After three years on the ACES Executive Committee, Merrill Perlman is finally going to cast her first vote.
It’s not that she hasn’t wanted to.
In 2010, the committee amended the bylaws so that the president of the ACES Education Fund would be represented on the board. Previously, Bill Connolly, the longtime Ed Fund president, had also been an elected member of the committee. When Bill left the Executive Committee, the board decided it was necessary that the sort of input he had had from his dual role would be necessary whoever the Ed Fund president was.
However, the board was of mixed views as to whether someone not elected by the membership should be a voting member of the Executive Committee. So the position was made not only ex-officio but nonvoting — the Ed Fund president was expected to attend all meetings, offer input, and then sit in the corner when votes were taken.
Three years later, three things came into confluence:
1. The board, looking back, could find no circumstance where having the Ed Fund president have a vote on the board would have harmed the society.
2. The board has begun a two-year project to examine ACES’s governance structure, and this seemed like a first step.
3. There was an open seat on the board from when Christine Steele was elected a vice president.
As a result, the board voted in July to amend the bylaws so that the Ed Fund president is a voting member by virtue of his or her office. Of course, Merrill didn’t get to vote on that either.
But we looked forward to at least her first seconding of a motion.