By John Quinney, Interim President and Publisher.

I’m pleased to announce the launch of our governance committee. The committee’s focus is on improving the effectiveness of the News Board. Over the next six weeks, we will develop:

  • a matrix listing the skills and experience to be represented on the board
  • a conflict of interest policy for board members
  • simple processes for board nominations, onboarding new members, planning and managing meetings, decision making, board training
  • brief “job descriptions” for officers and members
  • board committees and their responsibilities
  • updates and additions to the bylaws
  • a board calendar

We are thankful to board member, Bob Bloch, and to community members, Lane Morrison and Tim Volk, for agreeing to join us in this important work. Our thanks also to the seasoned business and nonprofit leaders who have offered insights from their deep and extensive experience. We are especially grateful to Hinesburg resident, Bill Schubart, who has offered to provide informal feedback on our work, and guidance on issues that are common to the boards of many nonprofits. Bill knows these issues inside and out from his years of service as a member or leader of many nonprofit boards, including Vermont Journalism Trust, VPR, and Fletcher Allen Healthcare.

The Charlotte News and the work of staff, Board and volunteers, should be judged by the service we provide to the Charlotte community: by the content of the paper that arrives in your mailbox every two weeks, our weekly e-newsletter, and our frequent website posts. But behind the scenes, we must ensure that our newsroom is well managed, that freelancers and volunteers feel appreciated, that we produce timely, fair and fearless reporting on town affairs. At the board level, we must have in place processes and practices that support thoughtful and informed oversight of the organization.

That’s why the work of our editorial and governance committees is so important. Keep an eye out for updates in the paper and in our newsletters.