As you know, next week is the annual conference for FCCMA, which is celebrating its 67th year. For associations, these annual conferences are usually more than just the keynote presentations, workshops and networking – it is also the setting for the annual business meeting. With twin goals of transparency and effective communication, the Association posts its charter and by-laws on the website and also includes them each year in the membership directory so that members can be aware of the governing structure and responsibilities of the officers and board of directors. In addition to the charter and by-laws, the board of directors has adopted, and sometimes amended, several different policies over the years that help guide the board’s decisions. The Association works within two important calendar cycles: the program year and the fiscal year. The program year is our May to May conference calendar dictated by the elections for the officers and board of directors each year. As the new president begins his/her term, committees are formed and new programs/projects are started. We use the May-to-May timeline to measure our programmatic effectiveness and also match our goals against the Association’s strategic plan to ensure we are in line with our three-year goals and objectives.
You may have wondered why we don’t use a fiscal or calendar year. The fiscal year is 10/1 to 9/30 to coincide with the fiscal years of Florida’s cities and counties. It is important for membership renewals and dues notices; however, the program year is not matched to this as the fall isn’t the easiest time for most within the profession to hold their conference. Historically, we have avoided fall conferences because they can conflict with or be too close to the ICMA conference and because hotel rates climb back up as ‘season’ begins. We have found more affordable hotel and/or meeting space rates in the early summer but cannot choose the late summer because of conflicts with budget workshops and budget adoption calendars for each city and county – not a good idea. A calendar year timetable for the Association also wasn’t advisable because transitioning the board of directors around the traditional December holidays wasn’t desirable.
The business meeting is an important time for the membership to participate not only in the elections but also in a review of the Association’s fiscal health and programmatic accomplishments, which are covered in the annual State of the Association report. The report is sent to members via a website link in this newsletter so that information can be reviewed prior to the conference.
If you have questions about the Association’s governing structure, programs or any other aspect, please contact us – we’d be more than happy to assist in any way! Your staff looks forward to seeing many of you at the Hilton Orlando between May 22 and May 25!