From the Parliamentarian . . .
by Julie Kays, Parliamentarian, Springfield Council of PTAs
Serving on the nominating committee is an honor and a privilege. This committee is your PTA’s most responsible, sensitive and deliberative body. The decision of this committee will affect the future of your PTA.
Nominating Committee members must:
• Be elected according to your PTA’s bylaws;
• Be chosen carefully to include both experienced, ongoing leadership as well as newer members;
• Be elected on merit and ability – not on popularity;
• Be aware of the importance of their assignment;
• Have knowledge of potential candidates’ qualifications and abilities;
• Have knowledge of PTA unit/council goals, purposes and programs;
• Be able to give objective consideration to find the best-qualified leaders for the PTA;
• Have the courage to express ideas and to defend one’s convictions;
• Use sound judgment and skill in evaluating possible nominees; and
• Be tactful, have integrity and discretion, and be able to keep all deliberations confidential.
The committee’s responsibility is to nominate the best-qualified candidate for each office according to the unit/council bylaws. Any PTA member may suggest the names of persons to be considered; however, the committee is not bound by such recommendations. A presidential nominee should not be asked whom they would like for running mates.
The current president is not a member of the nominating committee and does not attend its meetings. The president should furnish the committee with copies of bylaws, procedures, and the PTA membership list.
A member of the nominating committee may become a candidate for office without resigning from the committee. The member proposed for nomination should withdraw from the meeting while his/her qualifications are discussed and to allow for additional names to be submitted for consideration. The member may return to vote. Please note that there is no rule in Robert’s Rules of Order that such a member resign from the nominating committee.
The committee should:
• Review the tenure of incumbent officers to determine their eligibility for another term in the same or another position;
• Think carefully about the possible candidates, their qualifications, ability to work well with others, sufficient time for the position*, and if they have the leadership qualities that will best achieve the goals and purposes of this PTA;
• Ask the president and other board members for input as to the performance of present board members;
• Nominate one person to serve in an office;
• Contact potential candidates to receive their consent to be nominated and to serve; and
• Keep all deliberations of the committee COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL and insure that no information on the names of persons considered for office or those who declined to accept nominations are ever made public.
*While the Nominating Committee may consider a possible candidate’s other commitments, it is important that the committee allow the candidate to accept or reject on that basis. The Nominating Committee should not dismiss a possible candidate because they think that person is too busy. Often the busiest people are also the most productive people and can handle many tasks.
The potential nominee:
• Must be a PTA member;
• Must be enthusiastic and supportive of the PTA unit/council;
• Must believe in the objects and purposes of the PTA and believe that PTA is the best organization for working for children and youth;
• Should have had experience in PTA, though other organizational work may be considered;
• Should have knowledge of the organization and its role in the school and community;
• Should be relied upon to give PTA a satisfactory level of priority and commitment;
• Should have a good relationship with people;
• Must be fair and objective and able to subordinate personal interest to the interests and well-being of the PTA unit/council; and
• Have successfully carried out any current responsibilities assigned by their office or position.
(Adapted from Missouri PTA’s Nominations Are In Order)
DO’S AND DON’TS
• DO consider membership on a nominating committee an honor and privilege as well as a responsibility.
• DO select qualified people with skill, personality, enthusiasm and time for the job.
• DON’T select people for candidacy because they expect to be asked or will be offended if not, or because they are friends. Choose the people that are right for the job and right for the organization.
• DO keep your deliberations confidential.
• DO be honest about the responsibilities and expectations of the position when contacting potential candidates.
• DO consider new people so your PTA grows and does not give the impression of exclusion. New leadership often brings new perspective and enthusiasm.
Mary Christiano, Parliamentarian