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Thursday, October 17, 2013

An invitation to lead

Ray Hilts, PNW District Secretary-Treasurer, has submitted the proposed district budget for 2013-2014 for your review.

Please click here to review the proposed budget for the PNWD 2013-2014. 

According to Ray, he and Governor Fred Wallace met with finance chair Jim Jensen to evaluate and assign budget amounts based on the district history while taking into account goals for the coming year and decisions reached at the district convention. Jim will make a presentation on the proposed budget at the upcoming district meeting on Saturday, October 26.

Club presidents, please take time to review this information and be prepared to ask questions. Don't be afraid to ask for changes if you see areas that are addressed differently than you think wise.


In my years of attending district meetings, I've noticed that there is a tendency to just accept a budget as presented for various reasons. Some say, "It's just a guideline." Others say, "It's the governor's year, he or she can do what they want." Some just don't care because they fail to see how the budget might affect them.

All of these perspectives are wrong. The budget impacts very Optimist Club in the district. First and foremost, the dues have increased by $3.00 this year for every club member. That means that there should be more money to help us accomplish more. However, the sad truth is that dues were raised because membership has declined over the past three years. Each club member now must contribute more to receive the same level of service.

Second, I would like to point out that it not just a guideline. As the district has foregone the use of strategic planning, the only way we know what is planned for the year is through budget analysis. The district leadership is expected to do what it says it will do with its members' money.

Third, it's not "the governor's year." It's really not. Every year is yet another administrative year for Optimist Clubs, Districts and Optimist International and it is merely the elected governor's turn to lead the organization. We always hope that the governor will do so in a manner that sustains and nurtures the clubs in their district and helps Optimist International to grow. If they come at their duty with a sense of entitlement, that may not happen.

The purpose of this post is to help Optimist Club leaders overcome their fear of being engaged participants at the district meeting. It's okay to ask questions, and to agree or disagree with what you hear. The only way our organization will grow is by enabling our new leaders to lead.

Club presidents, this is your invitation. Come to the District Meeting on October 25-26, 2013 and lend your voice; please share your ideas and your optimism.

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