At our November 28, 2022 meeting, when officers for 2023 would normally be elected, we were still short of having enough volunteers to fill some essential officer positions. At best, we would have had only five members on a Board where our By Laws requires five as the minimum to conduct business. From operating in this mode essentially all of 2022, we knew that was an untenable position: there are many Board meetings when absences are unavoidable.
Rather than voting for an barely functional Board, there was a discussion about how to proceed. After discussion, a motion was made by Ms. Bernstein that BC Dems disband in January 2023. This motion was discussed and amended. The sentiment at the November meeting was that disbanding was the only logical choice, but disbanding is a major amendment (revocation) of our By Laws and as such requires two meetings and notification of all membership before taking final action. There was the added complication that we don't meet in December because of holiday conflicts, and without membership renewals for 2023 (which doesn't make sense if our next action is to immediately disband) we technically wouldn't have any members to vote or officers to act after December 31.
There was no course of action that did not conflict in some way with our By Laws, but the action which made the most sense and seemed most in the spirit of our By Laws was to Table (in the sense of postpone) the motion to disband until the next scheduled General Meeting on January 23, 2023, notify all 2022 members of the January vote on a motion to disband, and extend all memberships and officer positions to include the January 23 meeting.
The postponed motion in its final amended form was:
There was a separate vote to extend memberships and officer terms through the January 23 meeting so that a final vote on the postponed motion would be possible in January. The November meeting was then adjourned.
The January 23, 2023 hybrid in-person & Zoom meeting at the Golden Corral was attended by 15 of the 49 members of record of the BC Dems as of December 31, 2022, which was over 30% of membership and satisfied our quorum requirement of 25%.
The postponed motion from November 28 was re-introduced for discussion. During that discussion there was general agreement that BC Dems still served a useful function in supporting Democratic issues and candidates, but also a recognition that without more volunteering to serve it could not continue as currently organized. It was also pointed out that disbanding did not mean that members would be forced to disengage politically, as there are alternative ways to engage and former members could still contribute directly to political candidates or to other organizations without BC Dems as an intermediary. Following the discussion, the vote to disband was approved with no dissenting votes.
Those former BC Dems members who are not already members of the Democratic Party of Benton County are encouraged to consider joining that organization to stay connected with activities and candidates of the Democratic Party in Benton County, and to continue to support Democratic candidates at the County, State, and Federal level.
The major known assets of the Benton County Dems at the time of the January 23, 2023 meeting are a checking account bank balance. a button making machine with assorted supplies, a portable PA box with mics, and a portable table-top lectern.
The 2022 Board is proceeding with shutdown of the organization and the archiving of records in a digital form that will be distributed to all the 2022 BC Dems Board members.