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May 16, 2010

FLGenWeb


USGenWeb vs. FLGenWeb

From: Sherri
To: board@rootsweb.com
Subject: [BOARD] Disciplinary Hearing
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2010 21:23:29 -0400

The Advisory Board has been in executive session discussing the resolution of grievance 2009-08-15. This discussion was based on the final determination report that the Grievance Committee submitted. Normally the Advisory Board does not receive any information or a final report about a grievance, but in this case because of the problems encountered during the grievance process, they did.

In regards to grievance 2009-08-15, filed by a FLGenWeb County Coordinator against six members of the FLGenWeb board, and the report that the Advisory Board received from the Grievance Committee dealing with problems encountered during handling of the grievance, a formal hearing will be held to determine if disciplinary action should be taken against two of the FLGenWeb board members named in the grievance.

Charges against Fran Smith:

1 - Refusal to participate in good faith in the mediation and arbitration phases of grievance 2009-08-15, filed by Ms. Laverne Tornow against six individual FLGenWeb board members, as demonstrated by attempts to introduce issues outside of the scope of the mediation and arbitration portions of the grievance, raising repeated objections to questions posed by both the mediator and the arbitrators and refusing to answer specific questions posed by the grievance committee team and the insistence that the USGenWeb Project's Grievance Process was not the proper venue to handle a grievance, that all grievances must be filed in a court of law in the state of Florida.

2 - Repeated breaches of the confidentiality of the grievance, despite repeated warnings during both the mediation and arbitration phases of the grievance process by contacting those outside of the mediator, the arbitrators and the GC representative handling the grievance.

3 - Failure to reinstate Ms. Laverne Tornow to all previous positions as County Coordinator for the counties of Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Hamilton, Laayette, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Seminole and Union counties that she held immediately prior to her removal from the project as directed in the final determination of the Grievance Committee's report. The USGenWeb Project bylaws and the Grievance Committee Procedures clearly state that the decision of the Grievance Committee is binding upon all members of the USGeWeb Project, therefore Ms. Smith is not in compliance with the bylaws since Ms. Tornow has not been reinstated.

Charges against Dennis Gries:

1 - Refusal to participate in good faith in the mediation and arbitration phases of grievance 2009-08-15, filed by Ms. Laverne Tornow against six individual FLGenWeb board members, as demonstrated by attempts to introduce issues outside of the scope of the mediation and arbitration portions of the grievance, raising repeated objections to questions posed by both the mediator and the arbitrators and refusing to answer specific questions posed by the grievance committee team and the insistence that the USGenWeb Project's Grievance Process was not the proper venue to handle a grievance, that all grievances must be filed in a court of law in the state of Florida.

2 - Repeated breaches of the confidentiality of the grievance, despite repeated warnings during both the mediation and arbitration phases of the grievance process by contacting those outside of the mediator, the arbitrators and the GC representative handling the grievance. The breaching of the confidentiality continues to this day.

3 - Mr. Gries' insistence during the grievance process that he was not a member of the USGenWeb Project, despite being a member of the FLGenWeb Project, and as such, the USGenWeb Project's bylaws did not apply to him, and that the grievance process was an illegal attempt to circumvent the FL Corporate laws.

Sturgis states that " . . . every organization has the inherent right to discipline, suspend or expel a member for valid cause, even if provisions for doing so are not included in the bylaws" and "A membership can be terminated and a member expelled because of violation of an important duty to the organization, a breach of a fundamental rule or principle of the organization, or for any violation stated in the bylaws as a ground for expulsion. In general, termination of membership is justified if a member fails or refuses to work within the framework of the organization."

If a State Coordinator (or the managing board of a XXGenWeb Project has engaged in removal of dissenting CCs, thereby taking away the state project's ability to take advantage of the protections our bylaws provide, we must fall back on the protections and disciplinary procedures outlined in our parliamentary authority, Sturgis.

Therefore, to protect the rights of the County Coordinators in Florida, the provisions for redress outlined in Sturgis must take precedence. Because I received many of the emails that were a part of the breaches of the confidentiality of the grievance, I will not be participating in the disciplinary hearing. Tina Vickery, as RAL will be handling the investigation and hearing.

I will be subscribing the members of the AB, Fran Smith and Dennis Gries to the USGWCONF mail list, which is unarchived. which is where the hearing on the charges will be discussed. In addition, the option for subbing the Grievance Team (the moderator, arbitrators and the GC representative that chaired the grievance) to the list if it is determined that their input is required.

Sherri Bradley
National Coordinator
USGenWeb Project


========================================

From: Sherri
To: board@rootsweb.com

Date: 5/12/2010 8:34:18 PM
Subject: [BOARD] ANNOUNCEMENT: FLGenweb

For the record:

Per Section XIV, E of the USGenWeb Project bylaws, the resolution of a grievance is binding upon the membership. Due to the failure of some of FLGenWeb Inc's board members to abide by the USGenWeb Project bylaws, the Advisory Board was contacted to enforce the ruling. FLGenWeb Inc. was put on notice that they had until 11 May 2010 to implement the resolution of the grievance, or the state project would be delinked and a new state site would be created and linked to from the USGenWeb Project's National site.

FLGenWeb Inc.'s site has been delinked and a newly created FLGenWeb site has been set up and the CCs, unless they've chosen not to remain with USGenWeb, have had their sites linked to the new site.

This action is not something that the Advisory Board has taken lightly, or without a lot of thought. The FLGenWeb membership was contacted with the options laid out for them, so this is not something that will take any of them by surprise (at least if they've kept appraised of what's going on in their state).

Sherri Bradley
National Coordinator
USGenWeb Project


========================================

From: Anonymous
Sent: 5/14/2010 12:09:04 PM


Questions: In regards to the emails released earlier from the grievance process, what is being done about this by the AB? If in fact, the process rules were broken, what is being done about those who broke the grievance process rules? What effect would AB interference have on any grievance outcomes - past, present or future? If the process rules were broken, how will this affect the legality of the recent FLGenWeb delinking by the AB? When was the vote taken pertaining to the FLGenWeb delinking? Where was the vote taken? Was the vote recorded on the public AB list for the membership to see? Lots of volunteers deserve answers rather than secrecy.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The whole things stinks of dishonesty on part of the GC -nothing turned in or a onesided view is not a proper ruling,One may condemn Diane for putting those e-mails all over this site,but she stood up or at least tried to correct something rotten in the GC- and the NC-

Anonymous said...

If the FLGenWeb has bylaws that contradict the USGenWeb, they should have been delinked. They were trying to give the GC the run-a-around, I applaud the GC and AB for standing up and not taking the BS anymore of the FLGenWeb Board. Of course, I am basing my opinion from the emails I have read on this site, but for the FLGenWeb Board to act the way they were acting, they got what they deserved. I'm sure that the vote was in private and eventually the AB will notify the rest of the USGenWeb but we shouldn't all get bent out of shape because we can't see what was on a private list. This will be a lesson and anything learned from it will happen in the future, but state projects can not oust folks just because they can and are "incorporated", we are part of a national project with our own state projects and we need to abide by the rules, if you can't, go somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Well, the point is, votes of a governing board should not be held in private at all. Discussion on some issues maybe. But the actual resulting vote - no. Votes by a governing board should be a matter of public record for the membership according to parliamentary procedure. As far as the remark "if you can't, go somewhere else" it looks like the vast majority of FLGenWeb has done just that - gone somewhere else. 35 counties listed on the state site now with no links and the majority of the others coordinated by basically two or three people. So, in the end result, who won? Could there not have been a better way to solve this issue?

Anonymous said...

Having ownership of a private list during a process is in no way a proper way to run anything,Diane clearly made note of the fact a person of the process themselves set up the list used-so anything turned into the AB would look like someone wanted it to look,not how it may have happened.And right off I would say you would,you were more than biased from what you read from this site, This site clearly shows in Diane's e-mails that the grievant breached their own grievance,and more than once,even to the point it shows an arguement between GC members and the grievant herself and she CCd others while doing it.If said process was on the up and up it should have been stoped at that point per USGW bylaws,or are you just plain biased???And are you a member of the state of Fl.? if not,then what makes you an authority on how things went,or what was done,Did you also make note of the fact the grievant never had to prove even one point they made in their statement or grievance? not one,I did not see where in the bylaws it states a grievant may make false statements and not have to back them up with proof,not just words,but proof.So in my book and what is all over the net nothing was ever shown that Fl. did anything wrong but govern an unruly and disturbed member.Or are you one of those GC or AB menbers who was duped into believing the person who set up the list would do the right thing and not edit the list used??This can be done can it not?? People can be cut out of conversations or not ?? Things can be omited or not? when one ownes a list or not??

Anonymous said...

My earlier comment was based on what I know. Since this matter was in private how do you know you have the all the facts as well? I'm not part of the AB or GC but from what it looks like the FLGenWeb board can not give the run-around on a grievance, it just makes a mockery of everything. The AB and GC did what they thought was best because they were not getting anywhere, from what I have read. I have no other knowledge other than what has been brought forth on this matter via this blog. There could have been another way of doing things but when someone is blocking a grievance just because they think they can and have bylaws for their own state that contradicts the USGenWeb, it shows that these board members of FLGenWeb didn't want to be part of the national network nor abide by national rules. And I understand that when someone owns a list they can put what they want or delete what they want as well, who knows if all the facts where brought forth to begin with, I'm not sure on this matter. As far as false statements, I do not know the origin of the original grievance only those involved know for sure or what was brought forth as evidence. It is very sad that the whole FLGenWeb got delinked and I'm sure a lot of good CC's got caught up in the mix which is wrong but its not their fault, its the SC of FLGenWeb and their incorporation. But just because the original FLGenWeb got delinked doesn't mean that the new folks on the FLGenWeb site are not going to be corrupt either and no I am nor have I ever been part of the FLGenWeb Project.

Anonymous said...

I am not a member of FLGenWeb and have never been, but the end result as mentioned above in a comment looks as if it is now a state project with 35 counties gone and unlinked, and the majority of the remainder of the counties look as if they are coordinated by a sum total of only two people. So who ended up with the short stick? It looks like the USGenWeb project to me. With state projects begging for new coordinators and counties sitting vacant in many states (as many as a dozen and upwards to 20 in some states), this wholesale departure of valuable counties is not good for the project. And where was the vote taken by the board for this massive delinking? I thought advisory board votes, according to not only parliamentary procedure but past procedure as well, must be made on the public board list?

Anonymous said...

For most of us,not knowing what goes on in Fl. how can we honestly speak of what went on?And from what I have read from this site,all the e-mails posted here,the comments, all I see is that the list owner may have made the entire grievance process a very onesided adventure,Who set up the list used for that meeting? it is listed as Sherri Bradley set it up. What one would say, is it that she is allowed to not only set up the list used for that Not so private grievance meeting,but she could edit its contents as well,makes one now thing just who was no coorporating with whom,I have seen several names mentioned Fran and Dennis-both charged with various charges of either not being in compliance or e-mailing members of the GC during the process, Well what of Laverne and her several breaches even before the dates of the charges against the others-seems this Laverne breached her own grievance and then the GC-NC and the AB turned around and handed her that site made up for Fl.a real joke if I have ever seen one,and most of the cc setting up house on it are former members who turned tail on Fl.another joke on the USGW,turntails,one of which is the grievant herself,maybe this is what the entire grievance secrets are all about,list editing,cutting GC members out of the details,not allowing material to come through that list so it would look like one side was not following orders, Real big joke this has turned out to be and from what I have read,the USGW did not have the first right to have done what they did in the delinking of that state,not one right,nothing legal or honest about it,Not when the list owner also sat in one the grievance and seems also spoke to the other side,then turns around and charges one of the other members with breaching,Oh come on now people, does something not smell real bad here?the stinch is choaking the life out of the USGW.A real joke,allowing a grievant who from what I have seen, never even produced any material or items of proof for her case and Yet they hand her a new state project. Really smelling the place up now.

Anonymous said...

I hear they did not even go as far as to ask even one Fl. CC if they choose to stay or go,the Board just took every county and made them ask for them back,and it was made to look like those people did not respond,from what I hear Sherri Bradley had charge of the mail list and she would also have been able to edit those pages to make it look as if that group was not in compliance.Sherri and Tina removed important data from that list from what I hear,and turned a false report into the AB.So how do they get as far as to delink a state over that kind of action, and looks like they did it to just take their state project.and that woman is on it,the one who runs everyone down,I would not take a county in that project with her in there.She will turn on you like bad beer. What kind of people do we have sitting in our AB group? a bunch of thieves?