|September 6, 2010|
|Eloquent Counselor Brings Barber into APR Debate|
|By Jack O'Dwyer|
|A lengthy posting in the governance e-group of PRSA has convinced a “reluctant” Mary Barber of Anchorage to join the APR debate on the side of those who want to let non-APRs on the board.|
Barber, back in her own firm (www.bargergp.com) after a stint at the Alaska Community Foundation, was national secretary of the Society in 2008 and was on the board in 2007 and 2006.
Barber, an APR and Fellow, is one of the few participants in the e-group who favors letting non-APRs on the board. She said Sept. 3 that she was “reluctant” to join the debate but the posting of Assembly delegate Daniel Keeney of DPK PR (www.dpkpr.com), Colleyville, Texas, “really sums up my arguments to vote yes in this debate.”
She urged others in the e-group to read Keeney’s arguments for “democracy” in the Society.
Society “Doesn’t Make Sense”
Keeney is right in saying the Society “doesn’t make sense” when it lets non-APRs serve in the Assembly but not on the national board.
Leaders’ “insistence on requiring APR for board service made no sense given their vehement distaste for requiring APR for the Assembly,” he wrote, adding that it is a “blatant contradiction.”
He said he “can’t understand how you can require APR for one set of leaders but drop the same requirement for the other set of leaders.”
Keeney is not too hopeful any of the participants in the e-group debate will change their minds with “e-mails flying with semi-respectful insults pitting the leaders of our profession against each other.”
He feels that “Each side is entrenched with very little likelihood that many will be influenced by the back and forth.”
How About Listening to Us?
We hope Keeney and Barber will listen to us. Having non-APRs in the Assembly but not on the board only scratches the surface of the Society’s inconsistent and illogical behavior.
--What possible rationale allows the APR leadership to keep secret the names of the 2010 delegates? Rank-and-file members can’t get this list and delegates don’t even have to provide their names if they don’t feel like it. This is the world’s only secret legislature.
--How can the Society claim it follows Robert’s Rules when it violates at least five of the major rules including the one that says an “assembly” sits over the board? Anathema to RR is proxy voting but the Assembly used 56 proxies to vote in the use of proxies last year. This borders on madness.
--What is the rationale that blocks (since 2005) members from getting the transcript of the Assembly?
--How on earth could the Society pick Philadelphia twice for the national conference (2007 and 2013) while ignoring New York where it had its biggest conference ever in 2004?
--How can APRs justify their stone silence to members on the subject of a PDF of the members’ directory?
--What right did chair Gary McCormick have to declare on July 19 that direct election of board/officers is a dead issue because of “administrative, technical and legal costs?” The 2010 Assembly ordered him (ha-ha) to make a report on this. Plenty of services offer to handle direct elections at low cost.
--How dare the h.q. remove all but seven of their 55 or so names from the Society website? Even the staff is secret now. How can staff turnover be tracked?
--Isn’t it inconsistent and illogical for the Society to demand that this reporter pay the full $1,275 registration fee to cover the 2010 national conference while allowing PR News editor Scott Van Camp free admission?
--Isn’t it the antithesis of democracy and communications for APRs to block any mention of the Committee to Promote a Democratic PRSA in Tactics Online and to block the CPDP from using the 21,000-member e-mail list?
Keeney Must Look at Big Pix
Daniel—you are asking for logical behavior from a group that has thrown logic and consistency to the winds in almost countless ways.
What is needed is for a bunch of right-thinking candidates to throw their hats in the ring before Sept. 16. They should run on a platform that rights the numerous wrongs listed above.
Current candidates are refusing to answer any questions by us or four Fellows who have sent them the same questions.
This is profoundly anti-democratic and opens the current 11 candidates to challenge.
None of the candidates will take a position on any of the concrete issues facing the Society including the APR question. Their presentations to the nominating committee focus on their backgrounds and their hopes for a better future for the Society and PR.
The silent ones are Gerry Corbett for chair-elect; Phil Tate (repeating as treasurer); Kathy Barbour for secretary, and director nominees Joseph Cohen, Geri Ann Evans, Steve Grant, Kirk Hazlett, Stephen Iseman, Debra Peterson, Marisa Vallbona, and Susan Walton.
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