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 24, 2017 11:10AM
Just because a person has good intentions doesn't mean they have the experience necessary for effective leadership. Experience gives one a wider perspective.

We obviously have a problem organizing swiftwater rescue so I'm going to use that as an example. When I started out paddling the Elkhorn I wasn't worried about safety. Since I have now progressed to paddling Class 4 water and have had certain experiences on those rivers, I have become much more concerned about safety. A class 2 paddler may be more concerned about river cleanup or throwing a good party. I am more concerned about safety. The experience can change your priorities. All the issues are important, but how do you prioritize your time and energy when leading the club? I will throw in with Brent and Chief and vote to keep the minimum experience level.
Ben Murphy
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 24, 2017 11:37AM
Good discussion.
I'm still opposed to the SOLID CLASS III Pre-Req being added back since it has been removed from the original write up.
I agree with Ed, set a membership length requirement and then let the members of the club vote in the person they see best fit for the job.
After 3 years, a persons commitment to paddling and to the club is pretty much on point. Who cares what level ww they boat. I know a lot of Non-Boaters who do nothing but run shuttle and sit by the river who could tell you just as much about Class IV+ water as the guys and gals out there running it because they are around those people and hear all about it all the time. I think a person can be knowledgable and show a true passion for Whitewater and for the BWA without being a Solid Class III - Skill truly has nothing to do with someone's ability to take into consideration the needs of the whole and set in motion plans that will benefit the majority. I am one of those people. Again, I am not a SOLID CLASS III boater but think I have devoted time, heart, and passion to this club for upwards of 7 years now. I don't push myself to boat harder stuff because I have found a Niche leading beginner trips, of which, I always include a more advanced option for the Class III and above boaters to get their jollies in before helping out the Newbs, and because For Safety Reasons, I don't want to take the Risk repeatedly and regularly that Class III's give - My Son Needs his mother. So, because I am comfortable where I am, I'm not capable of being the Club's President.
I understand the logic behind why one would want a certain Skill Level to Lead, but feel that it's not necessary for Good Leadership nor does it determine PASSION for the club. I see a lot of Class III and above who would much rather go boat than Lead the club and whom only show up when the party if in full effect.
As for Bens' comment on partying and safety - As someone who has spent my entire paddling career working with beginnner's I can say without a doubt in my mind that the Beginner's have more focus on Learning Safety and Skill and not just coming to party than the Old Timer's do. To the Old Timer's it's about the Party - safety 3rd. There is never an issue arranging SWR classes, it's getting people to take them. The last class cant' be used as a Go-by because of the holiday it fell on being a key factor for keeping the response low.
When instructors at the Clinic's are up all night drinking and are heading to the river with beers in their hands, trying to say that the Class II boaters are less focused on Safety and more focused on the party than the more experienced boaters is just plain Ludicrous.

Anyway, what's gonna happen will happen despite my not being allowed to run for President, ever, if this gets added back.
Seriously, running a club should be based on PASSION AND DESIRE FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE ENTIRE CLUB and not based on HOW GOOD YOU CAN BOAT ~
Everyone has reasons behind why they 'Skill Out' where they do and those reasons shouldn't keep someone with the Heart or Drive or Desire to Lead this Club from stepping up and doing so with the Members Voted Support.

Adelessa -
Told once I couldn't be President but could be Secretary.... Now being told I'm not a skilled enough boater to be Club President.....
and yes, I am taking this personally - given the blood, sweat and tears I've given to this club for years, my name tarnished at campgrounds because it's now associated with loud parties that have to be repeatedly told to be quiet, even planning food and the likes for events I couldn't even attend, I take this as an out right slap in the face.
ed
Re: Proposed New BWA Bylaws
April 24, 2017 11:43AM
Ben, I agree completely that "Experience gives one a wider perspective", but it's not a "minimum experience level" that is required, its a minimum level of river difficultly. My family and I went outside the club last year for a basic swift water rescue course. It was eye-opening and we are just class 2 paddlers. I'm sure there are lots of people in the club boating class 3 and above that don't have that experience. Which is my point. Lengthen the time required or place other "experience" qualifications on the office rather than just being a class 3 boater. I'm not dis-agreeing with you on the experience level, just placing true paddling experience over that of the level of river difficulty, which is two separate things in my head.

Ed Singleton
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