May 27, 2013

Current Format for Our Group

After our meeting where we added new members, Tim's email created some concern and several emails among the six of us. Finally, we agreed to get together by ourselves and see if we could agree. We did agree that maybe some formality would be good, but we wanted to think about it. Tim did suggest not having officers of a standard type, but a leader, a program chairperson, and maybe one other that could fill-in when one of these could not participate. We all agreed these would be acceptable, as we did not want a lot of formality.

For snacks, we agreed that these should be eliminated or if someone wanted something, they should bring their own. We knew this may be over ruled, but this is where we wanted to start. We all agreed that we would like to have a regular meeting place and Tim updated the current status of none yet. We were concerned that we had grown too fast and that some changes were needed, but we all admitted that we may have grown too comfortable in the way things were and that some of us were doing all the work.

We all agreed to an email Tim had composed while we were talking, but after discussion agreed to one change. With that, Tim sent the letter to all members outlining what we had been approached about and some suggestions which we thought should be considered. Tim sent it out under his name and we suggested that anyone having other ideas should send emails to Tim. This would be the topic of our next meeting and that everyone would be called upon for input.

Two days later, Tim said we had answers from everyone and they were not the same, with each one different. They ranged from keeping the current informal setup to a full set of officers and dues for everyone. With this, Tim selected the meeting for Saturday and suggested everyone be present. Sue had requested having it at her home. I knew things were not going to be easy, but decided to wait and see.

Glen set the tone and wanted a full set of officers, dues, and formal selected meeting dates. This was defeated and we were sorry to see several people leave, but we had suspected this might happen. At that point, Sue's husband commented that we had been doing very well with our informal operations, but he did like the idea of having a leader and a program chairperson. He felt that that anymore was not productive for the way we had been operating. Jason said that using emails when certain studies came out that raised concern for quite a few members had handled the situation very well and that Barry's program had been very appreciated.

Max said that he liked the idea of not having snacks and thought this would prevent putting a burden on anyone. Allen agreed and asked that we put the ideas to a vote. Tim suggested we talk about the program chairperson first. I explained that this would be a person that would coordinate the programs. People that had ideas they would like to discuss would be in charge of the program, but would let the chairperson know so that we did not have meetings without programs unless we had something important, as today that needed our attention. I said we needed to bring back the hospice and the county health people and that the date was coming up. Allen asked if he and Barry could coordinate this and possibly one other group.

I asked if Barry would consider being the program chairperson. Barry hesitated, and then asked if this meant he would have the program if no one else had a topic. Tim said not necessarily, unless he had something. Tim said that we have had meetings with no programs and they still were interesting. Brenda said that if we added more members a regular program might be necessary. She commented that she had appreciated Barry's program and the way Tim and I had assisted. She said we did not need images like that, but under the circumstances, they were necessary to make a point.

At that point, Jason nominated Tim for our leader and Barry for program chairperson. Max seconded and the vote was unanimous. Tim accepted and thanked everyone that had stayed with the group. Barry said he would work with everyone and asked that people consider topics after we had finished with the ones scheduled and what Allen was working on.

A.J. asked if we could consider a record keeper of sorts, not a secretary keeper of minutes, but more of an historian. He said he was not aware who had started the group and others of the members and when they had joined. Brenda thought this would be good. Tim asked if A.J. would do this. A.J. said he would and that he would rely on the rest of us to provide the information.

Tim updated us in his search for a meeting place and that presently he had not found one. Everyone had indicated that since we were an informal group with no dues, they would not consider letting us use their facilities. He said that he did not feel that dues were necessary and because we had more houses available now, maybe we could get by without being concerned. He stated that unless he was told otherwise, that he and I were the only two that could not hold a meeting unless if was only four of us.

At that point, Sue asked me what my feelings were since the members that had left were ones that I had introduced. I said I was hurt by their actions, but not surprised in a way, considering their background. Had they accepted a lack of formal organization I would have been happier. I said that their background was such that snacks and dues was the accepted norm, but that we may need dues someday, but for the present, I was not upset to see them leave, as we seemed to function better as a group this way. I said I am happy that we have Tim as a leader and Barry as the program chairperson. No, I was not unhappy about anything else as I have my blog which serves as an informal history. A.J. asked if he could copy my blogs relating to the group and I said yes. I also said that I would like to see a membership committee for the future. Tim thanked me for bringing this up and asked if there was any discussion. Since there was no discussion, Tim said that he had some ideas for a committee and would put them in writing for approval at the next meeting.

The next day Tim called and asked to stop by.  We talked about the membership committee and he wanted to know why I wanted one. I said that I had brought in members that fit and others that did not fit the group and I felt this was something that maybe should have a committee to evaluate each on established criteria before offering a membership. I stated that the prospect of having the group completely torn apart still bothered me. While I was happy that most felt the need to do something, but had wanted to stay together was great, I did not trust my judgment after the last meeting. Tim agreed with me that we needed a committee and he had some ideas for criteria.

Tim did state that he was happy that the remaining members were not anxious to have dues or snacks as he felt this could be an added expense some could not handle, and others really did not need as people with diabetes. Most had indicated that they carried their own snacks as it was, because they knew the carb count this way. He also stated that most had glucose tablets and were glad they did not need to refuse snacks.

I suggested asking the Library for use of their large room and then another room in another building. Tim said that was a great idea and unless I had objections, he would approach those responsible and see what developed.

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