Thursday, February 4, 2016

My Last Election

GM Caruana vs IM Lapshun

The last election I ran in was early in Stuart Chagrin's administration.  I didn't expect it to be contentious.  I thought I was on good terms with Stuart and that no one would mind my running.  I didn't have to do a petition. Stuart had my name put on the ballot.

GM Kekelidze vs FM Chernin

As soon as I arrived at the club for the election, I realized I was going to lose.  With these elections, aside from who counts the votes, its a matter of who shows up.  As the election started, Larry Price said, "Let's get the unsavory people out of the way", typical of how board members continue to refer to those outside their clique.

Capablanca Simul

There were at least three irregularities in the election:

Cory Evans, who was running the election, told the members that candidates had the right to not answer any questions.  Robert Cherubin refused to answer any questions, but he was elected anyway, as the board votes as a block.

IM Martinez vs FM Colas

 Typically, this group rushes or even omits the candidate statements.  Most of the people they elect are not bad people, but are yes-men, who have no idea what responsibilities being on a board of directors of a small organization  entails.  In any organization with a board, the board members are fiduciaries.  But in a large organization there are usually many people guarding its survival.  In a small organization, there usually isn't anyone except the board.

Tom Molloy, who had been a vice president won re-election to a one year term.  The officers did not seat him until after new officers had been selected, preventing him from continuing as vice president.  They claimed that the board had to ratify his election, which is ridiculous, as a lower body cannot ratify the action of a higher body.

Something similar happened to Jeff Tannenbaum in the most recent election.  He also won a one year term, and the officers didn't want to seat him at all.   They claimed that the board had the right to fill any vacancies.  Actually they can only fill a vacancy until the election.  Then the members decide who fills it.  "Executive director", Bryan Quick vowed that he would do everything in his power to prevent Tannenbaum from getting re-elected this year.

After the meeting, I was informed that there had never been a quorom.  This was confirmed later by Tom Molloy and FM Brian Hulse.  Stuart has never claimed that there was a quorum.  What the law says is that if there is no quorum there cannot be an election.  In absence of a quorum, the only legal action is a motion to adjourn.

Cory Evans spoke to me on the phone.  He said that the club has never adopted Robert Rules of Order, which is true.  He also said that state law does not require a quorum, which is false.  Anyone can see what the law is here:  Cory Evans once ran for public office.  He attempted to hold a fundraiser at the club, oblivious to the fact that such an even could cost the club its tax exempt status.

I consulted a lawyer, and he said that I could bring a civil suit against the club.   He said that I would probably win, but even if I won, I might not be awarded costs.  One member of the board said that I probably could not sue the club.  It was unclear whether he meant I didn't have a case, or whether it meant I couldn't afford a lawyer, or whether the comment was intentionally cryptic.

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