NEW ORLEANS – Despite the best efforts of delegates from Arkansas and the 12th ADA District, the passage of Resolution 2 on a motion of reconsideration at the ADA House of Delegates meeting recently left ASDA with one less delegate.
Since 2001, ASDA has had 4 full voting delegates in the House. That number is now decreased to 3, along with other states that also experience a reduction in representation. The re-allocation of delegates was brought about by a standing policy that allocates delegates based on a percentage-of-membership formula every four years. The current re-allocation should have taken place in 2009, but was delayed while the House considered other governance-related concerns such as whether to reduce the size of the 473-member House.
The House of Delegates is the policy-making body of the ADA. It’s membership is based on a formula that determines how many delegates are allocated to each constituent society (state) based on paid membership as a percentage of ADA membership. At the end of 2012, ASDA had 1,070 paid members, which is .7% of ADA’s 152,500 paid members. Using the approved distribution formula, ASDA’s membership was determined to merit 3.3 delegates rounded down to the whole of 3. (By comparison, California has 70 delegates and 14.92% of ADA membership, and Texas has 27 delegates and 5.81%).
Early on in the HOD session, Resolution 2 was defeated with a favorable vote of 65%. It needed two-thirds approval to amend the bylaws. On a reconsideration vote, which ASDA delegates objected to based on the fact that no new information was presented, the House passed the measure with 67%. The fact that ASDA would have likely lost a delegate 4 years earlier had the re-allocation occured on schedule was little consolation. Our state has always provided a strong delegation that served ASDA well.
Taking the high road, and receiving an appreciative round of applause by the 600 delegates and alternate delegates in the room, Arkansas delegate read the following statement on the floor of the House on behalf of our delegation:
“Mr. Speaker – Skinner, 12th District, from the resilient state of Arkansas. There is no delegation that has more respect for the House of Delegates and its process than Arkansas, a state that retains an 80% market share and, in our opinion, is the poster child of everything the ADA asks states to do, and we do it exceptionally well. We appreciate the hard work that every delegate brings to these proceedings.
“That being said, a vote occurred yesterday morning through a procedural error in which our state lost 25% of its representation in this House. In our opinion, the decision by which reconsideration of Resolution 2 was allowed without presenting new information was out of order. You can only imagine the sentiment of states represented here today if they lost 25% of their delegation.
“Although we believe the vote should be stricken from the records, we understand that this is not likely to happen.
“Still, we owe it to our ADA members at home to ask that these comments be recorded in the official minutes of the House.
“Mr. Speaker, you have a difficult job and we love you and respect you, but we felt the need to make this statement to the House, and we thank you for your indulgence.
“So in the legacy of great leaders from our state, we will be back here next year ready to work hard for the greatest health care organization in the world, the American Dental Association.”
The ASDA Executive Council will begin the task of determining the composition of delegates and alternate delegates during their annual meeting in April 2014.
The current delegation unitl 2014 is comprised of the following: Delegates are David Bell, Terry Fiddler, Warren Whitis and Bob Skinner. Alternate delegates are Bob Mason (elected), Tim Chase (elected), Bob Jolly (ASDA president) and Drew Toole (ASDA President-elect). The delegation secretary is Marc Muncy (ASDA secretary/treasurer).