Update on Member Relations
August 18, 2015: As I have communicated with you last week, we have offered the former members who were litigating against the Club an opportunity to return to the membership for purposes of pushing a By-Laws amendment to meet their needs. This effort is intended to try and keep member issues out of court and deliberated within our Club framework: The By-Laws. Regardless of the outcome of a By-Laws vote at the Annual Meeting in November, we are hopeful this will allow the lawsuit to be dropped permanently and no members will need to be dismissed as a consequence.
The Board is allowing the plaintiffs some extra time to consider the matter between themselves. The By-Laws Committee has been working with a group of members who sponsored a By-Laws amendment to “grandfather” Senior Members to their status before the September 7, 2014, Special Meeting.
In the meantime, let me urge all members to refrain from engaging in rhetoric that will inflame matters. It is a fact that members on all sides of this issue have, at times, given themselves to unkind words and characterizations that were unflattering – to say the least. The steps the Board has taken and the time we have allowed the members who were litigating and were subject to discipline are meant to allow for a period of reflection and discussion in the hopes that the Club can finally move forward.
Please, please, please, be respectful in your conversations – whether verbal or by email. If someone approaches you about the issue and you don’t want to talk about it, please say so. Talk about the Orioles or how the Nationals are a disappointment (a pressing concern of mine). If you do want to talk about the issue with willing members, please be aware that conversations are best had in civil tones without vitriol.
The Board will work hard to keep the members informed, but we need your help to make the atmosphere of the Club as civil as possible. We may get a compromise and we may not. Either way, let’s keep our voices and our rhetoric down and don’t send emails out too late at night. That is what my teenagers have told me, at least. They are better at handling their electronic conversations than our generation.
What to Say?
August 1, 2015: I thought about writing some of the things that are planned at the Club this coming month so as to not burden our members with more words on the very unpleasant events that are occurring among some members. But the title of this column is “State of the Ship” and it would be disingenuous to pretend that all is well. We are in the midst of a very unfortunate situation.
I won’t belabor you with an exact chronology. Much of it is available on the Bulletin Board on the Member Side of the webpage. But I must try and capture where we are and why. Those who have opposed the Board’s actions will inevitably disagree with some of this.
After the vote last year to adopt changes to the former “Emeritus” category (now “Senior”), a group of Senior Members indicated an intent to sue unless the Board “grandfathered” the members in place before the vote to their old dues level.
[Commodore Scott Miller was out of the country on a family vacation at the end of June; Vice Commodore Heather Ersts stepped up to write his column for him this month.]
July 1, 2015: Bonjour!
While the Commodore is away, the members will play! And play we did! What an awesome party we had with the French crew of L’Hermione while Commodore Miller was in, of all places, France on a family vacation. Oh la la! Thank you to everyone that jumped in to help plan and execute an evening that was quintessential EYC.
There are few activities that are more Annapolis-in-the-summer than Wednesday Night Races. EYC was able to get 30 L’Hermione crew members on boats in the thick of it--the great majority on race boats--including the Captain of L’Hermione. Language barriers made for interesting communications, but from all reports everyone had a great time.
More Stuff You Should Know
(June 1, 2015) Before I get into anything too serious, let me just say what a great Commodore's Reception we had on Preakness Day. Hats off (and there were many that day) to Carole Vilardo, the rest of her Special Events Committee as well as Bill Kocan and the EYC staff. Great party! Thank you so much for making my last Commodore's Reception such a hit!
Now for some news: 1) Solar Power coming to EYC; 2) By-Laws Committee being formed; 3) Nominating Committee about to get going. Everyone else in the Club has been getting ready for the heavy part of boating season but your Executive Board has been busy at work.