Membership Committee Report
September 15, 1998
The membership committee has worked for approximately one year to develop
a plan to increase voting membership in La Plaza. The plan called
for the elimination of any extra costs associated with the voting privilege
but that users should be informed about La Plaza issues. That plan
was approved by the Board of Directors. The committee developed a
list of rights and responsibilities for user-voters which was put on-line
and approved unanimously by the board. A subcommittee of the membership
committee including Tom Myers, George Zopf and Ira Schwartz met with Judith
and Mike to develop an implementation plan for the new user-voter policy.
At that meeting we agreed on the following:
The <lpgovern> list would be converted to a "bulletin board"
of voter issues and information from La Plaza to voters. Based on
the R and R document, subscription to this list, at least 30 days prior
to any vote, would be a requirement for voting status. The <members>
list would be optional for those wishing to engage in dialogue about voting
We agreed that an e-mail note would be put on line advising each current
user of the history of the committee and advising them of the new user-voter
policy. We also agreed that registration to become a voter would
be put on the web with a link to it from the e-mailed note.
I was asked to prepare that note and the content was put on-line to the
membership committee and the board, and was generally greeted with acceptance
by the few board members who responded. Two board members made suggestions
about including a little "glitz" and I did so. One member voiced
concern about limiting access to the registration via the web and I asked
him to bring this concern to the board directly. At no time did the
subcommittee exhibit any need for the implementation process to be brought
to a vote by the board and in the interest of expediting the process it
was put into effect on Thursday, September 10th.
Since the process was implemented a few problems and questions have appeared
that require resolution. They are:
Several users (and non-users) were already subscribed to the <lpgovern>
list when it was converted to a "bulletin board." There is some sentiment
that they should have been removed first and that a note indicating the
change in use of the list should have been sent. This probably needs
to be done now.
The <members> list was previously limited to registered voters.
It probably should be opened up to anyone who wishes to subscribe whether
they are voters or not - though non-voters are not likely to be interested.
Should a check box for subscription to the <members> list be added to
the registration process?
Should the box for <lpgovern> be unchecked so that the registrant
has to check it?
Should users be able to register without using the web?
The membership committee met on Friday, September
11th. The meeting was attended by Jim Clayton, John McLaughlin, Chris
Gunn, Marty Meltzer, Tom Myers, Peter Stazione and Ira Schwartz.
The following is a summary of that meeting.
The committee has agreed that to expand the number of voting members it
must attempt to increase the base of possible voters by increasing the
number of users. Accordingly, we have listed several possible activities
to accomplish this. They are: develop a survey of users, develop
a survey of non-users, develop a list of special volunteer activities,
reach out to the Hispanic and native American communities, develop notices
to be placed in newspapers and announced on various radio stations, and
develop fliers and one page bulletins for posting around town.
Committee member, Jim Clayton, has volunteered to work on the design of
a 1/3rd page flier. He will write his vision of the contents and
share this with the committee on-line. He is also considering such
flyers to be designed for specific target audiences such as public school
To explore the idea of creating a list of volunteer activities we need
to ascertain what La Plaza needs that could be satisfied by volunteers.
The committee agreed to expand its ranks by adding two additional user-voters.
At the present time the committee consists of 5 board members and 3 voting
To begin to consider the development of a user survey each member of the
committee agreed to assign himself the task of listing the types of information
that we hope to learn from such as survey. Each member will put his
list on line and the chair will compile the list for discussion at the
The committee will consider methods of distributing the new La Plaza flyer
shown to us by Tom Myers.
The next meeting of the committee is tentatively scheduled for Friday,
October 2, 1998 at 1:30 p.m. at Café Tazza, depending on the scheduled
date of the next board meeting.
Chairman, La Plaza Membership Committee