mail-box-full-colorDear Sir:

At last some interest is being taken in the governance of the Lake Chapala Society! I think the Preamble to the proposed new constitution says it best:

“The Lake Chapala Society, A.C., since its official formation in 1979, has continually endeavored to meet the ever-changing and growing needs of its members and the Lake Chapala communities in which they reside. As the Society has matured the membership has recognized from time to time the need to adjust the governing documents with the effect that there are now four different registered documents that must be consulted to answer complex governing and administrative questions. So, while recognizing the intent of previous documents and paying homage to the significant accomplishments of members in years gone by, this document does four things:

Establishes one governing document,

Clarifies the difference between governing and operational roles and assigns appropriate accountability for carrying out those responsibilities,

Requires both short-term and long term planning based on the clearly stated vision, mandate and values of the Society, and

Demands transparent accountability to the membership.

This Constitution is a new document that supersedes and revokes all previous versions of the constitution and bylaws. Its creation is the result of long hours of work by many dedicated members who took significant time to carefully debate each and every concept, word, and sentence. Open to all members, often vigorous, sometimes heated, and occasionally humorous, these discussions about the heart and soul of the Society have resulted in general agreement on what follows and is delivered with the greatest respect for the Society and its members.”

The particulars of the proposed new constitution follow this statement, and readers can read the complete document at www.lakechapalasociety.org or at the LCS Service Desk or attend any of the many informational meetings to be scheduled soon. Members should not be misled by the interpretations of others. For instance,

Family Memberships ARE NOT eliminated. The new constitution provides flexibility so the membership can determine what types of membership it should have and make changes as needed.

The new Constitution requires the membership to approve all strategic plans of the Society. Only the membership can eliminate services, not the Board. The new constitution actually strengthens the powers of members.

There is NO REQUIREMENT that a board member make any financial contribution in order to be on the Board.

The Annual General Meeting was moved to the third week in March to accommodate the change in the society’s fiscal year and to allow time for reporting actual figures for the year-end financial statements. This will give members a much clearer picture of the health of the Society at the Annual General Membership meeting.

I urge all LCS members to be informed and to vote responsibly. For me, voting FOR the proposed new constitution on November 12th makes the most sense.

Most sincerely,

John R. Rider


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