By C.J. Barbre

The Lindsay-Strathmore Coordinating Council Board of Directors decided to up their meetings to twice monthly at their Jan. 10 meeting, at least until things got caught up.

But at the Jan. 24 meeting, very little of what had been discussed had been acted upon. No progress was made in going more high tech. There was no progress on creating a business plan, employee handbook, and most other items. At this meeting they decided to go back to meeting once a month.

"We talked about two meetings a month, but I don't feel it's working at this point," LSCC Board President Cyndi Rios said. "One of the things I thought was that meetings were going to get easier for me, but they haven't." She cited family concerns including aging parents and children at home. "I do not want to step away from the board. I want to continue to contribute, but I need to step back."

She said she no longer wanted to be president. The next obvious choice was Pastor Jack Young, but he also declined. "I came down to help a board member and ended up as treasurer," he said. But, he said being president, "is not for me."

Lindsay City Manager Scot Townsend, who has recently become a member of United Way of Tulare County Board of Directors, said the Lindsay-Strathmore Coordinating Council could really be a top notch charity. It just needs a president with the time, organizational skills and heart to put in a lot of hours for strictly personal satisfaction. Of course it always looks good on the resum/, but that is putting the cart before the horse.

The job description would be very similar to the following:

President / Chair / Chief Voluntary Officer (CVO)

General: Ensures the effective action of the board in governing and supporting the organization, and oversees board affairs. Acts as the representative of the board as a whole, rather than as an individual supervisor to staff.

Community: Speaks to the media and the community on behalf of the organization (as does the executive director); represents the agency in the community.

Meetings: Develops agendas for meetings in concert with the executive director. Presides at board meetings.

Committees: Recommends to the board which committees are to be established. Seeks volunteers for committees and coordinates individual board member assignments. Makes sure each committee has a chairperson, and stays in touch with chairpersons to be sure that their work is carried out; identifies committee recommendations that should be presented to the full board. Determines whether executive committee meetings are necessary and convenes the committee accordingly.

Executive Director: Establishes search and selection committee (usually acts as chair) for hiring an executive director. Convenes board discussions on evaluating the executive director and negotiating compensation and benefits package; conveys information to the executive director.

Board Affairs: Ensures that board matters are handled properly, including preparation of pre-meeting materials, committee functioning, and recruitment and orientation of new board members.

Interim Director Sallie McDonald did pass out photo copies of information for board members including a sheet titled "Board Development Committee" prepared by former board president Terese Sholander in January 2002. It gave a breakdown of steps for new board member orientation. Rios said they would look at job descriptions for board members and volunteers at their retreat scheduled to take place after the next board meeting which is to begin at 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 21. New board member Cynthia Murray was not in attendance at this meeting, and new board member Gloria Scott had to leave early because of a prior commitment.

"Aren't we supposed to do board training once a year?" asked board member Esther Sluder.

"Yes, and we didn't do one last year," Rios replied. She said they also need to reformulate committees. Presently Sluder is the entire fund-raising committee.

Also in the packet was a pretty simple and straight forward information sheet for a "Board of Director's [member] Profile," the minimum you would want to know about a director, courtesy of United Way of Tulare County. United Way also had a list of items on what makes an effective, productive board meeting. There was a Board Member Code of Ethics, and another sheet also probably prepared by Sholander titled "Lindsay-Strathmore Coordinating Council Board of Directors Responsibilities."

One titled "Basic Information," gave just that, such as, "Each director shall hold office for two years and until his/her successor is elected and qualified. There is no limit to the number of terms a director may serve. Time commitment averages 2-8 hours per month," and so on.

None of this was complicated, some of it was as simplistic as "show up on time and stay until the meeting is over." But if all of the things on these few sheets of paper were done - followed through on - it would make the operation quite functional, in fact top notch.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Lindsay Strathmore Coordinating Council Board of Directors should contact Sallie McDonald at 562-4434 between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays or Thursdays.

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