While current and previous research by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management Governance Affinity Group indicates there to not be a lot of planning for who will serve as Board Chair, this question and the criteria for what qualities does indeed contribute to a par excellence chair should, in my opinion, be at top-of-mind for every board.
The Affinity Group continues its research to answer this question and the following opinion piece provides additional fodder for answering this question. In short, the author, admittedly focused on an elected position but a Chair job just the same, simply identifies the job of Chair as being spokesperson for their "body" and ensuring that all voices are represented fully in decision-making. The author goes onto suggest that experience in board service matters as a contributor to necessary skills. The Affinity Group's research suggests that maybe more skills should be counted as mattering but that discussion is for another day.
Bottom line though: Willingness to serve can not be the only criteria for serving as a board chair.
Camas resident Anna Miller shares her thoughts on upcoming race for county chair
Why should voters care who is the next chair of the Clark County Council? How does it affect our everyday lives? Voters decided a few years ago that the council should have a chair and be elected county-wide.
The duties of the chair are, the spokesperson to articulate council policies. represent the county before the governor, state legislature and other state and federal agencies. And this one is a big deal in my opinion … supervise constituent response process for the council as a whole. Why is that important? Because the chair will decide how county government will respond to the concerns and complaints of the people! Will they treat citizens with respect, be transparent, helpful and solutions driven? Or will they be unresponsive, uncaring and mired in levels of bureaucracy?
There is only one candidate in this race, Eileen Quiring, that has the experience and professional background, and “first do no harm” leadership style to fulfill the duties of the chair and be ready on day one. Eileen is currently the vice chair of the council. She has held elected office as a state representative and senator. That legislative experience is critical in dealing with state government on issues that affect our county, which in turn affects us. The closest her opponent has come to state government is a failed campaign.
Eileen has private sector experience as a small business owner. She knows the struggle that businesses have. It’s real, and she gets it. And, she is compassionate. Eileen has given back to her community by sitting on numerous nonprofit boards.
But what about policy differences? Her opponent is on record as saying he will vote to raise our property taxes every year. Her opponent favors a state income tax. He wants to restrict individual property rights and advocates for land use policies that drive up housing costs. He has HIS little piece of land, a 5-acre farm, but feels that’s not right for everyone and wants government to be MORE involved in decisions about our property.
Her opponent supports tolls and light rail, both voted down by the majority of county citizens. Oddly, he says Clark County doesn’t need more industry, which of course would mean more jobs. I wonder how the folks of the Columbia River Economic Development Council feel about that? In contrast, Eileen Quiring, is a consistent “No’’ vote to higher taxes. She’s looking for lean and efficient government, ways to downsize government while making sure the county is providing essential services and helping out our most vulnerable citizens. She supports policies that create an environment for businesses to flourish.
Eileen believes that it is compassionate to provide a way for families to have good jobs and that means attracting job creators. Eileen supports policies that respect urban and rural land owners property rights. It’s our land! Se has been advocating for a third bridge whenever she has an opportunity and feels tolls are not the solution,because they hurt working families.
Let’s support a chair candidate whose style of governing is “citizens first.” I hope you will join me in voting for Eileen Quiring for Clark County Council chair in November.