A roundup of action taken by the Council on 29 April.
R epresentatives at the Council on Legislation rejected a proposal Thursday to establish additional per capita dues of US$3 to support the annual RI Convention.
Carl L. Chinnery, representative from District 6040 (Missouri, USA), who introduced the proposed enactment, said the additional annual dues would make it possible to reduce registration fees from $300 to $100 and increase the convention’s appeal to Rotarians.
“Our convention is a valuable event for Rotarians. It encourages them to do more, donate more, and they come back with a renewed energy,” said Chinnery. “We aspire for full attendance, but the conventions have been cost prohibitive. It is fair for all Rotarians to support the conventions for the cost of a cup of coffee.”
Proponents argued that reduced convention registration fees would increase attendance by 2,000 to 3,000 Rotarians and guests.
RI President-elect Ray Klinginsmith, who supported the measure, said the RI Board is concerned about recent convention attendance. He noted that since 2005, attendance at RI conventions has not exceeded 20,000.
Opponents argued that it wouldn’t be fair for more than 98 percent of Rotarians to subsidize the cost for the less than 2 percent who go to the convention. They also were against another dues increase, given the Council’s vote Tuesday to approve a $1 increase in the per capita dues clubs pay to RI.
“Rotary is already very costly,” said Kasemchai Nitiwanakun, of Distict 3350 (Thailand; Cambodia). “Rotarians shouldn’t pay more dues that will only benefit 10,000 to 20,000 people.”
In other actions, the Council
- Agreed to decrease the number of members on the Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International from 34 to 17. Proponents cited cost and logistical problems. “Having 34 zones on the committee [lessens] efficiency and is not cost effective,” said John Örtengren, of District 2350 (Sweden).
- Rejected a proposed enactment to reduce per capita dues for members under the age of 40. Proponents said the measure might help attract younger members, but opponents suggested that clubs find more creative ways to recruit young Rotarians.
- Rejected an enactment to extend the term of district governors from one year to two years. While the measure's backers argued that one year isn’t enough time to visit each club in the district and complete projects, those against it said extending the term by a year would pose familial and professional challenges for governors.
- Approved a proposal to give the Board authority to take steps to limit the number of election complaints from a district. The measure, which representatives debated for almost an hour, would allow the Board to take any or all of the following actions if two or more district governor complaints were filed in a district within a five year period, and if the Board believed the RI Bylaws or election complaint procedures had been violated: 1) disqualify a nominee for district governor and select a past governor instead, 2) remove from office any governor interfering with the election process, and 3) strip past governors interfering with an election of their titles. The measure also would give the Board power to dissolve a district and assign clubs to surrounding districts, if the district incurs three or more election complaints in a five-year period. The Board argued that the measure is necessary to cut down on the number of election complaints, which cost RI money to address. Opponents said the measure would penalize clubs for exercising their right to submit election complaints as they feel necessary.
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