Bylaws Changes Approved at 2017 Annual Conference
At the 2016 Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association (WSFCA) Annual Business Meeting there was a motion to create an Ad-Hoc Committee to explore term limits and the Board structure of the WSFCA. At this year’s WSFCA Annual Conference Business meeting in Green Bay, those recommended Bylaw changes were voted on and passed. The paragraphs that follow provide a summary of those changes along with the transition plan recommendations that were made to WSFCA Executive Board at June 25th Board meeting.
Proposal #1: This proposal relates to the introduction of electronic voting. The advantage of electronic voting is multi-faceted. Not only does it allow WSFCA members the opportunity to review candidate positions, it also ensures that every member in good standing will be able to vote regardless of their ability to attend the annual conference. Prior to this passage, members who were unable to attend the annual meeting held at the conference were only able to vote by proxy. This change to the Bylaws will create greater transparency in the election process and provide a more inclusive and representative electorate. This change in voting procedures will come into effect at the start of next year for the 2018 elections.
Proposal #2: Related to membership and restructuring of the Executive Board. This Bylaw change adds Division Chiefs to the current list of Chief Officers eligible for membership, and also allows Company Officers to become non-voting members. In addition, it expands the Board of Directors to six (6) Regional Trustees and three (3) Appointed Trustees. The Regional Trustees will be elected positions based on geographic regions of the State. (See Map Here: http://www.wsfca.com/wsfca-members/regions/) The Appointed Trustees would be appointed by the President annually and must include a Career Chief, Volunteer/Paid-on-Call Chief and Combination Chief. This Bylaw change will ensure broad representation of the WSFCA membership across the State, not only geographically, but by department structure and makeup. Company Officers who join the WSFCA will not have the ability to vote or hold Officer Positions within the WSFCA, but will have the ability to seize the educational and mentorship opportunities that come from receiving WSFCA educational information and attending WSFCA educational events. Are you doing succession planning for your next Chief Officer replacements? This is a great start! Get them to join the WSFCA and take advantage of Proposal #3!
Proposal #3: Relates to the membership dues rate of adding Active Company Officers membership category. To encourage membership in the new Active Company Officer membership category, those that join WSFCA as an Active Company Officer in 2018 will receive reduced membership dues of $45.00 for their first year of membership.Membership dues will then be the full price of $65.00 for each subsequent year. They must not already be a member of WSFCA in another membership category to qualify for this incentive.
The Transitional Plan that was presented to the Board by the committee includes: the current four (4) Trustee positions will transition to the new three (3) appointed trustee positions in 2018. The vacant Trustee position created by Bantes being elected to 2nd Vice President will remain unfilled. The remaining three (3) Trustees will be permitted to finish their current terms, but will be appointed to represent the service level of their respective departments until their terms expire or they leave the Board for any reason. Trustee Chief Aaron Paul will represent Volunteer Departments, Trustees Chief Tracey Kujawa and Chief Michael Romas will represent Career Departments. It was also moved that the WSFCA Executive Board initiate an educational and recruitment program to reach out to all its members on the new Regional Trustee positions that will open up for 2018. Your WSFCA needs you and your departments to be involved for this to be successful, and to ensure Wisconsin’s Fire Chiefs have the voice in this organization and the State in general! Reach out to any WSFCA Executive Board members for any additional information.