The ELGL Board of Directors is excited to share some organizational updates with you, our members. Over the last year we have been discussing the need to update and modernize our organizational bylaws to reflect the current needs of the organization. Since the board was created in 2017, ELGL has grown tremendously and the bylaws we had were very helpful in allowing us to be flexible and meet the needs of the changing organization.
However, the board recognized that in order to create consistency and standardize our practices we needed more structure and role clarity for board members. This includes both the roles and responsibilities of board members as well as creating opportunities for ELGL members to volunteer and help run our beloved organization.
Last month we adopted new bylaws that will accomplish three key things:
- Create expanded volunteer opportunities through ELGL Standing Committees and other advisory bodies. Over the years lots of ELGL members have wanted to volunteer and provide their expertise and experience to the organization, but often we did not have ways to sustain volunteer involvement. Now there will be three standing committees meeting regularly and advising the ELGL Board of Directors: Event Planning and Coordination Committee, Content and Communication Committee, and Governance Committee. Each committee will have board members and volunteer ELGL members working together on the core business of ELGL. We can also create advisory bodies, such as ad hoc committees or task forces to work on specific issues or topics. Those additional advisory bodies will be made up of ELGL members and any member will be invited to participate.
- Expand the size of the board to nine members and standardize board member terms. The Board of Directors now has nine members with each member serving a staggered three-year term, so that one third of the board rolls off each year. This expansion will allow more members the opportunity to serve on the board. We also believe that staggered three-year terms balance the need for institutional memory with our goal of bringing in new and diverse voices and perspectives onto the board.
- Create and formalize officer roles to better serve the ELGL membership and improve organizational sustainability. In ELGL’s original bylaws the only officer identified was an Executive Director who also served as the Secretary and Treasurer of the organization. This served us well as we grew, but was unsustainable because lots of responsibility and knowledge was focused on a single position. This was too much to expect of a single person, no matter how awesome or skilled, and a better sharing of responsibilities will be more balanced and more sustainable for the organization. In the new bylaws there are four officer roles detailed in addition to the Executive Director. The roles and responsibilities of the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer are outlined in the bylaws and each role will be filled by a separate Board Member. This creates more leadership opportunities within ELGL and creates a succession plan for future leaders of ELGL.
We are really excited about these changes, we think they will allow ELGL to be a strong, sustainable local government professional association focused on our mission to engage the brightest minds in local government. As we said in our strategic plan, one of ELGL’s values is Dependability so that we are here when you need us and can connect you with people who care. This won’t be the only action we take to ensure that ELGL is built to last but we believe it is an important foundation to lay.
In the coming weeks, we will be introducing new board members who will be leading ELGL and providing the connection, creativity, and joy that you have come to expect from ELGL. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
ELGL Board of Directors
Ben Kittelson, Chair
Maggie Jones, Vice Chair