Dear Wm&SarahWells Bull Association Board, Where we stand on the proposed bylaws:
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Dearest members of the Board of descendants of William and Sarah Wells Bull,
Thank you so much for all the work you do voluntarily in our nearly 100 years of our association of descendants of William Bull and Sarah Wells.
We also thank you for working on the updating of the bylaws of our association, which is a task long overdue.
Thank you also for providing a copy of the first draft of the proposed bylaws and thank you for delaying the vote of this document at the August 2017 Annual picnic (which serves as the annual business meeting of the corporation). As many of us have not yet read or fully understood the many changes the bylaws would cause to our organization.
We know that you asked for feedback and since our 4,000 or so members are spread all over the country, we feel this electronic letter is the best and quickest way to gather our collective thoughts and send them to you. This is just a start.
Those who have signed this letter ask the following of the bylaws committee:
1. Please do not set up bylaws that allow for consolidation of decision making or power by reducing the number of Board members from our current structure (12 Board members). We feel our ancestors who set this number were on the right track.
2. Please do not change our organization to allow the general public _ non Bull descendants _ to become anything other than honorary members. Please don't eliminate members based on descendancy (by birth, marriage or adoption). Please do not pass bylaws that allow an entire Board to be made up of non-descendants.
3. Please do not put in the bylaws the ability for the Board to force every member to pay dues or allow the Board to terminate membership based on failure to pay that membership dues. No one should be terminated from our group because they couldn't pay dues. Termination of membership should ONLY be done in the rarest of circumstances and it should be very hard to do. A membership committee should be formed to handle such rare circumstances.
4. Please do not put in the bylaws the ability to allow small committees of three Board members to make binding decisions without the approval of the full Board.
5. Please provide to the members the membership director and all financial records required by the state of New York each year prior to the annual meeting.
6. Please don't exclude in the "purpose of the association" the need to maintaining the Stone House as a living museum, the genealogy and the annual family reunion. In other words, please don't change the Stone House being occupied by a descendant, the genealogy remaining current and available to all members and the annual reunion.
7. Please do not water down the need for all Bull descendants to vote on organizational decisions, such as changes to the bylaws or when if ever to raise money through dues, etc.
8. Please do not water down the democratic process created by our forefathers of the association by changing how action is passed.
9. Please go the extra mile to get the final draft of the proposed bylaws out to all members for their review and let us know when these bylaws will be up for a vote of the entire membership. Please give as much notice (weeks) as possible before the final vote.
10. Please work through the bylaws committee to make the necessary changes required.
11. Please keep everyone informed of the various legal ramification and legislative changes that may play a role in the updating of the bylaws.
12. Please allow as many members to be included in the process as want to be involved.
13. Please create written policies and procedures on membership, nominating Board members and the Parliamentary process of meetings and the annual meetings. And please allow for membership to comment at those meetings.
14. Please work to keep the actions of the Board transparent and open to any member.
Thank you again Board for all that you do. We know that you are working hard and we want to help in that effort!! We hope this feedback is helpful!
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