Recent Board Action

On Tuesday evening April 9th the Board of Directors voted (2/3 super majority, as required) to remove Laurel Kaiser, Education Coordinator from the Board.

The Bylaws of the Sarasota Sailing Squadron (and State Statute 617) allow the Board of Directors to make such a decision when considered necessary for a variety of reasons. This was a difficult situation and not taken lightly by anyone involved. We value all of our volunteers and are acutely aware of the additional level of commitment required to fill a 2 year Board position.

No Board member thinks all decisions will be unanimous and differing opinions are part of any group decision making process. You can search our website for a recent history of Board motions, votes and outcomes. Very few are unanimous but they do require a majority vote to pass. And moving forward requires collaboration, cooperation and an understanding of the process by which change can be implemented.

There are also implied and specific responsibilities of any Board member which make them part of a team. We are first and foremost Board members, not private citizens, especially when engaging public officials regarding personal, business or financial matters pending before the Board on which we serve. To behave any other way suggests a conflict of interest and/or is exploiting the position of Board member for personal gain.

I have not made many motions since becoming Commodore in 2010 but I made the motion to dismiss our Education Coordinator which was seconded and passed after much discussion.

There is an old saying…”alone we go faster but together we go farther”. This is feeling relevant to me in this instance.

I’m available to discuss this Board decision with any member who may have questions.

David Jennings, Commodore
Sarasota Sailing Squadron


Recent Board Action — 4 Comments

  1. Some neutral notes urging moderation and cooperation of all of our sailing activity groups:
    1. There are no inherent conflicts between the sailing interest groups; we need only to ensure equitable resource sharing and fee structure. Every interest or activity group must restrain itself to cooperate.
    2. People with good intentions at recreational clubs often find divide unnecessarily into factions representing favorite activities when the process of consultation with other groups is accidentally or carelessly impaired. Tempers flare when others see interests imperiled; yet we can all be guilty unless we are vigilant. These are basic tests of our ability to govern ourselves and our associations.
    3. So those advancing an activity of personal interest, both board members talking with the city, or board members advancing their favorite programs, or other members, must try to be aware of other groups whose interests might be affected, and be sure to proceed only with consultation and authorization to avoid alarming or offending others.
    4. That may well apply to all sides of this controversy; we need not take sides but should urge more care and cooperation. I enjoy the pursuit by others of all of our activities regardless of whether they are my favorites; it is the conflict which I do not enjoy. I like to see sensible changes but urge all to do everything possible to moderate their pursuit of new policies enough to ensure consultation and representation of all members (and board members) and advance resolution of potential conflicts.

  2. To all SSS Members,

    There are rumors that we are losing our member run organization to a heavy handed and non-diplomatic board. The only way to stop these rumors is to have full and timely disclosure on the decisions being made. Previously there were committees in place…ie mooring committee, long range planning committee, etc. These committees were comprised of a pretty fair representation of the ACTIVE members (understanding that ACTIVE members are not necessarily the MAJORITY of members). These committees were not hand chosen…all who were concerned were always welcomed to participate and they were heard out, treated with respect, and given consideration even if their opinion wasn’t the most popular. Working collaboratively with these groups, yes, took time, but ultimately yielded a solution that was acceptable by all concerned. Negotiation = when all concerned lose a little for the sake of the bigger picture. Notification of committee discussions and updates was timely (once monthly to the entire organization…not just those who utilize email regularly or are aware of the Breezy Blast). There were CHANGES, but they weren’t surprises…because through communication and time, members had a chance to digest and accept things as fair. If that is stopped, the result is that things are being accepted, to many, as not fair.

    I implore members to thrust themselves into the ACTIVE group…ask questions, get involved, request full and timely disclosure. To the BOD – slow down, allow member involvement and input…consider and embrace their input as important because it IS —-they are the owners of the club and that philosophy was why the SSS has been a special place in so many hearts.

    The SSS was built on a foundation that it is a member run club, not a club run by the Super Majority of the BOD (who as a result of what’s described above, are viewed by many as running those who disagree off/out resulting in Super Majority status)

    …for the SSS to remain the Best Sailing Club in the World, we need to stop, rewind and get back to basics. Hopefully it is not too late.

  3. A quote from “A Few Good Men” keep playing through my head…”You’ve F@#%ed with the wrong Marine! Bk
    P,S. please don’t confuse me with your “Silent Majority” Mr Jennings.

  4. David,
    Where is Laurel’s counterpoint? Last time I checked our charter is routed in the democratic principle. As such; until you and the board grant Laurel equal access to our members via this forum and all other SSS communications platforms, I am unable to come to terms with her dismissal . Laurel deserves the opportunity to defend her actions. I for one want to hear what Ms. Kaiser has to say in her defense before passing judgement. Anything less would be unconscionable.