Editorial: If not serving the greater good, then why serve?

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Cinthia Stimson, editor, cinthia@glenrockind.com

It seems we’re encountering more than a few boards as of late who appear to be uncertain as to what their roles are as governing bodies, such as who is in charge, who answers to whom, or what constitutes legal – or illegal – ways of conducting their organization’s meetings, such as going into executive sessions for reasons which are not allowed under state statutes.


In allowing for the benefit of doubt, we can only assume these actions are due to a lack of knowledge and/or know-how and are completely unintentional.


People who decide to throw their names into the hat to get elected to a board generally, we believe, do so with the best of intentions. They may wish to serve their community by giving back their time, change a policy they think is perhaps unfair or for other altruistic reasons.


Because if not for the greater good, then why do it?


We’ve seen a few appointees looking bored and disinterested with topics being addressed meeting after meeting, with only cursory responses when directly questioned, or spending meeting time texting on their phones – anything but actually engaging in what’s going on around them.


This poses the question – why become involved, when it is apparent there’s no desire to be there? Why continue to seek election to these boards or commissions when there’s no vested interest in representing the constituents who elected you to the board in the first place? If not to make the entity better, then why bother?


If knowledge is lacking on how to run a board or if questions arise as to who’s in charge, then learn. There’s plenty of resources out there to expand board members’ knowledge. At the very least, learn Robert’s Rules of Order and study legitimate reasons for going into executive session; state statutes are clear on that.


Remember why you wanted to be on the particular board in the first place and, above all, remember you’re serving your constituency, not yourself.



––Cinthia Stimson


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

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