Proposed 2022 WACD Bylaw Changes

At the September meeting, the Board of Directors directed staff to disseminate and gather feedback on a potential bylaw change regarding Area Director eligibility at the area association meetings. Staff described the concept in the Weekly 5 Things Newsletter and presented it at each of the six area association meetings. Staff also solicited other potential bylaw proposals that were presented to the Board of Directors for their approval.

At their meeting on November 21st, the Board formally recommended four proposed Bylaw changes for the Association to consider at the Annual Business Meeting. WACD Bylaw amendments must be adopted by at least a 2/3rd vote of the members present.

1 – Updating Columbia Basin CD’s name

As of May, the Grant County Conservation District’s legal name became Columbia Basin Conservation District. The WACD Articles of Incorporation (specifically Article II, Section 4) should be updated to reflect this change.

2 – Dissolving the PMC Sub-Committee

Formed in 2018 when the PMC Committee was placed under the Finance Committee and renamed the “PMC Sub-Committee” at the 2018 Annual Business Meeting, the group met twice in 2019 with no additional meetings since that time. If there is no need for this group to meet, it should be considered for dissolvement by the membership.

The stated function of the Sub-committee is to “to serve as a sounding board for PMC staff to bring questions, issues and ideas pertaining to the nursery operation” and is supposed to consist of three members of the Finance Committee and three members of the former PMC Committee.

3 – Creating a Permanent Livestock Committee

The Livestock Task Force, created by resolution in 2021, is being recommended for “continued WACD support” by a new resolution under consideration in 2022. WACD Task Forces, by definition, are temporary bodies, but there is an apparent need for a permanent, dedicated Livestock Committee.

WACD used to have a permanent Livestock Committee, along with other committees dedicated to different topics, before WACD’s general government reorganization in 2014/2015 reduced the number of permanent committees.

Resurrecting this entity would allow those districts interested in livestock issues, along with the membership’s subject matter experts and those with direct experience, to better share information and recommend any necessary action to the WACD Board of Directors through regular meetings.

4 – Employee Eligibility for Area Director Positions

In the six Area meetings where staff presented the idea of allowing district employees to be eligible for WACD Area Director positions, the response from conservation districts was muted. There was little declared interest in exploring this proposal, with some potential difficulties identified during discussion.

Based on this feedback, WACD’s Executive staff instead recommended the Board of Directors reconsider its own policy regarding non-supervisors serving on WACD’s permanent committees. Removing the cap on WACD committees presents the opportunity to gain the knowledge and perspective that conservation district employees and others provide. On November 21st, the Board of Directors voted to remove the policy limitation previously set by the Board on how many “non-supervisors” can serve on committees. This is a policy change that takes effect immediately.

With additional discussion, the Board concluded that the original proposal should be considered by the membership. The Board is recommending to the membership that the bylaws should be changed to allow one of two Area Director positions in each area to be filled by a district employee.

If adopted by the membership, area associations would have the option to change their own governing documents allowing for one area director position in each area to be filled by a district employee. This would be a proactive decision; the default eligibility would continue to allow only Supervisors to serve as Area Directors unless changed by the respective area.

Proposed Bylaw Revisions

1.1 Article III, Section 3: Association Board of Directors


The Board of Directors of the Association shall consist of the officers of the Association, the President of the Washington Association of District Employees (WADE) or designee, and two supervisors representing representatives of each of the six, conservation district area associations. +Area representatives shall be known as area directors, and for each area, both representatives may be conservation district supervisors or one may be a conservation district employee, if so allowed by the area association bylaws.+

2.1 Part VII: Directors

2.1.1 Section 1(b)


Directors of the Association shall be voting member conservation district supervisors +or employees from member districts, except that only one employee in each area may serve as a Director representing an area. +except for the+The+ President (or designee) of the Washington Association of District Employees (WADE) +shall also serve as a Director+.

2.1.2 Section 4


If an area association ceases to function or fails to elect an area director, the Board of Directors shall appoint a voting member supervisor +or conservation district employee+ from one of the member districts in the designated area to serve as area director to fill the vacant Board of Directors position. +In no event shall more than one employee represent an area.+

2.2 Part VIII Duties of the Board of Directors

2.2.1 Section 3


The area directors shall bring the problems and suggestions of their respective area conservation districts to the attention of the Board of Directors of the Association at regularly scheduled meetings or special meetings of the Board of Directors. This report shall be based on area directors’ routine communication with conservation district chairs or designated supervisors +and conservation district employees+, and may include conservation district resolutions under development within the area, results and issues associated with supervisor elections and appointments within the area, changes to Area Articles and Bylaws, Association governance issues, and other relevant matters.

2.2.2 Section 4


The area directors shall work actively with the Executive Director and Secretary to communicate with area member conservation districts. The communication shall focus on district chairs or designated supervisors, +and on conservation district employees,+ on all issues of the Association of a state-wide or areawide nature, and to bring to their area member conservation districts such recommendations or requests as are adopted by the Association or as are distributed by the Executive Director or Secretary as directed by the Board of Directors and membership.

2.2.3 Section 5


It shall be the responsibility of area directors to communicate monthly, or as practical, by whatever means feasible with the district chair, or designated supervisor, +or conservation district employee,+ of each member district affiliated with his/her Area. Area directors within an area may coordinate this activity as mutually agreed, and may arrange to attend district board meetings as workable.