St. Joseph’s Parish Pastoral Council

Selection of Chairperson: Process

 

Background:

Recently, St. Joseph’s has instituted a new governance structure. This included the re-structuring of the Parish Pastoral Council and processes for selection of representatives from ‘clusters’ of ministries, as well as the continuation of elected Mass representatives. It also included provisions for the selection of a Chairperson from amongst the elected and selected representatives on Parish Pastoral Council, or an option for Parish Pastoral Council to seek a chairperson from outside its number, from the parish community more broadly.

Issues:

As the new governance model was implemented, certain issues were identified as not having been addressed in the initial model. With respect to the position of Chairperson, these include:

•No term limit: a normal duration of term was not identified

•Multiple terms: it was not determined if a Chairperson could serve multiple (consecutive) terms, and if so, how many

•Mid-term departure: while provisions were in place for a Vice-Chairperson, who could serve during short-term absences of the Chairperson, it is unclear whether or how to replace the Chairperson, should she/he leave part way through her/his term

•Whether and how to appropriately involve the parish community as a whole so as to ensure appropriate transparency

The following proposal presents options for addressing these, and other issues, as well as a process for review and approval.

Term:

•The Chair shall be asked to commit to a 2-year term.

•The Chair may be asked or may volunteer to continue to serve for a second and a third two-year term.

•The term, whether initial or subsequent, shall commence with the Annual General Meeting

•In the final year of the term of the Chair, Parish Pastoral Council shall return to community at large to solicit expressions of interest from others who may be willing to serve in this role.

•The process for seeking expressions of interest shall be undertaken as follows:

•Be managed by the Chair, if he/she is not seeking a further term, subject to S. 4 (Removal of Chair)

•If the Chair is seeking a further term, the Vice Chair shall manage the selection process unless he/she has indicated a desire to seek the Chair him/herself, in which case the process shall be managed by the Secretary, or the Treasurer, if the Secretary also wishes to seek the Chair

•Include announcements in the parish communications media commencing before the March meeting of Council

•Involve Cluster representatives and Mass representatives in the solicitation of interest within their respective communities within the Parish;

•If more than one person (including the current Chair) indicates an interest in serving, then a selection process is required. This process shall be:

•Under normal circumstances, the process shall be managed so as to solicit candidates, review the candidates and make a decision by no later than May 7, in order that the successful candidate may participate as an observer at the May Parish Pastoral Council meeting (for the sake of continuity) and may assume the Chair at the June AGM.

•If the Chair is not seeking a further term, the Chair shall manage the selection process, subject to S. 4 (Removal of Chair). If the Chair is seeking a further term, the Vice Chair shall manage the selection process unless he/she has indicated a desire to seek the Chair him/herself, in which case the process shall be managed by the Secretary, or the Treasurer, if the Secretary also wishes to seek the Chair. In the case of all four positions simultaneously seeking the position, then Council shall consider the situation and decide.

•Each and every candidate shall meet with Parish Pastoral Council to outline his/her interest and credentials.

•The actual selection of the Chair shall be by vote by the current members of PPC. All candidates shall be absent from the room during Chair selection discussions and voting, which shall be led by whomever is managing the selection process (as per S.1.f.ii)

•The vote shall be by an absolute majority, i.e., more than half the votes cast by the currently serving members of Parish Pastoral Council. In the event of multiple candidates, a plurality shall NOT be sufficient; the name of the candidate with the fewest votes shall be removed from consideration and another vote taken by Council. This process shall continue as necessary until a single candidate has secured an absolute majority.

Length of Service

•Subject to all of the foregoing provisions regarding selection, the Chair may serve for 6 consecutive years without a break.

•After a break of at least one (1) year, an individual may return to the position of Chair

•A Chair may not serve any more than 12 years in total.

•Mid-term departure

In the event that the Chair should resign or otherwise leave office:

•Should there be fewer than 6 months remaining in the Chair’s term, the Vice Chair shall assume the role of Chair and shall initiate the selection process.

•Should there be 6 months or more remaining in the Chair’s term at the time of his/her departure, the Vice Chair shall assume the role of Chair and shall initiate a selection process within 2 months of the Chair’s departure. The process shall be consistent with the process laid out, with dates changed to reflect the actual vacancy date in the Chair.

Removal of Chair

The Chair may be removed as follows:

•If at least 50% of the currently serving members of Parish Pastoral Council request that the Chair step down, either in writing (submitted to the Vice Chair) or by motion at a duly convened Parish Pastoral Council meeting, then the Chair shall be deemed to be vacant and the Vice Chair shall assume the Chair and/or initiate a replacement selection process.

•Should a petition of registered parishioners be received requesting the removal of the Chair, and should this petition include the signatures of twenty percent of registered parishioners, then Parish Pastoral Council shall vote on the removal of the Chair. If removed, the Vice Chair shall assume the Chair and/or initiate a replacement selection process.

•Should the Chair be convicted of an indictable offense, then the Chair shall be deemed vacant and the Vice Chair shall assume the Chair and/or initiate a selection process.

•Should the Chair be charged with an indictable offense, then the Chair shall be required to step down while the matter is before the courts, and the Vice Chair shall assume the Chair. If the matter is not resolved within six (6) months, then the Chair shall be deemed vacant and the Vice Chair shall initiate a selection process.

•In all cases of removal of the Chair, the Chair shall not be involved in managing the selection process, even if not seeking the Chair.

Communications

The Parish community shall be informed when a Chair departs or is removed whether the vacancy arose at mid-term or at the conclusion of a term.

•Such notice shall include information regarding the process being taken to replace the Chair.

•Such communications shall be undertaken in a manner which respects privacy laws and the judicial presumption of innocence.

•When a new Chair is selected, the Parish community shall be advised within the following week unless there are strongly militating circumstances against such timing (e.g. the new Chair cannot be present to be presented to the community; it is Easter Sunday). Such circumstances delaying an announcement shall be discussed and agreed upon by Council. In any event, the intent is that the announcement be made as soon as is possible.

•Staff shall be informed, confidentially, prior to the announcement to the community.

Other

This policy shall be posted on the Parish website, along with other policies. This policy shall remain in effect until abrogated or modified. Any exceptions to it are to be the object of a vote of at last three-quarters of the serving members of the Parish Pastoral Council.