This New Year, Resolve to Attend Your Chapter Meeting
2015 was a busy year dealing with pending retirement issues, and this year is shaping up to continue along the same path. 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 of us have probably already broken some well-intended but nonetheless misguided new year’s resolutions.
However, no need to be alarmed: There is still time to make some resolutions that you can fulfill for most of 2016. As your new association’s board gears up for 2016 by preparing meeting calendars and establishing new goals and resolutions, keep your PORAC chapter meetings in mind. Speaking as the President of the Inland Chapter, I can tell you 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 Chuck Reed and Carl DeMaio from ravaging what’s left of our pensions. Chapter meetings are a vital resource for networking with your neighboring POAs and DSAs.
As association presidents and boards are filling appointments for 2016, consider creating a PORAC chapter liaison position. Your PORAC chapter liaison does not necessarily have to be a board member; however, it does help. The representative can be an aspiring board member who is active within your POA or DSA, but your representative must also be an active member of PORAC. Remember, your appointee is going to represent your POA or DSA at the chapter level, so 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 as pertains to networking and information sharing. I have had the pleasure of witnessing new attendees at our chapter meetings realize that 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 that 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 issues. 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 concession currents.
When we at the PORAC leadership level are approached by associations seeking assistance with issues affecting their members, one of our first questions to them is usually, “Did you attend your last chapter meeting?” Inevitably their response is they don’t have the time, or why do 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 have invaluable insight on how to assist you at the local level.
Visit www.porac.org and click on the “Events” tab, then “Calendar” on the upper right-hand side of the webpage. The PORAC calendar should contain your chapter meeting information on it. If your chapter information is not on there, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will research the information for you. See you at the chapter meeting!
Be safe and have fun.