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November 14, 2013
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ERC faces 2014 in state of flux


Heading into 2014, the Economic Resource Council remains an organization in transition.

Robert Bergman, chairman of the organization’s executive committee, said the economic development nonprofit would not seek to replace recently departed executive director Robert Trent until next January.

The organization is scheduled to look closely at its internal policy and procedures in early January, which may entail a radical alteration of ERC’s bylaws.

During the Thursday morning regular meeting of the nonprofit board, discussion centered on the bylaws’ inadequacy, particularly pertaining to the nomination and election of executive committee officers.

Tim Corkins, who has served as the organization’s treasurer for the previous five years, has done so by being out of compliance with the organization’s regulations, which state that no member should serve in an official capacity for more than three consecutive years.

Lisa Swarthout, who will take over as chairwoman in 2014, said Corkins needs to stay as the treasurer due to the size of his workload, which is atypically large due to the frequent turnover at the leadership position.

Corkins also served as the organization’s interim executive director at the beginning of 2013 after Jon Blinder stepped down and before Trent was hired.

Bergman proposed that the board alter the organizational bylaws for Corkins to continue by giving the executive committee the discretion to waive the three-year limitation.

Stephen De Sena said the bylaws should not be changed piecemeal to address a specific situation but instead should be looked at comprehensively.

“It’s not correcting the bylaws, it’s changing the bylaws to adopt what you have already done,” De Sena said.

“Your bylaws are supposed to be your operating document for an organization. If you are bending and changing the bylaws every time it interferes with time frames … then you are always changing the way the organization is set up.”

Bergman said De Sena was overstating it but ultimately the board agreed not to change the bylaws and instead nominated Corkins as treasurer, despite the term limit provision.

The ERC executive committee will also look at other elements of the organizational document, including who signs checks, during a larger meeting where participants will seek to more specifically define the organization’s mission and establish goals moving forward.

“The bylaws leave a lot to be desired,” said board member Stephanie Ortiz, executive dean of Sierra College.

The ERC also received reports from various subcommittee members, who provided updates on attempts to identify the labor needs of local industry, the customer service improvements at local government institutions, progress at GoNevadaCounty.com and the improvements to the fiber optic cable network that may soon result in better high-speed internet service to Nevada County houses and businesses.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email mrenda@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.


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The Union Updated Nov 15, 2013 11:21AM Published Nov 28, 2013 06:36PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.