That association meeting I attended last week went better that I thought it would beforehand. The officer seeking to rewrite sections of the by-laws dramatically only brought up one of her proposals for discussion, but the group seemed to lean strongly against it.
The proposal mentioned was to cut the number of membership business meetings from one per month to one per quarter, based on weak attendance in some 2011 meetings. 5 people present spoke against cutting meeting frequency, 4 were members and 1 was a police officer, who made the same argument I have before about regular meetings: they build strong ties between neighborhood watch and community policing. The point that cutting our membership meetings could weaken the association was particularly persuasive from MNPD officers who work constantly with associations across the city.
No one except the president spoke in favor of cutting the frequency of meetings.
I came away feeling positive about these events. While the discussion confirmed my belief that that monthly meetings are more productive than quarterly ones, it also reinforced to me that group process is more important than top-down fiat. I genuinely hope that people continue to come to association meetings each month and chart the course of Salemtown Neighbors as a diverse group.