I received my official ballot (Is someone out there sending an unofficial one?) complete with return envelope. And along with it came what the British Parliament would call a “white paper” justifying the policy of selecting but one name for each elected position. Sounds like someone is a little sensitive about this process and well they should be!
A few years ago I began to get the feeling that ASHI national was disassociating itself from its members in small ways, such as the COR, and more particularly the existing nominating process. Both were needed to reflect ASHI’s exploding population we were told. I expressed my dissatisfaction to Alan Carson, the Nominating Committee Chair that year, who, in turn, respectfully disagreed with me. Alan is one of the good guys in ASHI, and I respect his opinions, but I disagreed with him then and I disagree with this white paper now.
I feel that the fault in this process lies in the fact that the Membership does not know whose names, or how many of them, are being advanced for each of the nationally elected positions. Hence, we do not know if a particular candidate indeed is the best choice. Furthermore, we do not know what criterion was used to make that determination. These factors then lead to the often heard…“well it’s the ole boy network at work again,” which in turn leads to dissatisfaction with, and indifferences towards national.
Here is but one concern: say a Member, or an entire chapter, knows something untoward about a Member, and would not like to see that person hold either a chapter or a national office. Under the present system we would not even know that person is seeking an office until the official ballot once again appears on our doorstep. To take action at this point can only create an ugly situation; and the larger we grow, the more likely it is to happen.
At the least, I would suggest the system be modified thusly: any person who wants to serve in any national position of ASHI, should post his or her name in the Reporter sometime in the beginning of the calendar year. The nominating committee could then receive positive as well as negative input from members (or chapters) that can be used in making the final decision as to who gets selected as the sole candidate.
The nominating committee would be better informed, and the members might feel more inclusive in the process. In turn major national issues, such as changes to the Standards, would see more than the anemic 20 something-percent return of ballots, and things can get done. Might be worth a try.
William J. Butterly, Jr.
Butterly’s Inspection Service, Ltd.