From the Director





by Rex Parker, Director

Proposed Amendment to AAAP Constitution.  The Constitution and By-laws of AAAP have provided a solid framework establishing the purpose and structure of our organization that has lasted 55 years.  We’ve been able to grow and adapt to the many changes in amateur astronomy and the role of the club in the eyes of our members and the public. We’ve been guided and maintained by a five-member Board of Trustees, comprising the Director, Assistant Director, Treasurer, Secretary, and Program Chair.

The ability to draw upon the ranks of members to fill key leadership positions in the club is essential to our future.  In recent years the importance of the observatory and public outreach has become more apparent, and this has led us to re-evaluate the organizational structure. Heretofore, the Observatory Chair and Outreach Coordinator positions have been appointed by the Director, and as such they do not have Board authority or voting privileges. The effectiveness of these positions and the prestige and recognition of the roles would be enhanced by making them Board-level positions. Then they would be elected by the membership each year as are the other officers.  A proposal to institute these changes was made last June and reviewed by the Board in November last year. It was agreed by unanimous consent to initiate formal Amendment proceedings to make the relevant changes in the Constitution and By-Laws.  For efficiency, an additional change is being proposed to raise expenditure authorization “for equipment or observatory improvements of up to $500” (formerly $200).  Other minor changes will be made for accuracy in the document.

This article serves as formal notice of the Amendment proposal, as spelled out in Article V: Amendments.

Amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws of AAAP may be proposed by a majority vote of the general membership at any regular business meeting, provided that a quorum is present as provided for in the By-Laws, or by a vote of the Board of Trustees.  Before any amendment shall be adopted, the amendment shall be discussed at regularly scheduled general membership meeting and a written notice of the proposed amendment shall be distributed to all members.  No amendment shall take effect unless it receives a majority vote of the total membership.  Voting by mail or e-mail is permitted.

The current full version of the Constitution and By-Laws can be downloaded from the website,  At the January 9 meeting the Amendment proposal will be discussed, and if it goes forward a vote will be held at the February meeting.

Back home again in Jersey.  After an amazing 3 week trip to Thailand and Cambodia in December, it is great to be back home in New Jersey. That was a cultural and archeological trip, not science, and so I very much look forward to talking astronomy with you on January 9 at Peyton Hall (7:30pm) for our first meeting of the new year. See Ira’s article below for background on the guest speaker.

This entry was posted in January 2018, Sidereal Times and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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