Chair’s corner—One California SAF: To Be or Not to Be?

squarerlogoFor the past couple of years, the NorCal-SoCal joint society merger task force (composed of three
members from each NorCal and SoCal executive committee, the society chairs and the 3rd District board member) have been researching the pros and cons of a formal merger between NorCal SAF and SoCal SAF, thus possibly creating a “One California” state society.

The task force has presented a white paper and other pertinent information at recent joint NorCal and SoCal executive committee meetings. This information also has been printed in previous issues of the newsletter and posted on the state society web sites for all members to review.

The two executive committees decided that the membership should vote on the matter. According to National SAF procedures, for a vote to occur, both NorCal and SoCal must have at least 30 members from each state society sign a petition in support of holding a vote. This petition was sent out to all members of both NorCal and SoCal SAF this past July.

Past SoCal SAF chair Doug Nickles sent the petition request to the SoCal members. If members were in support of having the membership vote on the matter of “to merge or not to merge,” they were requested to sign and return the petition by August 21.

Well, suffice it to say, NorCal received more than the required 30 signed petitions for the matter to move forward; unfortunately SoCal did not.

This created a bit of a quandary during the August joint executive committee meeting in Auburn: What do we do now? One state society has the required signatures to move a motion forward to the membership for consideration and the other does not.

It was suggested that the timing of the petition was a hindrance to receiving the required 30 signatures, and that allowing more time for the members to review the petition request would bring in more signatures. After all it was summer. Many folks were on vacation, away from work and school, not able to access email.

Another option presented was that SoCal should request an exemption to the 30-signature rule from the SAF national office, suggesting rather a percentage of the membership would more fairly reflect the intent. SoCal SAF membership is small—currently 85 members compared to NorCal’s almost 700 members.

The SoCal executive committee decided to move forward on the latter option—to submit a letter to the national office, requesting consideration for a percentage of membership base for the petition signatures be acceptable.

And, well, at least as of this writing, the matter is still pending. The best I can say is that the matter is still moving, a bit slower than some would like, perhaps a bit too fast for others. Both NorCal and SoCal executive committees are taking the matter very seriously, being as judicious as possible about the issue to ensure whatever the outcome that it best serves the membership.

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