Our View: Following the rules | CraigDailyPress.com

Our View: Following the rules

The Craig Daily Press is not only a big fan of obeying the rules of public meetings, but also of following the bylaws set forth by any organization, regardless of clout, financial position or significance in the community.

The governing boards of all organizations sometimes have to make tough decisions, often about the future of the boards and its directors. We respect every organization’s knowledge of its business and the ins and outs of the operations that the organization oversees, but playing by the rules is paramount.

The Yampa Valley Auto Racing Association, the board that governs the Hayden Speedway, has hit a rocky patch, which is not unlike many other nonprofit organizations in Moffat County. When an organization is operated solely by volunteers who are required to commit hundreds of thankless hours, there is bound to be more red tape than there are people to cut through that tape. Inevitably, bylaws go by the wayside and the organization does its best simply to manage the work to be done.

The Yampa Valley Auto Racing Association recently attempted to remove board member Scott McKinney for a number of reasons. Whether those reasons are just or qualified isn’t up to us. That decision is up to the people who know and care about the future of the Hayden Speedway — its members. Unfortunately, those people never knew that a meeting was taking place or that a vote was happening. Neither did the director who was terminated.

As is the case with most organizations, the YVARA bylaws state that notice of meetings “will be delivered in person or by mail not less than seven days before the meeting by or at the direction of a member or the Board of Directors.” In the case of a special meeting, there has to be “at least two days notice to each director.”

The meeting was not posted, nor were association members aware of a regularly scheduled board meeting, or a special meeting. Nobody is sure how or when the vote happened, and the public relations director — also McKinney — was notified with a written letter that was delivered to someone other than himself.

Regardless of why the position was terminated, we think that McKinney — or any director — has the right to know that a meeting was held to determine his fate. He, as a board member, is certainly entitled to a vote on the issue and had a right to have the board’s concerns aired in a public forum with association members present. Because neither happened, an association of more than 60 members is left to imagine why McKinney was terminated, and McKinney is left to wonder whether he had a fighting chance.

He has every right to challenge the validity of the vote and remain as a director considering the rules that were broken to oust him.

We respect the work that the Hayden Speedway does, and we certainly understand the immense challenge that working for free presents, but we encourage board members — of any organization — to review their bylaws, know them inside and out and follow them religiously. When other issues arise on or off the track, the only way for association members to know that the board is treating every issue fairly is to know that they always follow the rules.

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