In the midst of an institutional crisis, new Parkrose Business Association president David Ableidinger presided over his first general membership meeting last week.
Roiling the group was a post, “Rossi report stuns PBA” on this blog, in which longtime member Joe Rossi called the group to account for, among other things, not supporting his Centennial celebration and not giving his partner and friend Amy Salvador the group’s top honor last year, the Karl F. Lind Award.
In the blog post’s wake, President Judy Kennedy resigned and four other board members, Michael Taylor, Gail Bash, Marsha Lee and Mary Brown, who were serving beyond their expired terms resigned. However, longtime PBA officers Lee and Brown, treasurer and secretary respectively, will remain in their positions as PBA officers according to Ableidinger.
Introduced by Kennedy, an amendment to the bylaws eliminating term limits of directors, approved at the Feb. 8 board meeting by a 9-1 vote, and scheduled to be voted on at this meeting was withdrawn due to insufficient notice given to general members.
At the meeting, Ableidinger said he is enlisting the help of Venture Portland, the umbrella organization for Portland business associations, to analyze PBA bylaws for problems and hopes to have elections to fill the vacancies in May.
He also said the board would act as the nominating committee to fill the five vacancies.
When Ableidinger opened the floor for questions, former board member Luke Shepard expressed concerns over the board’s adherence to its own bylaws and asked the board to postpone its elections until all questions were answered. He also questioned the legality of past president Wayne Stoll’s consecutive 16-year presence on the board in one capacity or another and six-year board member Sherry Reynolds absence at every board and general meeting. “There’s too many questions and not enough knowledge for the general membership to make a decision,” he said.
A board member since 2000, Mark Eves, also Stoll’s personal attorney, acknowledged the validity of Shepard’s questions and asked him to write them down and submit them to the board for review. He assured Shepard all questions will be answered before an election is held.
The letter accused several members of the PBA board of, among other things, acting “… hostile, unwelcoming and sarcastic towards her when she voices her opinions and positions on board issues.” The letter goes on to say, “It is my client(sic) deepest desire to uphold the integrity of this organization and maintain the trust the general public has granted this organization when it conferred non-profit status on its membership.” Asking Salvador via email to comment on the letter, we received an email from Knox asking to direct questions we have for Salvador to him.
When reached for a comment on Salvador’s attorney’s letter, Ableidinger, who said he goes to most every board meetings was surprised to see the letter. “Why she feels the way she feels about the current board, I can’t quite figure it out.” Asked if he witnessed any of the hostility referenced in the letter he said, “Not really, I haven’t seen it. I’m at most every meeting. I don’t know what the dynamics are there. Does she feel minimized because she is one of the newer people? I don’t quite get it.”