The Lull Before The Storm?
by Kirby LindsayThe February 2011 Fremont Arts Council (FAC) Committee Of the Whole (COW) meeting concluded the long delayed (since Fall 2010) election of the 2011 FAC Board of Directors, as well as a vote on a long discussed by-law amendment.
A Long, Low Pressure System
While Gyan Davies chose not to run again, a majority of the 2010 Board returned for another term - Michael Clark, Michael Falcone, Barb Luecke, Rodman Miller, Jerry Smith, Rachel Sprague, and Maque da Vis. Four ‘new’ names joined the 2011 Board, although Tom Hobson, David Roman, Balou de la Rosa and Peter Toms have all served as volunteers for the FAC, and have history in the organization.
Eli Bowen announced that all the candidates garnered enough votes to join the board. The newly-installed Board (Clarke and da Vis were not present) immediately agreed to meet on the coming Sunday. After several serious discussions held at this meeting, the Board appears to have plenty of work to wade through. In addition, that is, to deadlines looming for planning the 2011 Solstice Parade – the single largest project organized by the FAC.
Luecke indicated that the Board must set a budget for the parade, and Smith announced that contract negotiations have begun for hiring a director. Once accomplished, the Board will set a date for a parade planning ‘retreat,’ to be held in town.
The largely on-line election took place over the weeks leading up to this meeting, and included a vote to amend the FAC by-laws. Currently, the by-laws can only be amended by a majority vote of the entire membership. Unfortunately, during elections, historically, many members have failed to vote and this majority has not been met.
With current low membership numbers – Bowen reported the number of members eligible to vote in this election at either 56 or 58 – the Board attempted to change this requirement. They urged the membership vote on an amendment to allow a by-law change with unanimous agreement by the Board, after notification of the membership on the pending change. Unfortunately, the amendment did not pass because a majority of membership, once again, failed to vote.
Major Gusts, And Some Minor Ones Too
The meeting also served as a forum for growing concerns over communications and a lack of attention to administrative details. Currently an all-volunteer organization, members expressed frustration with e-mail, phone and mail systems. Also, maintenance of the membership database and financial recording came under scrutiny.
A consensus agreed that there is a problem, and members of the Board agreed to address this. Discussion also led to hiring someone, at least part-time, to perform administrative tasks. This raised concerns about management of an ‘employee’ and funds. de la Rosa, a new board member, volunteered to help with a portion of administrative duties.
The meeting also contained updates on projects, including formation of a Bridge Way Mural committee. Roman reported on progress developing the Wetlands Trail Park – or the Rachael Carson Park, as many hope to name it. Ricky Gene Powell asked about a facilities grant to purchase a public address system for the FAC, and ended up volunteering to research what funds might be available. Luecke and da Vis have entered negotiations on two spaces that could, potentially, serve for storage while the current outdoor storage space, under the Ballard Bridge, is unavailable.
Long-time FAC volunteer Eli Bowen informed the gathering that he would be moving to New York State, on February 10th. While it was a difficult announcement for many, as Bowen had chosen to move to be closer to his lady-love, everyone wished him very well.
Sonia Telesco admitted that with the help of Leslie Zenz, there will be yet another annual FAC Rummage Sale – to be held starting April 2 & 3. With enough donations of (good) stuff to sell, they hope to raise substantial funds for the upcoming parade.
So, bring treasurers to donate to the sale to the Powerhouse (3940 Fremont Ave N) on Tuesday, March 8 starting at 7:10pm – and stay for the monthly COW meeting. As preparation heats up for the parade, the COW serves as an outstanding way to keep up-to-the-minute, and get involved! Don’t miss out!
- FAC Highlight Reel: Chorus Changes But The Refrain Remains
- by Kirby Lindsay, November 15, 2010
- FAC Highlight Reel: ‘It’s A Parade, For Art’s Sake’
- by Kirby Lindsay, June 11, 2010
©2011 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.