In November and May, our monthly district business meeting is a bit different from our other 10 monthly meetings. Instead of an Executive Committee meeting, which includes the 44 district officers, the November and May district meetings are District Council meetings.
The DC meetings include all 44 district officers, but also include the Presidents and VPEs from each of our clubs. We still do the Division and Sr Team reports, but we also conduct other district business that meeting representatives are entitled to vote on, as described below.
District officers are expected/encouraged to attend both annual DC meetings. However, you do not need to RSVP to the District Secretary, like we request for the other 10 monthly meetings. That is because your registration for the conference is also your RSVP for the business meeting. I do hope that you are planning to attend and have already registered.
A message was sent to all D53 Club Presidents and VPEs that we have e-mail addresses for. This is essentially an electronic copy of the call to meeting invitation that was sent in hard copy a few weeks ago. Please be advised of the following:
1. The District Council, which always holds its meetings in conjunction with the District Conference, is the voting body of the district. Any business activity that impacts the entire district, such as district officer elections and club alignment (conducted during the Spring DC meeting), and budget approval (conducted during the Fall DC meeting), must be voted on and approved by the DC. For this reason, it is critically important that we achieve a quorum at this meeting. We need YOUR help in encouraging each club to be represented at this meeting.
2. Each club gets 2 votes, one for the President and one for the VPE. Any club member in good standing can be identified to represent one or both of the club's eligible votes. If the club member attending is NOT the President or VPE, a PROXY form signed by the President or VPE is required to identify the attending club member as the official representative for the club. A single signed proxy can entitle any one member to represent one or both votes for the club. If the attending member is either the President or VPE of the club, then that person can represent one or both votes for the club, AND NO PROXY FORM IS NEEDED.
3. If no member of the club is able to attend, then that club will not be represented at the DC meeting. ONLY a member of the club can represent that club at the DC meetings. This is very different from the Regional and International meetings where the clubs can assign their proxies to the District Governor to vote on their behalf. Because of this significant difference, meeting proxy forms are always a source of confusion for club officers and even for district officers, such as yourselves.
4. NOTE that a district officer automatically has one vote at the DC meetings, and it is therefore important for you to attend as well. You can also represent one or both votes for a club or clubs that you belong to. If you happen to be the President or VPE of the club, then the above rule holds and you do not need a proxy form. If you are NOT the President or VPE of your club, you can still represent them but you, just like any other club member, require a proxy form signed by either the President or VPE.
5. As a district officer, you can represent a maximum of three votes, one for your district office and up to two from a club or clubs that you belong to. No matter how many clubs you belong to, you are still limited to a maximum of three votes. This can be your district office vote plus two votes from one of your clubs, or one vote each from two clubs that you belong to.
6. So the maximum number of votes that any representative can hold is three if the person is a district officer and two otherwise.
7. It is also very important to note that your proxy or your position is not your ballot to vote, it only makes you eligible. Every voting representative must pick up a Credentials Package at the Credentials Desk, near the registration table, prior to the DC meeting. The Credentials Table staff validates each person seeking to be a representative at the DC meeting, in accordance with the rules described above. Once validated, the member will be given a Credentials Package, which includes one voting ballot, and one or two additional ballots, if they request and qualify for them. The DC meeting begins at 4:00pm and the Credentials Table closes at 3:00pm so that the quorum report can be assembled in time for presentation at the start of the meeting.
8. Note that the district proxy form can be copied as needed by your club officers. The form presented does NOT have to be the original form sent to them a few weeks ago (another difference from the Regional and International proxy forms). They can use the original, a copy, a printed copy from the an electronic CTM kit, etc. A copy of the proxy form was also included in your CTM kit, which was sent to you as well as the club Presidents and VPEs a few weeks ago. The copy sent out is intended for you to provide to your clubs if they lose theirs. It is not needed by you for any other purpose. So district officers can feel free to distribute copies to any club that needs them. In addition to the copy included in the attached CTM kit, I there is also a PDF copy of just the proxy form, in case it is needed by one of your clubs.",
I know this all seems a bit complex, but it's the way we need to conduct business for our DC meetings. I do hope that this explanation helps to clarify this process for you a little, and that you will be able to share this clarification with your clubs. If you have any questions about any of this, let me know.
Dare to Believe!!
District 53 motto 2007-2008
Norm Thibodeau (DTM)
Toastmasters International District 53
Editor's Note: This was originally written and addressed to District officers and edited slightly for use by anyone attending the Council meeting (club officers as well as district officers). We tried to be 100% accurate in our edits, but you may want to contact your Area Gov. or Div.Gov. or Norm for clarification of any questions.