Carroll Sanders Tampa 0

Petition for Special Meeting of the Suncoast Softball League Membership

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Greetings, fellow members of the Suncoast Softball League. I am asking for your support in my petition for a special meeting of membership, pursuant to Rule 2.11.4 of the SSL Governing Manual (the "By-Laws"), to take place by Zoom (or similar remote means) as soon as allowable under the By-Laws, but not later than Tuesday July 15, 2021. The purpose of the special meeting will be to allow membership to discuss and vote on the 5 proposals to modify the By-Laws which were part of the agenda for the Annual Membership Meeting held on June 15, 2021. For the following reasons, the Annual Meeting was conducted improperly and in violation of the rights of membership under the By-Laws and parliamentary protocol:

  1. At the outset of the meeting, multiple members were improperly excluded from the zoom call by the commissioner because he was unable to confirm their identities. There was no instruction provided to membership in advance of the meeting as to the commissioner's expectations in this regard, nor were the members allowed a chance to verify their identity prior to being expelled from the meeting. As a result, these members were not allowed to rejoin the zoom meeting. This issue was promptly brought to the commissioner's attention during the Annual Meeting; however, no effort was made to correct this error, and the meeting continued in violation of the most basic and fundamental rights of the expelled members to participate and to cast a votes on all matters raised therein.
  2. The Annual Meeting was prematurely adjourned with unresolved business on the agenda. The proper motion under these circumstances would have been a motion to postpone the outstanding business, which specifically allows for discussion/debate prior to a vote according to Robert's Rules of Parliamentary Procedure. But due to an erroneous point of order set forth by an unelected member and sustained by the commissioner, the matter was incorrectly treated as a motion to adjourn the meeting, and membership was denied any opportunity for debate/discussion. Furthermore, the members who were improperly excluded from the meeting by the commissioner were denied an opportunity to vote on the motion to adjourn.
  3. Rule of the By-Laws provides that the Parliamentarian shall, “[rule] on parliamentary procedures whenever used during SSL meetings of the Executive Council, Team Council, and general membership.” Article VI of the By-Laws vests legislative authority at the annual meeting in the membership.
  4. Rule 1.3 of the By-Laws provides that, “Each member, upon acceptance as a member of the League, shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to the League membership, as long as the membership remains in good standing.” There is no caveat that requires in-person attendance at an annual meeting, nor any special requirements for a zoom meeting or otherwise in order to exercise this basic right.
  5. Rule 2.11.3 of the By-Laws provides that, “All Members in Good Standing are permitted to be present at the Annual Meeting of Membership which is duly called and should constitute the determination for a quorum at such a meeting.”

We, the members of the SSL, are the reason that this league exists in the first place. As such, protecting the rights of each and every member should be the highest priority of SSL leadership. When leadership falls short on this sacred duty, as demonstrated at the Annual Meeting by taking improper action with the intent of quashing debate and discouraging membership participation in key matters, we must stand up for ourselves and each other to ensure that we all have a fair and level playing field. As such, pursuant to Rule 2.11.4 of the SSL Governing Manual, the membership hereby demands that a special meeting shall be conducted by zoom to facilitate the greatest degree of membership participation as possible. The special meeting shall take place by or before July 15, 2021.

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