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View Full Version : more USEA meeting: 'power-grab' or 'continuity'? Or Lizard People?



JER
Dec. 6, 2009, 12:30 PM
From the Chronicle's updates (http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/there%E2%80%99s-more-one-way-say-%E2%80%9Cpotato%E2%80%9D-day-3-usea-convention):


An apparent printing error left a portion of the proposed changes off the handout distributed to meeting attendees, so USEA President Kevin Baumgardner did his best to explain changes in the association’s leadership structure: Beginning in 2011, the USEA will name a president-elect one year before the end of the sitting president’s term. In addition, the retiring president will serve in a non-voting emeritus position for one year after retiring.

These changes weren’t palatable to everyone in the Hyatt Regency’s Grand Ballroom, however. Karen O’Connor was the first to stand and question the proposed post-term advisory position, making the analogy that George Bush was not invited to stay in the White House to advise Barack Obama throughout his first year of his term as president.

(.... but really, you should read the whole thing)

Baumgardner, whose term will be up by the time these changes take effect, stressed that the proposal was not a power-grab. There were two ways to say “potato;” where some saw an overreach, he saw a move towards cooperation and continuity.

Is this :eek: or :lol:? or both?

Printing error? Potato? Power grab?

Anyone like to clarify?

LexInVA
Dec. 6, 2009, 01:02 PM
Hard to say. Everyone has their own personal agendas in these organizations.

deltawave
Dec. 6, 2009, 01:12 PM
It's the way a lot of organizations do it.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 6, 2009, 01:55 PM
It's the way a lot of organizations do it.


yes...and it is a NON-voting position. Basically...they are there to give their advice but the current VOTING members and Pres can choose to listen to it or not. In the business world...only advantage is that they would be able to attend the meetings and have their costs covered for attending the meetings. It is only for one year. Having the Pres-elect appointed a year in advanced gives them a chance to get up to speed on the issues and how things work before they are in the position of power and on the hook for actually making decisions.

clearly not a power grab if it is a non-voting position.

Honestly, doesn't sound all that bad but I don't have all facts

SevenDogs
Dec. 6, 2009, 02:08 PM
Hmmmm.... without all the information (and without being there), it probably isn't fair to comment but...............

If I to choose between Kevin Baumgartner and Karen O'Connor as to who is looking out for the interests of the membership (versus their own), I'll take Kevin.

Gry2Yng
Dec. 6, 2009, 06:40 PM
As a former ARea Chair, I like it. It helps to sit in and understand the issues before you are thrown to the lions, likewise, it is helpful to have someone to provide you with a bit of history. Doesn't seem like a power grab to me.

Janet
Dec. 6, 2009, 06:42 PM
Since the President continues to select the Nominating Committee (which is waht REALLY controls how easy it is to hold on to power), I don't think the pre- and post-term preseidential roles will make much difference in any potential "power-grab".

colliemom
Dec. 8, 2009, 12:23 PM
As a former ARea Chair, I like it. It helps to sit in and understand the issues before you are thrown to the lions, likewise, it is helpful to have someone to provide you with a bit of history. Doesn't seem like a power grab to me.

I also got the impression (or it might have been a direct statement, can't recall) that the emeritus position was not required, but an available option if desired by the board/exec committee.

It's basically what goes on today informally. I suspect any in-coming position looks to their predecessor for guidance from time to time. I know the Area Chairs certainly do!

JER
Dec. 8, 2009, 12:36 PM
I was hoping to learn something more about the specifics here.

1. Why, if this is a 'good idea' or 'the way many organizations do it', wasn't the membership (or voting membership or committee, etc.) aware of the changes? In other words, even if it was a 'printing error', usually there's some redundancy in these things -- like it's been discussed previously and everyone is aware of it -- but that didn't seem to be the case here.

2. Why is there -- apparently -- some opposition to this among the membership? What is this faction, why do they feel this way, and what would be their preference?

LexInVA
Dec. 8, 2009, 12:43 PM
Very valid questions. It seems like whatever discussions were done on this matter, before the announcement, they were done behind closed doors and public input was not intended. Hence Karen's voiced displeasure about it which slyly infers that she was one of the individuals against the idea if she was in fact privy to it's planning which she likely was.

colliemom
Dec. 8, 2009, 12:47 PM
I was hoping to learn something more about the specifics here.

1. Why, if this is a 'good idea' or 'the way many organizations do it', wasn't the membership (or voting membership or committee, etc.) aware of the changes? In other words, even if it was a 'printing error', usually there's some redundancy in these things -- like it's been discussed previously and everyone is aware of it -- but that didn't seem to be the case here.

It was included in the printed version that was mailed out with the proxy voting stuff to all the membership. It was omitted from the single page hand-out provided at the actual meeting. I suspect that if it had been on the single sheet, which would have precluded it being specifically called out, there would have been very little if any commentary (but I could be wrong.)


2. Why is there -- apparently -- some opposition to this among the membership? What is this faction, why do they feel this way, and what would be their preference?

There were very few people who commented in opposition, only 7 votes against. Not sure why the opposition, other than an inherent suspicion of crony-ism (sp?) No one specifically mentioned their opposition preference (that I can recall) other than "don't change", even though as I said before the change merely formalizes what is already done informally today, and provides a much clearer succession plan which is common in business/corporations.

Hope that helps. It's just what I heard. Any other attendees have a different take?

GotSpots
Dec. 8, 2009, 12:50 PM
Just to make folks aware - there was redundancy here. The proposed change regarding permitting, upon confirmation by the Board, a non-voting President Emeritus WAS on the proxy statement that was distributed to all members prior to the meeting, and was specifically approved by the Board. There was a typographical error that inadvertently caused that paragraph to be omitted from the extra copy of the proposed rule changes that was distributed in the open meeting. When several members of the Board noted the typographical error during the meeting, we worked to make sure it was specifically explained to the membership again prior to opening the floor for comment/discussion.

JER
Dec. 8, 2009, 01:06 PM
Thanks for the explanations. But I'm still curious about this...

Just to clarify, my interest in this only comes from not being able to parse the Chronicle's coverage, which always leaves the possibility that this was a non-issue that received disproportionate coverage by one reporter.

But if I look at the written account, it seems that Karen O'Connor objected to Mr. Baumgartner's continuing on in an emeritus position. Which leads various BoG members to comment on the threat of cronyism, although they appear to be speaking on both sides -- pro- and anti-the emeritus position.

So perhaps 'cronyism' just depends on whose crony you are?

And this brings be back to my earlier questions -- who/what are the various factions and whose/which interests do they want the USEA to serve?

GotSpots
Dec. 8, 2009, 01:35 PM
JER - one additional note. Kevin made clear during the meeting, and it was listed on the proxy, that the President Emeritus provision does not go into effect until 2011, so it will not apply to him. He also recused himself fully from all discussion of and voting on the provision during the board meetings in which it was discussed.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 8, 2009, 01:38 PM
sounds to me like a reporter was grasping at straws to make a meeting sound interesting;)


As for the no votes...it isn't unusual. A lot of people have a knee jerk sort of reaction to any change.

To me, these really don't sound like bad changes....and if I'd read my proxy....I wouldn't have had any issues with them. But I work with BODs and advise them on matters all the time...so these sorts of concepts are not new to me.

canterlope
Dec. 8, 2009, 02:26 PM
But if I look at the written account, it seems that Karen O'Connor objected to Mr. Baumgartner's continuing on in an emeritus position. Which leads various BoG members to comment on the threat of cronyism, although they appear to be speaking on both sides -- pro- and anti-the emeritus position.JER, where are you getting this information because I don't recall any BOG members speaking during that part of the meeting other than Kevin and Kaiti Saunders who was asked by Kevin to explain the missing part of the amendment? The only people I heard voice an opinion about the amendment were Karen O'Connor, Sue Hershey, and Roger Haller, none of whom are members of the BOG.

If I were a gambler, I would definitely place my money on a bet that the opposition voiced by two of the three mentioned above did not originate with them. For some odd reason, the words "puppet master" come to mind. :rolleyes:

JER
Dec. 8, 2009, 02:41 PM
JER, where are you getting this information

canterlope, please read my first post at the top of the thread. It quotes the relevant section from the Chronicle's report and also provides a link to that report.

(It's not like I'm making up this stuff. I was just reading the coverage provided.)

And 'puppet-master'? Huh?

But once again, if this is a non-story, then it's a non-story. I was just going off the Chronicle's coverage and wanted clarification. Kat Netzler's report made it sound like a big deal.

canterlope
Dec. 8, 2009, 02:59 PM
Got it.

Definitely a non-story.

As to the puppet master remark, I just can't see Karen and Sue being all that bothered by the amendment. However, they have a mutual acquaintance who has expressed a less than supportive opinion about the amendment, but was not in attendance. I suspect he did a bit of pot stirring before the meeting took place.

Just my very humble personal opinion and not an official stance of the USEA.

denny
Dec. 8, 2009, 03:06 PM
Anyone who reads any ulterior motive into this harmless amendment must be a conspiracy theory junkie.

flutie1
Dec. 8, 2009, 03:06 PM
Got it.

Definitely a non-story.

As to the puppet master remark, I just can't see Karen and Sue being all that bothered by the amendment. However, they have a mutual acquaintance who has expressed a less than supportive opinion about the amendment, but was not in attendance. I suspect he did a bit of pot stirring before the meeting took place.

Just my very humble personal opinion and not an official stance of the USEA.

That's the explanation I heard from several sources CL. I found the whole thing a bit bizarre.

flutie

bambam
Dec. 8, 2009, 03:23 PM
Anyone who reads any ulterior motive into this harmless amendment must be a conspiracy theory junkie.
:lol::lol:
It is a non-voting advisory positon- not sure how that could be a power grab or anything sketchy. Seems fairly logical, as well as being a common practice. Not sure what"power" there is to grab anyway

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 8, 2009, 03:30 PM
Not sure what"power" there is to grab anyway


LOL...that was my thought!

Hell...I thank anyone willing to step up and serve in these sorts of positions. PITA more than power if you ask me. I'd do it if asked because I care about the sport...but you will not see me volunteering!

Gry2Yng
Dec. 8, 2009, 03:31 PM
Anyone who reads any ulterior motive into this harmless amendment must be a conspiracy theory junkie.

So are you saying a man really *did* walk on the moon?

colliemom
Dec. 8, 2009, 03:43 PM
In the business world...only advantage is that they would be able to attend the meetings and have their costs covered for attending the meetings.

bornfree, I know you are commenting on how things work in the business world, but wanted to clarify this a bit. It was my understanding that BOG members are NOT reimbursed for their expenses. Canterlope or GotSpots can confirm, but I think that's important to know from a member perspective.

GotSpots
Dec. 8, 2009, 03:56 PM
BOG members pay their own way to meetings and to convention and for hotel there, pay their own registration fees for convention, pay their own dues in full to USEA, as well as make their own contributions to the organization at whatever financial level is appropriate for them. BOG members are not reimbursed for any of those expenses from USEA.

Janet
Dec. 8, 2009, 04:12 PM
But if I look at the written account, it seems that Karen O'Connor objected to Mr. Baumgartner's continuing on in an emeritus position. Which leads various BoG members to comment on the threat of cronyism, although they appear to be speaking on both sides -- pro- and anti-the emeritus position.
I think you are reading a lot of things into the Chronicle coverage that aren't there.

Nowhere in the coverage does it say that ANYONE was objecting to KEVIN continuing in an emeritus posotion.

First, it wouldn't apply to him, it would only apply to the NEXT president.

Second, ALL THREE people who spoke against the amendment stated, quite clearly, that they were NOT concerned about Kevin, (or his immediate predecessor), but some future hypothetical president.

One of the speakers implied that there WAS a president, several decades in the past, who WOULD have attempted to abuse the position (through cronyism) if given the opportunity.

JER
Dec. 8, 2009, 04:19 PM
What I've learned:

1. This is a non-story.

2. KOC is a 'conspiracy theory junkie.'

3. A 'puppet master' is at work behind the scenes.

What's next, the Lizard People win the Worth the Trust Scholarship?

canterlope
Dec. 8, 2009, 04:29 PM
What's next, the Lizard People win the Worth the Trust Scholarship?OMG! Was that just a lucky guess or did someone blab?

JER
Dec. 8, 2009, 04:29 PM
I think you are reading a lot of things into the Chronicle coverage that aren't there.

Nowhere in the coverage does it say that ANYONE was objecting to KEVIN continuing in an emeritus position.


I really couldn't tell what anyone was objecting to from the article. It was unclear to me -- due to the account of the 'printing error' and an apparently uninformed audience -- whether KOC understood the implications of the dates or even what the dates were. Moreover, the article mentioned, editorially and in passing, that KB's tenure would be over by the time it took effect. Which made it unclear to me whether KOC knew this or that her objection was directed at him.

Again, I was just trying to understand what the Chronicle was reporting. The lede made it sound like hackles were raised and then the body of the report didn't really substantiate it.

(I have no opinion on any of this. My concerns were procedural and informational.)

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 8, 2009, 06:03 PM
bornfree, I know you are commenting on how things work in the business world, but wanted to clarify this a bit. It was my understanding that BOG members are NOT reimbursed for their expenses. Canterlope or GotSpots can confirm, but I think that's important to know from a member perspective.


thanks colliemom....I did know that.

My point is that it is a pretty meaningless thing...and the only reason you see it in the business world is for the expenses part....here that isn't even relevant.

Only reason I could think of for needing the amendment was to give them notice and a right to attend the meetings....but since this is a non-profit organization, I think most of the board meetings are open anyway..but I'm not positive on that (and a board can always invite or allow someone into their meetings).

Basically...this doesn't do anything but I also don't think it is bad.

retreadeventer
Dec. 8, 2009, 06:03 PM
Hhhmmm. Funny!

Who on earth would WANT to sit in meetings that discussed this as a topic for more than, say, 30 seconds? Blech. I am not a fan of Puppet Master. He's been rude to me when I was volunteering, about three times now. Who cares.

There were far more controversial and important things discussed, IMO, in the just the few meetings I attended on one day, and from what my sources told me about the other days.

A rule definitely needs to be in the books about schooling on XC (while competing). My take: Discussed but too chicken to make rule. Big mistake in my view. This continues to keep the loophole open. Just using the smoke-signal approach to communicating that the dangerous riding penalty MIGHT be applied, if you school, in my opinion is too weak to stop this dangerous and unsportsmanlike practice. I hope all TD's and judges get tough on it this year with or without a rule to back them up but I do not think that will happen. (Would love to be wrong!)

A rule defining "fall" needs to be in the books. I think they want to be able to allow the 'simple "pop-off" land -on-feet fall, back -up -and -on -your -way' but many organizers are really liking the way things go smoothly on XC now when fallen riders have to go back to the barn. Less headaches for them in a major way. Carol K. says any changes have to be data-driven, too.

More organizers need to know about the X-entry system which will revolutionize the sport's organization, record keeping, and secretary duties. Trust me on this. It's awesome.

Gry2Yng
Dec. 8, 2009, 07:00 PM
The baby horse has a name! Puppet Master! Need to check the USEF roles. Don't like doing duplicates.

ETA: There are none. It is mine now.

retreadeventer
Dec. 8, 2009, 07:07 PM
That IS a good name for a colt! (Better than "Lizard People"! :))