Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Community Meeting

Our neighborhood had a community meeting yesterday.

The reason:

It seems that one of our local internet providers, (the one I use,) has had some issues with a group that leases space to him.  They say they have had too many problems dealing with the man and his company.

The problems that were had, have occured because of lack of communication, (something easy enough to happen,) and it must be noted, this is something that is not uncommon lately in other instances in regards to the community group's current leadership.  There were some issues, yes, but these grievances have been rectified by the internet provider.... yet the board of this organization is relentless in having their own way and not giving this man the time of day.  They want him out.

Enter community members...including me,  (which I will henceforth refer to as the group of the "concerned,") who needed some answers about dismissing this man and his company after years of a relationship that really could have worked if there was better communication between people.  The concerned hoped to rectify the breech of understanding between the community group's board and this internet company, mainly so that they would not loose their high speed internet connection, but also because we are a community and such a severance of a business relationship, a non renewal of a lease, COULD be done in a better manner, suitable to all parties involved, instead of just leaving people, a lot of people, not just members of this particular group, mind you, in a lurch.

People were worried.... about having to change Internet companies, knowing that there is no company available that had comparable service to the one currently in use.  Not only that, but it is a major and costly endeavor for some of those concerned in our neighborhood who run their businesses from the internet in their homes.  Some expressed that they will loose a lot of business if their email addresses have to change, or if they do not have the kind of connectivity they need.

So, rounding up concerned individuals in our community and asking for a meeting to discuss this with the board was the next step for those concerned.  Getting concerned people together and submitting a request as per the bi laws of the community group for a membership meeting was easy, but getting a response from the board was not.

Wouldn't you know, this organization's leadership failed to respond in a timely manner.  Eventually, because they were force to, I guess,  they did call a "special meeting," and they did  inform all the members of when and where this meeting would take place. 

So.... on Friday, a barnful of about 35 people showed up, and 17 "concerned" others sent proxy's indicating they wanted to restore the relationship between this group and the provider.  Several attendees spoke, most expressing their concern over the interruption of High Speed Internet service and the mitigation that have been made to address any problems in the past, and there was even a call for a vote on this very important issue at hand.  But, lo and behold,  the vote was stifled by the board... and this  even though a "quorum," as per the community organization's bi-laws, ( not to mention, Roberts Rules of Order) would demand, was in attendance- and even though the motion had been made, and seconded, to restore some kind of relationship between the community group and the Internet company.

This is the board listening to people talk.

 This is the board deliberating as one of the concerned members looks at documents with the board.
I am very disappointed in what took place.  The board basically ignored the voting process.  They disregarded their own law, (organizational bi-laws.)  They ignored Roberts Rules of Order... (something written in =to the bi-laws as the way their organizational meeting are to be run,)  and they disregarded fellow members (shareholders in the organization) meanwhile, they went around the room and collected and counted proxies, talked among themselves, ( for at least twenty minutes)  and reconvened to tell us all that "they" would meet as a board and discuss this privately, and that the meeting was adjourned.

They picked up all the chairs and people were dispersed.

Welcome to the NEW rural America.

In the New rural America, where there was once an overwhelming air of love of neighbor and an upholding of the common law, we have apparently moved to a place where relationships mean nothing of any special importance, and lawlessness is openly practiced by people who love their positions of authority, just like this.

So... If I do not post for a little while, you now know why. 

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