Dear UMCA government,
My apologizes for breaking the silence that I was intending to maintain for a few weeks. I recently learned that the UMCA spent $8,600 of the membership money on legal fees. This bothers me because I knew from pervious e-mails that one check actually sent by UMCA co-founder and member number one, John Marino, for legal fees was mailed back, uncashed. Marino also has repeatedly offered financial assistance in dealing with legal matters, only to be ignored by the UMCA. Ultra Cycling magazine indicated that this $8,600 was for determining if any violations of the UMCA Constitution and Bylaws took place.
We have to ask why Marino's repeated offer to assist in the investigation of legal violations was not accepted. This is seriously hurting the members of the UMCA to be using their money toward covering the legal fees instead of the ultracycling programs! The money shouldn’t be used for legal fees. Those fighting for the members’ equality within the organization (including me) would honestly be willing to make arrangements to avoid using membership money to resolve this problem. Yes, just like what John Marino did in the past months, the others on the SaveUMCA Team would also help pool the money for legal fees. Why is the UMCA so closed about this and repeatedly refusing help?
Furthermore, the UMCA never answered several of the questions relating these issues.
On January 2nd 2008 and February 17th 2008, I asked if the Board, who is supposed to be above the Executive Committee, is allowed direct contact with the UMCA lawyers too. I even submitted this question as a multiple choice and never got a response. Was the entire Board in fact offered the opportunity and was it allowed to talk to the UMCA's lawyers? Would it be allowable for individual UMCA members to consult with the UMCA attorney, using their own money?
On February 8th 2008, I noted the conflict between the UMCA and Marino's four independent lawyers’s interpretation of the 20% quorum and how important it is for the entire Board to consider what this Bylaw really meant. I got no response. Who is really in control of the member-owned non-profit UMCA organization? According to the Bylaws, it's the entire Board who should be representing the members. This, however, does not seem to be happening.
The only way to clear this up is for the UMCA to start communicating about everything instead of closing up and never responding. This secret behavior is quite disturbing--especially when using the member’s $8,600 for legal fees without allowing participation of those involved in the problem and not accepting Marino's money. Why? Why? Why?
Board of Directors: Do any of you have even a beam of concern about the health of the UMCA organization? Why did you allow the UMCA to use the member’s money to get legal advice regardless of all the financial help Marino already has offered? Why? This is serious. This is hurting the sport itself! It’s hurting the bystanders! It’s hurting the entire organization! This is really horrible!
Better late than never, speaking for those involved in trying to help you resolve the issues, I strongly recommend you start accepting our money help for the violations right now on one condition: The legal help must be contracted to an expert in non-profit law and have reputable credentials in this field of law. If there is nothing wrong, then there is nothing to hide. All we want is for the laws of the UMCA and the USA to be followed, nothing more.