another interesting article by Ben Collins here:
The USAT proposed bylaws are designed to limit triathletes' voices. Nomination for a board position will no longer be democratic. Before: 50 signatures; After: nomination from current board member and/or committee. Reduces regional representation. Before: 8 delegates. After: 6 per region. There are more restrictions and changes. Vote AGAINST them. Do not ignore the e-mail from USAT.
Remember USAT President Rob Urbach makes $362,000 per year. Team USA Triathletes get a puny stipend of $20,000-$40,000. Where are the USAT FEES and dues going? Better races? More prize money? Athlete support? Fair pay for women?
Vote AGAINST the USAT proposed measures.
I read a pretty balanced piece on this ballot proposal with each side given a chance to make their best argument. I gotta say that the "VOTE YES" side seems very elitist, where as the "VOTE NO" side seems populist.
Case in point. The VOTE YES side believes that there should be a small nominating committee which then decides who can run for board positions. The VOTE NO side (the current bylaws) permits anyone with 50 signatures on a petition to run for a board position.
I did not receive a ballot and I've been told many go to spam folders. I logged into USAT and click "contact us" and requested a email ballot, which then came in a matter of hours. Very easy, if you didn't get one.
Having looked at both sides, it seems pretty important to take the time to VOTE NO, lest USAT turn into an elitist group that is unresponsive to the members.
The proposed by-laws members are asked to approve this month are a direct shot across the bow to the DC Tri Club and others around the country. This club's sophisticated membership and Washington focus means we pay more attention to elections and things such as by-laws changes that many others. We have the voting numbers to influence elections and we need to do that now.
For those of you who don't know me, I have served the triathlon community in various capacities for more than 20 years. I served on the Mid-Atlantic Council, as vice president and director of the National Board, and as the 1st American in more than a decade on the ITU Executive Board. I am a triathlon coach, race director, and official. I love this sport and have devoted myself to helping it grow. I also am a passionate supporter of the Olympic movement and the values of fair play, equal opportunity, democracy and transparency.
I strongly urge every USAT member in this club to vote NO on the proposed by-law changes. If you follow Slowtwitch or Triathlete, you already know that opposition has built against these proposed changes. Our regional representative on the National Board said the reason these were proposed was to follow the USOC's recommendation to move away from a democratically elected board to a "competency based board" and because so few of our members take the time to vote.
USAT President Barry Siff took to Facebook last week to tell everyone that the competency based board was needed because USAT has done such a fabulous job of beefing up our Olympic program, improved our membership services, etc.
He's right, USAT has done a lot over the years to improve the sport. He is wrong, however, that eliminating our right to elect our own representation is the right way to go. I assure you there is no important competency missing in USA Triathlon. The federation has a very large staff and the ability to hire whatever it needs for the staff or for consultants.
These bylaws will allow current board members to entrench themselves in national and international positions beyond their term limits and to keep themselves in these positions by only allowing candidates to run who are beholden to them and who will keep them in their posts.
USAT has made several moves in recent years to move away from our federation's democratic history of transparency and membership accountability. The board has pushed to reduce athlete representation and now will be hand-picking board members that they like, rather than someone of the people. What this means is, if the president of DC Tri decided he or she might like to run for the national board (perhaps after a stint on the Regional Council), he/she only would be allowed to run if the National Board-appointed selection committee decides it's ok. If the committee decides they want a first year triathlete from West Virginia just a hypothetical) on the board, it wouldn't matter if our president had 20 years of experience as a triathlete, coach, official, volunteer, in governance, it would be too bad for us.
As someone who worked in and around Congress for decades, I am a firm believer in the adage that "all politics is local." Electing our own representation is at the core of a democratic system and historically has been an important value of USA Triathlon and TriFED before that.
I urge all of you to please be sure to vote before the October 15th deadline and please vote NO on these awful bylaw changes.
Thanks to those who have voiced their opinions already. I also strongly encourage a NO vote on the bylaw changes.
In my opinion, the most shocking change is to Article XXII Sunshine Policy. In the proposal summary document, it's presented as:
"Delete unnecessary portions of the policy to be more concise, without compromising transparency to
However, it's the opposite of the summary. This proposal deletes very necessary portions of the policy including availability of meeting minutes and audits of financial statements. The changes will compromise transparency to the USAT membership and will be open to abuse.
Please take 60 seconds to actually check out the changes to Article XXII Sunshine Policy in this document (PDF). It's the last section. The only thing not being removed is the first sentence, which reduces the policy into a vague statement.
Vote NO on the bylaw proposal.
How/when is the actual vote? I have not seen anything via email?
Search your inbox for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject “USA Triathlon Election Coordinator”. Of course, you must be a current USAT member. Voting closes Oct 15. The Board will be issuing its position and recommendation tomorrow.
Subject line is "Important Election Voting Instructions" and in my gmail it was filtered into "Promotions" tab so also take a look there.
I never got one either, not spam folder, not anywhere else. If you log into USAT and request a ballot, it will arrive quickly.
I never got email from USAT too. I checked all my email folders. This seems either very fishy or a complete mis-management. I just logged into my account and my email on my account is correct. Anyway we can hold someone accountable at USAT?
From the USAT page USA Triathlon Election Information, you can email: Sharon.Carns@usatriathlon.org with questions. I'm sure you can email her and provide her with your USAT number to request a new ballot.
I have not found a direct link to request a new ballot be sent.
DEADLINE APPROACHING: Please vote NO on USAT Bylaw Proposals
If you are a USAT member and have not yet voted on the bylaw proposals, you should have received a reminder email today with your login credentials to vote. A few clicks is all it takes! The deadline is October 15th so vote today!
Click on the direct link in your email and then click on go to the ballot! Click No! Click on Submit Ballot! and then answer a question on how easy it was to vote.
This is a very important vote and DC Tri has enough votes to influence the outcome. If you need more guidance, please read the notice on the front of the home page from the DC Tri Club President on why it is important to vote No. Or read my long post earlier in this thread.
So, please! Protect our right to choose who represents us nationally! Please take a minute right away and vote NO on the ballot proposals!
If you didn't get an email ballot and your are a USAT member, please email Sharon.Carns@usatriathlon.org and request a ballot.