|September 15, 2010|
|Killeen Could Challenge Silent Corbett|
|By Jack O'Dwyer|
|Silent Gerry Corbett, who wants to back into the PRSA chair-elect spot without answering further questions by either this website or four Fellows, is in desperate need of a member to challenge him at the Assembly Oct. 16.|
One excellent opponent would be Joann Killeen, treasurer in 2000 who cleaned up the books of the Society after years of abuses.
The Society coughed up hundreds of thousands of dollars it owed in taxes on unrelated business income. It then reported a loss of $1.1 million for the years 2000 -2001. Members had been misled about the finances!
Killeen, who has a financial background, is a member of the National Investor Relations Institute.
Corbett Mis-Reads Assembly
Corbett’s answers to questions sent to him in June by Fellows and us showed a profound lack of understanding of the powers of the Assembly. He answered seven of the question with “Up to the Assembly” when the Assembly has very limited powers.
It can only elect board and officers, set dues and pass bylaws.
Society lawyers have sternly lectured delegates that they must never, ever tell the board what to do.
Assembly “resolutions” are regularly ignored including the one passed last year that told the board to report on Oct. 16 all the details of holding direct elections.
Instead, chair Gary McCormick on July 19 declared the matter closed, saying “the costs and benefits of these change were reviewed” and “administrative, technical and legal costs for direct voting would be significant.”
He also said there would have to be “significant changes to the nominating and governance process.”
Of course! Modern communications tools would have to be used and democracy would have to be practiced. Despite what McComick says, numerous cheap and secure e-mail voting programs exist and are in wide use.
Corbett refused to take a stand on whether the Assembly should pass the amendment of the Committee to Promote Democracy in PRSA. The amendment would let non-APRs on the board if they can show 20 years in jobs with “increasing levels of responsibility.”
Numerous Issues Ducked
He also ducked whether Assembly transcripts should be published; whether a PDF of the members’ directory should be made available; whether more PR pros should be on the h.q. staff; whether Assembly transcripts should be published; whether most h.q. operations should be shifted out of town to save money, and whether chapter-only membership should be considered.
Corbett is Exhibit A for a reform in the Society election process that would make candidates run on platforms rather than their education and employment records, awards won, and how many Society posts they have held.
There is a complete absence of stands on any concrete issues in the Position Statements of the eleven 2010 candidates.
Killeen, who has an M.S. in communications management from Simmons College and a B.A. from California State University in journalism, was director of IR for the Weber Group in 1993-95 and director of communications and IR for Daka International in 1991-93. She was an A/S at Waggener Edstrom in 1997-98 and director of corporate communications for Infinite Pictures in1998 before opening her own firm.
Society members who feel Killeen would give Corbett a good run for the chair-elect post have to gather signatures of ten delegates before 5 p.m. this Thursday.
If no one opposes Corbett, four hours will be spent in the afternoon ruminating on the meaning of PR and there will be no discussion of the many concrete issues and problems facing the Society.
The best thing the Society could do for the image of PR would be to live up to its own code.
APRs Falsely Cite “Repeated” Rejections on APR Issue
APRs have submitted more than 50 postings in a governance e-group opposing the amendment of the Committee to Promote Democracy in PRSA that would let non-APRs on the board.
Steve Lubetkin, 2003-04 national director, has led the battle against the CPDP by submitting more than 10 postings in which he argues that the Society must support its own “credential.” Nearly 20 others have joined him in attacking the proposal of the CPDP.
Lubetkin said on Sept. 2 that the APR proposal has been brought up “year after year” and that the membership has “repeatedly rejected all the arguments about ‘democracy’ or ‘barriers” that have been made over and over again.”
Kathy Lewton then noted that the proposal to let non-APRs has been brought up only once—last year during an Assembly that had its hands full with a re-write of the bylaws.
Lubetkin also says “our membership” values APR enough to keep it the requirement on the board in place.
What does he mean by “membership”—the APR-dominated Assembly or the 21,000 members? No chapter has ever conducted a binding vote on this issue. The APRs would surely lose because they are outnumbered four to one.
Lubetkin and others keep referring to APR as a “credential” when it is not. A “credential” can only be given by a third party. Legitimate PR credentials are now available from established educational institutions. Few were available in 1964 when the APR program was created.
Lewton, Stevens Lead APR Reformers
Eight delegates have posted more than 36 e-mails in favor of the CPDP’s proposal with 16 of them coming from Lewton and eight from Art Stevens.
The Assembly, which was 72% APR last year and will probably be the same this year, will make short work of the APR proposal which is sandwiched in between presentations and speeches in the morning.
The APRs have made it clear they are fed up with the proposal and will probably cut off debate after ten or 20 minutes.
We doubt they will ever let it hit the floor of the Assembly again.
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