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Thread: Problem board members

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Problem board members

    i'm sure that many Boards have that one member who makes life anything less than easy for the other Board members and the support staff.

    how do you handle them? how do you keep from letting them get under your skin?

    i'm a big fan of the adage, "You catch more flies with honey" and i try to follow it as often as possible. but some times i just want to say to these people, "Are you serious?!?"
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    We just had a lot of turnover on our Environmental council, with the resignation of two chairs in a row, an expansion from 5 to 9 members, and 2 new co-chairs designated instead of a single chair. One of the new chairs was one of the old members who stuck around and we can't get her to step up to the plate and lead at all. I'm having to do that myself, and that's really not my role. Sometimes she'll email us and want to know when the next meeting is (you're the chair, why are you asking me this? Just look at the minutes) or what projects the council is working on currently, etc. It's like her body is at meetings but her mind is elsewhere. A good chair is worth their weight in gold but bad ones just make your life tougher when they won't take on their share of work.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MacheteJames View post
    We just had a lot of turnover on our Environmental council, with the resignation of two chairs in a row, an expansion from 5 to 9 members, and 2 new co-chairs designated instead of a single chair. One of the new chairs was one of the old members who stuck around and we can't get her to step up to the plate and lead at all. I'm having to do that myself, and that's really not my role. Sometimes she'll email us and want to know when the next meeting is (you're the chair, why are you asking me this? Just look at the minutes) or what projects the council is working on currently, etc. It's like her body is at meetings but her mind is elsewhere. A good chair is worth their weight in gold but bad ones just make your life tougher when they won't take on their share of work.
    Look on the bright side. At least this person is calling to find out what is going on. I had an economic development committee in my last municipal job. Over a year I had quorem twice. Most of the time I was sitting across the table from one council member who always shoed up. We were the only two people in the room. They mayor, who often talked of how the city had changed and was serious about economic development, showed up only once.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  4. #4
    Member
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    The previous iteration of our Planning and Zoning Commission had 2 members who would "feed" off each other. I swear they would phone each other up beforehand to decide who was going to say what. The one member would come in with a list of trivial, nit-picking questions about three pages long. The questions were completely irrelevant and reflected whatever his most recent hot-button issue was. One meeting was so bad that I had to ask the Chairman for a break so that I could go into the bathroom and weep with frustration. I knew it must have been a bad one because the next day the local paper sent me a bunch of flowers and the various representatives of applicants, etc. were phoning up all day.
    Word got 'round to our Council about the one member's behaviour and his position on the Commission was not renewed. Frankly, I was stupid enough to let him make my working life miserable, I won't let it happen again.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    First - Read "the art of war"

    then, make the most difficult members your "buddy" - call them the day before the meeting and ask if there's anything they need, do they have any questions before the meeting, stuff like that - try to get to know them so you can understand what makes them tick, or not tick...

    if all else fails - hope they don't get re-appointed -

    but remember, they often get replaced by other crazy people - better the devil you know

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