Jeff Crum – President of the Spokane Disc Golf Association (SDGA)
Report and minutes on preceding communications and interactions with Board members at Stadium Pizza
November 2nd 2010 – 6:30PM – 7:10PM
This report is in no way intended to disparage the fine work of late by many industrious club members to improve our courses. Nor is it intended to invalidate the work that Jon Verbarg has labored to complete in the last few weeks. I site in particular the nice retaining wall/bench at hole at 18! In addition, great benches were installed at holes 16, and 12, at High Bridge. Good job! I also appreciate the work done at Downriver to create new holes at 3, 15, 14 & 2. I’m sure I’ve missed many things. Well done to the crews that participated!
However, it would be irresponsible of me to merely point out the positive and ignore any difficult areas that need attention. So, with that in mind, and with careful consideration I need to address some important issues.
In the SDGA Charter the President’s role is described as follows:
The chief officer and senior advisor, coordinating the efforts of the Board.
The Treasurer’s role is described as follows:
Maintain the SDGA bank account and assure the security of club funds. Collect SDGA revenues and make payments for club expenditures. Keep accurate records and report to membership at large at open meetings.
The other four Board positions have to do with records, communications, membership and maintenance.
These roles are clear and distinct along with other guidelines set forth in the Charter so that we can function in an efficient manner.
The following in part is a record of what happened at Stadium Pizza on Tuesday November 2nd from 6:30PM to 7:10Pm. This will serve as the minutes of the meeting since the whole Board wasn’t present. This document also includes some things that led up to that meeting and a commentary on the whole situation.
What I have written here will show that there was improper authority, disrespect, and inadequate communication on the part of some SDGA Board members.
Gordy Crafts e-mail to Jeff Crum 10-27-2010
Bob and Kevin have asked me if there's a chance the Board can meet this Fri. @ 3: 00PM at Benedittos at 15th and Monroe on the South hill just up from Rosaur's. I told them I would meet them there and would also contact the rest of you to let you know. It’s about preparing for the upcoming meeting and addressing Board issues. As Treasurer I would like to finish up collecting weeklies' $ from Lyle and touch base with him about handing off the weeklies to Tony C. Bob has some SDGA disc sales from City Cup to turn in and I need to follow up with Jeff on the $500 the Club gave him as a pre-payment for the grant that built the new kiosk signs. We need to know how were supposed to get our money back. This process may have a bearing on the future grants now under discussion. Also we need to take some action on the Fac. Coor. vacancy. Can one of you please forward this to Eric? I hope you can all make it but if you can't please answer the questions you can or submit suggestions that will help us manage large meetings.
Gordy also wrote this on 10-27-2010 on the North West Disc Golf Forum
Calling all Board members. We are trying to meet on Friday afternoon at three pm to discuss the agenda for the upcoming meeting. We want to come to grips with how to better manage large meetings so that all our time is better spent. One method we used in the past was to have the Board members take turns chairing the meetings. The problem is that some Board members' responsibilities at the meetings don't allow them the luxury of also chairing the meetings. That raises the possibility of pre-identifying a volunteer to manage an upcoming meeting. With that in mind if there is anyone interested in that role please come to this meeting. Please bring your ' Robert's Rules of Order!' Also the position of the Fac. Coor. needs to be discussed. There is a lot of new work going on these days and a regular 'can-do-hands-on' type who plays well with others would be worth a closer look. We have some good helpers who deserve a regular go-to guy or gal who is also capable of working within the Board. Any suggestions? The Fri. meeting is at Benidittos Pizza at the corner of 15th and Monroe just uphill from Rousaurs.
1. Does these communications sound like the Treasurer is speaking or the President?
2. Considering the role descriptions above, would you consider the topics addressed to be under the jurisdiction of the Treasurer?
On 10-28-2010 your President sent an e-mail to your Treasurer Gordy Crafts which opened with the following paragraph.
I ask you, why don’t we just meet one hour prior to the club meeting at Stadium? This is what we’ve often done in the past? Our board can get business done with the finances if people come prepared to do so.
Gordy didn’t respond to this e-mail.
I subsequently heard that he and Bob and Kevin and some others met at a café, through a post that Gordy submitted to the North West Disc Golf Forum.
As I told Gordy, meeting one hour earlier at Stadium for a Board meeting has been our custom in the past. I saw no reason for a separate location. In fact, I looked several times online and there was never a reply to my request.
Some Board members (hoping for a Quorum) did meet at a cafe last Friday October 29th. I know that they were hoping for a Quorum due to Gordy’s Forum post invitation which began, “Calling all Board members…”
What happened Tuesday November 2nd 6:30PM – at Stadium Pizza?
I started to write this down the next day. This is the best of my recollection. Quotes here are used only to indicate who is speaking.
Your President arrived 1/2 hour early to the scheduled SDGA meeting on Tuesday to be able to eat some Pizza and maybe drink a glass of beer. When I entered the room I walked up to the counter to order and looked around. The only club members in the room at that time were the Treasurer, Public Relations and Membership Whip officers of the SDAG Board. They appeared to be in an intense discussion. I got a drink and walked over to their table. Your Treasurer said to me, "Mr. President, we've saved a seat for you!" I sat down and the he says, "You sent an e-mail saying that you wanted to have a Board meeting one hour prior to the club meeting and we’ve been here for that meeting. Surprised, I said, "You never replied to me to say that you wanted to meet, and you guys met last Friday. Your Treasurer, Gordy Crafts says, "Well, this is a Board meeting." I said, "No, it's not!" The Treasurer replies by saying, "I move that this is a Board meeting. Do I hear a second?" One of the other guy's says, "I second." Then The Gordy says, “All in favor raise your hands.” Then Gordy, Bob and Kevin all raise their hands as they stare at me. I don’t raise mine. Then Gordy announces, "This is now a Board meeting!" I was getting pretty mad at this point and said, "You are out of order! This whole thing is out of order!" The Treasurer, now staring into my eyes, spits out the following abusive threat, "If you say that one more f**king time I'll..."
I immediately replied to him, "You’re a bully! And you’re threatening me, and verbally abusing me, and I’ll say it as much as I need to! At that point I distinctly noticed that Kevin laughed. I turned my head toward him and said to Gordy, “You’re verbally abusing me! If you said that to your wife or your wife said that to you it would be abuse!” I will say it again, you are out of order!" Then I stood up and said, “I don’t have to take this!” I’m leaving! Then Bob says, “Well then you’ll be leaving a meeting, his tone implying that this would be a bad thing to do, possibly having some kind of negative ramifications. This too was a threat. I know at this point that I’ve been ambushed. Though I was very hurt and angry, I sat back down. Then the Treasurer says…
“I'm sorry I used that word...will you forgive me?” I said yes, and the tension kind of goes down a notch. Then I also apologized for interrupting Bob during the fray – hoping that we could come to some reasonable conclusion. At this point my heart is beating out of my chest, but I had no idea what was coming up next.
Then your Treasurer moves on with his agenda. He says, "We need to vacate the Facilities Coordinators Board position." I reply that I know that and that I've prepared something to share at the 7PM meeting. Still shaken, I nervously, pull out my sheet of paper and hand them each a copy.
The following is the prepared document concerning the F.C. position that I handed to each of them which they briefly looked over and quickly dismissed.
Appointment of a Facilities Coordinator
The member who is the Facilities Coordinator has not been active or present for several meetings without offering an excuse. In addition, the Chair has asked this Office holder prior to the last Club meeting if he wished to continue in his position and there has since been no response. Do to these concerns and the fact that his duties are currently being done by others, I move that this position be vacated by majority vote of the club present and that nominations for the position are taken during the month of November. I also request that the Board meet here one hour prior to the next club meeting in executive session and appoint one of the nominees by majority vote of the Board members, in accordance with the procedure that is set forth in the Charter.
Concerning the duties of the Facilities Coordinator
I further propose that we form a committee for the purpose of identifying potential sites for alternate pins at our courses, and to also identify erosion problems and safety issues on our courses. Since the job of Facilities Coordinator involves these duties and is a working job, I would like to see someone who is or has been or willing to work, obtain the position. I will personally give greater weight to someone that is active. This would also weed out the people who don’t actually have time or the will to work on our courses.
End of my document.
I told this trio that we need to inform the whole club that this position is being vacated so that they might have a chance to apply or show interest in it." The Treasurer says, “I move that we vacate Eric Brown’s position as the Facilities Coordinator, all in favor?" They all raise their hands again and look at me expectantly. At this point I raised my hand and voted for this, because it was something that was long overdue – not knowing what they had up their sleeve next. Then Gordy says, something like, we need to hear from the candidates for this position. I am completely baffled when at that point Jon Verbarg and Tony Costanzo show up from behind me (I didn't even know they were there) and Tony starts to talk about what he would do if he had the position. It was as if nothing had just happened. It was staged like a play. When Tony’s finished, Jon Verbarg proposes what he would do should he get the position. Then the Treasurer says, "All in favor of Tony becoming the Facilities Coordinator say raise your hands." No one raises their hand. Then he says, "All in favor of Jon becoming the Facilities Coordinator?" All three of them raise their hands. I didn’t raise my hand. Then Gordy says we'd like to introduce our new Facilities Coordinator, and they have a little moment to congratulate themselves and Jon.
- less than a week before this bogus Board meeting, Gordy said in a North West Disc Golf Forum post, “…Bring your Roberts Rules of Order…”
We’ll here’s what some of the people from the Roberts Rules of Order Discussion Forum had to say when I shared my account of Tuesday night with them.
Kim Goldsworthy – Member - Roberts Rules of Order – Discussion Forum
You cannot willy-nilly turn cocktail parties, BBQs, weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs, tailgate parties, etc., into a properly called meeting of the organization BY MAKING A MOTION SO.
It doesn't work that way.
All business transacted will be null and void.”
Josh Martin – Roberts Rules of Order – Discussion Forum
A rule requiring proper notice for a special meeting is clearly a rule which protects absentees, as people need to know about the meeting in order to show up.
Nancy N. – Member – Roberts Rules of Order – Discussion Forum
On top of everything else, the treasurer should not have been conducting the meeting!
If there was a legitimate meeting at Stadium Pizza that evening it began when the Chair said, "I call this meeting to order" which I did at about 7:10pm.
Therefore all business transacted at this improperly called meeting is null and void.
What occurred that evening violates not only the right of the President to sit down and have some damn Pizza prior to a scheduled meeting but it also violates the rights of the other Board Members (referred to as the Absentees) to actually know that a Board meeting is happening!
On November 9th I asked Lyle Parks if he was specifically invited to a Board meeting at 6:00PM at Stadium on November 2nd 2010.
Lyle’s response on 11-10 was "I don't remember a specific invite over the phone or message board, and can't find one in my e-mail.”
I e-mailed Eric Brown on November 11, 2010. Here’s that letter.
Did anyone contact you by phone, e-mail, text or otherwise to inform you that there was
going to be a Board meeting at Stadium Pizza on November 2nd at 6:00PM?
It's important that I know. It may be that what was decided at that meeting violated the
rights of those who were not invited. (the Absentees)
Please let me know.
Eric Brown responded in an e-mail on November 14th 2010
“I don't recall a message or anything saying when and where?”
I’ve already established that I wasn’t coming to Stadium for a Board meeting, I was there (As is my usual custom) early for the scheduled meeting to prepare and possibly eat some pizza.
So, if even one Board member isn’t informed about a meeting, let alone another who verbally objects to participating in a meeting, (Your President), then nothing official has taken place.
So, I know that the Board can just turn around and appoint Jon Verbarg to be the Facilities Coordinator – When they have a quorum, but at this point Eric Brown is still in that position.
Don’t you think that someone should actually talk to him prior to shutting him out?
My point isn’t that this or that ‘can’t be done, it’s that some things should NOT
Personally I think an apology to the Board and Club is in order from anybody that participated in this irregular and unofficial ‘Board’ meeting. I apologize to the whole Club and Board for NOT leaving the meeting when I stood up and intended to do so. I’m angry at myself for allowing myself to be intimidated and cowed into staying and putting up with this crap. I’ll get over it and I’ve already forgiven all involved (repeatedly). Yet, though I’ve forgiven, this was done in public, at a Pizza parlor, not one-on-one in private, and after much prayer and consideration, the club needs to know what went on – hence this report.
At this time I’m introducing a Charter amendment (See end of this post) in response to these circumstances. It deserves your careful consideration.
I will take my place as President at the December 14th meeting. I’m anxious to hear what the candidates say about these and other topics at that time.
I also know that there is a meeting at the Season Ticket this Sunday at 5:30PM. Should I not make this meeting I appoint Lyle Parks as chair in my place. In case I’m not there, I'm sending him the same type of Order of Business that worked so well at our last official meeting.
It has been advertised that this meeting is being called for the purpose of approving Election Materials. It’s probably about more than that, but at least that’s what’s been posted on the forum. We’re probably going to get Election Materials anyway so (should I be absent) there needs to be a vote for these materials, you can count my vote to be the same way that Lyle votes on this matter.
As for the elections, I’m hoping that every club member will carefully weigh these matters and consider what would happen should the same crew be reelected for another two years. Keep in mind that last January at the voting meeting Gordy publicly announced that the only thing the Board did in 2009 was “put garbage cans at downriver.” Would the incumbents want 2011 to be any different?
As far as I’m concerned the meeting this Sunday is just another ‘open’ meeting. It is my hope that any concerned members will attend.
Jeffrey J. Crum
President – SDGA 11-20-2010
[See proposed Charter amendment below]
Due in part to the events of November 2nd 2010, and for the general good of the Board and the club, I propose the following amendment to the SDGA Charter.
Proposed SDGA Charter Amendment
The SDGA Charter reads “These bylaws may be changed or amended by a vote of current* members at an open meeting.
Two-thirds of the vote will be considered the majority.
Membership section – Page 1 – paragraph 2
Responsibilities of Membership:
• Maintain active club status and dues.
• Support the Club, its sponsors, and its members.
• Assist with course maintenance and clean-up.
• Give assistance to new players and visitors.
• Abide the PDGA rules of courtesy, integrity, and responsibility.
• Suspension of Membership:
Any member may be suspended by a 2/3 vote of those present at a *Board/Club meeting for any of the following infractions:
• Repeated unsportsmanlike conduct, such as cursing
, throwing objects in anger (other
than discs), excessive displays of anger
, overt rudeness
or willful physical harm to anyone present.
• Willful destruction or harming of park property, plant life, or wildlife.
• Cheating: A willful attempt to circumvent the rules.
The suspension shall continue until the next scheduled Board/Club meeting. At that time the suspended member may address the Club. A 2/3 quorum of the Board must be present at the meeting and a positive simple majority vote of the membership present will be required for reinstatement. During a suspension, the suspended party loses all Club privileges and voting rights. There will be No reimbursement of Club Dues. A suspended member that is denied reinstatement may reapply after 3 months but is subject to the same voting approval requirement at that time.
* A Board/Club meeting is defined as any official scheduled meeting which has a quorum of Board Officers present.
Submitted by Club President – Jeff Crum (Sky Pilot)
Date – November 21st 2010
Note: The above text was adapted from the Charter of the Golden Triangle Disc Golf Club of Southeast Texas.