Despite the light agenda, the ACS Council meeting last month in Salt Lake City was punctuated with strenuous debate and procedural complexity. The motion for an increase in 2010 full-member dues was the most controversial topic the councilors tackled, but after rejecting two amendments, they approved a dues increase for 2010 of $5.00, to $145, by a vote of 348 to 70.
For the first time supplied with electronic "clicker" devices for voting, councilors ran into a few problems, most of which were solved by simply replacing the devices' batteries. By a vote of 394 to 28, councilors decided to forego punch-card ballots and use clickers to vote at their future meetings.
As they do at all spring meetings, councilors chose a number of candidates to run in the society's fall national elections. After the Committee on Nominations & Elections (N&E) introduced the four nominees for president-elect 2010, councilors selected Nancy B. Jackson, manager of Sandia National Laboratories' International Chemical Threat Reduction Department, in Albuquerque, N.M., and Cheryl A. Martin, elected corporate vice president of Rohm and Haas, in Morges, Switzerland, as candidates. They, along with any petition candidates, will stand for election this fall.
From fields of four nominees each to represent District I and District V on the board for the 2010–12 term, councilors chose D. Richard Cobb and Neil D. Jespersen as District I candidates and Judith L. Benham and Peter K. Dorhout as District V candidates. In addition, Dennis Chamot, H. N. Cheng, Ray A. Dickie, and Valerie J. Kuck will vie for two director-at-large seats on the board of directors for the 2010–12 term. They, along with any petition candidates, will stand for election this fall. Ballots for all of these elections will be mailed by Oct. 10.
Councilors also elected Roland F. Hirsch to the Committee on Committees to fill a vacancy created by a committee member's resignation. Robert A. Pribush was elected to N&E to fill a vacancy created by a committee member's resignation.
The council and board received extensive briefings on ACS finances, which showed total revenue for 2008 was approximately $450 million, up just over 3% from 2007. The society's net from operations was $9.7 million, which was $560,000 better than had been budgeted. However, 2008 saw a sharp decline in the society's unrestricted net assets from $212 million on Dec. 31, 2007, to $60 million on Dec. 31, 2008.