Nov 29: Demystifying the Elections at the Salmagundi Club • Part One

(By Mitch Kahn)

2013 Election Cycle Begins December 7th

In one week the Salmagundi Club’s biennial (every two years) election process begins and for many it remains a virtual mystery. We hope to clear the air once and for all. While the system we use is different from regular public elections, it is quite common among organizations such as ours. It’s called the Nominating Committee system.

What exactly is a Nominating Committee and why do we need one?

For organizations like ours that have a tremendous number of offices and committee seats to fill simultaneously (more than 200 in our case), a simple election risks total chaos and unfilled positions. Our By-laws require very specific qualifications for each office and committee. To insure that a complete set of properly qualified candidates (a slate) is ready in time to be voted on the day of the election in April, we elect a Nominating Committee to do the legwork in advance. This doesn’t prevent other qualified candidates from running – it just guarantees that we don’t have any empty slots on the ballot.

How do we elect this Nominating Committee?

There are three steps. The first two involve picking candidates, six proposed by the Board of Directors and six proposed by the general membership. Third is the ballot.

1. Shortly ahead of the December General Membership meeting, the Board selects six candidates.

2. At the December General Membership meeting, the members pick six more.

This mini-election provides the opportunity for all eligible members to nominate and be nominated – it is as important as the election in April.

3. After the December meeting, a ballot containing the twelve names is mailed to all eligible-to-vote members. The five candidates receiving the highest number of votes are the Nominating Committee with the next two alternates. The individual with the largest number of votes is Chair.

What happens then?

The hard work! Recruiting members to fill all positions as required by the By-laws. In April the Nominating Committee’s slate, along with any other duly nominated candidates, is voted on by the membership. In June, outgoing officers, committee chairs and members are discharged and those newly elected take office.

These events will determine the club’s leadership and direction for the next two years!

Part Two Coming Soon: Filling the positions on the slate.

3 comments on “Nov 29: Demystifying the Elections at the Salmagundi Club • Part One

  1. Claudia Seymour says:

    Mitch, this was very nicely done. Bravo!


    Claudia Seymour President, Salmagundi Club

  2. says:

    Hi Mitch—Thanks for the explanation, you are an excellent club chronicler

  3. Stephen Slutsker says:

    Long over due. Nice job,Mitch

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