When the complaints were formally presented to the UMCA Board of Directors, there was a consensus of opinion among Board members that mistakes were made by many people involved in the election. No particular individuals were willing to own up to any mistakes or injustices. The Board was very receptive to correcting all of the complaints in the “next” election, however no apologies were forthcoming for this past election.
The 12 candidates suggested that one way to rectify this entire situation was to repeat the election in a fair manner, the way it should have originally been presented. The recommendation was that a first class letter could be sent to all UMCA members with a cover letter explaining that due to the poor voter turnout, a repeat vote is requested. The letter would contain a list of candidates, correct unedited biographies, and a self addressed stamped post card that would serve as the ballot. All members would be urged to fill out their ballot by a certain cut-off date and drop it in the mail. John Marino offered to cover all costs of the mailing, as not to deplete the treasury. This was a harmless alternative that would have prevented any further discussion on this matter. Despite the several injustices in the past election, the losing candidates all agreed to abide by the results of this repeat election. The UMCA Board rejected this plan. The Board’s repeated position of believing that the past election was fair and valid, despite agreeing that an election committee with new election rules are needed, creates suspicion in the minds of many UMCA members.
A repeat election is sensible, logical, and potentially would result in new and/or the same Board members that were actually elected by a large segment of the membership. What is so harmful about this alternative? This blog is part of the fallout brought on by the current UMCA Board and something the Board fully expected.
This begs the questions. Is the Board more interested in the welfare of the membership at large, or their personal benefits as being leaders of the UMCA? The UMCA appears to be quite willing to take your donations as they praise their new founded non-profit democratic status, but when it comes to actually behaving like a democratic non-profit organization, that’s a different story altogether. It appears that too many people in the current controlling factions of the UMCA government also have private agendas, thus the cause of all this unrest.
Why would our UMCA leaders go to such great measures to pre-select candidates in a public UMCA election? Why risk being caught and tarnishing the reputation of the UMCA? What is so important about these six candidates or perhaps, what is so harmful about the losing candidates? The UMCA management seems to go to great lengths to silence certain people and restrict fair access to the UMCA Board. Why not make this go away by permitting a repeat election? It’s believed by many members that some UMCA Board jobs are up for renewal at the end of 2007, thus the importance of crafting a Board with like minded views.
Now, since the UMCA owns RAAM, this presents a whole new set of possibilities that have not yet been fully disclosed. There is still much we don’t know about this deal. We know that some Board members are also partners in a private corporation called RAAM, LLC. This does present some conflict of interest situations that the Board will simply not address. Much is still not known about the terms of the RAAM contract. Despite some members requesting copies of the RAAM contract documents, (as allowed per the Bylaws), the UMCA has yet to comply.
Perhaps the UMCA should return to a private ownership or should sever all associations to owning RAAM. It would help if the UMCA leaders would come to terms with the true spirit of a non-profit association, and conduct business openly.