An update from ONA President Chanin Scanlon:
Summary of Proposed Bylaws Changes
Oakhurst Neighborhood Association
At the June executive board meeting the board voted to move forward with a general membership vote on the proposed changes to the bylaws as presented by the Bylaws Committee. A special general membership meeting will be called to vote on the proposed changes no sooner than 30 days after notice is given to members via a summary in The Oak Leaflet newsletter; posting the proposed changes on ONA’s website; posting in the Oakhurst Neighborhood Association group on Nextdoor; and sent out via e-mail. Additionally, paper copies of the proposed revisions will be hand delivered to members who request a copy. Please either email or call 817-757-9977 if you require a paper copy. A digital copy of the proposed bylaws can be found in the sidebar of this website.
The major recommendations include:
- A general cleanup of gender based language, typographical errors, irregular formatting, and breaking up certain paragraphs so they are more comprehensible but not changing the intent.
- Changing to individual rather than household membership. This change is recommended for membership tracking and voting purposes. It is difficult for the treasurer or secretary to know who members are when entire households are members and for voting purposes it will be clear who may and may not vote at ONA elections. It is recommended that the executive board and membership vote on single membership dues should this recommendation pass but the bylaws committee recommends a drop in dues per single members.
- Should ONA be dissolved, the committee is recommending that a change be made that any remaining funds after dissolution of the organization be spent on Oakhurst common areas and park rather than returned as a refund to remaining members as it currently stands. This recommendation is being made as it was seen as a more equitable to all residents of Oakhurst if the common areas and park were to receive the benefit of remaining funds. How those funds will be spent will remain the charge of the dissolving board.
- General membership meetings would be held six times yearly rather than twice per year in April and October. Officially scheduled meetings would be held in February, April, June, August, October and December. This proposed change is recommended as a compromise between members who wish to meet every month and other members who would like to meet less. Executive board meetings are currently scheduled to meet quarterly, the proposal would require the executive board to also meet six times per year before general membership meetings.
- Notice and agenda of both the executive board meetings and general membership meetings was added to include a post in Oakhurst Park at least seven days prior to the meeting. Without this notice, voting may not take place at those meetings. A posting board will be erected in the park to comply with this recommendation. Further, notice of meetings may be posted on Nextdoor and/or e-mail in addition to the posting in the park but are not required. The purpose of this recommendation is to have a consistent and open method for the announcement of meetings and public agendas.
- Committees – committees and their duties were further defined in these proposed changes. Specifically, standing and special committees were defined as committee organization, membership, and duties was often not defined. More importantly, the proposed changes recommend that each chair of a standing committee will serve as an executive board member with officers of ONA not being allowed to chair any standing committee to keep the executive board number consistent. Proposed committee changes include:
- The Audit Committee - is to be appointed by the president seven days after the ONA elections in April. We propose to move that back to fourteen days after election to give the president more time to gather a committee as seven days is a very short time after election to appoint any committee.
- Nominating Committee - absent from the current bylaws is the duties of nominating committee. Those duties, how many members may serve on the committee and how the committee is formed is now defined. There will be no less than 5 members and no more than 7 members and the committee will be elected at the February general membership meeting.
- Street Representatives – as it stand the executive board consists of 28 street representative and 4 officers for a total of 32 members. The recommendation is to reduce the unwieldy size of ONA’s executive board from 32 to 10 members which is a more appropriate size for an organization of 150-180 members. The recommendation is to change the makeup of the street representatives to a committee wherein they will elect a chair to represent them on the executive board and hold meetings as they see useful and fit in order to communicate matters that pertain to their respective streets. Street representative are a valuable asset to ONA and their other duties will remain relatively unchanged. ONA is the only neighborhood association in Fort Wort with an executive board as large as it is. Gathering 30 plus members of an executive board is a burden for anyone and many of the street representatives have noted that they will not or cannot attend meeting but would rather simply pass out newsletters and communicate with their neighbors. It is believed that more street representatives would participate in ONA if they did not have to be executive board members.
- Two new committees were proposed to be added to the bylaws and their chair would also serve on the executive board, those include the TPW/Zoning Committee that would be tasked with keeping up with city related issues that affect Oakhurst and bringing those matters to the attention of its members and the Social Events Committee which is currently a very visible and active committee that should be recognized and defined in the bylaws with the chair having a seat on the executive board.
- Code of conduct – the code of conduct language was removed from the bylaws however language that there is a code of conduct and members should not be in violation was left in the language. It is recommended that the code of conduct be referred to the executive board and ONA members for drafting and approval as a policy of the organization.
- No amendments will be accepted from the floor during voting as that defeats the purpose of proper notice of amendments to the bylaws. Any updates will go into effect immediately.