Judy Kay-Wolff

Unit Elections

Unit #373 is exerting great efforts to recover from troubling times, aggravated by the scandalous interference with the 2016 Board of Directors Election. It was so distressing to watch their decline and lowering of morale over the last few years, that it caused me to be in touch on several occasions with both David Caprera, District 17 Disciplinary Chairman and Sam Whitten, National Recorder, in an attempt to prompt them to acknowledge the obvious election wrongdoing and prevent its recurrence. Patience is a virtue (a quality I do not possess) and though it did take a few months, the indiscretions of some of the members (whether intentional or not) were recognized via a courteous, but quite strong, communication to our Unit Board of Directors which was disclosed and read at their meeting held yesterday. The bottom line was that we had not complied with some ACBL rules and regulations (including the Unit’s own as well). He went on to detail special ‘no-nos’ involving absentee ballots, not opening or counting envelopes privately in advance of the Election Meeting and particularly not showing partiality in any manner to some (and excluding others) in the presentation and displaying of certain candidates’ qualifications over others!! He also went on to explain the ACBL Code of Disciplinary Regulations and the strong consequences that could endanger the Unit’s charter. The message was courteous, but powerful, serving as a warning against repeat performances. I, for one, am appreciative that Mr. Caprera took the time to investigate the problems and define the responsibility we all must take to operate within the official guidelines.

On the lighter side, though no one can be certain how the final voting count might have been affected by the exposed hanky panky, I must confess that some bright new strength (plus an active well-intended incumbent) have been added to the group and already the newly formed liaison has made several positive strides in the right direction … but we still have a long way to go to restore our Unit to its once-rightful place of prominence as one of the more popular and successful tournament sites in the league!


10 Comments

SamFebruary 12th, 2016 at 5:26 pm

Judy,

I admire your tenacity by fighting tooth and nail for what you believe is best for bridge!

Judy Kay-WolffFebruary 12th, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Good morning Sam:

I appreciate your kind words. Being on the bridge scene for six decades has provided quite an education for me. I have learned to differentiate the experts from the pretenders; the achievers from the wannabees; the doers from the talkers .. and the beat goes on. I truly believe in many cases, bridge ego warps one's sense of realism. Fortunately, being married to Norman till his death in 2001 and then having Bobby cross my path in 2003, I learned from the get-go … that there are BRIDGE PLAYERS and there are bridge players. It taught me to distinguish between the two, accept my own ability (or inability) and keep fighting uphill and learning from my mistakes. I am not a 'natural' player' but have accomplished some success by accepting the fact .. and listening (and not arguing) served as a tremendous asset for improvement.
Bridge has afforded me an incredible existence and serving in many capacities pro bono is my form of payback.

There was a purpose for my above shaggy dog story. One must recognize and accept their capabilities and limitations. In bridge that applies not only to performers .. but administrators as well. Volunteering is admirable .. if you have the know-how to steer the ship. Bridge is unlike any other sport or game in the world. Being 'smart' is not enough. It takes years and years of experience, a great understanding of the game itself and exposure to all sorts of personalities and have them serve in positions where they are best qualified. To me, that is the secret of running a tight, successful ship. Individuals should perform in capacities where they can do the most good (and there are always openings to help improve the game in endless venues).
From what I have witnessed in the last several weeks, we are moving in the right direction (deterred however by our economy), have several dedicated open-minded volunteers who are giving their 'all' (and then some) and have been set straight as far as the restrictions and regulations of the organization.
I am delighted by the happenings of the last few days and it appears we are on the right track despite the many stumbling blocks on the road to success .. as in any tough endeavor.

AlanFebruary 14th, 2016 at 7:49 pm

Someone told me about a recent blog on Bridge Winners which zeroed in on the composition of many Unit Boards .. especially their unwillingness v. eagerness to serve. I know much has changed in the last few decades .. but are they all volunteer jobs? do some get paid? perks? salaries? Just curious what makes some anxious to serve and others have no interest.

JRGFebruary 14th, 2016 at 9:21 pm

The cynical among us would say the same thing that prompts some people to spend millions of dollars of their own money, and millions of other people’s money, to seek the presidency of the United States.

When I’m not in a cynical mood, I hope that some people run for positions in our bridge organizations so that they can promote the game and help keep our game going. For what it is worth, that was why I accepted the Presidency of the Costa Rican NBO… mind you, there were very few who were actually willing to fulfill the board positions.

Judy Kay-WolffFebruary 14th, 2016 at 10:18 pm

JRG,
I should think (like you) that it would be an honor to put one's best foot forward (pro bono) to promote a game which has enriched our lives so much. However, some have other purposes in mind and the transparencies become obvious.

Judy Kay-WolffFebruary 14th, 2016 at 11:01 pm

Alan:

Interesting queries!! I have nowhere near all the answers. I know times have changed drastically since I appeared on the scene eons ago. As far as the money aspect, the National Board of Directors do get their travel expenses paid and other various and sundry perks to which they are entitled as they are on the move three times a year, attending the various nationals and devoting at least a week or more each time from their daily routines (whether work-related or retired). Sounds proper and necessary to me as long as they are public record.

As far as local units and districts, I believe each one is driven to help based on one’s own agenda and motivation. Over the years, we are all aware that quite a few of those exposed to the green stuff, have made off with money to which they had no claim. It is an ugly subject and sometimes the truth hurts but steps must be taken to prevent recurrences.

From what I have read on the various sites, compensation is provided for certain positions for difficult and time-consuming responsibilities. I have no idea how my Unit operates and really never gave it a second thought. However, after hearing constant chatter about our sad pecuniary status and references to “attrition,” ‘attrition”, “attrition” and the negative position which we are now facing, I think the contracts made regarding all sites and unit obligations (past, present and future) should be made available .. with the names of all parties making the commitments on behalf of us .. the dues paying members of Unit #373. I, personally, am in the process of attempting to obtain a copy of the much-talked about contract which created the ‘attrition’ problem .. but, despite two attempts, have failed in my quest. How did we let this happen? Could it have been prevented? I have no idea.

As far as other Board and/or other extraneous vital positions (such as tournament chair people, active volunteers, etc.), I have no clue as to the expenses incurred, but I do think this information should be available. I am not suggesting any wrongdoing. Just a matter of principle to which the devoted people supporting the game are entitled to know!

David SokolowFebruary 15th, 2016 at 1:11 am

Who got elected?

Judy Kay-WolffFebruary 15th, 2016 at 2:00 am

Hi Stranger,

So nice to hear from you. I miss that handsome smiling face. Perhaps one of these days, we will cross paths again!

It was not a question of "who got elected." The issue was (see my last blog above) had there not been some distortions in presenting and posting the ENTIRE list of candidates at two clubs we are aware of, no one can be 100% sure of the final results. It was not the type of election our district or unit can be proud of — and the District Disciplinarian went 'all out' to discourage a recurrence.

My best to you and Tobi!

Judy

Peggy SutherlinFebruary 23rd, 2016 at 6:59 pm

Who did get elected Judy?

Judy Kay-WolffFebruary 25th, 2016 at 5:49 am

The winners were BERT KULIC, BOB LAFLEUR, JoANN SPRUNG,
GEORGE VASILEVSKY and SUE WEINSTEIN. However, no one can be sure what might have happened had the troublemakers not plied their tricky campaign tactics.

Since then, there have been two huge changes — resignations the last day or so from two of the incumbents (not all bad) so there will be two replacements. This just happened .. and the beat goes on. Never a dull moment in Unit 373 but with the recent addition of JoAnn and Sue, we have turned the corner .. and clearly moving in the right direction. Stay tuned!

Hope all is well with you and John!

Regards from Bobby,

Judy

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