Delegates approve dues increase and redistricting plan

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In two unanimous votes, the AVMA House of Delegates July 13 approved bylaws amendments that will increase dues by $25 and realign the 11 Executive Board districts.

The dues increase had been recommended by Dr. James F. Peddie, AVMA treasurer. Delegates had been considering it since it was first proposed at the 2000 HOD session, and discussed it again at the Informational Assembly in January. The bylaws amendment was subsequently prepared and forwarded to the HOD by the Executive Board.

Beginning in 2002, dues will be $225 per year for regular members and $200 for associate and affiliate members.

The reduced dues rates granted to other AVMA members—including recent graduates, interns, residents, and graduate and postgraduate students—will also increase, from $90 to $100.

In his report to the HOD July 12, Dr. Peddie said the dues increase was necessary to keep the AVMA's income above expenses next year. He said that in addition to people, money was one of the two fuel tanks that keep the AVMA moving forward, and it is necessary to keep them both full.

The redistricting—which will be conducted in two phases between 2002 and 2006—is intended to allocate the number of members more equally between districts. The geographic distribution of AVMA members has shifted since the districts were first drawn in 1957, and districts now range in size from about 3,000 members to more than 11,000.

The two phases are designed to coordinate with the ends of current board members' terms, allowing these board members to serve out their terms representing the states that elected them.

Although there was no discussion of the amendment on the House floor before the vote and only minimal discussion in Reference Committee 4, which recommended that the HOD approve the amendment, delegates had been considering this issue since it was first proposed by Dr. Nave in 2000.

"This probably affects Kansas more than anybody, and I haven't heard anything negative about it," Dr. Michael Whitehair, alternate delegate from Kansas, said during the reference committee meeting. In the final move, Kansas will be separated from Missouri, putting Kansas City, Kan., in District IX, and Kansas City, Mo., in District VII.