Mann: Public meeting needed on wrestling

Board should clarify intent to disband program

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In response to the recent article (Grappling over Bad Dawgs, Saturday): As a former coach and director of the Bad Dawgs, and former president and vice president of Moffat County Youth Wrestling, I would like to offer some insight to the program.

In fall 2002, at a public meeting requested by the community, the Bad Dawgs voted to integrate and join the Freestyle Club and Pee Wrestling programs to create what we know today as Moffat County Youth Wrestling.

At this meeting, the name Moffat County Youth Wrestling would represent the existence of three clubs operating within the confines of Moffat County Youth Wrestling.

By combining resources from registration fees, fundraisers and community business sponsors into one operating fund, it simplified income and expenditures. Also, business sponsors had clarity as to what program they were supporting.

This integration also allowed for a program to exist within Moffat County Youth Wrestling, which offered extended season wrestling before and after the six-week Pee Wee program.

It was understood and agreed that two public meetings would be held each year -- one meeting in the spring and one meeting in the fall -- to discuss concerns, financial reports and to elect new officers every fall so that the community had a voice in the programs.

Also, the guidelines of the integration process were voted on, and it was agreed to that the present board and future boards were to follow for the integration to be effective.

The officers of the Moffat County Youth Wrestling board would be elected at a fall meeting every year. Their responsibility was to coordinate and facilitate the spring public meeting; sponsorship drives from local businesses; find allocations presented from Bad Dawgs and Freestyle officers and to schedule and run the six-week Pee Wee four-man program.

These guidelines also allowed for the Bad Dawgs and Freestyle clubs to operate independently within Moffat County Youth Wrestling, with the vote of the parents involved in each program, and be allowed to choose their own programs as they deemed necessary.

This also kept the officers of Moffat County Youth Wrestling board, which chose not to participate in the Bad Dawgs or Freestyle clubs, from making decisions that affect a program they didn't belong to. It allowed for the parents to control their own destiny.

As in this case, your current three board members chose not to join the Bad Dawgs, as the intent of parent and community involvement was to eliminate this from happening -- three board members dictating and making decisions for a program their kids don't participate in.

The current board portrays to the public that there was a lack of communication and that they are unaware of any such integration agreements, previous boards voted on and approved at a public meeting in the past.

I find this to be offensive and absolutely untrue, as two of the board members were actively involved and know that and know that during that time, the Bad Dawgs had their own board.

I also had personal conversations with two of the appointed current board members after my resignation in January 2005.

Also, upon the resignation of my vice president and secretary treasurer, all paperwork and documents were turned over from my administration to theirs. We also gave this information to the current board in the form of a hard copy and CD drive, of which they claim they are unable to open. And to top it all off, they are being mentored by the person that appointed them, who was one of the officers that was in office at the time of the original integration.

I don't believe for a minute that it is lack of communication, but all about the board's unwillingness to coordinate and cooperate with the parents and coaches of the Bad Dawgs, as evidenced by the fact the decision to shorten the season and not allowing them to elect their own officers internally was made before the season started.

This proves to me that the decision to "restructure" was done with blatant disregard to the parents and community sponsors. Simply put, they chose not to hold a public meeting, making the decision without involving the parents of the Bad Dawgs.

It is also my belief that if a public meeting was held in the fall of 2005, it is possible new officers would have been elected by the community, then those appointed officers that chose to disregard the public in this instance, no longer would be in office.

I, along with others, demand a public meeting so the current board can explain their actions and clarify their intent to disband the Bad Dawgs. This meeting is also needed so that the voice of the people mandates the future of Moffat County Bad Dawgs within Moffat County Youth Wrestling.

It sounds as if the parents and coaches of the Bad Dawgs have made their decision, and I think they should be able to voice their intent at a public meeting.

In closing, the intent of the integration was for community involvement, not for three or four officers to make final decisions without public input.

It saddens me to see the countless hours and painstaking efforts of all the many volunteers in the past few years, which brought Moffat County Youth Wrestling together as one entity, to crumble and dissolve at the hands of three officers who think they have the power to "restructure" without the vote of the public.

I'm also disappointed to see such an incredible program no longer exists within Moffat County Youth Wrestling.

Any person involved in the integration of the Bad Dawgs into Moffat County Youth Wrestling should feel free to call me at 824-8546. Or anyone in the community with concerns, please try to attend an upcoming public meeting.

The coaches and parents of the Moffat County Bad Dawgs will appreciate your support.

John Mann

Former coach and director of Moffat County Bad Dawgs.

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