Briefing on October 18th about New Zealand Earthquake

A briefing on the Canterbury, New Zealand, earthquake of September 3, 2010, is being jointly organized by EERI’s Learning from Earthquakes Program and the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER), and co-sponsored GEER.

Date: Monday, October 18, 2010
Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Auditorium in Room 310, Sutardja Dai Hall (CITRIS Building), UC Berkeley

Speakers include:

  • Scott Ashford of Oregon State University on geotechnical issues
  • Bill Holmes of Rutherford & Chekene on nonstructural damage
  • Fred Turner of the California Seismic Safety Commission on the performance of unreinforced masonry structures
  • Mary Comerio (EERI Reconnaissance Team Leader) of the University of California, Berkeley, on housing, insurance, and policy issues

How can I attend this seminar?

This seminar is hosted by:

Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER)

Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)

Geo-Engineering Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER)

For more information about the Canterbury Earthquake in New Zealand, visit the EERI Clearinghouse for the earthquake.

Call for Action: Support San Francisco’s Soft-Story Retrofit Bond Measure

The EERI Northern California Chapter urges you to support San Francisco’s Proposition A, which represents a significant advance in promoting seismic safety and earthquake resilience in the City.

In February 2007 many of you helped the City of San Francisco to collect data on existing multi-unit residential wood-frame buildings.  The City’s Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety (CAPSS) used this data, among other things, to identify 4,400 potential soft-story high-density housing buildings, a vulnerable subset of the buildings inventoried.  CAPSS made a strong recommendation for a program that would mandate retrofitting of these buildings. After initial support of a rather unsuccessful voluntary program, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced earlier this year that a mandatory ordinance would be written.  In a few weeks this ordinance will be introduced. Though this is good news, adoption of the ordinance by the City is contingent on development of measures of financial support for building owners.

Proposition A on the November ballot is such a measure.  It will provide a $46.15 million general obligation bond to fund retrofit of 125 City-subsidized, permanently affordable housing buildings and 31 single room occupancy buildings.  San Francisco’s ability to recover quickly from the next major earthquake depends on residents being able to shelter-in-place while their homes are being repaired.  The cost of retrofitting these buildings is much less than the cost of rebuilding them and providing temporary housing for displaced residents during the process.  The bond that will provide the funds for retrofitting these 156 buildings will be repaid over a 20-year period through a property tax increase estimated at $7.94 per $500,000.00 of assessed value.  The measure was placed on the ballot with the support of the Mayor and all 11 members of the Board of Supervisors, who recognize the serious consequences the entire City will experience if these homes are lost.

The Chapter fully endorses the ordinance and Proposition A.  This is an important milestone for implementation of retrofit programs in San Francisco, and it can serve as a model for other local governments that wish to develop their own retrofit programs.  We suggest you visit the “Vote Yes on A” website at www.quakesafesf.com to express your support and consider making a contribution to the campaign.  Your individual support can help reach the 2/3 vote required for the proposition to pass and ensure that San Francisco residents receive balanced information regarding this proposition.

Signed,
L. Thomas Tobin
President
EERI NC Chapter

EERI NC Board Elections – Votes Due October 29, 2010

It is time to vote for new EERI NC Board Members!  The 2010 ballot also contains a proposed revision to Article III of the chapter bylaws that is up for approval by the chapter membership.  Thank you in advance for casting your vote in this election.

Election results will be announced by email on Monday, November 1, 2010.

Download the OFFICIAL BALLOT & CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHIES (pdf file 250KB)  and submit via the voting instructions below.

VOTING INSTRUCTIONS

Please cast your vote for the one (1) open position on the Board of Directors of the Northern California Chapter of EERI and for your approval of the proposed changes to Article III of the bylaws for the Northern California Chapter of EERI.  If you wish to cast your vote for a write in candidate for the Board of Directors, please mark the box and enter the person’s name in the space provided.

The 2010 EERI NC Chapter election will only accept ballots submitted online.  At the start of the election period, all current EERI NC Chapter members will receive an email with a link to the anonymous members-only online ballot. You must submit your online ballot by 5:00 PM, Friday, October 29, 2010.

Election results will be announced by email on Monday, November 1, 2010.

Questions?

If you have questions, please contact your Chapter Secretary, Heidi Faison at (510) 912-6702 or hfaison@berkeley.edu.

CURRENT BOARD MEMBERSHIP STATUS

The following table summarizes the current and future Board positions.

2010_EERI_NC_Official_Ballot_Table1

CANDIDATES

The Board would like to thank the Nominating Committee of Laura Dwelley-Samant, Chair, Alan Kropp, Joan MacQuarrie, and Catherine Westphall for proposing an excellent slate of Candidates for the Chapter’s consideration.

For the Office of Director:

  • Jennifer Donahue
  • Dick McCarthy

download candidate bios (pdf file 45 KB)

REVISION TO THE BYLAWS

Recent turnover of members serving on the EERI NC board of directors has resulted in a board full of new and enthusiastic participants.  Currently six directors (5 at large directors and one president-elect) were elected from the 2009 slate of candidates and have served less than one year.  Additionally the other three board members have served for less than two years (president, secretary-treasurer, and 1 at-large director).   In the 2008-2009 term the board was also missing a past-president. With such fresh board members and without the historical legacy that a past president is intended to provide, the board is proposing to alter a few director at-large terms so that the current board can continue to develop traction and remain consistent for another year.  Additionally this new version of the bylaws removes the appointed position of Vice President, clarifies the term lengths for all Board members, and clarifies the procedures for board member vacancy replacement.

The proposed changes are as follows.

(1) Revision to the succession plan.

Article III, item 2 of the current bylaws states that “Each elected Director at-large shall serve a term of two years.” Article III, item 2 of the current bylaws states that “Terms of office shall be staggered in order to assure continuity within the Board of Directors.”

With the necessary election of 6 new board members in the 2010 election (to replace board members who stepped down for various reasons), there has become a conflict with these two items.  If all five at-large directors elected in 2009 served two-year terms, there would be a drastic change to the board in 2011, which would result in excessive disruption to the board.

Thus, the current board proposes to have three of the current at-large directors finish their two year term (ending in Fall 2011), and to extend the term for two of the current at-large directors to a 3 year term (ending in Fall 2012).  The two at-large directors selected to have an extended three year term will be determined at random.  This revised succession plan is shown in Figure 1.  This approach will reintroduce the stagger in the at-large board seats, as intended in the bylaws, so that there are 3 at large directors positions slated for election every year.  Additionally it will allow the current board members to continue to develop traction on the board and allow it to remain strong and active.  This change is listed in Article III, item 14 of the version of the bylaws up for voter approval in this ballot.

2010_EERI_NC_Official_Ballot_Figure1

(2) Removal of the role of Vice President.

The current bylaws contain a board member position of “Vice President.” Article III, item 2 of the current bylaws states that “The Vice-President shall be chosen by the Board of Directors from among the Directors at-large.”  This was a result of a 2004 bylaw change that changed vice presidency from an elected position to an appointment.  According to the current bylaws, “The only prescribed duty of the Vice President is to fill in for the President when the President’s office is vacant and there is no President-Elect.”  With this as the only purpose of this position, the current board feels that this position is unnecessary because in the case of such a vacancy, one of the directors at-large could be selected to fill this position.  Based on this reasoning, the position of vice president has been made redundant.  The current board proposes that the role of “vice president” be removed from the board, and the version of the bylaws proposed for voter approval have been updated to remove this position from Article III, item 1.

(3) Clarification of the member terms and vacancy replacement.

Current confusion over how to replace board member vacancies has lead the board to clarify each board member term as well as how to deal with mid-term vacancies in board member positions that are likely to occasionally occur due to the volunteer nature of board membership.  Revised items 3, 4 and 5 clarify the terms of each board position and the number of subsequent terms that any particular board member can serve in each position.  New items 8, 9, and 10 clarify the process by which mid-term vacancies should be filled for each board position.

The text of the proposed version of Article III is printed below for your reference.  To read the full text of all articles in the bylaws, visit: http://www.eerinc.org/?page_id=16

If the proposed version of the Bylaws is NOT approved by the EERI NC Voters, then the results of the one at-large director position will be voided and another election will take place in January 2010 to elect three at-large directors to the board.  In this case, two of the existing five at-large directors who were elected in 2009 will be selected at random to conclude their current terms.  Both of these board members will be allowed to run for re-election in January with the two candidates in the November 2010 election and any other candidates required to fill the slate.

PROPOSED VERSION OF ARTICLE III AND REMOVAL OF ATTACHMENT 2 FROM THE BYLAWS:

Article III. Officers and Directors

  1. The Officers of the Northern California Chapter shall be a President, a Secretary/Treasurer, and a Past-President or a President Elect. The Officers and six Directors at-large shall constitute a Board of Directors in which the government of the Chapter shall be vested.
  2. The Officers and Directors shall be elected by Members eligible to vote.
  3. The President-elect shall serve a term of one year. In addition, the President-elect shall serve a two-year term as President and a one-year term as Past-President.
  4. The elected Secretary/Treasurer shall serve a term of two years. The Secretary/Treasurer is eligible to serve one additional two-year term.
  5. Each elected Director at-large shall serve a term of two years. Directors at-large are eligible to serve one additional two-year term.
  6. All terms start at the opening of the Board of Directors meeting immediately following the election and continue until successors are elected and assume offices.
  7. Terms of office shall be staggered in order to assure continuity within the Board of Directors.  An Officer Succession Plan that show the terms of all Officers and Directors shall be maintained by the Secretary/Treasurer and shall be approved annually at the Board of Directors meeting immediately following the election.
  8. The President-elect shall automatically become President in the event of a vacancy in the office of President. Time served as President in this event will not affect the length or start date of the two-year term as President to which the President-elect would otherwise succeed. When there is no President-elect, an Acting President shall be chosen by the Board of Directors from among the currently elected Board members for the duration of the presidential term. The position vacated by the selected Board member shall be filled in accordance with these Bylaws.
  9. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Secretary/Treasurer, an Acting Secretary/Treasurer shall be chosen by the Board of Directors from among the Directors at-large for the duration of the term. The Director at-large position vacated shall be filled in accordance with these Bylaws.
  10. In the event of a vacancy before the end of term of a Director at-large, the vacancy shall be filled for the duration of the term by an appointment made by the Board of Directors. An Acting Director will serve as a voting member of the Board of Directors. An Acting Director remains eligible to serve two two-year terms as an elected Director.
  11. Ex officio (non-voting) Directors may be appointed by the Board of Directors to head specific activities for specified terms not to exceed two years unless reappointed by the Board of Directors.
  12. The Board of Directors shall oversee the preparation of an Annual Report that shall be submitted to the Institute.
  13. At meetings of the Board of Directors, a majority of the Officers and voting Directors shall constitute a quorum.
  14. The terms of two at-large board members elected in November of 2009, will be extended to a three-year term to achieve the stagger in the at-large director positions intended by these Bylaws.  These terms will be revised to end in November 2012.  These two Directors at-large will remain eligible to serve one additional two-year term. The two at-large directors chosen to have an extended three year term will be determined at random from amongst the five at-large directors elected in 2009.  The remaining three directors elected in 2009 will have a typical two year term that will end in November 2011.

EERI Northern California Chapter | c/o EERI National | 499 14th Street Suite 320 | Oakland, CA 94612-1934 USA | chapterinfo@eerinc.org