Going down in flames

Many moons ago, for two two year terms I was a member of the Hang Gliding Federation board.  It was a challenging time and a frustrating one.  Recently, the HGFA has been rocked by an internal coup that has led to the wholesale replacement of the board prior to normal election turnover and the resignation of the employed General Manager.  Now the witch hunt begins…

A disaffected group of pilots running on the platform of reduced membership fees and Board/GM accoountability eventually managed to ram a motion through a Special General Meeting based ballot to prematurely replace the current board with themselves. (The newly elected Board starts next April, 2010).  This group, generally known as the “SGM” then presided over the October Annual General Meeting at which the General Manager tendered a months’ notice.

The SGM maintains that the ousted board and GM, along with previous Boards were corrupt and overspending, that the GM’s salary was excessive and that the Board and GM both lied about and frustrated members (the SGM’s) attempts to determine the state of the finances etc.. of the organisation.  This included making unconstitutional determinations on SGM motions, disallowing access by members to records as required by the constitution, and quoting legal advice that was never actually given.   Exactly how much of this is real and how much is the result of an SGM persecution complex is unknown, but I’d hazard that there’s fire to match the smoke on both sides of the fence.

At present there’s a standoff between the ex-GM and the new SGM Board – he refuses to hand over files in his possession unless he gets paid his entitlements, and they refuse to consider paying entitlements until he hands over the files.

Some of the more rabid and conspiracy-theory driven members of the SGM are claiming continued obstruction by the old Board including censorship and changes to HGFA forum entries. (personally I have seen no evidence of that… say no more) and an ex-member with a long-standing grudge against the HGFA is being quite vocal.

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