Monitor Special Conditions
The following special conditions should be monitored regularly and addressed as necessary.
1. Conference President’s term of office is limited to two consecutive three year terms. After the two terms, the President must be out of office for at least three years before being elected once again. Technically, as soon as the six years expires, the President is no longer in office and the Conference operates under the leadership of the first Vice President until the election of a new President takes place. In the case of violation of this rule, the Council must ensure that an election is held to replace the outgoing President as soon as possible.
2. Each Conference is to have at least four officers: President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Each office must be held by a separate person. No one person may hold multiple officer positions. In addition, Statute 12 of Part III of the Rule indicates that a President may not appoint his/her spouse or other closely related individual to an officer position.
3. Service area comes into conflict often within the Society. The District Council should ensure that Conferences provide service only to those people living within the boundaries established for the Conference. These boundaries should be established as a formal agreement between the Conferences in the Council. In some cases, the boundaries will simply be the parish boundaries. In other cases the boundaries may be more extensive, as long as they are agreed upon by the Council. This way, people seeking service cannot simply go from Conference to Conference seeking help. The Conference covering the area where that person or family lives is the one that makes the decision as to help or not help.
Voice / Vote in the Council
Conferences should have a voice in every major decision. No Voice, no Vote, no Vincentian will be at the meeting or activity. It is important that every Conference is represented at the District Council and that the Conference President (or his/her designated representative) is there to speak for them.
Most Council bylaws have a clause that will remove a Conference President from Council membership/voice/vote if the President misses a certain number of meetings. This removal is a tragedy for the Council, the Conference and the people we serve.
Conferences should be aware of all conditions and circumstances both local and global that will impact them or the Council. Conferences should be especially aware of any major situation that threatens the well-being of the Council. Therefore, it is an obligation of the Council to keep the Conferences well-informed and in a timely manner.
The Council should strive to develop a fabric of communication. One that goes up and down the normal channels but also goes sideways from Conference to Conference and from Vincentian to Vincentian. A strong fabric of communication will strengthen the Council and avoid the problems of it relying on a few people to make it run. If those few leave the Council for any reason it can take weeks or months to learn all that needs to be known on how the Council operates. A fabric of communications creates an informal communications network that helps keep the members informed.
Help in Council Efforts
Conferences should be involved in a regular and frequent basis in the operation of the Council. This can be accomplished by involving them as Council Members, as volunteers, as committee members, on special projects, on fund raising, in special works, in general membership meetings, and in every other way that may be appropriate.