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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
(undated)

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

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.