Pop Warner board cuts off parent votes | NevadaAppeal.com

Pop Warner board cuts off parent votes

MICHAEL C. IVIE, Gardnerville

I pride myself on being a reasonable, well thought-out person. I listen, evaluate then act on the information and facts that I have at hand, and always attempt to be objective.

The events that transpired Dec. 9, at the Douglas Pop Warner Football Board meeting not only have taxed my capacity to control my temper, but also have me wondering just who these board members really are. I thought I knew and could trust most of them, but I am now convinced that is not the case.

At November’s monthly DPW board meeting a new set of bylaws was voted in by board members that prohibits anyone from voting for the election of board members unless they have attended at least half of the regular board meetings during the course of the year that the board is in office.

Rather than making this effective for the new season and the 2000 board, which would officially assume office as of the January meeting, the DPW board enacted these by laws for the current election.

There were at least 15 or more parents and/or coaches that attended the meeting for the express purpose of voting in the election. All were denied the privilege since they had not attended half the meetings during the year. However, board members that had attended less than half the meetings during the year were allowed to vote.

I spoke up and informed the board and all present that I believed the change in voter eligibility was out of order and the new requirements should be enacted by the 2000 Board and made effective for the December 2000 elections and the bylaws that the 1999 board was operating under when elected should be the precedent for the elections.

My point was rudely dismissed by the president of DPW with a simple shake of his head “no” and the comment that lawyers had confirmed what the board was doing was perfectly legal.

That action and comment is a clear indicator that this was well thought out and probably secretly planned by some board members for quite some time. They obviously had a concern about the change in bylaws being legal, or they would not have involved lawyers to begin with.

The injustice is obvious.

It is also fairly obvious, to myself and those attending that normally don’t have the time or opportunity to participate in the DPW board meetings, that the board was aware of the disenchantment and dissappointment of many parents and volunteers over specific problems and shortcomings of the DPW organization this year and and feared that those who are most affected by the board’s actions would vote some board members out of office.

Thus, you get a legal election that isn’t really an election but a “buddy-buddy” appointment session.

I have been a coach, board member, umpire-in-chief, vice president and president of various youth organizations since 1973 and this is the most ludicrous board action that I have ever seen or heard of.

Every youth organization in the country allows the public that participates to vote in its elections. That is how, hopefully, we prevent the “buddy-buddy” systems and head off those with personal agendas, of which this DPW board displayed on more than one occasion this year.

I don’t mind having someone else run the show. I do mind not being able to kick them out if they aren’t doing the job. The point is, I can’t always find the time to be present at even half of the board meetings of every activity that my children participate in, nor can my wife.

Just imagine if you are a single parent, or divorced parents. Maybe you work two jobs, maybe you have four or more children and just can’t manage to get to a regular meeting, but feel you would like to vote.

No, you can’t vote. You aren’t dedicated enough to DPW. We don’t care how many hours of DPW snack bar duty you put in. We don’t care if you were a DPW team mom. We don’t care how dedicated you are to anything else or how many other children require your time.

My motivation is the kids. The DPW board says that is their motivation as well.

If so, why can’t the parents of the kids that participate in your program decide if you, or someone else, should be running the show?

Not even the highest offices in the county are exempt from public elections.

Just how special do the DPW Board of Directors think they are?

How can they pretend to know what’s best for their participants when they let an entire team down this past season and publicly humiliated another at every opportunity?

Perhaps the DPW board is fearful that some of their actions this year lost them some support.

In my case, they would be correct.