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Posted by gila7150 on November 06, 2002 at 21:55:06:
In Reply to: My response to Ray's outbrust. posted by bpc on November 06, 2002 at 15:08:50:
:Well, I knew it was coming in some form. I had hoped it wouldn't have cost us members as it did. But anyway, it's out there, and now we can deal with it.
:Let me start w/ a little background. Ray has worked his a$$ off for this club in the past. For many years, he basically ran the show. He controlled the checkbook and most if not all the descisions associated with how the club spent money. When Paul asked me to take over the secretary position, I did so, only so that I could help the club. One of Paul's biggest concerns at the time, was that there was a large sum of money in several bank accounts that he had just found out about. And, for some reason, this money seemed to be disappearing fast.
:Paul brought this up at the club meeting and we were told there was over $70,000 in the bank. Up until this point no one on the current board, other than Ray, knew anything about this money. All this happened about the time I took my current position. So natuarlly, we addressed the money issue at the board meetings. We found out that even though Wanye wasn't even around anymore his name and Ray's were still on the accounts. Paul's was not. I thought that should be changed. Ray didn't seem to like that idea, and that was probably one our first points of contention. It took months before any action was taken to fix the names on the accounts, and now at this point Paul and Ray's names are the only people who can spend CFHS funds. In the bylaws it clearly states that BOTH the President and Treasurer must sign all checks. That is NOT happening. In fact, at one board meeting we actually put a stop to board members (Ray) buying dry goods w/o board approval. Ray bought all those non-UVB light blubs we'll probably still be selling for the next tens years (or hey we could throw a temper-tantrum and break them like Ray did a few months ago), and something like 70 snake hooks all w/o even bothering to ask anyone else if they thought we needed them. Total for those two spending sprees, as best as we can tell, over $1000 of CFHS funds. Ray also bought a $3000 laptop computer for himself (as the treasurer) w/o even bothering to ask anyone.
:Ray said we (Paul and I) could not read the statements, so we spent club funds to have the accountant read them to us. Well actually, Ray could not reconcile the statements to our satisfaction. When we asked what something was he often shrugged and said something like, I don't know that's been on there since Wayne was in office.
:Both Paul and I took a day and drove all the way to Lakeland so that he could go over some things that were bothering us on the statement. First, there was a column showing anywhere from $520-600 "cash-on-hand." When we asked Ray where this cash was, he had no idea. Even though Ray had been the only person working w/ club funds for several years. When we took Ray to task on this money time and again, his solution was to simply have the accountant remove that line from the statement and show the amount as a loss. Ray said he couldn't be held responsible and that Wayne said that money was spent and never replaced, so if we had a problem with that and we "had the balls" we could go ask Wayne about it. The accountant verified that Ray told him to remove the "cash on hand" from the statement and to show it as a loss.
: I have never said Ray stole anything. In fact, I don't recall anyone every saying that. What I have said is, we, the other board members, have no way of knowing what F% is going on because Ray won't tell us and his accounting practices are muddy at best. In fact, Ray has flat-out refused to show me the statements anymore because he feels it's none of my business.
:In addition to the lost cash on hand, we had to absorb thousands of dollars worth of "lost" equipment that was showing up on the statements. Ray's explaination, was that the equipment was bought for past board members, and that most of it was now lost, or so old we should just forget about it. I had a big problem with that, as some of what we are talking about here is computers and the like which might sold to benefit the club.
:Paul has, on several occasions, asked Ray for the statements. It says right in the bylaws the treasurer must make a financial report to the board every month. Ray usually leaves before we can have a board meeting or doesn't have the statements when we do. Before I go any further here, let me say this, I don't believe all this is Ray's fault. There are no set regular board meetings, I believe this is a problem. In the bylaws it says 15 minutes before each regular club meeting, but that has never happened. Paul, Jeff, myself, and Ray for a while, were meeting after the regular meeting and going over business, but after a few of those meetings turned sour, (over the topics discussed above), Ray suddenly couldn't stay for those meetings anymore. And since then, Paul has made a few attempts to get everyone together, but it hasn't worked out.
:To finish up, I don't believe I have done anything to harm CFHS. Every question I have asked, has been asked to help me better understand what is going on with our (CFHS) money. Ray has not been able to provide satisfactory answers and has basically told me it's none of my business. Ray believes my only job is to keep minutes of the meetings and write the newsletter. I do not share this view. I believe as an elected board member, I haev the responsibility to the members to watch out for their best interests. And no one, not even big loud Ray, is going to stop me from doing that.
Thanks for the full disclosure Brian. It's unfortunate that personal politics have to come into play in a herp society. It's important for the board to operate as a team and if one person is preventing it from doing that it's a shame. I missed last night's meeting because of work but I can imagine what parents must think who bring their kids to a meeting to learn about reptiles.
Anyway, we appreciate the board's efforts and wish you luck resolving this issue.
By the way, I am planning a 2 week herping trip to Arizona and the surrounding states in May of next year. My friend and I are mainly interested in observing heloderma but we'll be looking for everything. I plan to document the whole trip on video and slides and would love to use it as a presentation at a future meeting.