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Stalking The Truth

Stalking The Truth

May 19, 2010

FLGenWeb: Charles

The Future of Florida, an Opinion

by Charles Barnum
FLGenWeb CC at the time of events
and eye witness to what transpired

May 14 2010

The sand is settling in the Sunshine State.

What is the future of Florida, FLGenWeb?

1--We currently have two FLGenWebs, the corporation and the legitimate XXGenWeb of Florida.

First, let us examine the future of the corporation. In a word, they are dead. They died when people forgot that the purpose of online genealogy was and is to put genealogical data online for the researching public. A struggle for control grew and got nasty. The problem with forming a corporation by amateurs is they are exactly that, amateurs. When one group starts taking advice from a so-called expert, they find themselves in jeopardy. Something is foreign about a state being a corporation in USGenWeb. It’s like crossing the border without a green card.

The corporation will exist a few more weeks or a few months. It’s essentially dead, but they do not know it yet. One problem IS “ceasing” to be a corporation. It costs money to un-incorporate. The Officers are liable for the corporation; they are accountable to the public and to the state of Florida. Some have already departed the corporation. They resigned and got the hell out. A couple of Officers is all that remain. I’m not sure they can even quit, legally.

A few CCs are hanging onto the corporation for now. I expect that to last no more than 30 days. A real question that the legitimate XXGenWeb of Florida has not asked out loud is this. “Are we going to allow dual affiliation?” Are they going to allow CCs to be members of the legitimate FLGenWeb who are at the same time members of the old, dead FLGenWeb, Inc?

If they make the tragic mistake of allowing dual membership, they will be plagued until the end of time. FLGenWeb should not admit anyone as CC who is a member of the defunct corporation. To do so would be extreme folly. You do remember GAGenWeb after the massacre. The perceived trouble makers from the old organization were not allowed into the new legitimate organization. To do so would have invited an endless civil war.

The way things are currently being done in Florida is to ask the existing CCs if they want to be part of the legitimate FLGenWeb. What they are not doing, unless I am ignorant of the facts, is requiring resignations from the old Corporation. That is why the CC list is changing daily. The CC list IS growing for the legitimate FLGenWeb. The Corporation’s list does not seem to be changing. Is it being maintained?

After Sherri and Tina are kicked out of FLGenWeb, the new SC should announce that dual membership will not be permitted. The SC has that administrative authority. She could take a vote on it to make it a bit more legitimate. This I promise you, if any of the defiant officers from the corporation’s group remain in the legitimate FLGenWeb organization, they will cause trouble.

2--The FLGenWeb’s future looks bright. Florida has some of the best and dedicated CCs in USGenWeb. I had searched for an ancestor for years. I contacted a number of counties of USGenWeb and was disappointed in the Non-help I got and the Non-data on the web sites. Some clues led me to Florida. I decided to check with FLGenWeb but expected to receive NO help as was usual for USGenWeb. I was wrong. I got more help than I could believe. They even researched other states to help me. Then they found the person I was looking for. A major brick wall, more like the Berlin wall had fallen.

FLGenWeb, after they dump Sherri and Tina, (and God forbid that they stay on as a CC!!), will grow in respect and stature in the genealogy community; deservedly so. They are a great group, the cream of the crop. They will put the distasteful episode of ill-corporation far-far behind them. They will do just fine. The empty counties will quickly fill with qualified representatives, as long as they can keep the trouble makers OUT and keep Sherri and Tina OUT. Florida DOES have one legitimate AB member as a CC. Being a member of the AB does not make one UnHoly. Several people on the AB are actual human beings. It is the misguided collective action of the group-- as in Barnum vs. NM SC, that taints the AB and anyone who is a party thereto.

3--The AB got this case right. I would have felt better if they had screwed it up beyond repair, but they did not. This result was made possible by a few brave ABers who stood up for what was right. They did not blindly support the SC believing she was the NM SC incarnated. No, this is a new day and a fair ruling.

4--But that brings us to another offshoot of this episode: The misbehavior of the GC. It would not surprise me if our former GC Chairperson had a grievance filed against her, or even a civil action. We shall see. I call ‘em like I see ‘em. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.


Some chatter from Florida #1
May 18 2010

[Here are edited snips from FLGenWeb Inc people. --cb]

Patrice still is subed to this group (the Inc side). Not sure why she would not resigned by now, the others have, Jeff, Jo, Denise, Tom, figured she would go, guess she will just linger. They just moved every person listed in this group over to that [new FLGenWeb] site, then made them state they did not want to be there. Their motto is "do first then make them ask to leave". Think she is just busy stripping all the list, placing what she wishes to leave in files, archived-, copying list for her own use, whatever, but dual membership and she is an ASC for both sites - DUH. You know that site of theirs is looking pretty sad with Lavernes name all over it. I would not sign up for a county with that group - Patrice running things with Laverne pushing and Denise barking - and all of them pushing the bylaws they all broke - double DUH. A CC would have to be nuts to enter that cave without an escape hatch.

Some chatter from Florida #2

I have been frustrated with you .... I think the first time was the thing about Laverne .... I could not figure how you got sucked into their ploy, since you or the others were not privy to everything.

If the members could not read everything those 2 women did, then just how were they to know that we were right and Laverne and Patrice were in fact very wrong in what they continued doing .... was as one sided what the AB got from the GC [Grievance Committee], and the NC, very one sided .... Laverne and Stan held this entire group hostage over a server they hid secrets.

Fran found those secrets as Ray found a few more she held, thus the fight began, and now basically we are free of the 2 except for Patrice hanging out.

I figure she is not yet through stripping what she can. She is moving and reusing the list she made up for this group to the pirate group....

I am waiting to see if Laverne puts material back on her sites she had before. I did find she did not have permission for some of it, she puts her name on the work of others....
figure (they) will start their smear campaign soon....


Put it to Rest
May 18 2010
(blind copy)

Here is -I hope- my last email about Florida. It is a snipped copy of an email to one of the [above] players.

I guess this will wrap up our conversation about this matter.

The people in Florida got their personal feelings mixed up with reality.

I do not see where Laverne did anything wrong or illegal or unethical. She did not steal, she did conceal some things, but they were her things to conceal. The Corporation does not have a right to access every facet of her life.

Not-being-liked is not a legitimate reason to de-link someone much less kick them out of the project. That is why I stood up for Laverne. The corporation overstepped. They had a lapse of judgment.

I stood up for the corporation because the grievance process had been compromised. But the corporation misstepped again. They were getting bad advice from you-know-who.

If the corporation wanted to avoid the grievance process, they should have just said that they chose not to participate in the grievance process. What they did was make frivolous statements, like we are not part of USGenWeb. The corporation relied on BAD advice.

I stood against Tina and the AB because Tina is a rotten, back-stabbing person, and I happen to hate the AB. I have been true to my beliefs. I have stood up for people based on principals not because they are good or bad except in the case of Tina who is part of the AB whom I hate. She is the AB. If you think Sherri is running the show you are wrong. Scott (in the background) and Tina are running the show. The AB is helpless against them, because Tina and company have the support when it comes to elections. Again, just my opinions.

I never supported the alleged hacker. What he did was illegal and unethical in my opinion. He went digging around in accounts that did not belong to him. I suspect he did this with the pre-knowledge of the Corporation.

If Patrice is stripping anything from the corporation, then it should be stated clearly and openly. Again, I think the corporation is getting their personal feelings mixed up with reality. If the corporation is going to fight, they need to fight with Bylaws, laws and facts, not with feelings.

If Laverne is taking data that is not hers, then that should be addressed in an cross-project grievance. It must be based on facts and copyright law, not on feelings.

I do not believe the FLGenWeb Project will start a smear campaign against anyone. That would be foolish. What Florida GenWeb should be worrying about is getting Tina and Sherri to hell out of their state. They will turn it into another arm of the Archives Project.

That probably kills this subject. The corporation lost to the AB. I lost to a corrupt AB in my grievance against Karen Mitchell. I suggest that the corporation go its own way and never mention the FLGenWeb Project again. The decision of Mitchel over Barnum has been costly to the USGenWeb Project in the public eye, but the corporation is in a different class. Best for them to let this subject go. They can not fight the AB like I do.

Do as I say, not as I do, ya' hear?

Charles Barnum


Anonymous said...

This is just an opinion also. I have been noticing over the past several days the FL county list too, and I see quite a different picture. Now up to 35 counties gone, two that are linked, but the sites are not there, and the wide majority of the rest managed by basically two people. On the other hand, the Inc. site appears to have a varied group of different individual coordinators and most every county is linked.

There has to be a better way to do things. To de-link an entire state project, in the process as if alienating the vast majority of local volunteers into leaving the project is sort of like cutting off your nose to spite your face - a self-destructive over-reaction to an issue.

I know nothing about the grievance at all - but simply see the end result. And I personally feel the Inc. project has the upper hand now. They are an incorporated legal entity, it appears they have a wide solid foundation of local volunteers in place, and above all else, they have no national AB, national politics, or national fussing and fighting to deal with.

Additionally, with all the material that has come out about the grievance process lately on this blog, there HAS to be a better way to conduct the grievance business. All I can say is, the two projects need to go their separate ways and not look back - and may the best project win. It's just a shame the USGenWeb project lost so many good volunteers in the delinking (and has been mentioned earlier - when was this vote to delink by the AB taken, where was it taken, where is it recorded for the membership to inspect? If this vote was not taken on the AB list, and spread upon the minutes, would this not be considered an invalid vote by the board?)

Anonymous said...

I never saw or heard anything through the USGenWeb or any state project stating that FLGenWeb incorp. was delinked nor the reason. It will be interesting if this is ever brought up to the other CC's to at least let them know why this happened. I think as a CC we should be informed of this decision by the AB. I doubt very seriously this issue will be acknowledged for the rest of us to know what actually happened.

Anonymous said...

I agree with message #2. That's why it's important that all CC's keep Mary informed about local issues. It is also important for the few CC's that know about this blog that they inform others about it, and link to it on a back page of their websites. This will help the search engines move it up in rank.

Anonymous said...

Simply put- The AB can only vote on what they have been handed, if it has been touched up or changed we would not know,only what is put before us is the only choices we have in a ruling- not necessairly a totally honest way to have to make a judgement.

Anonymous said...

All I saw was a brief announcement on the AB list AFTER the fact, announcing the AB's decision on the matter. Where was this decision made? I could find no vote taken on the matter on the AB list, as has been done in the past in such instances (e.g. GAGenWeb motion 04-14 May 2004). I thought all votes by the AB were required to be on the public AB list and published in the organizational minutes. What does parliamentary law say about such? What has been past procedure about such? Also, if any AB members were also members of the state project in question, did they recuse themselves from the vote? Or for that matter, was any vote taken at all? Apparently no one, outside the small circle of those who made the decision, seems to know.

Anonymous said...

There is no parliamentarian on the AB and they don't always go with the correct way of doing things. I doubt we will see who voted for what since they will be too scared to show how they voted. For the AB to be taken seriously they need to take matters seriously and follow the correct format to vote on topics.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me if a vote were taken and it was not on the public AB list, someone needs to be held accountable. Rules are rules, parliamentary procedure is parliamentary procedure and precedence is precedence. If any or all of the above were not followed, are they simply going to get away with it? If so, what's next? And if rules or correct procedure were broken in this matter, how can they expect anyone else to follow rules or how can they chastise anyone for breaking rules, with a straight face?

Anonymous said...

Maybe checking into how the list was set up and how easy it is for the person to set up a private list and then edit it for the sake of what the AB would be Allowed to see,The AB can only judge on what is handed into to us,nothing else,so if the process was flawed we would have not been privy to that only what was shown to us.They judged an entire state project on only what the GC handed over,private list are only private when the list owner is not also involved in the Grievance Procedure,which this GC person was,and when the grievant herself breached her own grievance it was hiden or edited from the list by the owner of said list, to hide what had already transpired,a breach by the grievant,Why? you may ask,to obtain an entire state project by total dishonesty on the part of the list owner and those who helped in a cover up.So why is it not one person made an honest effort to really check into how and why this awful thing was allowed to happen in the first place?One who had any brains could have seen through what was handed into the AB as it had to appear more than onesided in favor of the grievant,did any of them actually notice the grievance never had to answer as to them having any proof of charges made in the grievance? But that did not stop them from delinking an entire state and for what,one person who could not tell the truth if you wrote it down on paper for her to read.This is by far the most dasterdly thing the NC-AB and the GC together has ever done and it makes the entire group look bad in the eyes of the entire world.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what was handed over to the board,edited or not, bad or good, why was the vote to delink FLGenWeb by the AB hidden from the membership? Or was a vote taken at all? No one knows except the very small circle involved in the decision. But one can't imagine a decision being made without a vote. Should not ALL final official votes and decisions by the AB be recorded in public in front of the membership? Is this not only correct parliamentary procedure, but past procedure as well by the AB?(e.g. GAGenWeb motion 04-14 May 2004 and consequent vote). Secret votes by the AB have absolutely no place in this organization. Would such not conflict with parliamentary law and also precedence?

Anonymous said...

This conversation is not complete. Are the details going to be published? What were the chargers and against who? We need some details.

Anonymous said...

when details are hiden from the viewers by the list owner,how does one really find out what when down,they do not,only the list owner really knows what was hidden from others.Maybe making sure your NC never is again allowed to set up a private grievance list for a friend will help to prevent another state from being delinked.You Think? Now the proof is on the new list of aquired states,Fl. and look who seems to be doing all the counties,so tell me things were run in an honest fashion.?Never convince me of it and the AB how did they ignore all those e-mails from Diane on this site? And is Sherri the NC who also owned the list used for the grievance? Is this parliamentary laws and procedures? Just plain dishonest.And the AB who Sherri rules votes out an entire state project. How shameful does this sit on the backs of the USGW?

Anonymous said...

I think the AB was totally in the wrong (in regards to both parliamentary procedure and past precedence) by not voting on the FLGenWeb delinking on the public AB list as should have been done, and they know it. I wonder if that's why they're silent on the issue. Keep quiet, and everything will just go away. I don't understand why more are not demanding answers from the board in regards to this serious decision. And as far as FLGenWeb is concerned, to me it looks like the board's action has resulted in basically nothing more than a two-person state project with the vast majority of local volunteers staying with the incorporated state organization. I guess the board showed them -- not! All that resulted in all this is more volunteers leaving the project probably never to return. Look at vacant counties all over the project - 29 in Georgia, 20 in North Carolina, 26 in Florida, 13 in Mississippi, etc. etc. The list could go on and on. When project leadership should be marketing the organization to potential new local volunteers, they seem to be too busy alienating what remaining volunteers they have with state project delinking.

Anonymous said...

So, has there been any word at all from ANYONE on the AB about the vote to de-link FLGenWeb? Like where was the vote taken? Why was it not taken on the appropriate AB list where all votes have been recorded in the past (including de-linking votes)? If not in the appropriate place, exactly where is the vote recorded for the record? What was the voting record of the elected representatives on this issue? It has been nearly three weeks since the announcement was made but still no answers to the questions.

Charles Barnum said...

New Mexico? Charles is here. You just knew I'd say something about NMGenWeb. I may be full of it, but I cannot but think that some of the recent activity is in some way a pay-back for how the Barnum vs. NM case was handled.
The case in NM and the case in Florida are remarkably similar. The only difference was that the SC of NM told the AB to go fish. The AB fished. In FLGenWeb, the SC told the AB to go fish. They made bait out of her.
I happen to know that the opinions of the ABer’s in the Florida case were divided. But, essentially one person made the decision. No it was not Sherri. She is not running the show. You know who is.
In the case of NM, the NC made the decision to prove a point that he was in charge. He wanted to punish Charles because he would not bow to him or to the AB. In that case, there were five AB members who did not agree with the decision, but they went along any way. In a private email after the ruling, the NC said in effect that I had to be taught a lesson because I would not admit that I did anything wrong. I still maintain that I did nothing wrong. To this day, I have not seen a charge letter. I ask again, what are the charges?
I resigned from USGW and took my 2,000,000 records with me. Fran was braver. She took her corporation to calmer waters and is still sailing.

Time tells no lies. We shall see the truth eventually.

Anonymous said...

We all have questions,like
who made the charges and on who exactly? Did this person who did the charging really prove she was right?or no? why were they never asked to prove their charges? and why did the GC turn in a onesided loo at how the proceedings were run to the AB? And who with all the e-mails Diane sent to this site did the AB not even consider something was rotten in the GC and those that were shown in those e-mails who were CCd by the grievant,what of them?and it did seem acording to those e-mails that the grievant did indeed breach their own grievance,So why did it continue to the point of delinking an entire state project?
So has anyone else thought of these questions? How did the GC and the NC do it? Oh I know,one of them was the list owner.

Anonymous said...

It seems something just isn't right about all this...especially with all the secrecy and the vote to delink hidden away from the membership. Was there even a vote? No one knows. And the cat has got the AB's tongue - total silence on the issue. Lots of folks are wondering and shaking their head and there's plenty of talk and speculation spreading. Too bad the project lost valuable volunteers over this top secret decision.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's June 1st....election is next month. Vote for new folks who are not corrupt to these things! I know that I look at all the web sites the candidates have and make my decision that way and based on what I know. Use your right and vote!

Anonymous said...

Well, before the election, the membership needs to be educated on what's been going on in secret, etc. - loss of volunteers due to delinking FLGenweb, more rules and regulations that can be used against volunteers added to a committee report, and all the secrecy etc. etc. But don't count on project mail lists to get the word out. Most lists are dead for the most part, like so much of the project. It will take less voter apathy and an educated electorate to turn all this around.

Anonymous said...

I figure by now,even if a report is put forth for the members to view,there has been ample time to make said report look good in the eyes of the members,you know "to shut them up". When changes are made to bylaws or rules during any type of process,one should stop and think,just who is this new bylaw or rule protecting and why Now do they feel the need to have it at this moment? As I see it,the present board members and members who hold seats in the AB or GC and the NC all figure they will get another free ride because not near enough members will even show for a vote,so again the same people who change the rules to suit themselves will rule for another (now how many years have they voted for themselves to sit in those seats?) and you will be stuck again. And for the record,I would not vote for anyonw who has anything to do with the new,they most likely had a lot to do with the real being delinked,I know I will not vote for any such low lying standards,especially since they have yet to prove beyond a doubt that they even had the right to do such a thing, and proof now would be a real joke, a onesided report to the AB is never proof of a proper proceding,we never got the real story from both sides and nothing showing in the report or what was investigated to even show the grievant had to show proof of her charges against those she made charges against. They delinked an entire state with no proof at all of any real wrong doing.One or 2 AB members do not hold a candle against the many.
Think about it.No proof and yet they delinked.

Anonymous said...

ANY NEW rule or regulation that is not already in the bylaws that affects each and every volunteer in the project should be approved by each and every volunteer in the project via a project-wide vote, and no one else. What's so hard to comprehend about this?

Anonymous said...

Adding a new rule that is NOT in the bylaws that local coordinators must supply personal contact information is simply wrong for the AB to do. The mandate of the committee was NOT to make new rules, but clarify the rules already in place. Hello? This isn't rocket science people. Let the state projects and their volunteers run themselves and the AB butt out of their business.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the attitude of some on the why are all you volunteers so upset over this? And even asking what type of items should be brought before the membership for a vote. Hello? ANY NEW rule that affects the volunteers of the organization should be approved by those it affects...the volunteers, through a vote up or down. This ain't rocket science, folks. And the weak excuses some make for wanting to require telephone numbers, addresses and the like are really quite laughable.

Anonymous said...

Here are some simple open questions for any of the current board members running for office: (1) Was a board vote taken to delink FLGenWeb. (2) If so, where was the vote taken. (3) If a vote was taken, why was the vote not taken on board-l and duly recorded for the membership to see? (4) If a vote was taken, what is the voting record of the AB members in regards to the delinking of FLGenWeb? (5) Do you think it is ok for an elective board to have secret votes affecting members of the project hidden from the membership? Five simple questions. Let see how many answers are forthcoming. I think these questions need to be asked until answers are forthcoming.

Anonymous said...

2 members of the grievance committee should not have been on there per the GC procedures. Jo Branch as she is on the EC at the same time she was on the GC and Shirley Cullum was on the
EC as well which breaks the procedures, So some may ask,what went on in that grievance,well things just keep popping up, lots of dishonest stuff done by the people of the GC-NC and the AB-
by the way, I did mention that it was Sherri Bradley who sat us that list used for this grievance between Laverne and FLGWPI did I not,now tell me just how honest it is for Sherri to have had control over a private list used for any grievance she herself was involved in? and why was Tina and Jo and Shirley involved? so,At which point in time does someone call this grievanced breached?Oh I see,edit the list,show the AB members what you wish for them to see and this is how one steals an entire state project!Oh,forgot,one also gets Denise to argue those e-mails were out of bounds since Diane did not have the right to post them,Diane stood up for what was right,no matter how one feels for how or why she may have done it,she stood up.Good show Diane.and some of these people run for office in the USGW even as I type,what a joke,as big a joke as the USGWFL state site they attempt to errect on the bones of the state they delinked,now one should see what that grievance was all about and why they keep it so hush hush,and Sherri as well as Tina,Denise,Jo,Patrice and Shirley helped them do it,vote for them if you wish another year of hell in the USGW.

Anonymous said...

I have taken a look at the new,it is a joke on us,looks like anout 2 or 3 people doing the entire state and its counties,I also understand they have almost begged people to take up a county on that thing,not me,I am not that dumb,and I bet some of them now run for office as well,I am not voting for anyone from that site,it is beginning to look like the poster of the previous post is right about why the State of Florida was delinked,someone wanted it real bad.I am also inclined to agree with the statement that if the AB was to put out a report now it would be contrived to look as if they had a right to do the delinking,from what I have read,it was an improper thing to have done,not right at all. I want to know what the real reason was for the delinking and all the alligations about who set up the list,no one has denied that Sherri sat it up, I do not see where this was proper procedure,to own and sit in. Who really knows?I want to know why it was done,who is next,and how many counties can one person do anyway?I feel the joke is on us the members of the USGW,not the Fl.Project,look at their counties,lots of name that seem to have been there all along,and why is Patrice still listed on their project and on our as the ASC?and site owner,something fishy about all of this.

Anonymous said...

Fact is, if the AB has to put out a report now it would not be an honest report, they could not make one because of the way this seems to have gone down,it does not look honest. So what is the board or the advisory committee going to do about all of this ? Are they to allow this kind of action to be done without the proof of a wrong doing ? What kind of people are sitting in those positions anyway? How did happen to begin with, when all I have read is how dishonest the GC and it also seems more than that position was involved with the secrecy of how this was handled, Seems very wrong to me.Very Wrong.

Anonymous said...

1-The board did not take an open vote,because it was not an honest procedure to begin with.
2-The board did not want the members to see just how dishonest the entire procedure was to begin with
3 Sherri set up the private list,thus giving her the right to handle the list messages in the manner she saw fit- and Tina helped her decide what to do
4-The board did not want it coming out that the USGW SEMA rep as well as the RAL-NC and the GC chair persons were all involved in a grievance they had no business of being involved in.
5-The board did not want the members to know the grievant had already broken confidentialty of her own grievance and they the GC never once stoped the process and continued on with the delinking of the state of Fl.
6-The outrage from the members would be great if they had known the entire process was ran in secret and edited by the list owner with the help of the RAL-NC-GC and the mediators who seemed to have turned a blind eye to what was being done-