Unit 143 Elections -- Explained!

A board member translates it all into everyday language


If you think you don't understand the process by which members are elected to the Board of Directors, you are not alone. We frequently hear comments from those who wonder, "Why do we some years have elections and other years we don't?" Or, "Why is the notice posted every year which mentions a petition that is necessary, but new members appear on the Board and never have a petition and never appear on an election ballot?" How can this be?

Well, let's take a stab at explaining it all.

First, the composition of the Board, the manner of election, and all the details are set forth in the Unit 143 Bylaws. The Bylaws are adopted and can only be amended by a vote of the Unit 143 members. There are other Standing Rules for the Board of Directors, which cover details not set forth in the Bylaws. These Rules are adopted and amended when necessary by a vote of the Board Members. The Bylaws and the current Standing Rules are printed in full on this website.

The Board has up to 14 members--12 from the Metropolitan St. Louis Area ( defined as the City of St. Louis, Jefferson County, St. Charles County and St. Louis County) and two from outside the St. Louis Area (remaining geography - see Map of Unit 143). The Bylaws limit any Board Member to three consecutive 3-year terms. This means that every year, there are at most four (4) Board St. Louis Area slots that must be filled. 

Map of Unit 143 by county. 

Each year, the Bylaws provide for the President of the Board of Directors to appoint a Nominating Committee. The Committee is responsible for finding Unit members who are willing to serve the Unit. The Nominating Committee will provide at least as many nominations as there are Board positions to be filled. This "slate" of nominees must be presented to the Board at least 75 days prior to the Annual Unit Meeting, which normally takes place at the October Sectional. The use of a nominating committee to search for qualified candidates who are willing to serve is a common procedure for many not-for-profit service organizations.

Here's the confusing part! The Bylaws also provide that individual members may petition to have their own names placed on the ballot IN ADDITION TO the names that have been proposed by the Nominating Committee. Any St. Louis area member who presents a petition containing 25 signatures of Unit 143 Members will have his/her name placed on the ballot. Petitions must be presented at least 60 days prior to the Annual Meeting.

When the number of candidates proposed by the Nominating Committee PLUS the number of candidates placed on the ballot by way of the petitioning process totals more than four (or gthe number of Board Slots available) an election is held at the October Sectional. When the number of candidates equals the number of slots, no election is held. When an election is necessary, it is by secret ballot with each Unit member entitled to cast one ballot.

If you are interested in being on the Board or assisting on special projects, just make your interest known. The Board is often disappointed that so few people wish to serve. We continually need new ideas and new energy, especially from new players.

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