GOVERNANCE

NARFE is at a crossroads.  While we have new initiatives like FEDHub that will help us advance our cause, we face the dilemma of acute membership loss. There are many reasons that have brought us here. The solution to these association problems is for the National Executive Board (NEB) functioning as NARFE’s board of directors to firmly assert itself into the association’s operations and finances. The District of Columbia Non-Profit Act of 2012 states that all the activities and affairs of the association shall be managed by and subject to the oversight of the board of directors.  Clearly very hard decisions will have to be made during the CY 2023-2025 term. We cannot wait… which is why I am candidate for the Region X Regional Vice-Presidency.

 

The primary way to assert its leadership is for the NEB to make a full top-down assessment of NARFE’s governing structure.  I believe such an assessment should first look at our headquarters structure.  The operational benefits of hiring an executive director have not materialized as fully as we had anticipated. Consultant studies have not stemmed the 10,000-14,000 yearly membership losses and corresponding membership dues revenue (which we’ve had to increase beginning in 2022).  While personnel decisions are the Executive Director’s responsibility, the NEB needs to ensure our staff is correctly aligned to focus on our advocacy mission.  Finally, is a Board of Directors comprising the National President, National Secretary/Treasurer, and ten regional vice presidents the needed structure of the National Executive Board?

 

We also need to look at our field structure.  Are regions properly aligned geographically and with our membership?  Are Federations properly structured to advise chapters and members?  Are chapters still the bedrock of NARFE?  I plan to have the NEB examine these questions within the first year I’m in office.  We can’t wait any longer.  While serving as the chairperson of the National Bylaws and Resolutions Committee for four years I acquired an in-depth understanding of the Association’s governing bylaws and standing rules. Passage of one member-one vote, optional chapter membership, and elimination of the national convention voided many of our existing policies. I am prepared to offer several changes to improve how the Association is governed.  More importantly, I will insist that the NEB put new, efficient policies and procedures in place.  The process in my view is outdated.  The Association needs updated policies on bylaw amendments; voting; elections, and chapter and federation bylaws to mitigate the current confusion.

 

Also under governance we musts look at our financial situation.  Fortunately the NEB has adopted a balanced budget, which required making some hard decisions.  I applaud the NEB for this, but I am convinced the budgeting process is not cohesive.  The process relies almost exclusively on the NARFE staff and I believe the National Executive Board through its Budget Committee needs a far more active role in setting our budget.  It’s your money (and mine) and we need to take care of it in the most efficient, effective way we can.

 

One of the fundamental strengths of this Association is that, when faced with adversity, we come together to resolve our problems.  I am prepared to make hard decisions, to establish Association operating goals for the national staff, demand adherence in achieving those goals, and, when necessary, take corrective action. I also recognize that some decisions may impact federations and chapters but will make those decisions in the least disruptive manner. We are all in this together–we desire to see NARFE continue to “ensure the continued existence of NARFE in order to fulfill its mission to promote the general welfare of current and potential federal and postal annuitants.”

 

I ask for your vote because A VOTE FOR ROBERT IS A VOTE FOR NARFE!