BOD Attack on Members
BOD Attacks First Amendment
Post Election Update
What they have done
Demands Members Have
Who we are
What You Can Do:
What You Can Do:
Step One - Board Elections
Now that the national and state elections are over we need to focus on another important election. The election that will decide who runs MCRGO and how.
All nine members of the MCRGO BoD are up for re-election this coming June. Ballots are supposed to be sent out to ALL of the members for the first time. This is a good first step but the BoD has rigged the election process by writing new bylaws this year which restrict who can run for the positions on the Board.
According to the new bylaws, the only people who can run for office at MCRGO are people who are selected by a nominating committee. A committee in which all the members are appointed by the current Board of Directors. Supposedly this committee is to be made up of members with no connection to the Board, but we have already seen problems with it. People have already tried to volunteer to be on that committee only to be rejected by the Board. Member Gary DiCenzo offered to sit on the committee at the last MCRGO open board meeting. Gary is a well-known MCRGO supporter but hes also known for being independent and fair and no one will ever accuse him of blindly following anybody elses wishes. But David Felbeck rejected his offer and told him that he could not volunteer to sit on the committee. No one is reportedly allowed to volunteer. They have to be selected...by the Board.
This committee concept isnt accidental. This system was created deliberately by the BoD to allow the existing Board members to control who will be allowed to run. The Board is reportedly quite concerned that the wrong sort of people might get onto the board if the elections were truly opened to all dues-paying members in good standing. Of course they may be equally concerned that an open election would prevent them from hand-picking the new Board members while only pretending to hold an election. Unfortunately there are rumors that this has occurred in past elections. The previous election too place two years ago at the annual membership meeting at the Lansing Marriott. That election was limited to the members present in the room and Pat Alzady reportedly took the ballots into a back room alone and then came out and announced the winners. It was also reported that Rob Koehler, Chapter Chair of St. Clair County, actually received enough votes to win one of the open slots but that
Alzady simply awarded the positions to the other candidates who were more favorable to the BoD.
We dont know if this is 100% true or not and we have no way of proving or disproving it because the ballots were immediately destroyed, leaving nothing to audit.
What we do know is that we need and deserve a system that is fair and open to everyone. Does anyone think that is asking too much? What we propose is a simple system by which any current member wishing to run need only request a petition from the BoD then solicit petition signatures of a set number of other memberssay 100 members. The actual number can be debated later. Candidates who arent serious arent going to go around to 100 other members and get their signatures. And candidates with bad reputations arent going to easily find 100 members to sign for them. This is a fair system that allows ballot access to any candidate with other members providing for checks and balances.
Once the candidates are all on the ballot, the ballots need to be handled exclusively by an outside party. The ballot envelopes should go directly to a trustworthy party such as the Bambery Law Firm or another reputable firm. No members or staff of MCRGO should be allowed to handle them and the third party will announce the winners and preserve the actual ballots for inspection by anyone who wants to see them. This is simple and fair and theres no reason that the Board cannot run the next election this way. Unless they object to being simple and fair, that is.
This has been discussed at MCRGO open meetings and appointed President Felbeck always responds by saying that We cant change the current system. Its in the bylaws and we have to follow the bylaws.
That is a fake argument and Felbeck should be ashamed of himself for trying to mislead the members like that. Fact is, the bylaws are created and altered by the BoD whenever they wish to do so, and the current bylaws were only written and voted on by the BoD this past spring. They arent even a year old yet. No members other than the BoD had a say in them or even knew that they were being modified until after the fact. But as elitist as the process is, its also simple to operate (for the BoD) and they can change it again and put it to the members for a votre with no trouble whatsoever. And they should change it to reflect the will of the members who want an open, fair election process.
So MCRGO members need to start contacting their BoD members and instructing them to change the election process to allow for open and fair elections. They CAN change the system any time they want. The only thing preventing change is that they seem not to WANT to. This needs to be brought up again and again and they need to be reminded that this isnt their organizationit belongs to the members and they serve at the pleasure of the members.
This election method would not only offer fair elections to the members but it would also protect the Board from the claims that we have heard in the past of them rigging the election. Everyone would win with this type of system but it all boils down to if the BoD wants fair open elections with results that cannot be disputed.
No matter what David Felbeck and Pat Alzady tell you, requesting open and fair elections is not asking too much and there is plenty of time to make the changes before the next election.
Please contact the Board of Directors today and demand fair and open elections handled by a third party with no "nominating committee" just petitions signed by other members: