By Chuck Foster
Last September, there were no declared candidates prior t
o or during the annual meeting. Fortunately, after the annual meeting two members of the community stepped up to serve (thank you!), which brought the Board back up to five members. I believe it is unfortunate when there are no declared candidates prior to the annual meeting. With declared candidates, community members have the opportunity to read each candidate’s statement and cast a vote for their preferred person(s). Declared candidates also send a strong public signal that members of the community are stepping forward to serve.
You may recall that, in my candidate’s statement in 2021, I wrote that I felt an obligation to run. As a member of the community, I have benefitted greatly from the hard and thoughtful work of former Board members. So I decided it was my time to make my contribution.
Is being on the Board a back-breaking responsibility? Actually, each Board member decides how much of their personal time they want to commit to the task. If you simply want to make sure the trains run on time, you can do that. Alternatively, if you want to contribute your time, energy, and creativity to improving some aspect of cluster life, you can do that, too. How many Board meetings are required over the course of a year? According to the by-laws, only four. However, the Board can hold more if the business of the cluster requires it. Each Board member brings a unique set of skills and experiences and is the sole determinant of his or her level of contribution. Some Boards accomplish a lot, others less. However, the important thing is that the residents of our community (as opposed to a professional manager) are the ones making the decisions about the train schedule, where the tracks go, and thus the quality of life in the cluster.
It’s not too soon to consider running for the Board. Give a Board member a call for insight into the responsibilities. And remember, in the grand scheme of things, it’s only a brief commitment, much less than some of the other commitments we might make in life, such as getting a tattoo, buying a boat, or having children!