Happy New Year at Your Chapter Meeting
By now, most of us have stowed our holiday decorations (or maybe not) and are working on overcoming the overindulgence that inevitably accompanies the holiday season. Some have probably already broken some well-intended, yet misguided, new year’s resolutions.
However, no need to be alarmed. There is still time to make some resolutions that you can fulfill in most of 2017. As your new association’s board gears up for 2017 by preparing meeting calendars and establishing new goals and resolutions, keep your PORAC chapter meetings in mind. As the Inland Chapter President, I can vouch for the fact that chapter meetings are an invaluable fusion center for dissemination of information to your members. This year will be especially important as we work toward preventing the so-called transparency proponents (newspapers and politicians looking for re-election) from turning our disciplinary investigations into a public circus. Chapter meetings are a vital resource for networking with your neighboring POAs and/or DSAs.
As association presidents and boards are filling appointments for 2017, consider creating a PORAC chapter liaison position. Your PORAC chapter liaison does not necessarily have to be a board member; however, it does help, since they can speak from a position of authority. The representative can be an aspiring board member who is active within your POA or DSA, and they must be an active member of PORAC. Remember your appointee is going to represent your POA or DSA at the chapter level; you want someone who has the authority to share pertinent information about your association at that level. This is where the “rubber meets the road” when it comes to networking and information sharing. I have had the pleasure of witnessing new attendees at my chapter meetings who realize their perils are currently or at some point were shared by other associations at the table. This is why having a chapter liaison is extremely important. Ultimately, this person realizes they do not operate in a bubble, and there are other resources available to assist them with their concerns. In law enforcement, we are masters of not reinventing the wheel, and chapter meetings are that resource to help your association use tried-and-true approaches toward solving problems. It may be as simple as creating or updating your bylaws to deal with a current issue or concerns within your association, or as intricate as navigating the negotiations or concessions currents.
We in PORAC leadership are often approached by associations seeking PORAC’s assistance with issues affecting their members. One of our first questions to them is usually, “Did you attend your last chapter meeting?” Inevitably the response is they didn’t have the time, or they question why they need to attend PORAC meetings to seek guidance from PORAC. The answer is, you don’t have to attend the meetings to get assistance; however, 95% of the time there is another member present at the table who has or knows other members who have experienced what you are dealing with and has invaluable insight on how to assist you at the local level.
Visit www.porac.org and click on the “Events” tab at the upper right of the page, then click on “Calendar” in the pulldown menu. It should contain your chapter meeting information on it. If your chapter information is not there, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will research the information for you.
Be safe and have fun. See you at the chapter meeting!