Those who attended the candidates forum or watched the forum on the web or on YouTube, saw an interesting mix of candidates and a clear set of issues that will have to be addressed by the American Numismatic Association regardless of who is elected to the Board of Governors.
If you did not see it and have about three hours to spare, here is the video from YouTube. It will start 17 minutes into the recording and there is 35 seconds of “pre-production” audio before Barbara Gregory starts the session.
One of the issues that should concern ANA members is that current members of the Board of Governors admitted to violating the ANA By-laws by their statements. One of the issues that were brought up was that there was a five or seven hour closed meeting. The time differs depending on who is asked. To defend the board, current Governor Mike Ellis said that the meeting was to “Bring the day to day operations of the ANA up to speed.” Later, Vice President and Presidential candidate Walt Ostromecki said, that the board was talking about the impression it was giving and “how we as a board can mesh.” While Ostromecki called this a personnel discussion, the Board of governors are not ANA personnel. They are elected officials whose interaction is the business of the ANA community.
ANA Secretary David Sklow asked if the new candidates have read the ANA By-Laws. Not only have I read the by-laws, I made references to them during the meeting. What Mr. Sklow should have asked is why was a 5-7 hour meeting that did not involve “personnel, including the hiring, compensation, and termination thereof; contractual and litigation matters; awards,” as per Article 5 Section 7, following the by-laws?
Mr. Ostromecki called these personnel matters. However, the soon-to-be president did not characterize the discussion as “such deliberations that the Board members, after due consideration, decide merit confidentiality.” If he did, the Board is required in the same section to produce a discussion and vote about going into closed session.
I want to open the Board to the entire ANA. I want the Board to be accountable to the ANA. The Board should set the policy and not manage the ANA. Day-to-day management is what the Executive Director is supposed to do. I do not want to see this board that either wants to micromanage around the Executive Director or order the Executive Director to implement policy a certain way. If we do that, Kim Kiick will have as much success as the previous Executive Directors. This is not something I want to see.
Even if the current Board members have differing views than those responsible for the current problems, they did not call a point of order to show where there were violations in of the by-laws. Either they violated the by-laws willfully or did so by not attempting to enforce the by-laws. In either case, they cannot be trusted to run the organization properly.
Governor Greg Lyon said in his closing statement that those of us who criticize the current Board do not know the whole story. The problem is that the Board has been so secretive that it is impossible to know the whole story. This is the crux of the problems.
When you vote for the next Board of Governors, vote for candidates who will not hold five-to-seven hour private meetings unless absolutely necessary. Vote for candidates who will not hide behind rules, lawyers, and what looks like an agenda beyond the good of the ANA. Vote for candidates who will commit to broadcasting all meetings that do not have to be private so that all members can participate,.
I will be open and honest with the ANA members and the Board. I will not try to micromanage the office in Colorado Springs. In fact, if Kim Kiick came to the board to ask for assistance, I would be more than happen to ensure she had our full support. However, the Board should never usurp her authority with the staff.
The Board should work for an open and accessible ANA. The Board should invest in the technology it takes to bring the organization into the 21st century. And the Board should be the ambassador leaders for the entire numismatic community on the clear light of day and not behind closed door. In fact, I will work with the Board to use teleconferencing service that will allow members to dial in and listen to the meeting. This service will be able to ask questions during the meeting.
After this forum, I am more committed to my proposed first motion to hire an executive management firm that has a verifiable background in helping non-profit organizations to review the entire ANA management structure. You can read more about it in in this blog post.
Please consider supporting those of us who will work to change the ANA for the better, to make it more open to the members, and for candidates who want to bring more to the members rather than play the petty politics that have plagued the ANA in recent history. On June 1, I will publish my recommendation for the Board of Governors based on why I think they would work for the benefit of you, the members of the ANA.