The Executive Board has been debating the state of the Bulletin for quite some time now. It has been on the agenda for the past 2 years and has been discussed in detail at both the Board meetings and the Council Meetings. It has been a hard decision to make. The Council will cease publication of The Bulletin in its current format. The March/April issue will be the last Bulletin to be published.
The concerns and issues around The Bulletin have been shared at the Council Meetings over the past two years. The cost of producing The Bulletin is fairly substantial at about $2,000 a year. Total expenses for 2015 were $2,590.32 less $504 in advertising resulting in a net cost of $2,086.32. The cost is for printing and mailing The Bulletin via Canada Post.
Currently we mail out 61 copies of the Bulletin six times a year. This works out to 366 copies (61 copies x 6) mailed out over the year, which means that every copy costs the Council $5.70 (or $34.20 for the year) to produce and mail.
More and more clubs are requesting copies by email, and we have been posting The Bulletin on our website as it becomes available which makes it available to our membership any time they want to view it. In fact, we have also been posting previous issues on the website as well so if you’ve missed an issue, you can also view or download a copy.
The biggest issue we have is finding a Bulletin Editor. Currently this is an elected Board position and when our last Bulletin Editor resigned, we have been unable to find anyone willing to take on this position. Fortunately, Beth MacLaren stepped up and agreed to edit the Bulletin, but she was unwilling to take on the Board responsibilities of this position and she was willing to do this for the balance of the Bulletin Editor’s term of office which ends March 2016. And in spite of repeated requests, no one has indicated any desire to take on this role.
So the Board is faced with the very real prospect of not having a Bulletin Editor since no one indicated any desire to take on the job. We finally had to make a decision at our last Board meeting.
So in view of all the issues, costs and lack of candidates for the position, the Executive Board of the BC Council of Garden Clubs has decided that the time for The Bulletin is at an end. The March/April issue (the one before the AGM) will be the last issue of The Bulletin.
The Constitution of the Council requires the Council:
“To issue a publication relating to the business of the Council and any horticultural information that would be of interest to the members of the Council;”
The decision to cease publication of The Bulletin does not affect this constitutional requirement. The Council is currently publishing information on Council business using the website as well as the Bulletin Express, Facebook and Twitter venues. Use of these forms of media results in more frequent contact with our members and provides easy access to current and up-to-date information related to Council business.
The Bulletin has had a long history and has served as a valuable tool for the Council. Times have changed and the need for The Bulletin in its current form has become impractical and costly. It is time to move forward and adopt more timely and more effective means of communicating with our members.
The Board had already put forth a Notice of Motion to change the role of Director (Bulletin Editor) as described in the current constitution to be one of overseeing the distribution of Council information through the various channels currently available. We hope this will encourage people to volunteer to moderate the various channels without the additional responsibilities of a board position. Please see Amendment #5 for details of this proposed amendment.
As always, please feel free to contact any of the Board members via email directly.