The German Village Society has tweaked its elections bylaws and in the process opened up discussion of possible changes to the constitution.

The German Village Society has tweaked its elections bylaws and in the process opened up discussion of possible changes to the constitution.

The board of trustees voted March 11 to change the name of the nominating committee, which is in charge of elections, to the organizational development committee and expand its duties.

Trustees rejected a change that would have required candidates to gather 25 signatures instead of the current 10 needed to get on the ballot.

The elections calendar also was altered to give the board more time for transition for new members.

The elections also will be held earlier this year.

The board will confirm the official slate in July and the election will begin in late July early August.

Votes, which are mailed in, have to be postmarked within three weeks after they have been distributed.

Composition of the committee has not changed. It still is composed of six people: three Society board members and three nonmembers.

Some of the bylaws changes were precipitated by last year's nomination process and election, when the nominating committee interviewed several interested people and endorsed seven running for four open seats.

Two other candidates who weren't endorsed got on the ballot through the petition process.

"So it was very controversial with quite a lot of people because there were a lot of hurt feelings," board member Jeanne Likins said.

"I think in fairness to the nominating committee, they were not trying to start a firestorm," Likins said. "They were trying to generate a lot of interest on the board."

There are 13 people on the board, one being a nonvoting member, and each serving three-year terms.

In the past, the nominating committee had generally endorsed one person per each open seat, hoping to bring a diversity of skills to the board.

Members of the community, however, had expressed concern over the lack of choices, Likins said.

The organizational committee also will start to educate candidates about what being on the board entails -- serving as chairman of committees, raising money, buying tickets to events and attending them, and volunteering, Likins said.

"We want people to understand what the expectations of being on the board are," she said.

In other changes to the bylaws, the Society Board amended the audit process to give flexibility to the finance committee to recommend changes "... that are beneficial to our operations," Likins said.

There already is an annual independent audit of Society finances.

In another alteration, the board voted to allow announcement of proposed bylaw changes to be sent vial email instead of through the U.S. Postal Service, saving hundreds of dollars, Likins said.

The board also is exploring constitutional changes about "... how we are currently structured and functioning," Likins said.

If there are proposed constitutional amendments, the board would hold a special meeting and any of the 1,000 or so Society members would be eligible to vote on the changes.