HOD considers annual dues increase, online voting records

HOD considers annual dues increase, online voting records

Jan 01, 2011

Chicago — Another annual dues increase and a move to make voting results accessible online are among the items up for consideration by the American Veterinary Medical Association's (AVMA) House of Delegates (HOD) at its winter session Jan. 8 in Chicago.

The association's plan to increase dues gradually (in smaller amounts and more frequently) was first hatched this summer. The current proposal calls for an annual $10 increase for regular members from 2013 to 2015. The association says past dues increases have been for larger amounts but extended over longer spans of time. A $50 hike is set to take effect for 2011, which the HOD approved at its January 2010 winter session.

Prior to the 2011 increase, the last dues hike came in 2004 at $25 for regular members.

"Annual increases in member dues would enable the association to keep up with costs of doing business and plan prudently for initiatives to achieve the association's strategic goals," reports a statement accompanying the resolution.

In other action: The resolution to move voting results online, also scheduled for consideration by HOD this month, was submitted by the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association (AzVMA), according to AVMA. Resolution 3 directs HOD to change voting procedures to require all main motions and elections to be conducted by open electronic ballot. The results would then be posted online for membership to view. The new system, according to AVMA, would allow members to see how each HOD member votes on a particular issue.

"Currently, only the vote tally is revealed at the meeting, not how each delegate voted," AVMA says. "Individual votes are considered confidential."

In its resolution submission, the AVMA writes "the votes we cast should be available for the members we represent to view and comment upon if desired. ... The intent of this resolution is to encourage a more open and transparent process, not to increase its complexity."

HOD will consider a bylaw amendment that would allow AVMA, incorporated in Illinois, to stay compliant with the state's General Not-For-Profit Corporation Act. Specifically, the bylaw amendment would "allow any AVMA entity to take informal consent action that is 'approved in writing'—rather than 'signed'—as long as the vote were unanimous."

As for other resolutions slated for the winter session, AVMA said it did not have its final agenda ready by press time.

The association also is seeking nominations to the Disctrict VI and II Executive Board seats, replacing outgoing representatives Dr. John R. Brooks (District II) and Dr. John R. Scamahorn (District VI).

District II includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. District VI includes Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. Nominations must be made by the district directors for state veterinary medical associations or by petitions. They must include a letter from the candidate indicating they are willing to accept the nomination, as well as a biographic summary and brief statement of reasons for seeking offices. Nominations must be submitted to AVMA by Feb. 1, 2011.