Opinion: My Thoughts on Attending a Virtual Board Meeting

woman in black blazer sitting on black office chair

I attended the virtual Board of Directors meeting on July 9, 2020.  Since the stay-at-home order in March, the GHI Board of Directors has been holding their twice monthly meetings via Zoom.  As with in-person meetings, all GHI members are invited to attend the Open Session meetings.  I have attended in-person meetings in the past, but this was my first virtual meeting. I’ve compiled a list of positives from my experience and some suggestions I think would improve the meetings. Continue reading “Opinion: My Thoughts on Attending a Virtual Board Meeting”

Request for Audiovisual Recordings to Be Made Available to Members

people on a video call

At the July 9, 2020 GHI Board of Directors meeting, the request for audiovisual recordings of Board meetings to be made available to members was discussed.  Currently, the virtual Zoom meetings are recorded but deleted after the minutes are taken.  This is also the same practice for the audio recordings of in-person Board meetings, which is done at the advice of GHI legal counsel.

After a brief discussion and some questions, it was proposed that General Manager Eldon Ralph discuss this further with GHI legal counsel as a first step.  The proposal passed, and the General Manager will move forward with this discussion.

Members United has explored this topic in the past with a member survey.  Click here to read the results and here to watch the live stream results.  Check back on MembersUnited.net for further updates on this topic.

This Week’s Board Meeting: Request for Audiovisual Recordings of Board Meetings to be Made Available to Members

young unrecognizable woman during video chat on laptop

Of note for the July 9, 2020 Board of Directors meeting is an agenda item previously explored by Members United: that audiovisual recordings of the Board of Directors meetings be made available to members.  Since the stay-at-home order began in March, Board meetings have become virtual; Zoom meetings have been made available for Board members and GHI members alike.  The quick action to do this by GHI allowed our cooperative and Board to remain up and running, while providing members with a virtual platform to be involved while staying in their homes. Continue reading “This Week’s Board Meeting: Request for Audiovisual Recordings of Board Meetings to be Made Available to Members”

It’s That Time of Year Again

person dropping paper on box

It’s that time of year again: The GHI Annual Meeting is just around the corner.  On Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 7:30pm, the Annual Meeting will commence.  Elections for the GHI Board of Directors and Audit Committee will take place during the annual meeting, as well as the presentation of member agenda items.  Here are some upcoming dates to mark on your calendars:

  • Tuesday, March 10: The Nominations and Elections (N&E) Committee makes their first announcement of candidates
  • Thursday, April 9: Members may propose an agenda item by petition to Secretary Ed James or GHI office
  • Tuesday, April 28 at 7:30pm: Candidates’ Forum in the City Council Room, Greenbelt Municipal Building
  • Thursday, April 30 by 5:00pm: Candidates must submit consent forms (found here) to GHI office or N&E Committee member
  • Thursday, May 5: Final deadline for candidates to submit nominations by written petition
  • Thursday, May 7 at 12:00pm – Wednesday, May 13 at 12:00pm: Members may pick up applications for absentee ballots at GHI office
  • Wednesday, May 13 at 12:00pm: Deadline to submit applications for absentee ballots
  • Thursday, May 14 at 7:30pm: GHI Annual Meeting at the Community Center Gym; read about Roberts’ Rules of Order here.
  • Thursday, May 14 after meeting and Friday, May 15 from 7:00-10:00am & 5:00-8:00pm: Polls open
  • Friday, May 15: Election results announced

For complete information, see the GHI Elections page and the Candidates’ Packet.

Succession Planning and Emergency Backup Planning Task Force Meeting: Tuesday, November 5

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On July 25, 2019, the GHI Board of Directors passed a motion to establish a task force to recommend a succession and emergency backup plan for the General Manager position.  This task force is scheduled to have their first meeting on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at 6:30pm at the GHI Administration Building.

Why this Matters:
  • The General Manager position is essential to the proper functioning of a healthy cooperative.
  • While the Board of Directors has the authority under the GHI Bylaws to:
“Appoint, assign the duties of, and determine the salary of a general manager, who shall assume administrative control of the business of the Corporation” (see Article V, Section 4 on p. 10 of the bylaws);

The Membership, at membership meetings, has the responsibility under the GHI Bylaws for:

“determining policies of the Corporation” and for “exercising final authority on all matters vitally affecting the Corporation” (see Article IV, Section 9 on p. 8 of the by-laws)
The GHI Bylaws may be found here.

Continue reading “Succession Planning and Emergency Backup Planning Task Force Meeting: Tuesday, November 5”

Reminder (May 9, 2019): GHI Annual Membership Meeting

Be sure to attend the 2019 GHI Annual Membership meeting!

When? Thursday, May 9, 2019.

Time? Check-in @ 7 p.m. Meeting @ 7:30 p.m.

Where? Greenbelt Community Center Gym, 15 Crescent Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770

Why?

Use your vote to decide any motion(s) put to the membership.

Select among candidates the Board of Directions, Audit Committee, and Nominations + Elections Committee.

Learn about results from the Member Outreach Committee survey of members which received over 500 responses.

Listen as the Long-Range Planning Committee presents data gathered during its work and describes the process guiding the next steps.

Get ready to sign up after the Woodlands Committee presents the new Common Area Caretaker Program.

See you at the meeting!

Proxy Voting and the 2019 GHI Annual Membership Meeting

You probably know that GHI’s 2019 Annual Membership Meeting is almost here! Do you know how to make sure that your vote is counted if you cannot attend the meeting?

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 9, 2019. Check-in begins at 7:00 p.m. and the meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Greenbelt Community Center Gym (15 Crescent Road).

If no member in your household (a person listed on your Mutual Ownership Contract) can attend the Annual Meeting, you can give your proxy to another GHI member who will attend. That member can register your vote on business matters and elections conducted during the meeting.

Get a proxy form at the GHI management office by Thursday, May 2, 2019.

Proxy forms must be submitted by one of two deadlines:

May 2, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. to the GHI management office or

May 4, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. to GHI Board Secretary Ed James (56-D Crescent Road).

Absentee ballots are another way to participate in elections if you cannot attend the Annual Meeting but they DO NOT record your vote for/against motions.

For example, at the 2018 meeting, members were asked to vote on a motion to protect GHI woodlands. You could NOT register your vote unless you were physically in the room or submitted the paperwork to give your proxy to another member who was in the room.

Why pass up a chance to use your voice?

See you at the meeting!

Save the Date (Tuesday, April 30, 2019): GHI Candidates’ Forum

NOTE: This post was updated to clarify that forum broadcasts are handled through the City of Greenbelt’s cable station, not GATe. My apologies for the error!

What?
It’s time for GHI’s 2019 Candidates’ Forum!  Listen to and ask questions of the candidates running for positions on the Board of Directors and Audit Committee.

When?
Tuesday, April 30, 2019.

Time?
7:30 p.m. Continue reading “Save the Date (Tuesday, April 30, 2019): GHI Candidates’ Forum”

Save The Date (April 23, 2019): Public Workshop on Widening I-495 at Eleanor Roosevelt High School

What?

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) State Highway Administration (SHA) are holding Public Workshops at Eleanor Roosevelt High School on the widening of I-495 and I-270.

When?

Tuesday, April 23, 2019, first session starts at 6:30 PM, second session starts at 8:30 PM.

Continue reading “Save The Date (April 23, 2019): Public Workshop on Widening I-495 at Eleanor Roosevelt High School”

Know Before You Go: 10 Tips for Making the Most of GHI’s Annual Membership Meeting (May 9, 2019)

people on sidewalk selective focal photo

If you love policy, process, debate, people-watching, and Robert’s Rules of Order, May 9, 2019 will be the most interesting date on GHI’s calendar.

The Annual Membership Meeting is more than a bylaws requirement — it is perhaps our best opportunity to participate in direct democracy because you vote on matters that determine how our cooperative will be governed.

You also decide who will conduct GHI’s business … and who will provide the necessary oversight. The Annual Meeting is a big deal.

However, there are some aspects of the meeting that might quash your love for all things governance if you aren’t prepared. Here are some “lessons learned” gleaned from members with years of Annual Meeting experience (and great stories). Continue reading “Know Before You Go: 10 Tips for Making the Most of GHI’s Annual Membership Meeting (May 9, 2019)”