President's Message - June 13, 2013


June 13, 2013



From the back seat of our Tennessee Resource Conservation and Development Council’s movement forward, some members are asking  - Are we there yet?

 Have councils made decisions on who will accept the challenge to continue to serve their communities, and what structure will be needed for future success?


 Without coordinators to handle day to day activities of the councils, officers suddenly realized that their past role of “volunteer over-sight supervisors” had changed. 

 Yes, councils have gone through times of anxiety as they have responded to changes in management and leadership of their councils.  The April 15, 2011, notification of elimination of Federal funding of RC&D  - still has a current presence.

 Many council officers have taken time to listen to their members who want to participate in projects and, in doing so, have chosen those things they can control, but not worry about those things over which they have no control.  In the uncertain world of today, every year is different from the year before, and it’s highly probable that next year will be different from your proposed extended plan as well.  Mental toughness has been the underlying factor for those councils who have chosen to survive and prosper. 

 So, do councils forget about having a vision or plan?  No, the important facilitating factor must be a strategy for members to execute the agreed to parameters of a plan.  Although, when serving the community, you must guard against trying to be all things to all people.  That’s risky.

 Let members of the community support the needs, desires and values they identify.  Sometimes it might seem that success comes in fits and starts; however, when the project is successfully completed, it’s a good idea to give your sponsors the credit and invite them to join you in the next project. 



With a copy of the Bylaws of TN RC&D Council in hand  - let’s approach a few important issues:

 1.  When councils refer to the TN RC&D Council, the term “they” is incorrect.  “We” would be more appropriate, since the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Council is composed of official representation from member councils.

 2.  The President shall appoint a Nominating Committee prior to the Annual Meeting.  Roberts Rules of Order governs the Council, therefore, when the Committee presents its recommendation of officers  - nominations from the floor will be open and considered under the same rules as the Committee’s recommendations.

 3.  Officers of the TN RC&D Council are elected by the Board of Directors.  These officers shall serve on the Executive Committee.

 4.  Participating RC&D Councils shall be assessed equally to provide funds necessary for Council operations.  (The Executive Committee approved temporary suspension of annual dues for a period of 1 ½ years to help facilitate council restructuring costs due to the elimination of Federal funding.) 

The current dues for 2013 are due and payable.  Councils, in order to be in good standing, should make payments prior to the annual meeting August 8-9, 2013.

 5.  An unofficial recommendation has been made for the TN RC&D Council to consider more direct association with other entities who have like-objectives in conservation and development in Tennessee.  The Board of Directors could direct the Executive Committee to explore such associations.

 6.  A resolution endorsing the State Envirothon for 2014 should be an action item for the Board of Directors.

 Our hope is that each council will have representatives present for the Annual Meeting of the TN RC&D Council on August 8-9, 2013, in Linden, Tennessee, as hosted by Buffalo/Duck River RC&D Council.

 “We” need you to answer the question  - ARE WE THERE YET?