Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The 911 Meeting

No New Yorker is going to joke about 911, but Stuart decided to hold another more limited meeting on September 11th.  I guess he likes historical dates for his meetings.

At the Bastile Day meeting, Stuart announced that Zachary Cohn would be working on the club's bylaws.  I think he said I could get in touch with Zachary if I wanted to have some input or something like that.

I wrote Zachary but didn't get any reply.  So I wrote my own version of what I thought the bylaws should be.  They can be found here:   https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hrlMKM1coOkaFqWtzOS5nFv_TdsGRNqUvzxJFUIS9C4/edit?usp=sharing

Zachary wrote his own version of the bylaws, based largely on the original Certificate of Incorporation.  It is not surprising to see that the original purposes of the club social and the playing of chess, not teaching or promoting chess.

The meeting was congenial, mainly because the more unsavory people weren't there.  But it may turn out to be more significant than most people think.

One major topic was removing senior members' voting powers.  I am not sure why anyone would want to do this but:  a) We are going in the direction where fewer adult members than ever will be able to vote;  b)  As the number of voting members shrinks, the proportion of those voting members who are on the board increases;  c) Several of the administration's adversaries are senior members.

GM J. Polgar
We also raised the issue of why the employees are voting.  The current bylaws say that only the members who pay the highest level of dues may vote.  The managers don't pay any dues.  We pay them.   In my view, the club is mandated by law to be non-commercial, so no one who makes a significant portion of their income at the club should be allowed to vote.  Grandmasters and International Masters are currently not allowed to vote.  It is the lesser chess professionals who are voting.

While this meeting didn't seem significant, it was probably legally required before introducing bylaws changes.  We will probably see the bylaws changes on the ballot in June.  My advice is, if you don't understand something, don't vote for it.  Don't vote for candidates you don't know.

Last time I heard, managers would not be allowed to vote from now on, but students (over 18) would be able to vote.  There is nothing wrong with this in and of itself, except that its the kind of move the board makes to perpetuate their own power.   That is not a legitimate way of doing things.

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