It seems that the membership of the USCA doesn’t like to hear about the decision processes of the Board because every time we publish them we get complaints about “politics”. But if we don’t make things public, we get complaints about “secrecy” so this is being written to avoid the taint of secrecy and in the hopes that those of you who don’t want to hear this will skip it and cut us some slack for talking about politics. If you aren’t interested in the inner workings of the USCA and don’t want to hear us air our dirty laundry, STOP HERE and go back to the fun stuff. Please understand that your USCA Board is not happy to bring this issue to the membership but we have been forced into this by the irresponsible and illegal actions of the USCA President, John Kennedy.
The USCA has been paying to have the duties of the Secretary done for many years. This amounts to $2,400 a year and a majority of your Board feels that the job can be done by a volunteer and the money could be better spent elsewhere. There was a vote that carried by a wide majority and the Board instructed John Kennedy, the President of the USCA to inform Al Roach, the current Secretary and Registrar that as of the end of June, 2004, we would no longer pay to have the job done. That gave Al Roach a ninety day notice. If Mr. Roach wanted to do the job as a volunteer, that would be great but if not, we would seek a volunteer to take on the task.
The issue that prompted this decision was the general agreement on your Board that we should tell Al Roach in time for him to decide if this made any difference to him before the election. If he didn’t want to run if he wasn’t to be paid for keeping the club roster, he might not want to run for office. John Kennedy refused to officially tell Mr. Roach about the change and in fact told Mr. Roach that he (John Kennedy) would see to it that Mr. Roach would continue to be paid despite the decision of the USCA Board. Unfortunately, John Kennedy didn’t admit that to the Board that until Al Roach had told a representative of the Board that John Kennedy assured him he was keeping his job and his pay, and to ignore the USCA Board.
This leaves the USCA in a very bad place. The President has set himself above the authority of your USCA Board in conflict to the USCA Constitution and Bylaws as well as common sense. He has made an unauthorized and unilateral commitment to spend the USCA’s money. This is just the most recent problem that John Kennedy has had with your USCA Board but it is by far the most grave. To a person, the undersigned members of your Board are opposed to John Kennedy’s position and find that anyone who sets himself above the best interests of the USCA and the decisions of your Board should be told by the membership that he is out of order. We ask you, if you are a current member of the USCA, to let your opinion be heard by posting here on www.sidecar.com or by sending a message to any of the Board members.
Please understand how very sorry we are to be forced to bring this to the attention of the USCA membership. We’d like this to be about the fun and friendship that sidecaring has brought to us all but that’s just not always possible.
Spencer Bennett, Southeast Regional Director
Joyce Canfield, Central Regional Director
Jay Geise, Western Regional Director
Robert Montague, Treasurer
Al Olme, Vice President
Dave Szkudlarek, Midwest Regional Director
Over the course of the past couple of years a lot has happened to help the USCA become a more active organization with many more folks participating. We’ve got a better, more modern and slicker looking newsletter. Now that we’ve got Steve Woodward as the new permanent editor, it’s coming out on time. We’ve had several regional rallies to augment the USCA national rally. We’ve taken back the web site from Doug Bingham, who was kind enough to host it while we couldn’t afford to. Thanks Doug. With the help of several volunteers headed up by Mike Laubenstein the new web site has grown from a col
Posted 3/11/2004 4:39 PM (#2571 - in reply to #2570) Subject: RE: Kennedy Defies Board - Member Input Requested
Location: Middleburg, Pa
I would like to request to see a response right here from each board member...over and above the post By Al Olme. I would also like to see a response from each person on the new ballot for the upcoming election right here. After all the new ones on the board will be THE future of the USCA after the old board members are gone.
Just a thought,
Edited by claude #3563 3/11/2004 7:41 PM
Posted 3/11/2004 5:18 PM (#2575 - in reply to #2571) Subject: RE: Kennedy Defies Board - Member Input Requested
Just for the record, all the members of the Board whose names appear under the post, reviewed and some contributed to the post before it appeared, I was simply asked to do the writing.
I agree with Claude, I'd like to see what the potential new members of the Board have to say. I would hope that they take the time to get both sides of the story before the respond.
Posted 3/11/2004 5:32 PM (#2577 - in reply to #2567) Subject: RE: Kennedy Defies Board - Member Input Requested
For the convenience of USCA members who want to comment directly to their Board representative.
Spencer Bennett [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Joyce Canfield,USCA#6576 [email@example.com]
Dave Szkudlarek [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Robert Montague [email@example.com]
Al Olme [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Jay Geise [email@example.com]
Posted 3/11/2004 7:36 PM (#2578 - in reply to #2567) Subject: RE: Kennedy Defies Board - Member Input Requested
Not that it makes any difference, but, out of context:
"...The reason John gave was a citation of a disjointed part of the Constitution that calls for an eight week notice to the general membership before a special meeting can be held. The item obviously refers to a “General Meeting” and not a Board Meeting but it is part of the Constitution..."
"Disjointed?" The FedGov's idea on THE Constitution elevates the "general welfare clause" to the foundation of the USA. Hence the Welfare State.
"Obvious?" It is obvious to me that the 2nd Amendment is a "Right of the People" but who the heck am I?
Constitutions can be a bitch!
Maybe that's why we want to force one on Iraq?
Posted 3/11/2004 9:23 PM (#2585 - in reply to #2567) Subject: RE: Kennedy Defies Board - Member Input Requested
Location: pasco, wa
i come from the land of recall here in cali,
lets through the bumm out
Posted 3/11/2004 11:12 PM (#2587 - in reply to #2567) Subject: RE: Kennedy Defies Board - Member Input Requested
Please post the USCA constitution procedure for a recall election at the general membership meeting.
Posted 3/12/2004 9:49 AM (#2591 - in reply to #2587) Subject: RE: Kennedy Defies Board - Member Input Requested
Regretably, recall is one of the things that the folks who wrote the USCA Constitution left out. Fortunately, it's one of the things that your Board will be adding to the new version that is currently in work. In any event, it won't be ready before the next election in two months.
Posted 3/12/2004 12:44 PM (#2593 - in reply to #2567) Subject: RE: Kennedy Defies Board - Member Input Requested
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Here is my personal opinion on this matter:
Only a service that requires to be outsourced ( farmed out to individuals who are not USCA members, officers, affiliates, etc.) should be paid and all the money raised by the USCA should only be used to improve our association. If someone wants to be paid for a service, that person is NOT a REAL sidecar enthusiast. Therefore that individual should be automatically disqualified from being a USCA member.
I also believe that, in our great association, there have to be qualified persons who would be willing to take over the responsibility of Secretary/Registrar of the USCA.
Posted 3/12/2004 6:17 PM (#2596 - in reply to #2567) Subject: Hey John, please respond
Location: Southern NC & Northern SC
After reading the original post several times, I thought it would be appropriate to ask for a response to the allegations from John Kennedy. John, is everything that was posted here accurate? Is there anything that you would like to dispute? Thanks,
Posted 3/12/2004 11:10 PM (#2608 - in reply to #2596) Subject: RE: Hey John, please respond
Location: Middleburg, Pa
The decision to pay Al Roach early on was not a decision anyone today had anything to do with. Him being paid to be 'registrar' or whatever up to this point should not be an issue as none today seem to know how it came about. That was then ...this is now.
The way things have been presented it almost sounds like John Kennedy is being held guilty for the actions of those before him in addition to what has transpired recently. It also makes Al Roach sound like a crook and I just feel this is a diservice to a man who has done well for the USCA up to this point. I suppose only he could express the truth regarding what transpired way back when the agreement was for him to be paid...but, again, is this really the issue?
For the two years that some of this board has been in office this has apparently never came up as a huge issue until now..right before the election.
Posted 3/13/2004 1:03 AM (#2611 - in reply to #2571) Subject: RE: Kennedy Defies Board - Member Input Requested
Location: Covington WA
As the western represenitive for the USCA until I came to office I had no idea that the USCA was paying $200 a month for a registrar. I was aplauld to find out about it and once I found out about it kept bringing it up on the boards message board.
My reason for this are that I have been trying to get the USCA to hold an event on the west coast. I have twice offered to host the national in the west and both times I was told that "Rallies in the west loose money and we need to make money on the national" So to find out that the club could afford to pay some one $200 a month to do a job that if done with computers should be able to be done in a couple of hours a month but that they could not afford to allow people in the west to have the national because the last one (about 20 years ago now) lost money angers me a great deal.
I have nothing against Al Roach. I would like to see him continue on in the postion but with out pay if he wants. However I also would like to see him deciede to participate in debates on issues on the boards web site some thing that he is not willing to do. Check for Al Roaches email address in the listing for board members. You will find that he does not have one.
But some thing far more important is going on here. We have 8 board members plus John Kenndedy as president who gets to vote in case of a tie. Two of these board members will not use the boards web site which leaves 6 that do. Of these 6 all 6 voted to stop paying for the position. Even if the other two voted against it 6 votes would still be a clear majority. This should be the end of the issue. It should be a done deal. But John Kennedy seems to feel that he is above the board. He can do as he pleases. He has shown no respect to the members of the board, The people that voted us into office and the prosses in general. If one person in this case the president John Kennedy does not agree with the majority he should still acept what the majority has to say and abide by it. But not John Kennedy, his desicion to fight the board on this can only hurt the club.
I have no idea why he would want to do this. Why would any body want to pay for a service that they have people at least as competent as the person doing it willing to do it for free? Why would we want to pay a "registrar" to do the duty's that should be done by the secretary? It is clearly according to the by laws the secratary's job. The Secretary is not a paid position. So for me this entire situation is not right.
My guess, John liked the "good old days" of the USCA where the president pretty much did as he pleased, The board met once a year and did not bother to trouble the membership with details like telling membership what was going on, how much money the club had or for that matter even allow for voting for different officers. And was a club for a few select people on the east coast.
So I voted for not continuing to waste $2400 a year on a job that could be done for free as I feel that this is in the best interest of the people I am suppose to represent. The people in the west who have gone 20 years with out a national in the west.
Western regoin director.
P.S. My wife Tara and I will be hosting the national in 2005 AND IT WILL AT LONG LAST BE IN THE WEST
Posted 3/13/2004 6:54 AM (#2612 - in reply to #2608) Subject: RE: Hey John, please respond
Location: St. Joseph,MO
You are right about most of it Claude, We don't know when or how Al Roach became Secretary/Registrar. As you know no elections have been held for many, many years, but as of July 1st, Al Roach will the an officially elected Secretary just like the rest of the Board. Each of the members has the opportunity to vote concerning this position and the simple fact that no one chose to run against him makes no difference. It is a conflict of interest problem. As Secretary should he have a vote concerning his salary as registrar? As you should see we need to straighten this out before the election and the politics of the election do not enter into the equasion. I think very strongly it is the right thing to do.
Posted 3/13/2004 7:51 AM (#2614 - in reply to #2612) Subject: RE: Hey John, please respond
Location: Lexington, KY
I think that we should get a rope and find a tree and hang the worthless sucker.
This whole story needs to be investagate by a review board of common members, that is who I ran to repersent, pick a chair and get all the information.
My position is that I have followed the Consitutuion of the USCA, I have done what I promised in my election statement, and that I have acted for the good of the general membership.
The board was upset with my article in the sidecarist, last issue and Al Obe said that it would be war. I will stand before the general membership at the Bean Blossom rally.
Here is my suggestion, the USCA board meets on the 'racedis' site ask the board to post that whole file and the const of the USCA and read through
then you will have all the information not just snipets that suits someones agenda.
I will petition the board to post these files , come to the general meeting at Bean Blossom I will and you will have all the information needed to make an informed decision. Bring the rope anyway a lynching can be added to the activities.
Posted 3/13/2004 9:46 AM (#2617 - in reply to #2608) Subject: RE: Hey John, please respond
Location: Lexington, KY
Once again the board is mudding the waters, this is the battle I have been fighting for the last year, the board is upset that I am not one of the seceret society, that I am for a grassroot movement of the general members. It is time that the board listens to the members and not work in the backroom. I am here for the good of the club, the board has fought me from day one. My statement of wanting a riding board that understands sidecaring has gotten me in lots of deep water. Call for the board to open the 'racedis' file (all of it, not just snipets) and let the chips fall where they may.
Posted 3/13/2004 12:07 PM (#2620 - in reply to #2617) Subject: RE: Hey John, please respond
Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin USA
I don't have time to read the last year's worth of messages from the board site. Unfortunately it doesn't look like I'll be able to come to Indiana either. I'm sure there are a few other members who won't be there as well. How about answering the question about whether or not you told Mr. Roach to ignore the board and that he would continue to be paid. And are there any other people being paid a regular sum out of the treasury?
Posted 3/13/2004 1:52 PM (#2625 - in reply to #2622) Subject: RE: Constitution question
Location: Covington WA
No it does not.
It is pretty clear that all that is required is a majority vote. The only input the president has if a tie in voting needs to be broken. This was not the case. Every member who voted on it voted for it.
Posted 3/13/2004 2:23 PM (#2626 - in reply to #2570) Subject: RE: Kennedy Defies Board - Member Input Requested
Location: jefferson maryland
And --Just who are the"Rascals"? I for one, have put in a lot of unpaid time as Treasurer of the USCA. I don't feel I am a Rascal! As some have indicated, this matter is simply a case of The Board (your representatives)have taken a majority vote on a matter (to preserve funds for the use of the general membership)and the President does not agree! He is one and we are six! Now who is the Rascal?
Posted 3/13/2004 4:57 PM (#2631 - in reply to #2608) Subject: RE: Hey John, please respond
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Let's get straight to the point. If Al Roach is not interested in doing the "job" unless we pay him, he is NOT a sidecarist who cares about the welfare of our association. Therefore, it does not belog ... to it. This is just my personal opinion and .... all in good faith!
Posted 3/13/2004 5:10 PM (#2633 - in reply to #2620) Subject: RE: Hey John, please respond
Location: Lexington, KY
I know that you do not have time to read a years worth of post, but in just a few minutes I can send you through the year by giving you post #s then you can read the post before and after. If you do not have access to the whole file you will always wonder what was left out and who is not telling what. I ran for president on open board meeting, not a back room attack. The letter from the board posted on sidecar never went through the board meeting, it is not in the files anywhere. Our constitution is written to prevent this kind of thing from happening. I will be posting regarding the treatment of Al Roach and the action of the board.
Posted 3/13/2004 6:31 PM (#2635 - in reply to #2596) Subject: RE: Hey John, please respond
Things are getting pretty heated here. I believe that we should get a couple of things straight before we go off at a tangent. I apologize for another long post but there are several items to address.
The first is that Al Roach has not said that he is unwilling to do the Secretary job if he is not paid for it. We informed him that after a 90 day notice (end of June) he would not be paid. When informed of this decision, he said that John Kennedy had assured him that he would be paid. Al Roach is not the bad guy here and I agree with Claude that he should not be characterized as such. STILL there is something wrong when the Secretary's duties are performed by a Registrar, who is paid, and the Secretary and the Registrar are the same person. Al Roach probably didn't arrange this. In all likelihood he was offered the money and like anyone else, he took it. We are retracting that offer because we can easily get the job done for free. How can we pay someone, using the club's money, for something that we can get for free? To do so would be a breach of the trust the membership placed in us to be fiscally responsible. And just for the record when John Kennedy was first told about Al Roach's pay, his reaction was that it should be stopped forthwith. 'Seems he's changed his mind.
John said,” The board was upset with my article in the sidecarist, last issue and Al Obe said that it would be war.” [sic] I think that John’s referring to his endorsement of candidates in the last issue of The Sidecarist. First, I think it’s a misquote but I could be wrong. It just doesn’t sound like me to say there would be a war. Second, John asked the Board if it was OK for him to endorse candidates for the USCA elections. The Board replied that it was fine but he shouldn’t do it as “The President of the USCA” because that might be viewed as an implication that the USCA also endorsed those candidates.
The Board was afraid that Kennedy’s endorsement, if it appeared to be “official” would scare off those who might run in opposition to John’s endorsed group. The Board feels very strongly that we should do our best to involve as many members as possible in making the club function. It builds camaraderie and gives more individuals a feeling of empowerment and fulfillment in being able to contribute to the good of the group as a whole. Sadly, John did just what we asked him not to do and who knows how many potential candidates decided not to run against the “President’s” endorsement? Oh yeah, and if John’s trying to belittle me by continually misspelling my name… well, it’s sort of an elementary school stunt and I don’t think it will have much effect.
What is this business John keeps bringing up about having a “riding Board”? Does he think that we don’t ride or does he think that folks who ride will just agree with him? I rode about 10,000 miles last year in our short Minnesota season. I rode from April to December and made two long trips and several short ones. So I guess I ride…but I still don’t JUST agree with whatever John says. In fairness, we do agree on a number of things. We agree that sidecaring should be fun. We agree that the USCA should be fun and that it should be run for the benefit of the members. We just don’t always agree on what that means. Right now, John is trying to say that paying for a service that we can get for free (and possibly done better) is beneficial to the members. That’s one of the places that we don’t agree. And, I guess we don’t agree about that riding thing because, I think that (so long as he isn’t paid) Al Roach would be a reasonable candidate for Secretary but since he isn’t much of a rider, he wouldn’t fit John’s criteria. Come on John, if you can’t make sense, at least be consistent.
Claude asked. “If the President has an issue of concern can he ask the board to vote on it. If so should the board do so?”. Yes, the President can ask for a vote on a question IF the question is in order. That is, if the question is something that the Board has the ability to decide
Posted 3/13/2004 6:53 PM (#2637 - in reply to #2635) Subject: RE: Hey John, please respond
Location: Middleburg, Pa
Al Olme..AKA Mole...AKA Al Obe wrote:
>>Should the President be able to ignore the Board and do as he pleases or does a majority vote of the Board count for something as is provided for in the USCA Constitution?<<
If this is what the consitution says why are we even talking about it here. If Al Roach is willing to do the job with no pay it is a done deal.
I do not see any good motive for this discussion. If the President does not agree with the present board that is his option. If the board doesn't agree with the president that is their option ...but...if the board's vote rules then the discussion is over and should have been over with no need to make a spectacle of it here.
Why not find out if Al Roach will do the job for free or not before getting everyone in a tizzy.
Posted 3/13/2004 7:06 PM (#2638 - in reply to #2637) Subject: RE: Hey John, please respond
Location: WESTERN NEW YORK
Thank You Claude well said...............
Posted 3/13/2004 7:14 PM (#2640 - in reply to #2637) Subject: RE: Hey John, please respond
Claude wrote: "If this is what the consitution says why are we even talking about it here. If Al Roach is willing to do the job with no pay it is a done deal.
I do not see any good motive for this discussion. If the President does not agree with the present board that is his option. If the board doesn't agree with the president that is their option ...but...if the board's vote rules then the discussion is over and should have been over with no need to make a spectacle of it here."
Boy, I agree with you! The thing is while Al Roach never said he wouldn't do the job for free, he did say that John assured him that he would be paid. I've copied the p[aragraph from the original post below:
"The Board told John Kennedy about the vote and told him that it was his job as President to tell Al Roach that after June of this year, we would no longer be paying anyone to be Registrar and that we would not be paying any officer of the club or allow them to materially participate in providing any services to the USCA. John didn’t answer. In fact, he just didn’t respond at all for about two weeks. During that time, nominations closed and Al Roach is the only nominee for Secretary. Eventually, since John was stone walling the Board, Al Olme contacted Al Roach and gave him the news. During that call, Al Olme was told by Al Roach that he (Al Roach) would still run for Secretary and still be paid to be the Registrar because John Kennedy told him that was the way it would be. John Kennedy had decided to defy the Board’s decision and personally authorize the expenditure of $200 a month for some indefinite time into the future."
So we have a situation where Al Roach is running for Secretary thinking that he will be paid to be "Registrar", a position that isn't mentioned in the USCA Constitution BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT, John Kennedy told him so. It isn't a matter of whether or not the Board agrees with John or if John agrees with the Board. Agreement or not, John has told Al Roach that he will be paid and to ignore the Board. John shold have done as the majority of the Board asked him to whether he agreed or not. We all have done things from time to time that we didn't agree with but we knew we had to do because it was our job or it was the decision of the majority. John ignored that and in doing so has misled Al Roach into thinking that he will be paid. That is irresponsible and in a way cruel.
Posted 3/13/2004 8:14 PM (#2647 - in reply to #2644) Subject: RE: Hey John, please respond
Location: Middleburg, Pa
It is beginning to sound like if the board had spent more time over the last couple of years reviewing the constitution and bylaws maybe this mess would not be with us today.
It is well known by many that there have been those who did not want John elected. But...John was elected in an election that had a decent number of votes from the membership. More than a third I beleve. The amazing thing is that the spread between John and Colby, who came in second was onl five votes. This tells me that the membership thinks a lot of these two people.
To me the USCA IS THE MEMBERSHIP. We talk about an elected board...well the curent board was elected ...but...it was not elected with too much of a vote. Running unopposed it not much of an election.
The USCA, never the less , has come a long way in the last couple of years. Prior to that it was dying a slow death with the reaper in sight.
From what John has posted and from Al has posted I cannot really see where the wrong is other than what appears to be an attempt to crucufy John Kennedy.Technically the wrong was a product of an ineffecient and contridictory constitution and bylaws.
Posted 3/13/2004 9:03 PM (#2653 - in reply to #2647) Subject: RE: Hey John, please respond
Location: Covington WA
You know the odd thing here. John Kennedy has called for the same kind of vote that he now claims is not in the consitution. In fact he did so just a couple of days ago. I feel he is doing this to cloud the issue. The issue as I see it is now two fold. One, Should we continue to pay for a job we can get done for free and Two, Is the president above the majority rule of the board. And it truly only comes down to the second as the majority of the board has already decieded on item one.
This is how the board has been ran in the less then a year I have been on it. Many of the issues John seems to have with the board occured before I was a member and I had no involvement with nor do I even know what they are all about. Did not and does not seem important for me to look into as it is in the past.
What we have here is a case of the board doing what it thinks is best for the club. Then John rather then participating in the debate simply decieded that he was above the board.
The better way to handle this entire issue would have been and still could be for John to give the board his arguments as to why we should continue to pay Al Roach and then if through debate he feels that enough board members agree with him. Call a vote to over turn the last vote. Simple enough? But you see to do that you would also have to be willing to abide by majority rule something thing that John seems to feel he is above.
If we were to use John's interpretation of the consitution then this club would not be the club it is today. It would be as it was before the elections where held 2 years ago. As I see it a dying club ran by and for those people that can take the time to travel to the one meeting a year that the board was holding. This pretty much as the last president would not allow for a national to be held in the west ment that the only people who could participat in decision making were those people who could afford the time and money to travel to a location on the east coast. Oh wait. That is just what John has decieded needs to be done. If people want to have a say in what is going on with the USCA then they must go to the national if John is to have his way. Does this sound like the way a national club should be ran? I think not.
So John. How about giving the board a convincing argument as to why we should pay Al Roach to be registrar when we have a capable volenter willing to do it? If you have a strong enough argument then I for one am open to hearing it. But if you deciede to go this route then you need to be prepared to abide by the majority off the board even if they do not vote your way.
Posted 3/14/2004 9:06 AM (#2670 - in reply to #2653) Subject: RE: Hey John, please respond
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
YES! I agree with Jay stating "..The issue as I see it is now two fold. One, Should we continue to pay for a job we can get done for free and Two, Is the president above the majority rule of the board. And it truly only comes down to the second as the majority of the board has already decided on item one."