President's Message: It's that time of year again, but with a new twist. / by Michael Graves


As you all likely know, our March General Meeting is set by our bylaws as our Annual General Meeting during which Members in attendance elect new officers. Toward those ends and per the Bylaws, your Board has formed a Nomination Committee to seek Members to run for the open Board positions.

Now for the interesting part. Per the authority granted in the current bylaws, Article XI, the Board is in the process of updating our bylaws. One of the key goals of our update pertains to the election and term of Board Members. If anyone has served on a board like ours, one of the truly troubling dilemmas is how best to engender continuity between incoming and outgoing board members. After studying multiple boards for associations like ours, as well as numerous and various non-profit organizations, it was clear to us one of the best measures to decrease the information loss that occurs with the changing of the guard is to decrease the number of those changes. It is a common solution with boards we examined to extend the term of the board members from one to two years. We intend to incorporate that idea into our Bylaws.

Further, we are working to reduce the burden on the Association volunteer pool by staggering the anticipated two-year terms. This staggering will allow the Association to go to the well of the volunteer electorate for only half the current Board head count each year. To integrate the staggered terms with the two-year term length, several of the duly elected Board Members have generously offered to take on a second year of volunteer service at the position to which they were elected. Under the terms considered in the Bylaw update, the balance of Board positions will come up for election at the upcoming Annual General Meeting of the Association.

In order to coordinate these changes, the Board has voted to move the Annual General Meeting, and thereby the election of Board Officers, from the March General Meeting to the May General Meeting. This will accommodate recruiting of candidates for open Board positions and allow the Association to provide input to the Board before the Board renders its final decision regarding the update to the Bylaws. In all cases, the existing Board Members have consented to serve the additional period necessary to elect and install the folks elected to fill the opening Board positions.

At the 2019 Annual General Meeting in May, the Association will elect candidates for the following Board Positions to serve for two years:

  • Director – Membership (currently held by Jay Francis)

  • Director – Infrastructure/Land Use (currently held by Matt Johnson)

  • Treasurer (currently held by Sharon Greiff)

  • Secretary (currently held by Debbie Hall)

The following Board Members have volunteered to serve an additional year at their elected position to accommodate the “staggering” explained above. These folk’s term will close with the elections at the 2020 Annual General Meeting:

  • President (Harry McMahon)

  • Director – Beautification (Stephanie Riceman)

  • Director – Communications (Michael Graves)

  • Director – Security (Cody McGregor)

  • Director - Deed Restrictions (Melissa Sternfels)

As President, I would like to take this opportunity to thank those individuals who have contacted me and the other Board Members to offer their services to the Association. Now that we have a charted path forward, all those interested in volunteering, please submit (or resubmit) to me your name and any position you are interested in pursuing.

Although I am certain I am leaving some key positions out, I have attempted to summarize the opportunities to volunteer your services.

Open Board Positions

  • Membership

  • Infrastructure/Land Use

  • Secretary

  • Treasurer

If you are not interested in a Board position, all of the Board Members often have need for ad hoc committees and task assistance. Such commitments allow a volunteer to “dip a toe in the water” and better understand the process, responsibility and effort required in a Board Position.

Of course, we have numerous committees and subcommittees which are consistently in need of helping hands. Lights in the Heights and the Home Tour committees are always looking for volunteers. Additional ad hoc committees can be formed only if there are enough volunteers will to work to support the effort. For example, an ad hoc committee is contemplated to help better understand the need for sidewalk upgrades. We are also considering how best to apply the opportunity to plant trees where established trees have died or have been removed. We have needs for an IT subcommittee, data management assistance, deed restriction coordination, infrastructure monitoring and planning, constable patrol coordination, assistance with disseminating flyers, newsletters and door-hangers generated by Communications and last but certainly not least, assistance with keep our beautification upgrades in good shape and, hopefully, executing beautification projects currently under consideration.

There are TONS more opportunities which I have certainly overlooked. If you have skills not included in the above, and you would like to offer your services, do not hesitate to send in your name and suggested field of endeavor.

Finally, I personally want to thank all those who have served so selflessly on the Board of Directors and the numerous, essential committees and volunteer positions which help the Association make the Woodland Heights a special place to live. Thanks to you all.

Harry McMahon
President, Woodland Heights Civic Association