Memorable Council leaves its mark on Rotary
A representative from one of Rotary's 531 districts looks over proposed legislation during the Council on Legislation 26 April. Rotary Images/Monika Lozinska-Lee
Representatives to the 2010 Council on Legislation left Chicago having enacted a number of monumental measures that will make e-clubs a permanent part of Rotary International, create a fifth Avenue of Service for New Generations, increase the annual per capita dues that clubs pay to RI by US$1, and give Rotarians in North America a choice of how they receive The Rotarian .
Representatives approved a $1 increase in annual per capita dues starting in 2011-12 that will allow RI's budget to remain profitable through 2013, but experience a deficit of about $3 million by 2015.
Rotary clubs will pay per capita dues to RI of $51 per year in 2011-12, $52 per year in 2012-13, and $53 per year in 2013-14. Per capita dues were already set at $50 for 2010-11.
The increase is only half the amount the Board of Directors had originally planned to seek. But after favorable financial forecasts, the Board offered an amended request for the $1 increase. RI's General Surplus Fund is well above the Council-mandated minimum reserves. Market performance has improved, and the Secretariat has made significant cuts in expenses. Read more.
After years as part of a pilot project, e-clubs found a permanent home in Rotary. Representatives approved a measure that will allow up to two e-clubs per district, amended from just one per district. Proponents of the amendment argued that districts that use more than one language would be better served by more e-clubs.
The measure defines e-clubs as Rotary clubs that meet through electronic communications. A handful of e-clubs have been operating as part of the pilot project set to end 30 June. Some of the pilot clubs meet solely through online forums, while others combine electronic with in-person meetings. Read more .
Representatives also voted to add a fifth Avenue of Service, New Generations, to the four that already exist: Club Service, Vocational Service, Community Service, and International Service. Before starting a project, Rotarians are asked to think broadly about how their club and its members can contribute within each avenue. Supporters of the fifth avenue feel it will encourage and recognize the positive change implemented by youth and young adults involved in leadership development efforts, service projects, and exchange programs. Read more .
In the final days of the Council, representatives voted to give Rotarians in the United States and Canada the option of receiving an electronic version of The Rotarian magazine. The Council rejected a proposal to completely do away with the subscription requirement, but it did allow for joint subscriptions for two Rotarians residing at the same address. It also voted against giving a choice between print and electronic magazines to Rotarians living outside North America. Read more .
The Council tackled a variety of other issues, including decreasing the number of members on the Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International from 34 to 17; giving the Board authority to take steps to limit the number of election complaints from a district, including disqualifying a nominee for district governor; giving the Board authority to eliminate or change district boundaries if a district falls below 33 clubs or 1,200 members; and precluding clubs from limiting membership based on sexual orientation.
The Council on Legislation meets every three years to consider changes to the RI Constitution, RI Bylaws, and the Standard Rotary Club Constitution. This year's Council convened 25-30 April. Representatives from Rotary's 531 districts considered more than 200 pieces of legislation submitted by Rotary clubs, districts, and the RI Board of Directors.
With the Council adjourned, an official Report of Action will be compiled and posted online as soon as possible.
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