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SoEasy
Aug. 20, 2001, 06:50 AM
in the case Alan Balch as Trustee brought against the USET for not allowing him access to records


USA Equestrian, Inc.
(formerly American Horse Shows Association)
4047 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511-8483 Tel: (859) 258 2472 Fax (859) 231 6662 Web site: www.ahsa.org/ (http://www.ahsa.org/)

NEWS RELEASE


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For Immediate Release August 20, 2001
COURT FINDS FOR AHSA: USET ACTIONS ?NULL AND VOID?

In a dramatic court ruling, the United States Equestrian Team?s corporate actions this year have been declared ?null and void,? and its corporate books and records have been opened to unlimited inspection by its trustees.

The ruling was issued by mail on Thursday, August 16, 2001. The Superior Court of New Jersey found for the AHSA (now USA Equestrian) and its president, Alan F. Balch, in the case Balch vs. United States Equestrian Team, Inc. The decision followed oral argument held on Friday, August 3, at Somerset County Courthouse, Somerville, NJ.

Balch filed the lawsuit in April upon authorization by the AHSA Executive Committee, following the USET?s commencement of its litigation against AHSA in late February, seeking to replace it as National Governing Body for equestrian sport. Balch had made numerous formal requests for financial and other information beginning in December and January, and placed formal objections to USET?s refusal to respond, as well as other corporate conduct, on the record at its meetings.

Presiding Judge Helen E. Hoens wrote, ?As abhorrent as Mr. Balch?s effort to secure documents from USET may be to that organization and in spite of the fact that his true motivation may be the advancement of interests of AHSA of which he is the president, New Jersey law is crystal clear respecting his absolute and unfettered right to have copies of the documents he has requested provided to him without any limitations imposed upon him as to their use.? She ordered that Balch be permitted to inspect and copy ?all corporate books and records [he] may request to review.?

Next, the Court found that Balch had ?quite properly demanded the relief that his position as a trustee requires that he demand? in objecting to the USET?s engaging in ultra vires actions (actions beyond its authority). The USET?s violations of statute and of the governing Certificate and by-laws of the organization ?cannot be overlooked,? and she found these violations ?so fundamental that they render legally null and void all decisions made and actions taken as a result of votes? by improperly seated boards of the USET dating back to at least January 2001. The Court specifically declared ?null and void? all USET?s actions taken at its 2001 Annual Meetings and meetings of its Board of Trustees on April 2, April 25, April 30, and May 23, to which Balch had objected.

In addition the Court declared null and void ?the USET?s purported adoption? of its most recent bylaws, finding them ?inconsistent with its certificate of incorporation.?

Commenting on the outcome of the litigation, Balch said, ?Naturally, I?m gratified that the court agreed with our strongly held position and made its reasoning so clear and so emphatic. On the other hand, these matters are so straightforward that no trustee should have to engage in litigation to enforce what are fundamental rights. I?m hopeful the USET?s current leadership will now see the advantages of managing its affairs in a cooperative and open way, and turn away from its destructive and defiant strategy to divide the sport. Certainly the consequences of their actions up to now have been a sad commentary on the management of an organization that seeks to replace a fair and open governing body for this entire sport. We hope this decision can finally move us in a direction toward ending the hostile atmosphere in the sport the USET has fostered.?

USA Equestrian Press Release (http://www.ahsa.org/press/2001/august/aug20.htm)

[This message was edited by SoEasy on Aug. 20, 2001 at 10:10 AM.]

SoEasy
Aug. 20, 2001, 06:50 AM
in the case Alan Balch as Trustee brought against the USET for not allowing him access to records


USA Equestrian, Inc.
(formerly American Horse Shows Association)
4047 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511-8483 Tel: (859) 258 2472 Fax (859) 231 6662 Web site: www.ahsa.org/ (http://www.ahsa.org/)

NEWS RELEASE


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For Immediate Release August 20, 2001
COURT FINDS FOR AHSA: USET ACTIONS ?NULL AND VOID?

In a dramatic court ruling, the United States Equestrian Team?s corporate actions this year have been declared ?null and void,? and its corporate books and records have been opened to unlimited inspection by its trustees.

The ruling was issued by mail on Thursday, August 16, 2001. The Superior Court of New Jersey found for the AHSA (now USA Equestrian) and its president, Alan F. Balch, in the case Balch vs. United States Equestrian Team, Inc. The decision followed oral argument held on Friday, August 3, at Somerset County Courthouse, Somerville, NJ.

Balch filed the lawsuit in April upon authorization by the AHSA Executive Committee, following the USET?s commencement of its litigation against AHSA in late February, seeking to replace it as National Governing Body for equestrian sport. Balch had made numerous formal requests for financial and other information beginning in December and January, and placed formal objections to USET?s refusal to respond, as well as other corporate conduct, on the record at its meetings.

Presiding Judge Helen E. Hoens wrote, ?As abhorrent as Mr. Balch?s effort to secure documents from USET may be to that organization and in spite of the fact that his true motivation may be the advancement of interests of AHSA of which he is the president, New Jersey law is crystal clear respecting his absolute and unfettered right to have copies of the documents he has requested provided to him without any limitations imposed upon him as to their use.? She ordered that Balch be permitted to inspect and copy ?all corporate books and records [he] may request to review.?

Next, the Court found that Balch had ?quite properly demanded the relief that his position as a trustee requires that he demand? in objecting to the USET?s engaging in ultra vires actions (actions beyond its authority). The USET?s violations of statute and of the governing Certificate and by-laws of the organization ?cannot be overlooked,? and she found these violations ?so fundamental that they render legally null and void all decisions made and actions taken as a result of votes? by improperly seated boards of the USET dating back to at least January 2001. The Court specifically declared ?null and void? all USET?s actions taken at its 2001 Annual Meetings and meetings of its Board of Trustees on April 2, April 25, April 30, and May 23, to which Balch had objected.

In addition the Court declared null and void ?the USET?s purported adoption? of its most recent bylaws, finding them ?inconsistent with its certificate of incorporation.?

Commenting on the outcome of the litigation, Balch said, ?Naturally, I?m gratified that the court agreed with our strongly held position and made its reasoning so clear and so emphatic. On the other hand, these matters are so straightforward that no trustee should have to engage in litigation to enforce what are fundamental rights. I?m hopeful the USET?s current leadership will now see the advantages of managing its affairs in a cooperative and open way, and turn away from its destructive and defiant strategy to divide the sport. Certainly the consequences of their actions up to now have been a sad commentary on the management of an organization that seeks to replace a fair and open governing body for this entire sport. We hope this decision can finally move us in a direction toward ending the hostile atmosphere in the sport the USET has fostered.?

USA Equestrian Press Release (http://www.ahsa.org/press/2001/august/aug20.htm)

[This message was edited by SoEasy on Aug. 20, 2001 at 10:10 AM.]

SGray
Aug. 20, 2001, 07:08 AM
"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

Louise
Aug. 20, 2001, 07:24 AM
This is monumental. Now maybe we will all get a chance to see what has been going on financially within the USET.

Almost as exciting - all the board members who have been dismissed - now have their positions back.

Very exciting to see this occurring!

Weatherford
Aug. 20, 2001, 07:29 AM
Yes, it is wonderful news - but who knows if we will ever see the truth of the books.... /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

DMK
Aug. 20, 2001, 07:31 AM
Now, now Weatherford, the glass could be half full /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Anne FS
Aug. 20, 2001, 07:36 AM
Well!

Can't wait to read Armand Leone's response. Should be quite the entertaining spectacle.

SGray
Aug. 20, 2001, 08:06 AM
the Fed's website has the ruling (uset's makes no mention as yet)

it was an interesting read

it looks to me that AB's suit won on everything except legal fees

love the "these violations are so fundamental that they render legally null and void all decisions made and actions taken as a result of votes of the limited group permitted to vote"


pretty strong wording there against uset actions

AHC
Aug. 20, 2001, 08:07 AM
The question is does the USET have to give Balch the information now or can they appeal and delay?

SoEasy
Aug. 20, 2001, 08:40 AM
they have to give it to him now

the ruling is very clear

SGray
Aug. 20, 2001, 09:04 AM
within 30 days of ruling

Portia
Aug. 20, 2001, 09:44 AM
This will be long, so I'll put it in two parts. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

The order granting summary judgment orders that the USET shall:

(1) Within 10 days from the date [of the order] produce for inspection and copying to plaintiff [Alan Balch], without qualification or condition, all corporate books and records the plaintiff may request to review, including but not limited to:

(a) documents relationg to the amount of cash commercial sponsorships raised by the USET, itemized by sponsor, for each year or quad [Olympic quadrennium], dating back to the quad ending in 1996 and the quad ending in 2000, including an indcation of the amount expensed from each sponsorship by category or use, for the Festival of Champions, direct athlete support, prize money at events, and otherwise;

(b) a full, complete, and non-redacted list of all USET membership contributions, whether monetary or in kind; and

(c) USET financial records, general ledger, and all schedules for the calendar years 2000 and 2001 (including schedules of pledged receivables, schedule of collection history, schedule of collection expenses and write-offs, schedules segregating accounts for restricted and unrestricted funds, if any, and a copy of 2000 Federal Form 990 when filed.)

(2) within 30 days from the date [of the order] take all remedial action necessary to ensure that the terms of its by-laws comport to its certificate of incorporation;

[This refers to the changing of the by-laws in ways which were ultra vires [beyond the power of the board] and did not comply with the Certificate of Incorporation, mainly the restriction on which members may vote and some of the changes they made to the by-laws to fit the NGB challenge]

(3) within 30 days from the date [of the order] take all necessary action to cure the USET's failure to provide all members with the right to vote at any rescheduled 2001 annual meeting, including providing all USET members a notice of the annual meeting for 2001 and an accompanying proxy statement; and it is

FURTHER ORDERED that the USET's actions taken in connection with its 2001 annual meetings conducted on April 2, 2001 and May 23, 2001 and the April 2, 2001, April 25, 2001, and April 30, 2001 Board of Trustees meetings are hereby declared null and void; and it is

FURTHER ORDERED that the USET's purported adoption of by-laws that are inconsistent with its certificate of incorporation are hereby declared null and void.

The order then denies Mr. Balch's request for reimbursement for attorneys' fees and costs for bringing the action.

Portia
Aug. 20, 2001, 09:45 AM
As I see it, the big problems for the USET are the disenfranchisement of its members and its Board's ultra vires acts (acts beyond the purposes of the corporation as stated in its Certificate of Incorporation or beyond the powers given to the Board in the Certificate of Incorporation and the by-laws.)

Many of the procedural violations the from the USET's first putative 2001 annual meetings, such as being too long after the record date for members and not giving the trustees sufficient notice of the proposed by-law amendments, were cured by the second putative 2001 annual meeting.

However, the second meeting was also invalid because of the USET's refusal to provide records to a Trustee and, more significantly in terms of the USET attempting to effect a cure, by the limitation on voting members to only those members who have donated at least $100 and the acts in amending the by-laws in ways that did not comport with the Certificate of Incorporation.

The opinion and of the order granting Alan Balch summary judgment are clear that everything the USET did at both annual meetings this year, and all of the changes to the by-laws it adopted are null and void.

That means that all the changes made to the by-laws to make them comply with what was necessary for the NGB challenge are void, and all of the people removed from the Board are still on the Board. They have to have yet another annual meeting, and they have to give notice of it and the right to vote to allL the members, not just those who donated more than $100.

The USET can appeal, and I'm guessing probably will given the potentially devastating consequences of the ruling. However, from my review it seems the New Jersey law on the subject of a Trustee's right to access to records is clear. As the court said in her opinion, Balch presented New Jersey cases clearly holding that a corporate board member or trustee has an absolute and unlimited right to access to corporate records, regardless of the motivation for seeking such access, while the USET could offer only cases from other states in support of its position that they could limit the access to those records because they believed the trustee was not acting for the benefit of the corporation. The New Jersey Superior Court is obligated to follow the New Jersey precedents.

Moreover, in her opinion the court says the USET effectively admitted that its amendments to its by-laws and its limitation of voting rights were ultra vires and contrary to the Certificate of Incorporation. So, just from what I've seen, it seems the chances of success on appeal are minimal.

However, I'm not a New Jersey lawyer and I do not know New Jersey procedure. I do not know if the USET will have to follow the order and give Mr. Balch access to the records and take the other actions ordered in the meantime pending the appeal. In a regular appeal process, it would not be possible to get an appellate ruling prior to the USOC hearing scheduled to begin on Sept. 24th. But, if New Jersey is similar to the procedure I'm familiar with, it probably has some form of expedited procedure the USET could follow, such as seeking a stay of the court's order pending appeal.

Any lawyers out there familiar with New Jersey procedure who could give us some idea of what happens now?

From a practical point of view, I do not think it would be possible for the USET to set a new record date and arrange a new annual meeting, send out proper proxy statements to all members (not just those who donated $100 or more), hold a new 2001 annual meeting, elect a new board and officers, and amend its by-laws and its Certificate of Incorporation, prior to the USOC hearing.

Technically, as I see it at least, the USET does not qualify to be an NGB because its [pre-amendment] by-laws (and possibly its Certificate of Incorporation) do not give it the rights and powers necessary to act as an NGB. However, the USOC may still decide to go forward with the hearing in any event, on the idea that the USET would eventually be able to cure these defects and remake itself in the image of an NGB as it has tried to do.

We'll have to wait and see what happens.

Snowbird
Aug. 20, 2001, 09:56 AM
Portia, I wondered if part of what might be null and void would include the submission of the challenge?

Is it possible that when they voted to pass that they were in violation and therefore would have to witdraw the challenge itself?

I wonder if they could get a stay from the courts, wouldn't they need some just cause that there was an error?

DMK
Aug. 20, 2001, 10:02 AM
So, what would happen if in the very near future (like tomorrow), a lot of people who had an interest in the outcome were to become members of the USET?

Would this mean that they would be afforded the right to vote (assuming this meeting is held prior to the hearing)? It doesn't sound like it is a "recount" of the previous election (a la Florida and the presidential election), but in fact a whole new ball game...

Portia
Aug. 20, 2001, 11:53 AM
It is a whole new ballgame, but who can vote would depend on the record date they set.

The "record date" is the fixed date at which all people who are members on that date may vote. The meeting then has to be held within a certain period of time after the record date (I don't know how long that is under NJ law, but it's usually around 60 or 90 days). The record date can be, and usually is, retroactive to an extent, meaning they could today set a record date of August 1, 2001 and as long as they gave notice to all the members as of that date and held the meeting within X days of that date, it would all be perfectly valid.

DMK
Aug. 20, 2001, 12:03 PM
well there goes my master plan /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

PDQBach
Aug. 20, 2001, 12:46 PM
So, what next?

Are the USOC hearings still on? Is there more of a chance for mediation now?

Where do we go from here?

(Oh, the lawyers will appeal and make even more money...)

Pat
Aug. 20, 2001, 03:28 PM
But THANK YOU SGray for this quote. Now I know where my horse's name comes from, "My Beamish Boy". Now I'm even more convinced it's an odd name for a horse. What work is this from, please tell!


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SGray:
"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

DMK
Aug. 20, 2001, 03:35 PM
Why, "Jabberwocky" of course!!

Here's a link to the poem...

http://www.jabberwocky.com/carroll/jabber/

SGray
Aug. 21, 2001, 06:34 AM
and indeed that is the only poem that I learned in my youth that I can still recite from memory

always have loved it

-- and it seemed to fit here rather well, at least to my optimistic thoughts

Anne FS
Aug. 21, 2001, 08:36 AM
Isn't that a great poem? It's become such a part of our family since my kids were little that we use it for every occasion:

the Nastiest Cat On Earth swipes & slices her mother (who is known as the frumious Bandersnatch): the vorpal blade went snicker-snack.

Our boisterous collie definitely came "galumphing back" to us while playing.

We have a really fat cat who thinks he's an awesome hunter (he couldn't catch a cold). He somehow became the Jubjub bird, with sarcastic reference to his prowess with "the jaws that bite, the claws that catch," and of course the happy penultimate stanza has symbolized rejoicing to many besides us!

Beans
Aug. 21, 2001, 09:12 AM
Portia, I'm not an attorney but have live in NJ and am an expert witness in two areas in Superior Court. I can tell you an appeal would be a lawyers dream and a waste of money. Very rarely do the Appelate Courts overturn the Superior Court rulings especially in a case like this where NJ law is clear - well I wouldn't even proceed with an appeal.

Regarding the whole mess - OUR SPORT LOSES on this BIG TIME IMHO. But the USET has been asking for trouble with their refusal to release financials to people - which is required as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Plus as someone who started out as an Accountant - I'm personally concerned about some practices I've heard through the grapevine about spending, perks, etc. This could be a Pandora's box. Somebody better check the dumpster!!!!

Lord Helpus
Aug. 21, 2001, 11:02 AM
Boy, if a winning Plaintiff can't get attorney's fees after a ruling like this one, when will a court EVER award them?

Fascinating stuff. What is the USET trying so hard to hide?????

Portia
Aug. 21, 2001, 11:48 AM
Thanks for the insight, Ilona. I've noticed through the years that there are a many reported NJ Superior Court opinions, where in many states (like Texas) the state district court opinions are never published, only the appellate opinions. I guess that's an indication of the respect the appellate courts in New Jersey give to the judgments of the Superior Court judges.

Pam, it is very hard for parties in business disputes to get an award of their attorney's fees and costs. Courts tend to think of them as just another cost of doing business.

In this case, the statute allowed for, but did not require, an indeminfication (reimbursement) to a board member or trustee who had to bring an action for the benefit of the corporation. The issue for that was motivations in bringing the suit rather than the merits of the claims. The court was very much aware of the NGB dispute since that was what the USET was using as its excuse for not providing the information requested. According to her opinion, she considered this action a corollary to the USOC proceeding, and she decided that Mr. Balch had brought the action more for the ultimate benefit of the AHSA than for the benefit of the USET, and therefore denied the reimbursement request.

Snowbird
Aug. 21, 2001, 12:33 PM
Having been trained in fine arts and the more philosophical subjects I am very grateful for all of you with the expertise to put these things in perspective.

It is what I think the USET did not count on. They presumed we were all so lacking in knowledge and experience that we wouldn't care and they were entrenched in their superiority of being the only ones who knew what to do.

I am also grateful we are a country of "LAWS". In spite of the weaknesses in the system it is still the best system on earth to resolve differences and protect the general good.

I hope that they will not be able to get a stay, or that they will not bother to appeal and let this whole thing die of it's own weight and controversy.

It is time it was over and that we could all move on to what's really important for the future of this sport. I hope that all of you that have sent supportive emails to the USA Equestrian have also sent your thoughts to the USET.

SGray
Aug. 21, 2001, 12:47 PM
here here to that Snowbird

Portia
Aug. 21, 2001, 02:08 PM
There are some new things posted on the USA Eq web site.

Most recently is a copy of a letter dated today from Alan Balch to the other USET trustees asking for an end to the challenge and for the parties to work out a solution. (The fed sent out an e-mail notice with the link).

There is also a section of documents posted at the direction of the USOC, including a public notice of the hearing set for New York for Sept. 24, 25, and 26. The date on the notice is August 20, so it looks like the USOC is going forward with the hearing (which I suppose isn't really surprising, since it has gone this far).

The USOC also directed the parties to post the USET's Amended Challenge documents and USA Eq's answer (without the exhibits to either of them), so those pleadings are now available.

All of them are here:

USA Eqeustrian -- Governance, USOC (http://www.ahsa.org/EquestrianGovernance/index.html)

SGray
Aug. 21, 2001, 02:18 PM
methinks the financials must be very interesting

Snowbird
Aug. 21, 2001, 04:40 PM
I hope they get published. Wonder when everyone on the team finds out how everyone else got paid!

I also wonder if their bookkeeping is as creative as that of the NHJC. And, just think how cooperative all the people who know how despensible they are to the Board of Directors will react when they get back to the meetings. It seems to me that there will be a lot of discidents at those meetings from now on. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Bostonian
Aug. 21, 2001, 07:43 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Anne FS:

Can't wait to read Armand Leone's response. Should be quite the entertaining spectacle.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Anne FS, you are quite right: the following spectacle - with not ONE contact person, but THREE (???) - was emailed to me this evening. Obviously they didn't have much to work with...

IlonaE, I've heard that Standish has a shredder in his office and it has been running every night before he leaves the office since 1997.

Leone's quote in the following USET release regarding the USOC's decision is wishful thinking at best - they will likely move to drop their association with an organization - on the record now - for not being exactly forthcoming with their financial information - especially after what went on with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee!


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marty Bauman, (508) 698-6810, uset.pr@verizon.net
Joanna Smith, (908) 234-1251, jsmith@uset.org


USET REQUIRED TO REHOLD ANNUAL MEETING

Gladstone, NJ-August 21, 2001-As a result of a ruling by the Superior Court
of New Jersey stemming from a lawsuit filed by American Horse Shows
Association (AHSA) President Alan F. Balch against the United States
Equestrian Team (USET), the USET is being required to re-conduct its 2001
Annual Meeting.
In granting Mr. Balch's request for USET financial and other information,
the court questioned Mr. Balch's motives, stating "As abhorrent as Mr.
Balch's effort to secure documents from USET may be to that organization and
in spite of the fact that his true motivation may be the advancement of
interests of AHSA of which he is the president, New Jersey law is crystal
clear respecting his absolute and unfettered right to have copies of the
documents he has requested."
The Court also found, in response to Balch's complaint, that the newly
adopted by-laws that appointed various ex officio trustees from other
equestrian organizations (e.g. National Hunter-Jumper Council, National
Disability Sports Alliance) were not in strict conformance with the
Certificate of Incorporation and has required that those appointments be
removed.
The Court did, however, make clear that "notwithstanding the foregoing, the
suggestion that [Balch] pursued this course out of concern for the USET is
without any merit. In point of fact, each of the parties has pursued the
course it has chosen as a corollary to the dispute before the USOC. . . The
Court finds that plaintiff's [Balch's] suggestion that he acted only out of
a concern for USET to be meritless."
"The USET will comply fully and promptly with the ruling of the Superior
Court of New Jersey," said USET Vice Chairman Armand Leone, Jr. "The USET
had reservations about the type of individualized information that Mr. Balch
was requesting, but in view of the Court's order, the USET will supply Mr.
Balch with any and all information he seeks, even though the court has cited
his personal motivation and lack of good faith. Ultimately, however, Mr.
Balch's attempts to derail the challenge before the United States Olympic
Committee (USOC) will fail and the USOC Hearing Panel will render a decision
based on the merits and the best interests of equestrian sport."
The United States Equestrian Team is a non-profit organization that selects,
trains, equips and finances equestrians of the highest possible standard to
represent our country in major international competition, including the
Olympic Games and the World Championships. To accomplish this the USET seeks
out and nurtures the development of talented athletes - riders, drivers and
horses - and provides the support and guidance they need to help them attain
their fullest potential. For more information on the USET, please call
(908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org. (http://www.uset.org.)


Meg B. Schermerhorn
Classic Communications
38 Mechanic Street, Suite 101
Foxboro, MA 02035
(508) 698-6810 - phone
(508) 698-6811 - fax

Portia
Aug. 21, 2001, 11:59 PM
mmmm, funny. No mention in the USET release of the invalidation of the by-laws

Don't see any mention of the findnng that the USET membership was disenfranchised by an improper requirement that only those who donated at least $100 can vote.

Anybody see any mention of how they have to renotice the annual meeting with proxys for all the members to vote?

And I think they left out that part where the court said:

"As Mr. Balch points out, it is the duty of the Trustees, including Balch, to ensure that the organization acts in accordance with its Certificate of Incorporation. and its by-laws and to safeguard the organization and its members from acts in violation of those governing documents. In this regard, the suggestion by USET that the damage is absent or insignificant if of no moment; the suggestion of USET that the steps taken could be remedied by resort to adoption of a new Certificate of Incorporation which would permit the admittedly improper adoption of by-laws is irrelevant. The simple fact of the matter is that in its zeal to protect the organization's USOC challenge from Mr. Balch, the entity has undertaken to engage in ultra vires actions and he has quite properly demanded the relief that his position as a trustee requires that he demand." (emphasis added, citation omitted)

By the way, the Court did not find, nor did it suggest, that Mr. Balch acted in bad faith or in violation of any duties to the USET.

Weatherford
Aug. 22, 2001, 06:37 AM
Hmm - don't you just LOVE spin doctors.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

SGray
Aug. 22, 2001, 06:45 AM
cross your fingers - hope - pray - use a little voodoo - light candles and incense.....

for the USOC to act as reasonably and fairly as the New Jersey courts

Beans
Aug. 22, 2001, 07:28 AM
If you or anyone you know was denied a copy of the USET financials - now would be the time to send a letter requesting copies.

SGray
Aug. 22, 2001, 07:41 AM
re financials

the detailed reports are -by court order- being released to any uset TRUSTEES that request them

I don't think that we will be seeing any of the paperwork on the nitty gritty of the running of that organization

Lucassb
Aug. 22, 2001, 08:36 AM
for a letter writing campaign.

I am going to send a nicely worded request, with a copy to the USOC, for the USET accept to the olive branch of mediation which has been offered them and to sit down in good faith to work out a way for the two organizations to work together.

I am going to point out that the continued pursuit of the legal challenge is serving only to damage the sport in the eyes of not only participants and the public, but also sponsors and potential advertisers. Adding fuel to the fire by pitting athletes against athletes in an us vs. them scenario is pointless and abusive.

There are always many sides to a story such as this one, but I have yet to see or hear any reasonable explanation for why the USET staff cannot become the High Performance Division of the AHSA/USAE. Those with skills and contributions to the development and performance of our international and up and coming riders will only be more successful if they have the additional support and resources that would result from a merged organization.

Of course, there will be objections from those who currently enjoy their "control" of a portion of our sport. I can even understand that given their contributions to the sport and their level of interest and identification with the Team and its current structure, that they may feel that they are entitled to that level of command and control. However, the greater good of the sport is more important than any one person's (or group's) interests and agendas.

Perhaps, just perhaps, a flood of reasonably worded letters and requests would help convince these people to put aside their personal issues and take the higher road of cooperation - so that we can refocus our precious resources on improving our team and its performance and development, instead of wasting them on lawyers.

(no offense, Portia... I have family members who are attorneys!!)

Snowbird
Aug. 22, 2001, 09:15 AM
I do think that reasonable people will accept the reality of the situation and for the general good will not be available for either a transition or to join.

Aferall, it was successfully accomplished for 50 years no reason why gentlemen can't agree to disagree and then shake hands and put the pieces together.

I read Sarah Cavanaugh's version of things in the new issue of the HDV before the court decision was given. Two points were very clear and pleasant "A ruling against the USET, which
has already had to change it's by-laws three times to conform with USOC requirements of an NGB, could
complicate things, perhaps swaying the USOC toward the AHSA if the hearing panel is divided on the matter".

That's a concession if ever I read one. and a big IF which they've never conceded before, "Should the USOC, after its
September meeting decide that the AHSA will continue as NGB, the association, under it's new name, will have to
put into effect a crash program to raise the funds necessary to field teams, a sum which runs to over $7 million
annually." That's pretty close to a concession to me. They've always implied that since they always did the job there was no
way the USOC wouldn't approve them.

On the other war front "that's because Sue Pickney, our Executive Director, has an office in the HITS headquarters
in New York, and the HITS flies her out to Indio and gives her quarters there", quote from Struzzerri.
"I'm too busy to deal with Council problems across the continent but if Sue's right there I can spend an hour or two
with her," Struzzerri said.

Best line of all "If this sport takes a couple of steps back, it's on Alan's shoulders", said Struzzerri, "I will not serve
again. It's a preposterous waste of my time. I'm shackled by a man I don't respect. A lot of energy and volunteer
time is being wasted...."

"Right now, we couldn't beg anyone on our board to be president", said Struzzerri."

Well I guess we better start to mobilize for new Zone Committees that don't have a conflict of interest. I hope that's a promise from Mr.Struzzerri because what we don't need is to have personalities be more important than the issues and our mission to make this sport mainstream.

Charis
Aug. 22, 2001, 09:30 AM
SNOWBIRD

I'm having trouble following the context of your quote from Tom Struzzerri....where is that particular statement in its entirety? I must be missing something.

Snowbird
Aug. 22, 2001, 11:44 AM
Two lead stories:
Mediation fails to resolve dispute, setting stage for showdown picture Armand Leone

Summary of current deadlines and suppositions. Obviously before the Court Ruling became public. I think it indicates their frame of mind. Not much in it about if the Court had ruled in favor of the USET. My interpretation "they knew they could lose this round".

The quote refers to what is ostensibly a news article but obviously the current view from the USET.

the later quote from the same issue article:
Hunter/Jumper leaders losing heart in struggle to be free pictures left to right Alan Balch, Tom Struzerri, Leo Conroy.

This appears to be in response to the issues that have been raised by members under their right to know if Sue Pinckney is an employee of HITS or NHJC. And, the recent debate about the need for
a statement to certify a lack of conflict of interests. HDV also published the reply statement from Alan Balch. I think it is quite clear that since the NHJC receives from the Federation $500,000 annual to support them that explanations of how the money is spent is warranted and even the suspicion of an incestuous business relationship between members of the controlling body is negative.

Nevertheless, the USAEq has gone out of it's way in this time of crisis to make sure that there are no errors that can be utilized by anyone to suggest that it does not comply with the Ted Stevens Athletes Act, and even more that there are no violations of the status since they are a non-profit corporation.

Clearly, the NHJC has not the same status as an independent association that is simply affiliated since it is directly funded by membership money.

This is the context of the statements by Mr. Struzerri in that they are offended to be required to warrant that they have no conflict of interests in any judgments they make for us.

SGray
Aug. 22, 2001, 11:52 AM
re "Right now, we couldn't beg anyone on our board to be president", said Struzzerri."


- to my mind that does not speak well about those on the board - given the context, I take that to mean that the other board members consider the org. to be their cash cow and if it is not to be one then why spend any time on it?

- why try to promote the sport? why try to expand the sport and attract more members?.....

DMK
Aug. 22, 2001, 12:08 PM
Interesting about the concerns with signing a conflict of interest statement (if I read it right).

Who among us, who holds a position of even moderate, middle management type power, and has NOT had to sign a conflict of interest statement. I have signed one annually for years, and not just in publicly traded corporations. My current company is (thankfully) not yet publicly held. But it is owned by shareholders who have a right to know if I am in a position of potential conflict.

And having a potential conflict does not necessarily mean I lose employment... But an undisclosed conflict is a whole different ballgame. Puts a company in a potentially precarious position when considering various deals and alliances.

It seems a small thing to expect the senior officers of NHJC to sign one...

SGray
Aug. 23, 2001, 06:30 AM
do you think that the NHJC leaders went to the same 'management' school as the leaders of the uset?

DMK
Aug. 23, 2001, 07:18 AM
actually sgray, from all I have seen and read, I would be hesitant to put the words "management," "school," and "USET and/or NHJC" in a single sentence.

Beans
Aug. 23, 2001, 08:39 AM
Isn't it amazing that organizations have people at the helm pulling down very nice salaries and many perks that clearly are in above their abilities?? I've seen this over and over again in non-profits where they don't hire BUSINESS people to run the organizations - they hire people from the individual discipline that's involved. Running a corporation (non profit or otherwise ) is just that - BUSINESS. The clear lack of ability, experience, education and vision has lead to this crisis. Leadership is what makes any organization great - crisis facing a great organization never gets to this point with strong leadership. We've got run away horses at the front of the herd - .....if we are sensible the majority will stop running with them and form a new herd.

Weatherford
Aug. 23, 2001, 09:55 AM
I was told by members of the Zone 2 committee at a zone 2 forum that the conflict of Interest statements, if filled out to the letter, would just be fuel to "get" people. (Direct quote - only instead of people, two ranking council members were mentioned.)

"Get" people?? The LAW and the IRS is going to GET people who have undisclosed Conflicts!

I am very, very disappointed in the members of the H/J council who feel (quite strongle) that they should not have to work with amateurs on their board or committees. They also feel the PEOPLE OUTSIDE their discipline (H/J) should not be allowed to rule on any of THEIR offenses. (From drugs to cruelty, etc.) I was told that amateurs and people outside the H/J world can#t possibly understand what they need to do for their horses, or how they " need" to medicate them, etc.

I find that attitude appalling! We all know there are amateurs and people in other disciplines who know more about some things that some professional h/j people. Ridiculous and makes me very sad, too.

[This message was edited by Weatherford on Aug. 24, 2001 at 12:38 PM.]

Snowbird
Aug. 23, 2001, 05:42 PM
I think some members of my Zone 2 Committee might be feeling a little paranoid because they know their motivation for accepting the job is not for the general welfare and interest.

They also don't like having meetings that anyone will attend, they don't like being accountable for the finances, they don't want any rules passed that don't make their personal lives better. In Zone 2 for example on the only financial report I've been able to get it says our one ring one day Zone Horse Show costs $41,000 but they don't subtract the income from entries, sponsors and the Programs Book.

I have never seen a financial report from a single Zone Horse Show since their inception over 10 years ago. I have asked repeatedly a simple question "Where's the money? Show me the Money" So the Zone 2 Committee not only objects to the Conflict of Interest disclosures but the right of their members to know what is happening and who is makes the decisions and why. We have not had an Awards Banquet in years and years. To be a member of Zone 2 is to be part of the unheard and unseen masses forever ignored and forgotten.

That is what the USA Equestrian wants to change, to make them accountible for their behavior and decisions that affect all of us. Right now the NHJC is a dead-end like driving into a closet with no lights on.

At the Convention they ignored the opinions of the few who even bothered to attend who were not on a committee. I submitted the product of many hours of work by a lot of us who really care and it was all summarily dismissed without discussion or even the courtesy of tabling it for further discussion.

In my opinion the Conflict of Interest Statement is the least important, because they are in violation of the rules that operate a non-profit corporation and the refusal to submit information properly certified is an easier and better reason to get rid of someone than the Conflict of Interest Statement.

But, why should anyone who is pretending to be there for the purpose of a general good and benefit be afraid to say how many of the Board of Governors do business together annually. Is Sue Pinckney the Executive Director of our NHJC or is she the Secretary to HITS and Mr. Struzerri and we just pay her salary. And, there are many other questions just as they have raised in Zone 10.

We have a system that isn't working for Hunter/Jumper and we need to fix it. I am not the least interested in personalities but I am interested in issues. It is unfair to vilify Alan Balch because he requests information about finances that he has every right to have, because the buck stops on his desk. He has no one to pass the buck to after him.

Having been attacked personally from so many sides it was expected that he as the President of this Association would make sure that every t was crossed and every i was dotted so that no one can hang the blame on his administration during his watch at the helm.

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Aug. 23, 2001 at 08:58 PM.]

subk
Aug. 23, 2001, 06:24 PM
Questions:
How is the financial information AB requested different than what should by law be public record of any organization run as a non-profit 501 c3? If it is different, what IS set out for public record?

If the rumors of incredible perks etc. turn out to be verified by the court ordered release of the records to AB, how much of that is against the law as opposed to just bad business. In other words if the USET has been trying to proctect there backsides, could they be trying to protect themselves against criminal charges or just looking incompetent?

How polictically does the structure of the USET board change if the recently tossed but now reinstated board members are again in voting positions? I understood those people were tossed because they were not in agreement with the USET's claim for NGB status and dared to speak up. Does this make it harder for the powers-that-be inside the USET to continue seeking the NGB status with desention now inside the ranks. Or can these people easily be tossed out again?

I ditto Snowbird in thanks to you lawyerly types sorting some us this out for us out here who are sans this type of background! sbk

Snowbird
Aug. 23, 2001, 08:20 PM
My guess from what has been written and said is that they are concerned about the IRS. If the information is documented you have people who are on the one hand donating substancial amounts of money and writing it off as charity to a non-profit. And then because of their positin being able to spend that money on their horses and favored riders.

They also have, as already ruled by New Jersey violated the law in this situation regarding a manipulation of facts in an illegal way by refusing to comply with necessary disclosure.

Their claim to be a national fundraiser and supporter of all athletes is belied by the fact that they do not support the athletes from the west coast.

My guess is that they are on very thin ice and that's the reason for the veiled threat in the HDV that these very generous people will no longer participate. We then will have to figure out how to raise the necessary money. Although I doubt that has a legal merit it sure smacks of a threat to me. Doesn't it remind you of stories where Big Daddy says do what I want or I won't play.

SGray
Aug. 24, 2001, 06:50 AM
with all the interrelationships in the horse world it is difficult (perhaps impossible) to have no conflicts whatsoever

the only problem being that anyone in a position of power should disclose those conflicts

buryinghill1
Aug. 24, 2001, 09:23 AM
All of these sandbox tantrums do nothing to improve the public's opinion of showjumping.
Richfolks with lots of lawyers.
Not athletes.
In the early 80's a <wealthy> rider was not selected for the Showjumping Olympic team. Arbitration reared it's ugly (and expensive) head.
In the 90's another <wealthy> rider forced the creation of "the computer list."
What's next? Grooms, farriers, veterinarians and legal council at every ingate?

Snowbird
Aug. 24, 2001, 10:09 AM
OK! We've recognized the problem at last. Yes! the image right now is pretty bad. Yes! the perception from the outside is even worse.

But, at least now we have recognized the problems exposed them and are finding ways to deal with them. And, 10 years from now if we have the courage to get the job done it WON'T EVER BE SO AGAIN.

If the plans and programs are out in the open and exposed to the full glare of sunlight they won't fester and turn rotten. It is certainly more difficult to manipulate an organization which performs it job under full scrutiny of those who are supporting it.

This is the first time in the history of this sport that the MEMBERS have demanded accountability and have a means to achieve it.

I don't believe there is any legal reason why all these calesthenics were necessary for us to have full disclosure of the finances for OUR TEAM.

I'm sure some of our legal minds can better speak to the issue, but as I understand it the LAW requires in a non-profit corporation disclosure to at least all the Directors and Trustees who because of their position are culpable for any damages that ensue do to improper management of the finances.

That's why the New Jersey Courts upheld the right of AB to have this information. Even though the USET is an independent and autonomous corporation it is tied to the USA Equestrian which is why AB is on the Board and I believe a Vice-President.

The Operating agreement was I believe established to allow the USET to do it's own fundraising and budget but it was never intended that it would not be accountable to the USA Equestrian.

This era started because the USET refused to permit AB the necessary information as a part of the oversight that USA Equestrian holds over the USET.

Groundline
Aug. 24, 2001, 03:53 PM
I've been out of the country on vacation for the last 2 weeks, but this is really, really interesting to come back to and catch up.

I read the decision. The judge did not say that BALCH or his actions were "abhorrent." She said that no matter how abhorrent the USET found his actions or requests, they would have to respond. Big difference.

So clear and important: the organization that wants to be the NGB must know how to go by the rules, since it must enforce the rules. If it thinks it is above the law, can we all imagine what would happen if it were ENFORCING the rules of the sport? C'mon now. This is so plain. Particularly, depending on what Balch finds out, about how their finances work, and whether they are reporting right and going by those rules.

I think this might be a real turning point.

Snowbird
Aug. 25, 2001, 08:38 PM
I do think this was an essential victory because it exposes the weaknesses of the USET and their elitist and exclusionary attitude. I resent the basic assumptions proposed by Dr.Leone that "THEY" were only concerned with the ultimate efforts and not at all interested in the plain folks.

They have had to face the fact that whatever their personal convictions they are not above the law. Hopefully, that will also be true for the USOC. For them the essential Law of the land is the Ted Stevens Athletic Act. I think this Court ruling should make it impossible for them to do anything but support the rule of law andretain the Fed as the NGB.

Certainly, whatever has been in the past the USA Equestrian has had an awakening and there is no reason to believe that they won't continue down this road. I think at the least they will support our goal for a level playing field for competitors of all financial backgrounds for this point on into history.

Really, what's the worst, the USA Equestrian will field teams that compete at the USET sanctioned events. If it goes the other way the USET will field teams that will compete at events sanctioned by USA Equestrian. Or, hopefully, cool minds will take charge and the USET will just come home.

Together both associations have made history and if they are together again there are better days ahead.

SGray
Aug. 27, 2001, 02:54 PM
The reason: The USET�s policy of limiting voting privileges to members who have contributed a minimum of $100 (instituted in 1995, according to their testimony) is not permitted under New Jersey law.

Snowbird
Aug. 27, 2001, 08:38 PM
I would imagine that if you are a member and that it entitles you to a vote it cannot be on the $ value of the membership.

For example (well not this year because the class does't fill) I usually would donate about $2000 a year from our USET Classes. However, that never entitled me to a vote or a memberhsip. I was always offended by that since they did get the money through my efforts.

Until the year the Leones ran the insurgency election, and then that year for some weird reason I did get the chance to have a vote. At the time I remember thinking that didn't seem legal. We also sold a lot of the USET items years ago and that never earned me the right to vote either.

We never had a vote when we had the two memberships for coach and rider, so I'm not even sure what it takes to be a member. A wake-up call to all of us exactly what is a member of the USET and why would they have put $100.00 price tag on the vote?

SGray
Aug. 28, 2001, 06:35 AM
the way I interpret - whatever the donation level set for "full" membership, whether it is $25 or $40 or $10 - that is what would entitle you to a vote. I just don't know what that amount is as I haven't saved any of those solicitation letters. (I only have the "raise X in 3 months" letter which doesn't state membership amounts.)

BronkBusterTX
Aug. 28, 2001, 11:44 AM
I have to thank Mr Balch on his efforts, although I do wish he had not been forced to such severe actions. I feel as if the USET no longer has the sports best interest at heart.

I see only bickering, egotistical childish pratter, the USET trying to cover up being caught with it's pants down and overall bad press for our sport.

And here we all are, "gossiping" and ridiculing. Why did none of the Big-Name-People-With-All-The-Clout come to Mr Balch's aid? Am I in the dark here? Did I miss any press releases from former AHSA President Jane Clark? What is D.D. Matz's view on this? Or George's? What about Victor Hugo-Vidal?

It seems to me as if the USET has made a grossly negligent error and has not lived up to it's charter. I wonder if this could be construed as unsportsmanlike behavior, ethical misconduct or negligence.

I also wonder why our two (please don't hate me for using this term) "governing bodies" cannot grow up and act like adults. Maybe I was just not as interested as a junior, but in the eighties and nineties it appeared to me like the AHSA and the USET had a more cohesive working relationship.

In light of this, I can't understand where the USET can even begin to believe that they deserve the responsibility of being our country's NGB.

I'm not saying that the AHSA is pure and without blame. There are times that I have felt as if the AHSA was being greedy, needing to control all. At times I thought the AHSA was merely being petty. Even now, I can't help but feel that the AHSA has (although rightfully) uncovered some dirty laundry and used it to their advantage. Dirty tactics have never been my style but then again I'm not the AHSA President.

Is it no wonder that if the AHSA and the USET cannot get along, that our team squads reflect this discord?

poltroon
Aug. 28, 2001, 01:40 PM
I believe D.D. Matz signed the original letter to the USOC that started this whole brouhaha.

AHC
Aug. 28, 2001, 01:45 PM
subk, I work for a non-profit and as I understand it, you are correct, the financials are supposed to be made available to anyone who requests them.

BronkBusterTX
Aug. 28, 2001, 02:04 PM
I understand that Mrs. Matz wrote a "personal letter" to the USOC.

But has she made any statements since then regarding this? Regardless of how, when, why this started and by whom, has anyone with "clout" stepped up to the plate and told the children to that their behavior has been less than exemplary?

Groundline
Aug. 28, 2001, 03:27 PM
Actually, DD Matz wrote a big article for the Chronicle a couple years back saying USET did NOT want to be the NGB! It is on the AHSA website somewhere, because I saw it there when I was reading all the background.

Amazing.

But it also says there somewhere that Matz and Jane Clark had started the whole thing before that, originally by writing letters to the USOC. Wonder where they are, and why they wouldn't let anyone see them?

Sounds very strange to me. Why would the previous president of the AHSA start this right after she went out of office, and the new USET president, DD Matz, came in? It will be interesting if the AHSA finds out where all the money is coming from and going to.

Portia
Aug. 29, 2001, 07:57 AM
I understand the USET has set its (third) annual meeting for September 12th.

Since proxy notices haven't gone out yet -- or at least, haven't been received yet, and would have to be returned by a certain date prior to the meeting, it seems the USET management people aren't very interested in giving the formerly disenfranchised membership a real chance of reading and returning those proxy statements with each member's designated proxy holder. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Beans
Aug. 29, 2001, 09:35 AM
Gee Portia it would seem to me the should be very prudent in the timing of the mailing and required return date prior to the meeting date. Given the fact that the NJ Court gave them a real hard knock it would beyond stupid of them to create a situation where members did not have reasonable time to return the proxies - wouldn't you agree?

Portia
Aug. 29, 2001, 09:49 AM
However, I don't know what kind of notice New Jersey law requires be given to shareholders/members before an annual meeting and how long they have to be allowed to return their proxies. If New Jersey requires 30 days' notice or so, then the notice would not be sufficient. If New Jersey only requires something like 10 days' notice or less, then I guess it would be within the letter of the law.

Do you have any idea what the notice requirements are?

I know that according to the USET's by-laws, they only need to have 100 members present or present by proxy to have a quorum to hold the annual meeting. So, as long as they have X number of people at the meeting and recieve whatever number of proxies back in time and it adds up to at least 100, they will have a quorum and can act.

I'm very sure they don't want to give the members or any of the trustees they kicked off the board at the last 2 null and void annual meetings -- David O'Connor, Jim Wofford, and the rest -- any chance to mount a proxy fight that might challenge the status quo of the current management.

Snowbird
Aug. 29, 2001, 11:32 AM
That the USET has not learned it's lesson yet from the New Jersey courts. Only 14 days from the meeting to decide when to call a new meeting with the mails what they are is certainly not a logical time frame if they really meant to have an honest hearing as instructed by the New Jersey Courts.

I know it has taken as much as 10 days for my check to be delivered to a utility company by snail mail. The return response then has to allow at least another 10 days. The presumption would be that the proxy was signed immediately upon receipt and I would think that logic would require at least a 25 day notice and reply period unless it is all done by overnight special deliveries.

I am sure that their effort is as you say to minimize the opportunity of the disenfranchised to participate at this late date. That is exactly the intention which the New Jersey Court said was inappropriate.

I can appreciate that time is of the essence for the USET with the hearing scheduled for September 26. However, I think it is not possible to have a properly noticed meeting at which they will have to redo all their modifications to attempt to comply as NGB. Reasonable gentlemen with good intentions would not attempt another move in violation of the premise for every non-profit corporation.

I think their effort simply confirms their lack of responsibility to proper management
in and following rules. That, if I were sitting on the USOC Council would certainly affect my vote.

It is afterall they who made the challenge claiming that USA Equestrian was incompetent, and therefore it is they who must prove they are better qualified. I see this as convincing evidence to the contrary.

DMK
Aug. 29, 2001, 12:51 PM
If only to check the requirements of Title 15A, Corporations, Nonprofit.

10 days is the legal minimum noted in the statutes if first class postage is used.

Plenty of other interesting stuff though, if browsing through state statutes is your bag... /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

15A:1-9. Notices; computation of time; effect of postage class used

a. In computing the period of time for the giving of any notice required or permitted by this act, or by a certificate of incorporation or bylaws or any resolution of trustees or members, the day on which the notice is given shall be excluded, and the day on which the matter noticed is to occur shall be included.

b. If notice is given by mail, the notice shall be deemed to be given when deposited in the mail addressed to the person to whom it is directed at the last address of the person as it appears on the records of the corporation, with first class postage prepaid thereon, or 10 days thereafter if the notice is mailed by any postage class other than first class.

L.1983, c. 127, s. 15A:1-9, eff. Oct. 1, 1983.

15A:5-4. Notice of members' meetings

a. Except as otherwise provided in this act, written notice of the time, place and purposes of every meeting of members shall be given not less than 10 nor more than 60 days before the date of the meeting, either personally or by mail, to each member of record entitled to vote at the meeting.

b. When a meeting is adjourned to another time or place, it shall not be necessary, unless the bylaws otherwise provide, to give notice of the adjourned meeting if the time and place to which the meeting is adjourned are announced at the meeting at which the adjournment is taken and at the adjourned meeting only business shall be transacted as might have been transacted at the original meeting. If after the adjournment, the board fixes a new record date for the adjourned meeting, a notice of the adjourned meeting shall be given to each member of record on the new record date entitled to notice under subsection a. of this section.

L.1983, c. 127, s. 15A:5-4, eff. Oct. 1, 1983.

Interesting stuff...

15A:5-8. Voting list

a. The officer or agent having charge of the membership record books for a corporation shall make and certify a complete list of the members entitled to vote at a members' meeting or any adjournment thereof. A list required by this subsection may consist of cards arranged alphabetically. The list shall:
(1) Be arranged alphabetically within each class, series, or group of members maintained by the corporation for convenience of reference, with the address of each member;
(2) Be produced at the time and place of the meeting;
(3) Be subject to the inspection of any members during the whole time of the meeting; and
(4) Be prima facie evidence as to who are the members entitled to examine the list or to vote at any meeting.

b. If the requirements of this section have not been complied with, the meeting shall, on the demand of any member in person or by proxy, be adjourned until the requirements are complied with. Failure to comply with the requirements of this section shall not affect the validity of any action taken at the meeting prior to the making of any such demand.

L.1983, c. 127, s. 15A:5-8, eff. Oct. 1, 1983.

sounds to me like the $100 requirement could be reinstated if approved as a change in the bylaws?

15A:5-10. Voting by members

The right of the members or any class or classes of members to vote may be limited, enlarged or denied to the extent specified in the certificate of incorporation or bylaws. Unless so limited, enlarged or denied, each member, regardless of class, shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote of members.

L.1983, c. 127, s. 15A:5-10, eff. Oct. 1, 1983.

Portia
Aug. 29, 2001, 01:17 PM
Damn, DMK, you beat me to it! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I searched and found the New Jersey statutes on line (again, having neglected to bookmark them last time), and did the same research! You've been dealing with the regs too long -- you've become as warped as any lawyer. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

On the $100 minimum voting membership, as I understand it, the change to the $100 minimum was done by a vote of the trustess -- or maybe even just the Executive Committee -- about five years ago and was never properly made to the bylaws or to the Certificate of Incorporation. I know they have to amend the bylaws to have that limitation, and they may have to amend the Certificate of Incorporation, depending on what it says. I've never seen a copy of the USET Certificate of Incorporation that I can recall.

DMK
Aug. 29, 2001, 01:37 PM
http://www.law.cornell.edu/statutes.html

A very useful bookmark for those of us forced to trudge through a myriad of state laws for a variety of reasons that wouldn't really matter in a "normal world" /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Yes, I was wondering if the USET would use an annual meeting to approve a modification of the bylaws/COI. My thought is they probably would, if for no other reason than it is cumbersome to allow 100% of all donators to vote.

Portia
Aug. 29, 2001, 03:37 PM
Maybe I'm just paranoid but.... If the USET is really having the money problems it says in Standish's fundraising letter that it is having -- I hope that endowment fund money is safely locked away! /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Given the USET's current management's proven propensity for disregarding those nasty little rules of law that they find inconvenient, can we be sure they won't try to find a way to raid the endowment too? I donated money to that fund because it was supposed to be money expressly set aside in a trust to fund athlete programs -- not to fund the daily doings of the USET and definately not to fund the NGB challenge or related expenses!

Thank goodness the court has told the USET that its books have to be open to all of its trustees. I hope more of the trustees other than Mr. Balch take advantage of their right to examine the books in detail, and that they don't allow the org to do something else very stupid and very illegal.

I hope I am just being paranoid. Then again, if they hadn't played fast and loose with the Corporation laws, I wouldn't have these suspicions. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Groundline
Aug. 29, 2001, 03:43 PM
Didn't the judge rule that the law required the bylaws to track the articles of incorporation? So, if the articles do not differentiate between various types or classes of members, I don't think the bylaws can, no matter what.

It may be cumbersome to give every donor a vote, but I think that's what the law requires, UNLESS the certificate of incorporation is changed to specify otherwise.

If that is so, why doesn't the USET just change the certificate? There must be something required to do that which takes more time, or more steps, or more scrutiny, or more votes, or more SOMETHING.

All in all, it just doesn't look to me like the USET knows what to do or how to do it, and definitely did not plan its strategy in this whole mess very well. Not a good reflection on the people and lawyers making all the decisons there. No matter how much money they are spending.

SoEasy
Aug. 29, 2001, 05:30 PM
Speaking of endowments ... anyone remember the recent health care fiasco here in Philly? Loverly Corp comes in, buys several hospitals, medical schools, etc, pays EXHORBITANT salaries to execs, essentially ruins some doctors, whole house of cards collapses, and at the end, the accountants for bankruptcy court find that they have raided millions of dollars from restricted endowments ......
Don't think it can't or won't happen again.

Snowbird
Aug. 29, 2001, 07:10 PM
You've just sited a half dozen ideas I wouldn't have even considered. Robbing the endowment to pay the lawyers unfortunately sounds too plausible.

And, these folks want to be in charge of our sport. No thanks! we've got enough troubles now. I wish there was a way we could tell the USOC what they might not know.

Groundline
Aug. 30, 2001, 04:45 AM
We have not contributed in our family to the USET endowment, although we have been yearly contributors. So I guess we get to vote, unless we didn't contribute this year. We'll see.

However, those who have given to the ENDOWMENT of the USET need to think about writing to the USET, and see what kind of response they get back to the question of whether there is any consideration of using Endowment for operations. It may all be rumors. Get the USET on the record. Send the letter by certified mail or Fed Ex. Demand a response. Then you will know for sure.

Looking at the hospital story tells all of us that AFTER the fact is too late. Then it would be gone forever, and even legal action at that point probably doesn't get it back.

Erin
Aug. 30, 2001, 06:53 AM
Just to clarify, Portia was only wondering IF the USET was or was planning to use the endowment funds. No one is saying that they have actually done so.

Careful, this is how rumors get started. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

SGray
Aug. 30, 2001, 07:10 AM
SoEasy

in the case you cited - were there criminals charges stemming from that?

Beans
Aug. 30, 2001, 07:35 AM
It would seem to me that anyone who contributes to these endowments and anyone who is a member of the USET should be able to request an accounting of any expenditures made from these restricted endowments. They DO carry a legal restriction and IN FACT - under fund accounting principles which non-profits follow - the money in restricted endowments MUST ALWAYS BE PHYSICALLY available. i.e. what this means is that a non-profit CANNOT spend CASH from the balance in a restricted endowment for other expenses when they have a cash shortfall in their general unrestricted operating accounts. Many, many non-profits have failed to abide by this requirements and gotten themselves into financial trouble. They rationalize that the cash will be replenished in the future but that doesn't matter. Restricted accounts are just that RESTRICTED to the use stipulated. I certainly hope the accounting firm overseeing the USET and their endowments have made this requirement clear and that the guidelines have been followed to the letter.

Portia - you might want to request an accounting of any expenditures as you have contributed. BTW - the Board CANNOT change the restrictions of the endowment for monies already received. The specific restrictions of the endowment applied at the time people made contributions and those cannot be changed for those sums. Different guidelines can be set up for other endowments but on the books additional "fund" accounts must be maintained separately. They do not have to be in separate bank accounts but must have individual account details and the cash balance that has not been expended must be immediately available if "the whistle blows and everything stops".

Bostonian
Aug. 30, 2001, 08:20 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
I wish there was a way we could tell the USOC what they might not know.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The USOC is not interested in learning what they might not know, but they are interested in seeing that its Equestrian NGB better serve its members.

Send a letter - today!

Ms. Sandra Baldwin
President
United States Olympic Committee
Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center
National Headquarters
One Olympic Plaza
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
Tel: 719-632-5551

Portia
Aug. 30, 2001, 09:56 AM
Illona, thanks for the accounting insight. It is much appreciated.

Yes, like Erin says, I don't want to start rumours and I hope I didn't by posting my question. It was just a thought that occured to me as a worst case "what if," following my overly-suspicious way of thinking. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

The USET may never have had the thought of ever touching the endowment funds at all, regardless of how bad their current financial situation may be, and I do very much hope that's the case.

Snowbird
Aug. 30, 2001, 10:35 AM
Certainly, we are all aware of non-profits that get into financial difficulty and if several million dollars short would raid the endowment.

Look at Washington, just a few months ago we had this fabulous surplus where the sky was blue and we were in the green, and then suddenly here we are with huge deficits and a threat to raid SS. I am certain the truth is somewhere between.

When an association is not forthcoming and open but they keep wanting and needing more money, then there is assumption they would get it from somewhere.

We can all speculate on varied possibilities of how that money might get into their checkbook. WHY? because we are not given the courtesy of the truth. Certainly, since they sent out their budget requests for only one million dollars it would appear that the membership has not responded to their requests.

I wonder on the deadlines to be legal of 10 days, how one would go about preparing such a huge mailing by September 2 this being Labor Day weekend September 2 is a Sunday and the post office is closed on Monday, that is already September 3 and too late. The mail couldn't be posted before September 4.

I would suppose that the entire mailing has to be in the post by tomorrow in order to be legal. Would the courts go by a post mark? If so can the USET use a postal meter which would say Septemer 2?

DMK
Aug. 30, 2001, 10:48 AM
Snowbird, I don't think you can physically change postal meter dates (Pitney Bowes meters, etc.)

Now you can run a bunch of envelopes through today and stuff them tomorrow, but that would be a federal crime, and I honestly don't think that is what is happening here, if for no other reason than it simply is not necessary.

Any mailhouse worth their salt would not have any trouble getting this mailing out in the time frame we have discussed, and I am fairly certain the USET, like everyone else with large mailings, uses a mailhouse.

I think the only fair assumption is that the USET is following the law in organizing their second meeting.

Weatherford
Aug. 30, 2001, 11:37 AM
Ah, but is bulk mail/Non-Profit bulk mail, considered by law to be first class mail? This is going to be a very expensive outing for them!

(Again.)

Snowbird
Aug. 30, 2001, 02:39 PM
We would not all send our Prize Lists !st Class if it was possible to send them by bulk mail and have them get there.

I found that when I used a permit even though it said 1st Class the mailmen didn't recognize it. If it goes 3rd class it can take weeks to be delivered if ever, the pre-sorted 1st Class isn't that much cheaper.

In any case yes! taking the jump of faith that they are trying to be honest it would mean that the whole mailing will be at the post office tomorrow.

I believe the Post Office like the banks are closed on Saturday and Monday.

SoEasy
Aug. 30, 2001, 03:58 PM
go to www.philly.com (http://www.philly.com) and do a search on Allegheny Health System in the 'news archives'
I am posting the beginning of several articles ... they charge for downloads of the whole article, and it doesnt seem relevant - suffice to say that this was a major mess a year ago.


Published on August 2, 2001, Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)
SEC sues 3 auditors for Allegheny

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint yesterday, charging three auditors for the now-defunct Allegheny health system with participating in a "fraudulent scheme" to hide the hospital network's declining finances.William F. Buettner, Mark D. Kirstein and Amy S. Frazier were named by the SEC in the complaint filed in federal court in Philadelphia. The three were executives at Coopers & Lybrand - now PricewaterhouseCoopers - who served as the independent accountants for




Article 5 of 19, Article ID: 7003048544

Published on June 2, 2001, Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)
Signs of health

The last guy to run the Philadelphia hospital chain that bears the Tenet Healthcare Corp. nameplate today stands accused of 355 counts of theft.How tough could it be to improve upon that record?For the owners from California-based Tenet, though, it was no mean feat to take over the nine local hospitals that once made up the Allegheny health system headquartered in Pittsburgh.Under Sherif S. Abdelhak - once Allegheny's boss, now a criminal defendant -



Article 7 of 19, Article ID: 7003030461

Published on May 22, 2001, Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)
Business News in Brief

In the RegionMoody's is pessimistic about Graduate's bondsMoody's Investors Service said yesterday that Graduate Health System bondholders had little chance of recovering much more from the Allegheny health system's bankruptcy proceedings. The bondholders have gotten $55 million of the $160 million uninsured debt from the Graduate bonds with three ongoing lawsuits that could recover additional money. But success in those suits is unlikely to result in the recovery of enough money to eliminate bo



Article 9 of 19, Article ID: 7003015685

Published on May 11, 2001, Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)
Allegheny ex-chief to stand trial, judge rules

Sherif S. Abdelhak, the former chief executive officer who led a major local hospital chain into bankruptcy, will stand trial on felony theft charges, a Pittsburgh judge ruled yesterday.The ruling came nearly three years after the Allegheny health system collapsed into bankruptcy and 14 months after criminal charges of theft and conspiracy were filed against Abdelhak and two others.Abdelhak faces 355 charges of theft and 354 counts of misapplication of entrusted funds for allegedly raiding chari

SGray
Aug. 31, 2001, 06:40 AM
SoEasy
SEC for public company - who would file charges for uset?

Portia - you must be psychic (as opposed to paranoid)

"I just had a horrifying thought

Maybe I'm just paranoid but.... If the USET is really having the money problems it says in Standish's fundraising letter that it is having -- I hope that endowment fund money is safely locked away!
Given the USET's current management's proven propensity for disregarding those nasty little rules of law that they find inconvenient, can we be sure they won't try to find a way to raid the endowment too? I donated money to that fund because it was supposed to be money expressly set aside in a trust to fund athlete programs -- not to fund the daily doings of the USET and definately not to fund the NGB challenge or related expenses!"

Portia - as a person who donated to the endowment, what can be done to stop this?

Bostonian
Aug. 31, 2001, 08:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SGray:

Portia - as a person who donated to the endowment, what can be done to stop this?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You can probably write uset, cc the USOC, and request a refund if the E.F. is indeed being raided for legal fees: and from some of the things that have been written on this thread - it appears to be the case...

Portia
Sep. 1, 2001, 11:33 AM
S, what can be done probably depends on New Jersey law. I am not a trusts lawyer or even a corporate lawyer, much less licensed in NJ, so I can only go on a general understanding of certain basic principles.

As I understand it, if a donor donates money for a specific limited purpose and the recipient agrees to use the money for that specific limited purpose, then that is what the money is supposed to be used for. To use it for any other purpose, I think they would at least have to have the permission of the donors to do so -- otherwise, to me at least, they've taken the money under false pretenses.

I mean, if Mrs. John Smith donates a lot of money to create an endowed chair in Physics at Harvard in her late husband's memory, the money had better be used for the John Smith Chair in Physics, not to pay the electric bill.

It may also depend on how the fund was set up. If it was set up as a trust fund, with a specific limited purpose and defined use, then they would have to change the trust to use the money for anything else -- and that is not easy to do, given that the purpose of such a trust is to insure that the money is used as planned. It would be a breach of the trust agreement, and thus a breach of fiduciary duty, to use the funds other than as specified in the trust agreement.

Now, if all they did was to tell the donors that the money was going to be used for a permanent endowment for a specific purpose, and they never actually set the fund up that way and go ahead and use the money for operating expenses, then I would think the donors would have a right to sue to get their donations back and, very possibly, to also seek punitive damages for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.

But, like I said, that's just based on some very general principles. New Jersey law may be different, and there may be plenty of specifics to trust law that I'm not familiar with. Anyone who really wanted to address it would have to consult with qualified New Jersey counsel.

Weatherford
Sep. 1, 2001, 12:51 PM
Please also remember, this has NOT, to anyone's knowledge, happened yet. It was discussed. It is important for those who HAVE donated to the Endowment Fund to make sure it DOES NOT happen.

Time for letters.

dublin
Sep. 4, 2001, 05:29 PM
The USET definitely didn't waste any time getting these out. Mailed First Class from New Jersey August 31st, arrived here in California today, Sept. 4th...

Of course, they've had a lot of practice sending them out in 2001!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

"Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." - Dennis Miller

Snowbird
Sep. 4, 2001, 08:35 PM
They made the mail deadline to cover their a**** so finally I guess they've figured the rules include them.

Since Dr. Leone admitted that they have lost the financial support of the masses and that some donors have guaranteed the loan I wondered who those donors might be.

My guess is that the loyalists are down to two, Jane Clark and Finn Casperson. Just my opinion Erin, don't get anxious with that delete button. So, then my question for tonight is what would motivate them? What reason was there for the secrecy and what reason for them to hang on to the challenge?

Did I read somewhere that Finn Casperson was an advisor for Lucent when they were high on the hog? How the mighty have fallen. I think I also read that he offered $25 million to buy Hamilton farm back and was turned down just before Lucent went into their big slump.

Jane Clark on the other hand from reading the various stories has a lot of eggs in a lot of baskets.

I wonder if anyone has figured out what the percentages are between what they spent on all these officials and employees and compared that to what is actually spent for the athletes. That is the athletes who are still free agents and not already obligated to a sponsor.

I'd really be interested in that comparison.

Erin
Sep. 4, 2001, 08:50 PM
Snowbird, you're welcome to your opinion... that's fine. But I think this is an "issues, not individuals" situation. Since the donors were not named, that's just a whole mess o' speculation that we really don't need to get into.

I just don't think it's very useful to speculate about people's possible motives for doing something when we don't (and won't, likely) know if they actually did it.

poltroon
Sep. 5, 2001, 10:25 AM
Snowbird, I'm sure that the actual number spent on athlete programs is much higher - I didn't get into the nitty gritty of that tax return, and in any case the full details are not there. But, the named grants to athletes were around 10% of the total budget. This, of course, would not include money spent on salaries for coaches, and any infrastructure (is there any?) athletes benefit from that would also be an important part of their expenses. I have not been able to figure out enough of how this org is run to understand what their money is used for.

What is the deal with Hamilton Farm at this point? What does the USET use it for? There aren't resident riders, right, and I don't think there's a full time coach in residence there. They just use it as a venue for a few competitions?

Boy, if the USET would just release their budget figures, I'm sure it would (a) end a lot of wild speculation and (b) probably look a lot better than just this tax return. C'mon, USET - help us out.

Bostonian
Sep. 5, 2001, 04:05 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Erin:
But I think this is an "issues, not individuals" situation. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have to agree with Erin Snowbird. From the looks of the archived articles in the NY Times concerning Hamilton Farm: it appears Beneficial's boardmembers voted to sell Hamilton Farm prior to being bought out by Household. I didn't see anything regarding FC and Lucent; but even so, the $25 million was a very reasonable offer for that land (especially now that it has a world-class golf course in place).

According to the NYT, HF is primarily used during the Festival of Champions and the loss of the land doesn't effect USET operations. We all witnessed how successful the Olympic trials were in CA last year, so there's really no reason the Festival couldn't be held at a dozen other venues.

As far as the appearance of secrecy, well that evolved from the Team's executives' decision to prevent a few people from seeing their detailed financials and could easily have been avoided (if they were up on their nonprofit law). My guess, those loyalists you refer to are trusting their very well paid executives to provide them with feedback from the athletes, members and discipline directors.

However, if you were Standish, could you see yourself saying, "The merger with USA Equestrian is really the way to go and I would like to give up my $239,000 +perks."

Of course not, but in the end, I would imagine there isn't anybody more disappointed in hearing about Standish's salary - than any of those athletes who ever missed part of that 10% poltroon pointed out was dedicated to USET training grants.

DMK
Sep. 5, 2001, 06:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bostonian:
We all witnessed how successful the Olympic trials were in CA last year, so there's really no reason the Festival couldn't be held at a dozen other venues.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

California, Kentucky, Conyers, Wellington... Yes, a few world class facilities (with good footing) leap to mind... /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

On the topic of secrets /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

The funny thing about concealing things, and then bitterly hanging on to your right to keep your secrets is that people start to think you must have something to hide... sort of like Nixon and those darn tapes... Oops, bad example! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Snowbird
Sep. 5, 2001, 08:32 PM
I agree with you totally Bostonian and we do tend to get paranoid when we are not told the truth honestly and openly.

I think however that your hypothesis is depending on future prosperity and there I must agree. The donors and those who actually covered the loans have less to lose than some of those being paid for a once in a lifetime job opportunity. It will be difficult to go back to a more modest life style.

However, I think that many who "may" sponsor for less than idealist reasons feel just as much at risk. I also believe that it is possible the majority of those in authority at the USET will feel a sense of obligation and debt when they are required to cast their vote once more.

I find that very sad since the solution is really so simple, a merger as originally proposed. Will they all be so stubbornly loyal to an idea and what about principal?

And, if they are loyalists, then how will they all make the adjustment at the end of a fair dispute. I am really concerned for those who perhaps from good intentions will cooperate with this piece if insanity.

When you break it all down into simple ideas, what in the world are they defending? Do you think it is possible that the over-paid employees are the shakers and movers of this whole dilemma?

SGray
Sep. 6, 2001, 07:47 AM
but surely all the trustees/board members that voted with "management" are not doing so to protect those jobs

Bostonian
Sep. 6, 2001, 08:28 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
Do you think it is possible that the over-paid employees are the shakers and movers of this whole dilemma?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Glad we agree, and glad you asked, because from everyone I have talked to, and everything I have read...

THE TAIL MOST DEFINITELY APPEARS TO BE WAGGING THE DOG!

And I too cannot understand why... My guess, those loyalists you mentioned are too busy with their other for-profit businesses to dig into the facts and really view those highly over-paid executive's motives and feedback as being anything but sincere. What's the alternative, realizing/recognizing they've allowed themselves to be manipulated: tough pill to swallow.

Somebody told me Standish used to show horses in hand, well, that is the extent of his business school background. And if you work for him, you better get in line.

Snowbird
Sep. 6, 2001, 11:38 AM
Well Bostonian, that is a pretty scary idea to me. It's a whole new perspective I hadn't given any serious thought.

I was operating on a straight forward logic of cause and effect and had not at all considered the impact from the bottom up except as a matter of personal committment and promises from the the top level in simply wishing to protect those favored persons.

It is really unsettling to consider that the employees had such an important influence on the direct management and allocation of funds.

Bostonian
Sep. 6, 2001, 04:45 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
that is a pretty scary idea to me.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

A timid person is frightened before a danger, a coward during the time, and a courageous person afterward. Jean Paul (Friedrich) Richter, 1763-1825

The concept is scary, indeed, but if I'm right a few courageous and enlightened individuals sitting at the right table could make all the difference; the rest of us will be reading about it when the dust settles.

(first try at italics)

Snowbird
Sep. 6, 2001, 07:47 PM
Are there a few courageous souls willing to take the leap of faith?

I do agree that even one person can make a difference if they really care and if they really want to oppose a miscarriage of logic. I don't know them well enough to estimate whether there are any who would be willing to put in jeopardy what they have believed in and worked for, for many years.

Our best hope I think is those who were mercilessly dumped for their lack of conviction in the old guard.

Bostonian
Sep. 7, 2001, 09:33 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
I don't know them well enough to estimate whether there are any who would be willing to put in jeopardy what they have believed in and worked for, for many years.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

True, too many seem to have quit, resigned, or allowed themselves to be pushed away when the going got tough. A pattern of civility those executives are banking on!

Lucassb
Sep. 7, 2001, 10:25 AM
of those who have refused to put their livelihood at risk - and it does appear to be at least a somewhat credible fear in this case. Are you willing to lose your job over this fight? I believe very strongly in the Fed's position, but that is easy for me to do as an amateur competitor with a completely unrelated job. Let's face it, someone like me can make all the strong statements I like without fear of becoming unemployed, or unemployable...

This makes standouts like Linda Allen a hero in my book - she's one of those who have taken a stand for what she believes is right, and good for the sport regardless of the potential negative impact on her business - and for that she deserves our thanks and credit. However, it must be said that she has a h@ll of a resume and many relationships which will survive regardless of the outcome of the NGB controversy, which cannot be said of everyone who is in an "involved" situation.

I wonder how many "up and coming" horsemen, CDs, officials etc can flat out afford to make enemies of the folks at the USET? It is a sad commentary that this is the reality of the situation, and I have great hopes that when the dust finally settles, concern over whose "side" you are on is not the justification for any sort of personal retribution. But in the meantime, I have to say I understand why some of those who've been either silent or (for lack of a better word) complicit, have made that choice.

Snowbird
Sep. 7, 2001, 10:38 AM
It is true that we all can't be too critical because of the risks but then as an oldest I must say that is the very problem. In the long view I believe these people would float to the top again.

It seems to be a unique characteristic of the current generation. I must say years ago in a totally unrelated dispute it was apparent to me even at that time that people under the age of 50 were much more intimidated than us older folks.

I had a lot of phone calls saying well, I agree with you and I'm behind you but don't use my name because they will be mean to my kids in school, or they will send the building inspectors or a 100 other legitimate excuses. That allowed our town to become one of the most corrupt in New Jersey.

So, what is so sad to me is that people cannot have more of a vision. It is that "vision" which is what makes everything possible and without it nothing is possible. Will we sit around moaning and complaining waiting for "Big Brother" to do the job for us? If so, then they win.

Linda Allen
Sep. 7, 2001, 10:57 AM
they are very much appreciated!

Only one point though, I don't consider anyone at the USET as "enemies." On the contrary, I hold many, many individuals throughout our sport in great esteem, and respect their own dedication toward doing what they feel is right for the sport.

I believe in the great value of honest debate. I only fume when the individual personality making the point is given more importance than the point/position that they are putting forth!! Why this has become so commonplace in our industry right now, confounds me.

In sports especially, an individual's success should be based on their demonstrated ability -- no matter if it is as a competitor, a coach, a manager, an official, an owner, a breeder, staff member, a groom, a vet, or a volunteer -- ability and results should outweigh other factors. I wonder why they don't always seem to in our world today? /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

Linda Allen

Lucassb
Sep. 7, 2001, 12:05 PM
An excellent point - using the word "enemies" was perhaps a poor choice of words. I do know and agree that there are MANY fine individuals at the USET.

However, when I hear of people who are no longer being offered jobs and projects they have handled for many years, personally the word "retribution" comes to mind, and I do believe that there are many people who have suffered financially as a result of the position they have taken in support of the AHSA as the NGB.

Such a sad state of affairs, but hopefully soon to be resolved.

Snowbird, I hear you and understand the frustration it can cause when people only wish to support a position anonymously. But I would offer that there are degrees of risk - and the outright loss of one's income is a substantial issue. Someone teasing a child at school is not a good thing, but it is not on par with losing a house, for example. Many of these people may indeed "rise to the top" again - but only if they can survive (and by that I really mean survive - afford housing, food etc.) Not everyone has the luxury of being able to live without income or with an income that is substantially diminished for any length of time.

Bostonian
Sep. 7, 2001, 01:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:

It is really unsettling to consider that the employees had such an important influence on the direct management and allocation of funds.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Consider Leone's statement, "But with the official NGB status and increase in corporate properties as well as sponsorship value that will result, the USET will have new recurring predictable revenues. It is important for the athletes that the NGB be the USET."

It's more important for any executives enjoying commissions from such increases in sponsorship value - the same executives whose direct management has been a pattern of what Leone describes as "Passing budgets in excess of expected revenue" and looking to members to bridge the gap.

And if the members can't bridge that gap, take out a loan, spend the endowment, and say it will all be ok in 2002?

I'm confused.

Snowbird
Sep. 7, 2001, 04:29 PM
The point is that if your sense of security becomes so important that you cannot defend openly what is right then there is never any way to stop the evolving corruptions.

What is the secret power that people use to control and get their way, wrong or right? It is to create a sense of insecurity and jeopardy for those who could make a difference.

It isn't really important the place the time or the situation it is always the same logic. I can't afford to take a chance!


My question is can you afford not to take the chance?
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Patrick Henry

That was the hutspha that founded this country, that drove people over the pond to America. Have we become so fragile that we can't take a kick in the butt to wake up say I won't take it anymore.

We wouldn't be here if people had not taken the chance that being in control of your own life was worth the price and the risk.

But, forgive me because I am a left-over from the generation that won World War II. If you believe you can't, then you won't do anything. But, if you believe that nothing worth while is impossible then you take the risks win or lose.