Your Board of Directors has been discussing the importance and the need for two-way communication between the Board and the membership. As an historical group, we like all things old, but the day of picking up the receiver from the old crank wall telephone to ask a neighbor to get off the line is long gone. In order for us to respond to the needs of our community and to have a louder voice in the community, we need to be reflexive in hearing what your wishes and your thoughts are. And when there is a threat to our historical district, it is important to have a way to reach out to our membership for action. Your input is vital to our prosperity and survival.
In the past, we have used the US mail to communicate with you. As new advancements in faster, more efficient communication arise, the much slower, more expensive, mailing of a form to you becomes a less advantageous way to hear from you. Ink, paper, envelopes, and stamps cost approximately $1.50 per item, per mailing. That does not include any charge for administration. Trying to reach each of you by phone is time-consuming for both you and the Board and ineffective since it relies on each of you to anticipate our call.
Some of our activities suffer from a lack of communication with you.
Example: We could have used your help to identify homes in our community that would qualify for the biennial Historic Homes tour. Though we contacted several homeowners in Boerne, we could not get a firm group of homes together to hold the tour.
Example: We held the first ever Boerne History Day where the city’s three museums came together to offer tours. The Historical Kendall County Jail and the Agricultural Museum, along with the Kuhlmann-King House, the Pioneer Kitchen, the Henry J. Graham Building, and the Theis House tours were a success, but how many more people could have known about the event had we been able to spread the word to our community even better.
Example: Our annual election is done by snail mail only. Imagine if we used electronic messaging, we could (1)announce a slate of potential candidates for office along with their pertinent information, (2)receive your nominations “from the floor”, (3)send out the ballot for voting, and (4)announce the results. It is not viable time-wise to do that by mail, but if we did, it would be a cost of $6.00 per member for those four mailings.
Besides good food and great entertainment at the November 20 Autumn Affair, there will be a very short general meeting. The Board will ask the membership if they will move to use email for communication within the organization. The Board is sensitive to the potential abuse as well as the use of email in today’s world. Every step will be taken to protect and secure an individual’s email address according to his or her wishes. Here’s what that means.
(1)We propose that when dues notices for January are mailed to you, there will be a blank on the form that asks you if you wish to receive future communication via email in lieu of snail mail. (2)Though you will give the society your email, you will retain the option at that time of whether you wish to have your email published in the membership roster. If it is published, others in the organization may contact you as well. It will be public. (3)Or you may choose to have your email available only to board members for the purpose of communicating with you about society business.
As new members join our ranks, we see the advantage of using email over snail mail as we move forward. Of course, if a member is not computer clad or is adverse to using email, that individual may opt out and continue to receive snail mail instead of email for all pertinent documents. However, there will be no mailings for peripheral emails that may be sent to the membership which updates them on current issues. Instead the information will be available for anyone online at the bahps.com web site.