STANDING COMMITTEES FOR SILVER HAIRED LEGISLATURES
Based on the By-Laws of the Kansas Silver Haired Legislature, there are five standing administrative committees:
Each of these five committees is to have a chair and vice-chair from the Executive Board, with at least three (to a maximum of five) additional members from the general SHL membership. For us to move forward as a viable organization, it is important that these committees be active and productive.
Elections and Credentials Committee
The Elections and Credentials shall be responsible for the election of KSHL representatives statewide. With our current roster having several counties without a Silver Haired Legislator, it would be to the benefit of our organization if this committee took the lead in establishing guidelines for the recruitment of new members, with a goal of us reaching our full membership of 125 active representatives. Having us reach our full allotment of members would help send a strong message to the State Legislature that Kansas Seniors are indeed serious about the issues they deem important. Members of this committee must be willing to seek out willing candidates, using acquaintances and connections in the counties currently without a SHL representative to help find qualified individuals willing to work for the betterment of the Seniors in their county. A stronger SHL organization will be the end result. (The full duties of the Elections and Credentials Committee are found on pages 9 and 10 of the Policies and Procedures Manual of the Kansas Silver Haired Legislature.) back to top
The Finance Committee is responsible for the fiscal burden of the Silver Haired Legislature, subject to review and comment of the Executive Board. The KEY element of this committee is that they are the driving force in fund raising for the SHL. This is an area in which we are sorely lacking, and which MUST be improved if we are to move forward as an organization. This committee needs to be made up of people who share a vision for the SHL, and a passion for working for the benefit and improvement in the lives of the Senior Citizens of Kansas. Obviously this work will struggle to be accomplished without sufficient funding. We need Finance Committee members who understand, and are good at, fund raising; who can help SHL delegates in each county “persuade” either their county commissioners or county council on aging (or both) on the importance of our organization and the need to help fund it; and who have sufficient communication skills to help “sell” this point. The success of this committee will ultimately determine the success of the Kansas Silver Haired Legislature. (The full duties of the Finance Committee are found on page 10 of the Policies and Procedures Manual of the Kansas Silver Haired Legislature.) back to top
Information Services Committee
The Information Services Committee is responsible for the dissemination and dispersal of all information pertinent to the smooth and effective operation of KSHL. One of the often overlooked duties of this committee is keeping the general public, and especially the Senior Citizens of Kansas, appraised of our activities, as well as putting a “face” and contact information for our peers who wish to either offer input or find out additional information. Again, good communication skills are a must for members of this committee, as well as a desire to keep our name and activities in the forefront of the public’s consciousness. Included in this area is keeping accurate email addresses of our members, as well as home addresses and phone numbers. For us to move forward as a group that “gets things done”, it is imperative that the public knows who we are, what we are trying to accomplish, and how to give input to us. The Information Services Committee will be instrumental in getting this done. (The full duties of the Information Services Committee are found on pages 10 and 11 of the Policies and Procedures Manual of the Kansas Silver Haired Legislature.) back to top
The Legislative Committee is primarily responsible for the planning and implementation of our annual session of the KSHL in Topeka. This task has been primarily performed by Jim Snyder and Don Woodard, and with Jim’s passing, it is imperative that Don be given the necessary help to plan and secure the proper accommodations for the success of our annual conference. This year, PSA 4 (Shawnee County area, including Topeka) is helping Don get ready for the 2015 Session, and we are very grateful for their help. The Legislative Committee would make sure this planning is done year-round, keeping all the members informed with sufficient lead-time so each delegate can make sure the Annual Session is on his/her calendar. The Annual Session serves many purposes, not the least of which is the “rejuvenation” of the membership to enthusiastically go about their duties in the coming year. The Legislative Committee can help make that a reality. (The full duties of the Legislative Committee are found on page 11 of the Policies and Procedures Manual of the Kansas Silver Haired Legislature.) back to top
The Bylaws Committee is charged with the ongoing review, and periodic revision, of the Bylaws of the KSHL. This committee will also distribute to the membership any amendments under consideration, allowing for proper debate and comments within the body of the SHL. The last revision that I am aware of was in 1997, so we are definitely due to at least review our policies, and possibly revise them as necessary. That is the task of the Bylaws Committee. (The full duties of the Bylaws Committee are found on page 11 of the Policies and Procedures Manual of the Kansas Silver Haired Legislature.) back to top
As you can tell, these committees serve important functions for the smooth, and effective operation of the Kansas Silver Haired Legislature. In all honesty, however, they have been a minimal part of our dealings over the past few years. Perhaps long-time members of the SHL can recall a time when these committees did serve a valuable purpose, and contributed greatly to our success. It is very important they become valuable and effective again.
Please give these committees your utmost consideration, and see how YOU can fit into one of these sub-groups of the KSHL. I have no problem if we have more people wanting to serve than our bylaws currently recommend. Vice-president Thomas Gordon of PSA 1 (Wyandotte County area, including Kansas City) has correctly stated that getting people to “go the extra mile” in a volunteer organization is indeed a tall task, but that those who have a passion for what the organization represents will willingly step up to see that the goals and objectives of that organization are met, and even surpassed. If you have that passion, we would love to see you channel that for the betterment of the Senior Citizens of Kansas. back to top