Hello, Tampa Bay Parrot Heads!
What time is it?? It’s Election Time!
Hi, it’s Tim Gerlach. I have been appointed the Elections Committee Chairperson for the 2016 Tampa Bay Parrot Head Club Elections. As you may - or may not - be aware, every 2 years we elect the four Officers who guide this crazy, wonderful Club:
- the President, whom we call our Lovely Lady (currently held by Dorothy Bedlin)
- the Vice President, whom we call our First Mate (currently held by Joyce Cavaliere)
- the Treasurer, whom we call our Purser (currently held by Jennifer O’Connor)
- the Secretary, whom we call our Yeoman (currently held by Dick Dobkins)
Part of my job as Elections Committee Chairpersons is “communicating the elections procedure to the Membership”, so herein we will do so. It’s going to be a long one, so if you’re interested in reading it, grab yourself a cold one and settle in.
WHY ARE YOU VOTING?
You are voting because the Club’s four Elected Officers serve a two-year term and the current term ends December 31, 2016, so you need to elect the Officers who will guide your Club for the next two years beginning January 1, 2017. (Current Officers are welcome to run again for the next term.)
The four Elected Officers of the Club are called the Executive Committee. The Members of TBPHC elect these four Officers, and they in turn appoint the Chief Officers and Members-at-Large. The Chief Officers chair the various committees and serve on the Board with the Executive Committee members, and the Members-at-Large are the membership-representatives of the Club who also serve on the Board. This entire group is called the Fruitcakes Board. The Fruitcakes Board meets regularly to manage the affairs of the Club. All meetings of the Fruitcakes Board are open to any Member-In-Good-Standing (see definition below); however, said Member may not participate in the meeting in any way unless invited to do so by a majority vote of the Executive Committee.
WHO ARE YOU VOTING FOR?
That’s up to you! The Nomination-Application Forms will be available as of Monday, 07/11/2016. Anyone who is a Member-In-Good-Standing can nominate himself/herself as a Candidate for any of the four Elected Office positions (must be a TBPH member for last 2 consecutive years, on Fruitcake Board for one year and must maintain residence and physically reside within the Area of Operation of the Club}. Nomination-Applications must be received by me by midnight Monday, 07/25/2016 in order for that Candidate to be considered for the Ballot. The confirmed Candidates will then be announced at the meeting on Wednesday, 08/03/2016. The Ballots will be mailed shortly thereafter (no later than Monday, 08/08/2016), and will include a copy of each Candidate’s Campaign Statement so that you can learn about each Candidate and what qualities and actions they intend to bring to the Office if elected.
WHO GETS TO VOTE?
Every TBPHC member who is a Member-In-Good-Standing on Wednesday, 08/03/2016 will be eligible to vote. A Member-In-Good-Standing is a member who is current in their dues. The month in which a member joins is called his/her “Anniversary Month”. Each year your membership dues are to be paid by the end of your anniversary month. If your dues are not paid by the end of your anniversary month you are no longer a Member-In-Good-Standing. If you pay your dues within 90 days you can retain your original anniversary month and regain your status as a Member-In-Good-Standing. If you do not pay your dues within 90 days you shall be deemed to have terminated your membership in the Club. If your membership has been terminated you can re-join the Club at any time, and the month that you re-join will then become your new anniversary month. IF YOU ARE IN ARREARS WITH YOUR DUES, OR YOUR MEMBERSHIP HAS BEEN TERMINATED, YOUR DUES MUST BE RECEIVED BY WEDNESDAY, 08/3/2016, IN ORDER TO REGAIN YOUR STATUS AS A MEMBER-IN-GOOD-STANDING AND BECOME ELIGIBLE TO VOTE IN THE 2016 ELECTIONS. If you are in doubt as to your Membership status you can contact Membership Chairperson Loni Vroom at email@example.com to check your status.
HOW ARE YOU VOTING?
If you are a Member-In-Good-Standing as of Wednesday, 08/03/2016 you will be mailed a Ballot in your name. You must mail (or give) the Ballot back to me, complete with your signature.
WHEN ARE YOU VOTING?
Ballots will be sent to all Members who are Members-In-Good-Standing on Monday, 08/08/2016. You have approximately two weeks to return your signed Ballots. THEY MUST BE GIVEN TO ME, OR MAILED TO ME VIA U.S.MAIL (a self-addressed envelope will be included with the Ballot), POSTMARKED NO LATER THAN MIDNIGHT, MONDAY, 08/22/2016. Late arrivals will not be counted. I will be at the 2nd Wednesday meeting on 08/17/2016 and will have a "Ballot Box" with me if you would like to save a stamp and give it to me then.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO SIGN YOUR BALLOT?
If you participate in a local or national election, you are required to sign-in and show your identification, and that identification is compared with the official list of eligible voters to see if you are eligible to vote in that election. We’re doing the same thing here. Each eligible voter will receive a Ballot in his/her name via mail. Each eligible voter is allowed one vote. You are required to sign your Ballot to confirm that you are that voter. IF YOUR BALLOT IS NOT SIGNED, YOUR VOTE WILL NOT COUNT BECAUSE WE CANNOT GUARANTEE THAT IT WAS CAST BY YOU.
WHAT IF YOU DON’T RECEIVE A BALLOT IN THE MAIL?
Ballots will be mailed by Monday, 08/08/2016. If you do NOT receive the Ballot by Monday, 08/15/2016 please contact me directly and I will investigate the matter. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. The two most likely reasons that you do not receive the Ballot are:
a) our records have an incorrect address for you
b) our records do not show you as being a Member-In-Good-Standing
If there is a clerical error on our side (incorrect address, misapplied dues, etc.) you will be sent a Ballot. But if the error is on your side (“I wrote a check but it’s still sitting on my dashboard”) then you will not receive a Ballot as you were not a Member-In-Good-Standing on Wednesday, 08/03/2016.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR CONFIDENTIALITY?
Your confidentiality is a very serious concern to me. Be assured that any contact you have with me regarding election matters will be held in the strictest confidence. Regarding the confidence of your vote, I will hand-pick a small team of counters and have a discussion with them concerning both the confidentiality of your vote and the necessity that they not disclose the election winners before they are officially announced. If any person does not swear to me that they will respect the confidentiality of the voters and the secrecy of the outcome they will not be allowed to assist me with the counting of the Ballots.
HOW IS THE COUNTING DONE?
I will have a small hand-picked team of counters, and divide them into two sub-teams. The votes will be counted by each sub-team until I have two sequential counts that show the same result.
HOW MANY VOTES DOES A CANDIDATE NEED TO WIN?
The winner is the Candidate who receives the majority of the votes cast, which means that they must receive more votes than each competitor(s) receive(s). If no Candidate receives a majority (a tie) there will be a run-off election between the top two Candidates for that Office.
WHAT IF THERE IS ONLY ONE CANDIDATE FOR EACH POSITION?
In the event that the Candidates for each of the four Offices run unopposed, the need for a vote is null and void. Therefore, no ballots will be mailed and each unopposed Candidate will be declared the winner of that position.
WHO MADE UP ALL THESE RULES?
The rules that govern this Club are called the Bylaws. The Bylaws detail the rules that the Tampa Bay Parrot Head Club follows, as well as the duties and requirements of the Elected Officials. The Bylaws were written by the original Executive Committee and have been updated as deemed necessary by subsequent Executive Committees. As is the Club’s policy, copies of the Bylaws are available to any Member-In-Good-Standing who wishes to read them, and can be obtained from our Yeoman, Dick Dobkins. Contact him at email@example.com . I too can forward a copy to you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All requests are held in the strictest confidence.
Here is the Election timetable:
1. Mon., 07/11/2016: Election Bulletin #2 will be sent; it will include information regarding the
duties of the Officers, and the Nomination-Application Form.
2. Mon., 07/25/2016: Nomination-Application Forms must be received by midnight.
3. Wed., 08/03/2016: Candidates will be announced at the regular meeting.
4. Mon., 08/08/2016: Ballots will be mailed (including the Candidates’ Campaign Statements).
5. Mon., 08/29/2016: Voting closes; all Ballots must be either hand-delivered or received by this
6. Wed., 09/07/2016: Winners will be announced at the regular meeting.
WHAT IF YOU HAVE SOME QUESTIONS?
I will be pleased to answer any questions that you have. All inquiries will be held in the strictest confidence. You can speak with me at a meeting. I can normally be found at the bar (shocker). I intend to be at every meeting throughout the duration of the Election. You can email me at email@example.com.
Elections Committee Chairperson