I have been a member of SVBC for a number of years, but I am witholding membership this year. Quoting from an item in the SVBC web site entitled "2011 SVBC Board of Directors nominees and election information", "There are nine open seats to be filled for the coming year. The Board reviewed a number of candidates and has chosen a slate of nine to recommend to the membership." Internally reviewing candidates and putting a number of names on a ballot that is equal to the number of candidates to be elected is a practice that I associate with Eastern bloc countries before the fall of the Soviet Union. This practice is undemocratic and inappropriate in my opinion. Providing an opportunity for write-ins does not make this practice acceptable.