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Old 08-26-2010, 11:58 PM   #841
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MetroNY Board Comments

First let me say I am not a professional poster to this site so please pardon me while I do not provide much back and forth regarding my comments. Secondly, I’d like to congratulate Bob on his successful nomination to the soon to be convened By-Laws Committee. I want to additionally throw in my hopes for a successful By-Laws Committee that lives up to the hopes of all members and prospective members of WBCCI. I must say I can appreciate all the strong interest in the “Legendary Lawsuit”. This lawsuit appears to be a lightning rod for controversy.
As a Metro NY Board Member I can say I was not in personal approval of this lawsuit. I was concerned about a narrow focus on Leo and his reinstatement as an objective vs. a broader more comprehensive change in policy and practice that lead to his becoming a whipping boy for the IBT.
My sense was that our issues aren’t Leo-centric per se… it was always about the practices that allowed for the holier than thou to play fast and loose with the rules as they stood. Thusly, they were allowed to take the actions and activities castigating Leo. I consider achieving a fair, open, inclusive and transparent governance of the WBCCI to be the most crucial of our objectives. This should prevent all of us Leo’s out there from being marginalized in the manner we have experienced.
Since there is a By-Law Committee re-evaluating the framework that governs our club (which needs help), I am happy to know that Bob, Donna G, Joe P, and Kerry M are going to be working on this. I am not personally familiar with all the persons on this committee but my sources tell me that the sincerity, competency and integrity of this committee is off to a good start. Additionally, I do certainly have faith in Bob to put the whole of membership and prospective membership at the top of the agenda. I have no reason to doubt him. I would certainly rather have a seat at this table than not.
If we are going to arrive at a fully representative club that exudes the persona of its collective members, we need to support common objectives. We can arrive at those objectives by surveying the whole of membership and POTENTIAL membership to arrive at what we consider fair, open, inclusive and transparent policy and practice and thusly incorporate these into new rules of governance. I believe Bob has begun a new thread to rally just such ideas and input. This is a good start and participating in it is a good first step to show how serious we really are about making things right.
Having said that… We are fully prepared to engage in legal action should it be necessary. The lawsuit is not dead and should/is being reserved as our last resort to achieve our goals and objectives. It creates bad blood (as is evident here) and can become very costly to both the WBCCI and MetroNY/DefendWally (and those of us who pledge and follow thru with that financial commitment as well). I don’t hate WBCCI, I want to see it thrive.
There has been much naysaying and gnashing of teeth regarding the committee and apparently there has been a history of failed committees. I understand how one may be lead to regard this as more of the same. Maybe in the end the naysayers could be right. Is that the desired outcome?
One thing I know, where this discord is headed, there is no hope to ever reconcile this with our club intact. This is not a war in which we need to murder our opponent to “win”. This is a process that we work our way through to achieve common goals and objectives. Compromise and negotiation are the tools by which we “win”.
In closing, remember that not everyone gets to live a life full of the wonderful experiences we get from our Airstream lifestyle. We are privileged to have this.... this club is supposed to help us experience that. It hasn't done that for awhile and we need to change it.

Metro New York took this initiative after being a direct victim of bad policy/practice by preceding IBT administrations in WBCCI. We are taking this initiative where we collectively feel it needs to go. Not due to some conspiracy or hatred for one or another. We are asking for your support and hope to have it. In the end I am sure we can successfully have Leo reinstated. Whether he accepts is his prerogative. Either way, our objectives are to benefit the whole of this current and future membership. We need all hands to accomplish anything meaningful. Again, please show your support by joining the new thread to weigh in with your ideas.

PS.....When this announcement came out, I saw that immediately mistral blue, doug and maggie, dwightdi, and Crawford Gene (just to name a few) had good questions and input. This is exactly what is called for at this time. Thanks for your patience and support……….

Kind Regards
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:01 AM   #842
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There have been several posts to this thread that have disappeared in the last few hours. However, if you subscribe to a thread, the posts show up in your email inbox, and you still have access to their content.

This is getting very, very ugly, and there are undoubtedly those watching the deterioration with glee as people turn on one another and infighting stoops to a new level.

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Old 08-27-2010, 12:33 AM   #843
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Anthony your post is a very nice post and I appreciate your tone and concern but I think a clarification should be made.

No one wants the committee to fail, and if Bob is sitting on a committee then that is fine. You speak of what New York unit wants and desired in this lawsuit but it was not a New York Unit lawsuit. The unit merely asked to be included and listed as an additional plaintif but now the supporters that existed before MNY petitioned, joined, and subsequently withdrew, and still decided it was their own lawsuit to control, are frustrated at the take over and change of direction with their monies sent in for their purposes. Now MNY holds onto their money rendering supporters ineffective to accomplish their goals and seats a member in EXCHANGE for not filing the lawsuit. To the extreme perversion that Leo himself is talked to and about disparagingly and commanded to recluse himself from the lawsuit and issues that were rightfully of and about his involvement, Bob has self proclaimed leadership of Defend Wally and proceeded to eliminate the team by ousting Leo, and removing me, and then silencing Howie, only to next take his own direction running down the field alone, with MNY's backing and blessing, but without regard to the others. But it isn't Bob's or MNY's to give or deliver any promise on the lawsuit. It belongs to the individual supporters and predates MNY joining the action and requesting to be added. These members started sending in their money to reinstate Leo and support a lawsuit to right wrongs that had occurred spuriously and unethically.

I hope all committees function well and productively for the betterment of WBCCI, even this one. I wish Bob well as a chairperson but the lawsuit should go ahead without Bob and MNY. This same committee, would have, or could have, or should have been established, with or without Bob promising that the lawsuit would be halted if a member of Defend Wally were to be seated on a committee. Regardless of how noble the issues and actions of this new committee and its execution and accomplishments, the point being is the illegitimate takeover and disregard for the original supporters and initiative by Bob and Metro New York Unit and their dissolution of the Defend Wally Team at their own volition without any merit to so do.

Do not mistake the outcry for justice with the claim of negativity over the issues facing the WBCCI. That is insult onto injury and we will not remain quiet about that. Respectfully I bid you to consider what many have expressed and explain how and why MNY and Bob are free to usurp the designs of the individual members with higher governance. Thank you.
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:21 AM   #844
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It's seldom pretty when people feel betrayed either financially or otherwise.
Amen!

This obviously has been a mismanaged mess. Please return any money that has not already been billed by the lawyers. I did not contribute toward someone getting a seat on a committee that, in all probability, will go the way of previous committees.
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:28 AM   #845
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It's seldom pretty when people feel betrayed either financially or otherwise.
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Amen!

This obviously has been a mismanaged mess.
This is what I am seeing and feeling is going on here. It never seemed to me that this was just about reinstating Leo, which would be something he could take on himself, if it were what he wanted. I'm not sure that he does want this. It doesn't sound like he was going to be a plaintiff. IMO, that situation is likely so far gone as to not reasonably be worth pursuing, with all due respect to Leo and what he has been through. It is now about the bigger picture, the good and needs of the WBCCI and its' survival.

Contributors/supporters of this lawsuit found out [B]here[B] of the change in direction. Not the best way to win friends and influence people, folks. Communication with supporters was clearly lacking, while the representations made by Bob here on these Forums was clearly that something would be filed any minute. Very, very poor approach, and guaranteed to invoke strong and negative reactions, IMO.

However, once again, it is the Plaintiff(s) who sign on the dotted line that are responsible for paying the legal fees to maintain a lawsuit in court. They ultimately have to make the decision to file or not to file. I have been a Plaintiff in a Federal lawsuit, and it is very expensive.

Perhaps an online, Skype-type meeting is in order, just between those who sent in money and MetroNY, etc. Someone up top needs to take the reins and speak directly to those who justifiably feel betrayed and misled.

Maggie
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:39 AM   #846
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And I just received this from LI Pets in a pm. ?

"suit
the money is being held in escrow until July.

folks donated to a cause to change the club.

On advise of counsel and the unanimous vote of the founders of Defend Wally and Metro NY that was accomplished. It is your prerogative to disagree.

If we won in Court we would not have had as a good a result and would perhaps run out of money requiring us to withdraw.

Is it a compromise? yes, in the best interest of the club.

We had a fiduciary duty to the club first not Leo.

Leo had several chances to be reinstated, he declined, he can argue that till the cows come home.

You should recognize that Leo never provided the lawyers with the docs he promised. It was not a 200 hour undertaking, he was to have it in 3-4 days spending perhaps 10 hours of his time.

Also note that Leo never placed his $500 check in lawyers hands as promised.

If we were mislead into believing this committee was feckless a lawsuit will likely continue.
We have the funding to pay the legal team if needed.

If the bylaws are in fact updated with the changes we had in mind all unused monies will be returned less the fees to the lawyers on a pro rata basis.

Would you ask for a refund if we lost in Court?

Was any guarantee given you of success?


Ps: if you copy this to post be sure not edit it.
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:59 AM   #847
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If a lawsuit were initiated now, it would undermine Metro NY's effort because of trust issues. What can be done now is to fill the 5th seat on the committee with someone trusted by everyone who can provide inspired leadership. Since Mother Teresa and Ghandi are unavailable, I don't know who that is. That person should be selected with transparency and agreement among everyone with a stake.

Regardless of Metro NY's actions and whether they were honorable or not, the ground has shifted.

I have no idea who is in charge of the contributions for a lawsuit and what assurances were made to people, nor do I have a clue about the legal ramifications, but it is also a political/moral issue. If all agree reform is necessary, some healing is needed, and it seems on political and/or moral grounds, it would be best to return the money when requested and make available a statement of expenses. It seems many donors believed a lawsuit was inevitable and the organizers of the effort did not make clear it was a fund to pressure and reform WBCCI, possibly with a lawsuit (maybe they didn't know themselves, but they should have had clear goals). The organizers could acknowledge lack of clarity.

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Old 08-27-2010, 12:21 PM   #848
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Started with a bang and ended with a committee

The problems facing the WBCCI are cultural, not procedural. Building the perfect Blue Book won't help. In fact, like the mythical lawsuit it is likely to result in more unmet expectations, more frustration and more disappointment. And every time there is a public conversation about "what's wrong the WBCCI," it will further alienate members... existing and potential. How many new Airstream owners--after reading this thread--would want to join this "camping, caravaning and fun" club?

When I read this thread, I have to remind myself that we're talking about a social club... and not the script for a Pythonesque skit. Does anyone really believe the answer is to develop a new version of the form 27B stroke 6

I had to smile at Gene's choice of inspired leaders. Ghandi was able to catalyze transformational change because he did not accept the structural marginalization of "committees" or "blue ribbon panels." He did not--to the best of my knowledge--read the management book of the month, talk about "good to great" or "reinvention" or "moving the cheese." I can't seem to shake this feeling that the WBCCI leadership is heavily weighted towards retired military and government employees. (Lest anyone think I'm being overly critical, I'm a veteran and a petty bureaucrat myself. ) Unfortunately, the WBCCI is facing a transformational challenges but the leadership (and some of its critics) seem capable of only incremental responses... an endemic problem in the public sector.

Much as in the public sector, I believe the membership/financial crisis will need to become more serious for the IBT (and its new friends) to move beyond committees and studies and reports to making sweeping changes.
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:40 PM   #849
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My understanding of the purpose of this lawsuit is to reinstate Leo G and his wife and to correct several financial, ethical, and cultural problems in the WBCCI. Correcting these problems can be a long drawn out process involving negotiating rule and procedural changes. Cultural changes may be more difficult and take even longer. The reinstatement of Leo and Mrs. G however is immediate and very simple.

It has been stated that the WBCCI approached the group filing the lawsuit for the purpose negotiating a settlement prior to filing the lawsuit. This I see as a positive action. The offer of one seat out of five on a committee is not much of an offer.

May I suggest that an immediate unconditional reinstatement of Leo and Mrs. G be a condition and gesture of good faith by the WBCCI prior to the delay of the lawsuit and formation of any committee.

I just don't see a committee as much of a carrot to make up for past actions and mistreatment of members.

By the way I am a relatively new member who joined the WBCCI soon after I acquired an Airstream because I thought it was the thing to do. After learning about the problems in the club I have not renewed next year. I am watching how these issues are resolved before I make the decision so send in my dues or not.

Undecided, Dan
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:55 PM   #850
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No one sent in money for Bob's best guess as a negotiator. All those that did say aye. The lawsuit fund was created to have the benefit and direction of legal counsel and arbitration by an objective professional outside of the WBCCI, period. You can make up your own mind's as to how well he did and if that is what the supporters had intended. Whether good comes of the succession of events will reamain to be seen however what is clear is that Bob and MNY acted opportunistically by seizing the funds collected and withdrawing from the lawyer to further their chosen agendas from within the WBCCI with business conducted as usual in these matters facing the board.
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:20 PM   #851
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Beside what I think is the POINT of this thread and what wrongfully transpired, we might want to examine the creation of the new committee. One of the items for change long to be addressed is just how the nominating committee hand selects the candidates for election. It is well noted that these candidates are not selected for their agendas for change but because of the approval from their predecessors as courted, valued and instrumental. The selection of this committee has been similarly conducted, am I correct? Were the only applications received the ones from the individuals that IBT contacted privately? Has anyone else submitted their application and if so when is the cut off date and when is selection to begin? When and where will the minutes of this new business be available?

I do like Smartstream's idea for reinstaing Leo and Gail as an initial good will measure. It would be nice if this committee was for negotiation rather than filing reports but I do like Smartstream's idea there. One additional stipulation would be that no new greivances are to be lodged against Leo after reinstatement. Some may not be aware of this but the acting International President, now Past International President (PIP) Larsen promised to file more grievances against Leo should he be reinstated to effectively bar Leo from any future membership in the WBCCI. This vow was part of the IP's address to the assembly of the Florida State Rally just months earlier this year. Seems some one ought to have files a grievance on that itself. The same Code of Ethics that expelled Leo certainly was suspended while the IP was making his remarks! That doesn't promote goodwill and unity, uhuh.
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:28 PM   #852
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Smartstream,

Don't make the error of letting what's happening at the International level impede your fun at the local level.
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:03 PM   #853
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Having said that… We are fully prepared to engage in legal action should it be necessary. The lawsuit is not dead and should/is being reserved as our last resort to achieve our goals and objectives.
Are you kidding? With the fisaco that has gone on do you think anyone will contribute another dollar towards a future lawsuit? I waited and am I glad I did. You have no leverage threatening a lawsuit because the IBT reads these threads and can also see that they are empty treats. If you people truly believe that you have a future lawsuit as a possibility then you are deluded. As they say "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice ..."

The Defend Wally NY team is as bad a the IBT. The club is going to be more messed up than it has been and that is hard to believe.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:48 PM   #854
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As I said before I don't have a long history with Airstream or the WBCCI. I just thought now that I have an Airstream joining the WBCCI would be the thing to do. I don't have a long camaraderie built with people who camp in shiny aluminum RVs.

The wife and I lived on our boat for over ten years and we enjoyed boating with people on many different sizes and brands of boats. We have a sail boat but even enjoyed people who owned power boats if you can imagine that.

My problem is the idea of sending money to a group of people who run a "social" club in the manner that I see in the case of the WBCCI. I live about 145 miles from my Unit meeting place so attendance is not always possible, my problem not the Unit's. The thing is I have never been offered a vote on any Unit or WBCCI business. It just gets real hard to send that check in when I see what's happening.

I don't claim to be able to change the world or the WBCCI but for a club that wants to attract and retain new members somebody needs to look at the view that from my side of the fence. There has to be a reason to send that check other than the people in the next camp site camping in a shiny aluminum RV.

Thanks for listening, Dan
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