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The USGenWeb Project

N E W S

Volume 1, Number 6

August 2004


ELECTION RESULTS
Ellen Pack, Election Committee Chair
The USGenWeb Election Committee is pleased to announce the results of the National Election 2004.

National Coordinator—One Year Term Ending 8/31/05
Charles Barnum 29 06.042%
Shari Handley 245 51.042%
Don Kelly 84 17.500%
Karen Mitchell 72 15.000%
Richard White 50 10.416%
Total Votes: 480The EC declares Shari Handley winner.

Tombstone Project Representative—Two Year Term Ending 8/31/06
Kathi Jones-Hudson 13
Unopposed
The EC declares Kathi Jones-Hudson winner.

Northeast/North Central (NENC) County Coordinator Representative
Two Year Term Ending 8/31/06
Scott Burow 48 35.037%
Jan Cortez 51 37.226%
Sandra Newman Sanchez 38 27.737%
Total votes: 137
The EC declares a Run-Off Election between candidates Scott Burrow and Jan Cortez.

Northwest Plains (NWPL) County Coordinator Representative
Two Year Term Ending 8/31/06
Alice Allen 38 44.706%
Darilee Bednar 47 55.294%
Total votes: 85
The EC declares Darilee Bednar winner.

Southeast/Mid-Atlantic (SEMA) State Coordinator Representative
One year Replacement Term Ending 8/31/05
Sherri Hall 7 46.667%
Angie Rayfield 8 53.333%
Total votes: 15
The EC declares Angie Rayfield winner.

Southeast/Mid-Atlantic (SEMA) County Coordinator Representative
Two Year Term Ending 8/31/06
Linda Blum-Barton 65 33.679%
Kati Hestand 24 12.435%
Elva Morgan 13 06.736%
Fred Smoot 62 32.124%
Sharon Tabor 29 15.026%
Total votes: 193
The EC declares a Run-Off Election between candidates Linda Blum-Barton and Fred Smoot.

Southwest/South Central (SWSC) State Coordinator Representative
Two Year Term Ending 8/31/06
Larry Flesher 10
Unopposed.
The EC declares Larry Flesher winner.

Southwest/South Central (SWSC) County Coordinator Representative
Two Year Term Ending 8/31/06
David Morgan 53 38.686%
Phyllis Rippee 45 32.847%
Mike St. Clair 39 28.467%
Total votes: 137
The EC declares a Run-Off Election between candidates David Morgan and Phyllis Rippee.

The results will be posted on the EC National Election website within 24 hours. Please visit the website for further updates:.
The Election Committee would like to thank all candidates and voters for participating. More information on the Run-Off Elections will be announced as soon as possible.
If you have questions please contact EC Chair, Ellen Pack

THANKS TO THE EC
Isaiah Harrison, National Coordinator
Profound thanks to Ellen Pack and the Election Committee, and to Larry Stevens of Indiana University, for successfully conducting another election for The USGenWeb Project. I've been an observer on this committee for the last two years and wish more people had the opportunity to observe first-hand the hard work, conscientious attitude, hard work, just plain fun and hard work that make up the routine of the EC. If you want a rewarding experience, consider volunteering for this committee the next time there are openings.

OUR BEAUTIFUL NEW WEBSITE!
"The site is fantastic!!!" "Great design, and easy to navigate!" These are just a few of the kudos our new website has received.
The beautifully redesigned USGenWeb website is up and running at www.usgenweb.org and a round of applause is due Mike Jarvis and Julie McGrew-Ayers for a job well done. Not only is the site visually attractive, but it is designed in a technically efficient manner, allowing for easy maintenance and updating. Thank you, Mike and Julie, for your valuable contribution to The Project's first impression on our visitors.
*NOTE: If you have links to any of the subsidiary pages on the national site, you'll need to update them.

FROM THE WEBMASTERS
Mike Jarvis, Webmaster
Julie and I are very pleased to have been asked to redesign The USGenWeb Project WebSite. We appreciate the support of the Advisory Board and all USGenWeb volunteers in this effort. The redesign has been both challenging and exciting. There have been some "bugs" to deal with and we are grateful for your patience and assistance. We are currently working to overcome a problem with the site that occurs on Internet Explorer 5 and 5.5. This should be resolved soon. We hope and expect that the web site is both more simple to navigate and is more visually appealing. Our primary focus has been to provide quick access to each of the states within the project and to make other relevant information easily accessible to both volunteers and patrons.
As part of this process we have had the pleasure of visiting each and every state site within USGenWeb as well as many county sites. We are so pleased to be a part of a project with so much good work by so many. We would like to thank each of you who have contributed to this redesign. There has been much constructive criticism, suggestions, and help from among our volunteers. You have made our task much simpler and we appreciate it. We have some good ideas for the site that have yet to be implemented as well as content to be added—we encourage you to visit often. We also encourage any who have ideas or suggestions for the web site to please contact us personally at any time. Thank you again for your help and patience in this process.
A special thanks to Leigh Compton, Mike St. Clair, Fred Smoot, Keith Gideon, David Samuelson, and Isaiah Harrison. We would like to acknowledge an Arizona volunteer Tonya Mortensen from Zyun Web Design, for her special contributions. Thank you all.
Julie McGrew-Ayers
Mike Jarvis

BYLAWS REVISION NEWS
Isaiah Harrison, National Coordinator
The Advisory Board has established a discussion list for the purpose of creating an open forum for interaction between the Bylaws Revision Committee and the general membership in regard to the bylaws revision process. You may subscribe to the list by sending an email to List Manager containing:

  • Your full name
  • Your email address
  • Your position in The USGenWeb Project
    and
  • A statement that you are willing to abide by the following list rules

1. This list was established for the purpose of creating an open forum for interaction between the BRC and the general membership in regard to the bylaws revision process. Please limit your posts to the topic of BYLAWS REVISIONS.
2. Do not post complaints to the list. Do not post your opinions about how the list should be run. If you have questions or problems regarding the list, please write privately to the List Manager List Manager
3. Remember to be courteous in your public and private posts to other list members. Please stick to issues, not personalities. Vulgarity and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Excessive sarcasm and satire should be avoided, as they are frequently misunderstood.

ALL ABOUT BYLAWS
Greta Thompson, Advisory Board Secretary
When you think of bylaws, IF you ever think of bylaws, the chances are excellent that you think of a boring document, barely comprehensible to the average reader, stuck in a neglected file somewhere. You may not know if your work place has a set of bylaws, and even if you know that the USGenWeb has been revising its bylaws, you've probably never read the present ones or the proposed revisions.
One of the characteristics of bylaws is that nobody knows or cares about them 98% of the time, but then they care passionately the other 2%. Why? Because bylaws describe what the organization is, how it does things, what is supposed to be done, and how to change when necessary.
Here’s a definition of bylaws from The Foundation Center: “Bylaws define how a nonprofit organization will be managed and run. They determine which staff and board members have authority and decision-making responsibilities and how those responsibilities should be carried out. They create a framework for your organization, ensure that income is used properly, and aid in resolving internal disputes.”
The definition doesn’t fit the XXGenWebs in every detail, but the key words in the definition explain why bylaws are so important.

  • They define who has authority.
  • They tell us who can make decisions and how they’re supposed to be made.
  • They provide a framework that enables everyone to work in an orderly and productive fashion.
  • The XXGenWebs ordinarily don’t have any or much income, but the official Friends of The XXGenWebs do sometimes; and the bylaws describe how that money will be handled.
  • They describe processes for resolving conflicts within the organization, mechanisms that are essential for the continued well being and even the existence of the group.

Searching the WWW will provide a number of organizational bylaws, some more relevant to the XXGenWebs than others. The most useful are apt to be those of nonprofit or volunteer organizations or, of course, family history associations. One example is the bylaws of the Friends of Kansas Libraries. Another is the by-laws of the Tennessee Genealogical Network. Even a brief comparison of the two will indicate the usual organization of bylaws, beginning with the official name and purpose of the organization and ending with a method for amending the bylaws.
The examples reveal something else: bylaws do not address the day-to-day work of the organization. Rules, procedures, and policies are the tools for the routine operation of the organization. They’re typically more familiar, more frequently consulted, and more readily changed than the by-laws. They’re what guide us 98% of the time, and for that very reason sometimes seem to us to be all that matters.
But in a serious dispute or in a crisis, or when we’re questioning who we are and what we should be about, when the ordinary is suddenly fragile or confusing, bylaws can rescue us. Often they'll remind us of the fundamentals and get us back on the path. Occasionally we'll find that we need to revise them in order to bring them into line with what we've become as an organization and what the world we work in has become. In any case they’re vital to our organizational existence because bylaws define, restore, or re-create our identity and purpose.

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NEWSLETTER STAFF
Editor: Isaiah Harrison
Copy Editor: Greta Thompson
Contributors: Ellen Pack, Greta Thompson, Mike Jarvis
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© 2004, The USGenWeb Project. Permission to reprint articles from this newsletter is granted when the author and The USGenWeb Project News are credited.



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