The recent election within District Lodge 19 has ignited profound concern among our members. According to the latest dues payer sheet, our membership count for March stood at 7,213. Astonishingly, only 1,634 members participated in the election of our president and recording secretary. This participation rate constitutes a mere 22.65 percent of the membership—a shockingly low turnout that indicates serious implications for the future of District 19.

Factoring in an estimated 700 members on sick leave or disability, the adjusted active membership approximates 6,500. Even with this consideration, the voting participation only increases to 25.14 percent, a figure that remains alarmingly inadequate.

The crucial question now presents itself: will this meager voter engagement lead to success, or will it herald the decline of District Lodge 19? Members have expressed palpable anxiety regarding the district’s course and its very survival.

Optimism surrounds the president’s position, suggesting that the small contingent of voters desiring change has indeed instigated it. If the membership places their trust in the new president, potential benefits for our district could materialize. National negotiations will commence in six months and typically span two to three years before culminating in a new contract. The hope remains that the protracted period without an agreement will conclude. The new president has pledged superior contracts compared to previous ones—a promise that, if actualized, could usher in much-needed improvements. However, doubts persist as no concrete plan has been articulated, leaving even former running mates uninformed. Only time will reveal the true impact of this leadership transition.

Conversely, the secretary-treasurer’s position generates severe concerns. The low voter turnout has resulted in the election of an individual devoid of financial expertise, who has audaciously claimed that balancing a checkbook suffices for managing our district’s finances. This glaring lack of experience poses a significant risk. The financial well-being of our district is not a task for someone lacking prior knowledge. It is not a question of “if” a mistake will occur but “when” and the extent of its repercussions.

Critical responsibilities such as budget management, financial reporting, investment management, audit and compliance, fund allocation, and overall accountability now rest on someone whose only credential is balancing a checkbook. This precarious reality jeopardizes the stability and future of District Lodge 19.

As we forge ahead, the membership must remain vigilant, demanding transparency and competence from our newly elected officials. The stakes are too high to entrust our district’s future to inexperienced hands. We must hold our leaders accountable and collectively strive to ensure the prosperity and longevity of District Lodge 19.