commentary & opinions on the sports and political scene
CMHA BOARD MEETINGS NOT FOR PUBLIC REVIEW
September 26, 2011Posted by on
We posted last week that Past President of the Collingwood Minor Hockey Association Anthony Griffiths had commented on the possible uses of the associations ‘building fund’ in the Central Park redevelopment project. That raised the question to us of whether the members of the association were aware 1) that a portion of their registration fees, fundraising, gate fees, etc…. were going to fund town projects and 2) what discretion there is in uses of the fund and by who.
Current President of the CMHA Chris Potts replied to us after several requests that he would not release any meeting minutes to us.
Certainly these are reasonable questions to put forward as people have the expectation that their hard-earned money is being used the way they want it to be. With any new arena probably five years away at best, many people may not want their fees funding new ice that their kids won’t get the use of. What if a current member is contributing to the fund, their son or daughter finishes with minor hockey and the next board decides to stop contributing to the fund. Essentially current CMHA members could be helping to fund an arena their kids will never use, and the future members that will get to use it may not have to contribute anything!
While Mr. Potts is under no obligation to release the minutes to us, he is required to make them available to current membership so there is no expectation of privacy with regards to them. He is also not required in any way to NOT release them to us, in fact many nonprofit corporations that operate in partnership with their communities readily make them available on their websites. According to nonprofit group specialists CTAC
“Nonprofit organizations that need the support of funders, the community and other stakeholders. Accommodating requests to review corporate records including the minutes is a good way to gain their support and confidence”
According to the Non Profit Law Blog, when it comes to nonprofit corps and transparency the current belief is that an organization should be as transparent as possible in the best interest of its members
“ It can be a real tool for nonprofits to increase their impact by providing better self-assessment as well as engaging the public and attracting outside resources, leading to increased donations, volunteers, and positive press”
He certainly is not protecting the interests of CMHA and is not prevented from making the minutes available to us so obviously the question is what is in the minutes that are of concern to the board? Or is Mr. Potts just being difficult as the minutes are readily available through membership?
If it’s the former then the board needs to be held accountable immediately by its membership for whatever the issue or issues of concern are, if it’s the latter then Mr. Potts is doing a disservice to the organization that is so prominent and dependent on the community and its sponsors.
We don’t really think there is anything going on here other than somebody riding a high horse, but we think anybody that when you chose to get on that horse should ride it with respect (note to council here as well)