Special Places and the Common Core Bylaws
BY VALERIE KEHOE
Photo by Amy Marcoux
If you have a teenager or “tweenager” in your immediate or extended family, you may have noticed that they wear different colored or patterned socks rather than the traditional matching pair of socks. Is this a problem? Generally no, unless, of course, the intended function and the performance of the socks are compromised by the state of being mismatched. (Have you ever worn two different socks with varying thicknesses at the same time? Not comfortable.) As I thought about how to describe the new Special Place Common Core Bylaws approved by the Council in September 2018, the sight of my daughter wearing mismatched socks came to mind. Let me explain.
Eastman now has 15 unique Special Places which are the first level in the governance process within our community. Each Special Place is managed by a set of bylaws adopted by its members. In addition to electing Special Place officers, the owners of each Special Place elect Council Representatives to attend, weigh-in, and vote on important items at quarterly Council meetings. Special Places differ in many ways,
including size, location, and geographic features. There are many aspects that make each Special Place, well, special.
Here is where the socks sneak into the picture. Previously, Special Places did not have common guidelines regarding how they were run, how often meetings occurred, or how information was communicated to its members. When comparing the Special Places, many matched each other, while others were like mismatched socks. They assumed similar roles, however they did not all function in the same manner. And when Special Place representatives attended Council meetings, there lacked conformity with respect to full representation for all Special Place members. With the Council’s passage of the Special Place Common Core Bylaws, which go into effect when each Special Place votes on them at their respective annual meetings this summer, Special Places will all be required to:
*Hold annual meetings between July 1 and Aug. 31 at which they will
conduct an election of officers and Council Representative.
*Notify members of each Special Place at least 20 days in advance of meetings or elections
*Send meeting minutes to the ECA within 20 days of final approval to
post on the Eastman website.
*Gather feedback from Special Place members, electronically or by mail,
on significant issues to be voted on at the Council meetings.
*Indicate how many members must be present in order to constitute a
quorum for an official meeting.
*Indicate the percent of voting members required to pass proposed
amendments to their Special Place bylaws
In addition to the important role of governance, Special Places connect neighbors to neighbors and encourage the exchange of ideas that will benefit the future of Eastman.