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USAT Election Update
CREATED: 01/14/14 by mmerson REPLIES: 4
mmerson's ravatar mmerson    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 71
USAT Election Update
POSTED: 1/14/14 12:58 AM

I am pleased to let all of you know that the USAT Hearing & Appeals Committee rejected the bogus effort to remove one of the brilliant athlete directors(& current ITU Athlete Committee Co-chair) from the USAT Board of Directors ballot.
This should clear the way for the re-run of the USAT elections. I am expecting a full-out effort by USAT's CEO and friends to pass the ill-conceived by-laws changes that were so broadly opposed when the election was first run in September-October. It is my view that the widespread opposition to the by-laws proposals was a key reason why the election was interrupted in mid-stream.
So now we'll get a chance to do it again. No word about this has come out of USAT since the hearings decision last week so once again we are in delay mode.
Sadly, while the USAT By-laws clearly state that board member terms are up on Dec. 31 of the year in which they expire, it appears that the four board members whose terms expired 12/31 are continuing to participate and vote as sitting board members. Ya gotta have a sense of humor folks! Why should triathlon politics be any different than Washington?
Stay tuned. New ballots should be coming around again sometime soon. Please PLEASE cast those ballots as soon as you get them and be sure to VOTE NO for all the USAT By-laws proposals.
Remember, these are intended - in part - to dilute the influence DC Tri has in regional and national sport politics. It's not an accident we've had great incentives tossed our way to show up in San Diego, Chicago, etc (Remember we hosted the first ITU World Championship race here in DC). We're a big club and we work together for the good of the sport. Splitting up the Mid-Atlantic Region is not a good thing for us. Changing the by-laws to eliminate the Sunshine provisions and moving USAT to Colorado to avoid the Sunshine requirements of California law are bad ideas also. See the previous thread on the elections & the Slowtwitch Forum for more information.
Next time around, we've got to get out those NO votes early and we need to count every one. If you're a USAT member -- you are USAT members, right? (LOL) please put that vote to good use for the club & Vote NO on the by-laws proposals.

mmerson's ravatar mmerson    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 71
RE: USAT Election Update
POSTED: 1/14/14 10:44 PM

From the USAT Website Election Page:

USA Triathlon to conduct revote for 2013 Elections

USA Triathlon will conduct a revote for the 2013 Elections to last for 30 days. Anyone who was an annual member in good standing on Aug. 22, 2013, is eligible to vote. Eligible members will receive ballots via email from a third-party voting system in the next few days. View candidate platforms and other elections documents at right.

PS. Don't bother with the Slowtwitch "news" article on the election and it's delay. The article has numerous inaccuracies in it that contradict USAT's minutes that are posted on line.

Please remember, when you get your ballot, to vote NO on the by-laws proposals. Please caste your vote and do not waste it. This is very important! Thank you

karlaj's ravatar karlaj    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 201
RE: USAT Election Update
POSTED: 3/07/14 10:53 PM

Now that the results are in, it would be great if our newly-elected regional rep could give us a bit of a rundown in terms of the 3 approved proposals. IIRC, I read significant pushback against these proposals. How does this affect us going forward?

Thanks! -Jason

mmerson's ravatar mmerson    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 71
RE: USAT Election Update
POSTED: 3/09/14 11:42 PM

Greeting DC Tri-Clubbers: The results indeed are in. Many thanks to all of you who supported me and our mission in this election. The loyal opposition trying to restore democracy to the USAT National board won bigt time -- they took 3 of the 5 seats up for election and lost none -- all in all a major victory.

Unfortunately, many USAT members voted for the resolutions as loyal USAT members without digging deeper into them.

What I've learned: First, every resolution proposed to the board was required to be presented to you the members with an explanation of why it was necessary. In fact, none of the proposals included any explanation from the board and that is probably why so many around the country voted for them. The likely had no idea what the impact was.

The most important resolution for us is the one that separates North Carolina from our region. This proposal was a clear violation of the USAT by-laws, which requires that any reorganization be presented to the members as a choice between two proposed plans. We were give only one.

The other proposals -- to reduce the rights of athletes in representation within USAT -- is expected to head to litigation. The proposal to dissolve the "shell" corporation in California is another gross misrepresentation so it was passed without anyone understanding it. The elite athletes recently won a lawsuit in California against USAT requiring the release of documents that the board has kept secret from the membership. These documents and correspondence, the athletes believe, contain evidence of wrongdoing and harm to the organization. The California court didn't think USAT was a "shell" corporation at all. Im not sure what happens now -- because there really isn't any "shell" to dissolve and USAT continues to deny there actually is a real corporation there -- although the court certainly felt there was. I imagine we will hear more on this over time but continued litigation is likely unless the USAT board honors the rights of all its members.
For us, removing North Carolina from the Mid-Atlantic Region is likely to cost us significant financial resources in our region that now will go elsewhere even tough we in this region built the membership in that state to what it is today.
I believe it's possible to fight this change -- because as i said earlier it was done in violation of the USAT by-laws -- but the region will have to demand it.
The new regional council will be meeting during the weekend of Marc 22-23 when our annual regional meeting takes place. Perhaps Bob Wendling, who represents the Mid-Atlantic Region on the USAT Natonal Board will be present and you can ask him why he proposed pushing North Carolina out of our region and why he proposed a reorganization plan that violates the requirements of our by-laws because it didn't give us a choice of options.

I will report back to you then on any action taken by the region to push back against this unconstitutional "taking" of one of our states. Im not optimistic that a small voice can beat back such broad-based disregard for our by-laws but I promise to try!
Many thanks again to all the DC Tri Club members who care enough to cast their ballots and speak out for the sport. Governance doesn't happen by itself. Democracies have to be protected. Your votes do matter. Thank you all for your interest.

mmerson's ravatar mmerson    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 71
RE: USAT Election Update
POSTED: 3/19/14 9:58 PM

Our regional council will be meeting Friday night and I intend to present a resolution asking the council members to support filing a formal protest of the vote to move North Carolina out of our region. Im told USAT leadership is claiming only that North Carolina will vote for a national board director in another region but that they otherwise will remain with us. Nothing in the resolution says that.

Our region will lose a very large amount of money and resources not used for programs and activities that benefit all of us as a result of this action.

As I said previously, USAT was required to propose two plans for reorganizing the regions and give members a choice on how it was to be done. That did not happen and it is solid grounds for overturning the vote. If you want to see it, I will have the paperwork with me to show you what was done and why it was in violation of our bylaws.

I will be carrying a petition on Saturday asking the USAT Election Administrator to throw out the vote. I hope all of you who are members will sign it with me to keep our region in tact. We need 50 signatures. Thank you for your help and continued support.

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