View Poll Results: Do you approve or disapprove of the Bylaw changes round 2?

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  • Approve

    17 39.53%
  • Disapprove

    26 60.47%
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Thread: MRA bylaws changes round 2

  1. #26
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    Great summation "Blaircsf" Harness. I agree with all of your points.

    I think there is something "broken" with the board, contrary to the assumption above that nothing needs "fixed". This is what we are all discussing currently, and have been for years. Personal attacks are not the motivation, nor will attacks be tolerated as a response.

    The election process of the MRA has proved to contain some flaws. A large group of members have been discussing the potential changes which could make the MRA club take the next step toward shoring up policy, creating a much more inviting atmosphere for volunteering, and capitalizing on the wealth of management talent within the MRA membership.

    Many competent members have run for a position, and lost to the incumbent. Why is that? It appears to be one of the side effects of being a racing club, where being in front of the membership regularly for a term creates such a popularity/familiarity advantage, that it sets the bar abnormally high for a challenger. In other words, the current board director/representative would have to do an absolutely terrible job for them to loose their position on the board during a normal election, as the election process is currently structured. That in itself can insulate the board from "excessive turnover", but where is the balance of quality fresh blood on the board then?

    We have seen several examples of individuals serving on the board to the point of burnout because of this. I also think there are examples of board positions receiving minimal preservation, because the board member has served for too long to maintain their enthusiasm for improvement.

    I strongly believe that the appointment process of board members is not the right thing for the MRA moving forward. It was a provision in the bylaws to be used in a time of emergency, but has been misused at this point. According to this poll the proposed changes also appear to have a lot of support [41% support at this point].

    I believe the appointment process has many negative consequences. The "collusion" that was referenced above is actually ironically a more accurate description of how the board is currently assembled by all these past appointments, than it is a concern for any probability that it would be an issue through electing a fresh board representative/director when the current reaches their term limit.

    I am very passionate about racing motorcycles, and my primary interest in any of this is only because I truly understand that a healthy political dynamic is a necessary component of a sound racing organization. It is my plan to continue serving the Motorcycle Racing community into the future. The negativity exuded by the opponents of these proposals says a lot about the "board vs membership" mentality that has been noticed on many occasions, by far more MRA members than the board seems to realize. I am interested and willing to do whatever I can to support positive change in the MRA. The dysfunctional environment that has turned off many racers and associates can be easily fixed through some simple organization and policy improvements that prevent either party from "taking things personal" and letting things turn to "drama", instead of appropriately addressing the membership needs and inquiries.

    I am proud of lots of BoD members of past years. Some that come to mind: Mark Shellinger, Scott Rybarik, Tony Baker, Aaron Fisk, Jeff Brown, Carl Sorenson, and several other friends of the last decade of racing with the MRA. The innovation and leadership has been very admirable. I would love to see the MRA continue to hold elections where lots of competent candidates get involved, because they aren't turned off by bickering, and because they truly feel like they will be afforded the opportunity to do a great job for the club. This starts with the membership having a real vote in how the MRA is run, which means they also have a real say in who is running it. This should be a quite agreeable premise, and I hope we can spur good discussions about how to go about implementing these terms.

    Thanks for your time and attention everyone!
    Dennis Stowers #151
    Dennis Stowers MRA #151
    Absolute Moto-Michelin

  2. #27
    Senior Member Amateur Jim 'smooth' Brewer's Avatar
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    First and foremost, thanks to both you and Blair for your responses! Both are well thought out, clearly articulated, and constructive. I, for one, really appreciate that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fastt Racing View Post
    I think there is something "broken" with the board, contrary to the assumption above that nothing needs "fixed".
    I think you get into this a little later, but it helps my understanding when you say something like that if you can be specific as to what's "broken". .. but I'll continue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fastt Racing View Post
    Many competent members have run for a position, and lost to the incumbent. Why is that? It appears to be one of the side effects of being a racing club, where being in front of the membership regularly for a term creates such a popularity/familiarity advantage, that it sets the bar abnormally high for a challenger.
    That's a valid point, but incumbents have an advantage in any democratic election process for the very reason you say. I don't think the MRA can fix that if no other institution has been able to.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fastt Racing View Post
    I also think there are examples of board positions receiving minimal preservation, because the board member has served for too long to maintain their enthusiasm for improvement.
    That also is occasionally true. It's safe to say that anyone who's served on the MRA board more than a couple years has had some level of burnout. But that burnout is almost always balanced by a personal commitment to the sport and a desire not to let people down by quitting. Otherwise the person wouldn't have wanted to be on the board in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fastt Racing View Post
    I strongly believe that the appointment process of board members is not the right thing for the MRA moving forward. It was a provision in the bylaws to be used in a time of emergency, but has been misused at this point.
    The vacancy process is directly out of a standard legal template for creating bylaws for nonprofit corporations. (for example Article VII.Section 7. at https://www.coloradononprofits.org/s...1%20Bylaws.pdf) I'll make a couple points.
    1. It's totally legitimate to challenge this process for the MRA, but before substantially changing something that's already passed legal scrutiny, I would want to consult with a lawyer.
    2. Other race clubs (AFM, CMRA, CRA, OMRRA, for example) use a board member vacancy filling process basically the same as the MRA's. I'm not sure why the MRA's process is "not the right thing" when it appears to be ok for these other clubs. (yes, I did go research their bylaws)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fastt Racing View Post
    The "collusion" that was referenced above is actually ironically a more accurate description of how the board is currently assembled by all these past appointments,
    Again, can you give examples? Recent appointments have been treasurer (2016 & 2020) and rider rep/trophies (2018). Other changes that might be called appointments have been promotions within the board - is that what you're referring to?
    Quote Originally Posted by Fastt Racing View Post
    I am very passionate about racing motorcycles, and my primary interest in any of this is only because I truly understand that a healthy political dynamic is a necessary component of a sound racing organization.
    Can you expand on that for me because I really don't know what you mean by a "healthy political dynamic" in a club. I've raced with quite a few clubs that I would consider "sound" (AFM, AHRMA, ASRA/CCS, CMRA, CRA, AMA, etc. etc.) and I never had much of a view nor really a concern about their internal politics. I only care about their race operations, safety record, competition fairness, and costs.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fastt Racing View Post
    The negativity exuded by the opponents of these proposals says a lot about the "board vs membership" mentality that has been noticed on many occasions, by far more MRA members than the board seems to realize.
    I'm pretty sure the board realizes this mentality exists. This is nothing new, though. For some reason that puzzles me is that there has always been a component of the membership that "rages against the machine", regardless of who "the machine" is. You mentioned Schellinger, Rybo, Baker, Brownie, etc. I know each of them fairly well and I'm pretty confident that I can say that each one has experienced the rage of some members.

    In any group of people, you'll always find some that will confront who they think is authority. The puzzling part to me is these confronters in the MRA seem to forget they're raging against volunteers. I'm sure, though, there are those who rage at volunteers in Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, or the United Way - but I digress...
    Quote Originally Posted by Fastt Racing View Post
    This starts with the membership having a real vote in how the MRA is run, which means they also have a real say in who is running it.
    That's a pretty strongly negative comment to end your missive. The annual MRA election and (as I pointed out earlier) the board vacancy replacement process are almost identical to other Colorado nonprofit corporations was well as a number of other American roadrace clubs. I'll challenge you to support your accusation that it's not "a real vote".
    Last edited by Jim 'smooth' Brewer; April 21st, 2020 at 01:17 PM.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim 'smooth' Brewer View Post
    Normally, people aren't positioning their lives so they're ready to raise their hands at a moment's notice should a position open up. To be fair, I think it's important to have a nomination period so people have more than a few minutes to decide if they want to make such a commitment. Additionally, most of the club members don't cast their votes the same instant they receive their ballots.
    I don't think anyone is advocating a few minutes. As an example the above screenshot from USBA indicates a two week and one day period. A week for nominations, a one day turnaround, and a one week voting period. The proposed wording provides a four week window which feels pretty reasonable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim 'smooth' Brewer View Post
    Personally, I was applying that argument only to term limited board positions. Nobody has offered a rebuttal to my statement that it creates a gateway to corruption.
    I don't think it creates anymore opportunity than a normal election or appointment. It would preclude one "good apple" from running if a "bad apple" and a friend wanted. It does nothing to prevent other "good apples" from running.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim 'smooth' Brewer View Post
    You're going to have to show me where someone said that. I looked back over all of the responses and I didn't find that quote.
    That wasn't a direct quote from this thread more a combination of things posted here and elsewhere (so maybe the quote marks weren't ideal). If you want a direct quote though
    Quote Originally Posted by The GECCO View Post
    ...
    The fact is that there simply isn't a large number of people even WILLING to serve their club. If someone can get elected for a fourth term or is willing to be appointed, let them serve!
    feels pretty similar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim 'smooth' Brewer View Post
    Do say more about that - what trend are you talking about? AFAIK, all the voting in the MRA is open and fair. Is there some undercurrent that you're seeing with the annual elections?
    The trend being incumbents always winning. If you've seen a couple elections and the only new faces come from openings, it's not surprising to see openings generate the most interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim 'smooth' Brewer View Post
    I can say the vast majority of people that resign/retire from the board are either fried to a crisp, or have some major personal circumstance getting in the way. I say this because serving on the MRA board can be hugely rewarding but also can be profoundly frustrating.
    I would say the "fried to a crisp" part is a negative. I would much rather see more people involved and previous board members who are still engaged and therefore more likely to be available for unexpected vacancies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim 'smooth' Brewer View Post
    Whether people know it or not, the club runs solely on the enthusiasm and passion of the members & leaders. Again, it's a not-for-profit organization run by committed members whose pay amounts to once-a-month dinner & some gas money (and has been $0 lately).
    I think most people do realize that, and are grateful for the effort that goes into the club.
    MRA #760

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by WolFeYeZ View Post

    A member went back and did an analysis over the past 15 years or so. In that time the incumbent who already holds the position has NEVER lost an election. The barriers to entry are huge. Therefore when someone has been appointed, they serve on the board until they wish to move on.
    Hmmm this claim is not true. I ran against an incumbent board member and was elected, over the incumbent, to the BOD. I wrote up a thorough bio detailing my skill set, why I wanted to donate my time, and how I thought I could benefit the club. The membership votes in who they want. Having served on the BOD I know how much work it is, and how important it is to have experienced and knowledgeable members handling club business. Thank you BOD for all the work you do!
    #145 Wyeth Jackson
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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldtimer View Post
    Hmmm this claim is not true. I ran against an incumbent board member and was elected, over the incumbent, to the BOD. I wrote up a thorough bio detailing my skill set, why I wanted to donate my time, and how I thought I could benefit the club. The membership votes in who they want. Having served on the BOD I know how much work it is, and how important it is to have experienced and knowledgeable members handling club business. Thank you BOD for all the work you do!

    And Wyeth was not the only new board member to run against, and beat, an incumbent. Both Casey Dragos and myself were also elected to Rider Rep positions in 2010 for the first time.

    https://www.roadracingworld.com/news...-of-directors/
    MRA #29

  6. #31
    WolFeYeZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldtimer View Post
    Hmmm this claim is not true. I ran against an incumbent board member and was elected, over the incumbent, to the BOD. I wrote up a thorough bio detailing my skill set, why I wanted to donate my time, and how I thought I could benefit the club. The membership votes in who they want. Having served on the BOD I know how much work it is, and how important it is to have experienced and knowledgeable members handling club business. Thank you BOD for all the work you do!
    You are right. I will go fix it as to not mislead anyone. I only checked the last 7, as that is what I had accessible in my emails. Thanks for pointing that out!

  7. #32
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    For further discussion of these proposals, please go to their respective individual threads also found in this general discussion section of this forum.



    http://forums.mra-racing.org/showthr...er-Term-Limits
    Dennis Stowers MRA #151
    Absolute Moto-Michelin

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