Here are some excellent examples of the leadership and other problems which made it even more obvious that it was time for a better frequency coordination organization to form in Alabama.
Example 1: Attempt by meeting chair to deny members’ right to vote on a motion which was seconded, on the floor, and under discussion
From their membership meeting in Montgomery, AL. The president of that organization, which was the only (as of that day) Amateur Radio frequency coordinating entity in Alabama calls for a “straw poll” regarding the motion to ask SERA (the SouthEastern Repeater Association) to start handling frequency coordination for Alabama. Upon a 13 to 8 straw vote in support of the motion, he shortly thereafter announced to everyone that he was not going to allow the members to vote on it. Under accepted parliamentary procedure and the organization’s bylaws as of that date, that is not permitted. The members have the right to make a motion to TABLE the motion, or refer it to committee; however, the meeting chair does not have the right to simply deny the members the right to vote on a motion. Listen for yourself to this audio recording of that segment of the meeting, and you’ll hear this blatant effort quite clearly, near the end when the president says “… you’ve got a lot of folks here to vote for it, that’s why we’re not gonna make this decision today.”
Example 2: Motion was made and passed to TABLE THE MOTION TO THE BIRMINGHAM MEETING scheduled for March 2018 but improperly referred to and killed by executive committee instead
In this audio clip, you will hear the discussion and voting on the motion to table the motion [to ask SERA to become the frequency coordinator for Alabama Amateur Radio repeaters] to the Birmingham, AL meeting, which was coming up in March of 2018. You can even hear the president clarifying the motion to table to that Birmingham meeting. The motion to do so passed.
So did they follow proper parliamentary procedure and take the motion to the upcoming Birmingham, AL meeting in March 2018? Of course they didn’t. Instead, in direct violation of the approved motion (which was voted on by the members) they instead held a little “executive committee meeting nine days later, on November 20, 2017) and improperly took up and voted to “… postpone indefinably [sic] the motion from the floor…” Here it is, directly from the minutes of that meeting, as reported and publicly posted by their secretary-treasurer:
Example 3: Improperly adjourning a meeting (without a motion, second, or vote of members to do so)
Under Robert’s Rules of Order and accepted parliamentary procedure, the chair of the meeting does not simply end the meeting at his/her discretion. There should be a motion, properly seconded, and a vote carrying that motion in order to properly adjourn; however, their president decided to just adjourn the meeting abruptly, without so much as asking if anyone had any further new business to bring up, or at least saying “If there’s no new business, I’ll entertain a motion that we adjourn” or similar to allow the members to make the decision to adjourn. Listen for yourself…
These are only a few examples of how poorly things were handled at that meeting by their president, who was chairing the meeting.
Instead of doing what the members had voted to do (resume discussion of the meeting at the March meeting), they not only went behind the membership’s back and improperly tabled the motion indefinitely, they started “banning” people from future membership in their organization.
Does anyone find it all ironic that all of the people banned just happened to have been among the 13 people who raised their hands or spoke up in favor of the motion to ask SERA to take over frequency coordination in Alabama?
Of course it got even more interesting, as they also used those special executive committee and board meetings to modify the bylaws such that the general membership would no longer get to vote on motions. In fact, they stripped the general members of the right to make motions.
In essence, a handful of people “circled the wagons” then went on an all-out assault, including their president’s assorted harassing emails which did more damage to their own organization’s reputation than anything and led to the the SouthEastern Repeater Association (SERA) rescinding the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which had given their organization access to SERA’s frequency coordination database.
Indeed, it is this sort of improper organizational operation and lack of ethics which people end up getting fed up with and taking action. This obvious lack of leadership skills, lack of ethics, blatant disregard for what the members properly voted to have done, and all the totally out of control conduct on the part of their president (which continues to this day and he has made it clear that instead of correcting his course he is determined to dig an even deeper hole for himself and their organization) which further convinced hams all over Alabama that it was time for a change. Since things were going totally in the wrong direction with that organization, it was time for hams to pull together and put together a totally new frequency/repeater coordination organization which actually listened to and honored the wishes expressed by hams statewide, as opposed to resorting to any underhanded, unethical, even illegal actions if necessary.
We’re still considering posting the recording of the entire meeting. But you really need to take an anti-emetic medication before listening to it, because it is downright nauseating.
(1) Note: certain items used herein under non-commercial, educational “fair use” as this article was created solely for general amateur radio related news and educational purposes without any monetary or financial gain.