Thursday, April 30, 2009

Middletown Senior Center By-Laws, Pt. 1

Part 1 of a 3 part series. I will re-publish my suggestions & conclusions then with additional info. It is OUR money after all.


Here are the Middletown Senior Center's By-laws. These are approved by the Town Council. The Senior Center Board observes them, right? Read them & weep. Here are some of the flagrant violations. Remember I've read ALL their online minutes from the past few years since it's been a State requirement.


1.b Prepare the annual senior services department budget for transmission to the Town Administrator and to pursue this budget with the Town Council.


Comment: Remember, this is for the Board. This has never been done. Never. Not once. Not even discussed in minutes going back to Feb., 2006. The entire center membership (don't know how many were present) was told to attend Town Hall 5/8/08 to support it. During the most recent meeting, it was presented- in 10 min. 5 of them were spent by the Director discussing how the Custodian was NOT going to be moved to the police station, despite its being in the budget. It's also not indicated in the minutes that it was presented, much less voted on. That budget, BTW, has been cut. The Board spent 15-20 min. discussing the planned recipe book. God bless them all, good people that they are. They should sit on the programming board (if there was one). Everything was Director motivated; including the fact that she disappoves of senior trips to gambling casinos with no mention of what this actually translates into for the Center. One Board member did voice dissent, but that was it.


1.c. To review periodically the status of the senior services budget. Well, duh, read above.


f. To assess annual dues as may be voted on by the Board of Directors.


Nothing. But in all those years of minutes, only one motion was ever made; and that was to accept some minutes with no vote ever taken/recorded on that motion. The most recent meeting had plenty of motions & voting, though. God bless them. They were trying so hard with no guidance from their Director.


4. The Board of Directors shall be appointed by the Town Council. The Board shall be comprised of nine (9) members all of which shall be members shall be members of the Center in good standing and residents of Middletown.


What? Members of the Center? That requirement seems to have been ignored for quite a while by the Council.


6. Removal. The Board of Directors upon a two-thirds vote may recommend removal of any Director to the Town Council. The Town Council may remove any member upon recommendation or on their own notion when, in the opinion of the Town Council, such removal is necessary for the proper functioning of the Board.


OUTRAGEOUS! Go with the flow or you're outta here. I've never heard of such a thing. No wonder this group functions primarily as a rah-rah arm of the Director and the Center.


7. ...the acceptance of the resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective.


Another srange clause. The group doesn't even have to acknowledge it, let alone offer someone the opportunity to reconsider. No wonder this group never has any actual "Correspondence" in its agendas until their most recent meeting. It would also mean that such a letter would never be a part of public record.

8. The annual meeting of the board shall be held at its April meeting. The annual meeting shall be for the purpose of electing officers, evaluating the year's activities and for the tranaction...of...business.

LOL! The last election this group held was in May of 06. Evaluation? You'd need a report & a vote to do that. They are holding an election this April, though. No! Absolutely nothing to do with me or my request for their by-laws. The Director also issued an annual report ; although it's not so indicated in the minutes. There was no evaluation that I heard, just rah-rah. But then with no standards for evaluation...

10. A regular meeting of the board shall be held in the morning of the center's monthly membership meeting, unless otherwise designated by the board in advance. The board may hold additional or fewer meetings if it deems it appropriate. All ...meetings shall be open to the public.... The annual report on the Board's activities for submission to the Council shall be prepared and submitted no later than the November meeting.

Picture me laughing hysterically here. There are no monthly membership meetings. The board does not meet in the a.m. The board definitely deems fewer meetings appropriate. In '08 it skipped the entire summer & Dec. & filed 6 board meetings. In '07 it held TWO filed meetings. In '06 it held 7. I do note that that "annual report" is on the Board's April agenda. April, November, what's the difference? It's also supposed to be submitted to the Council. I'm still laughing. But wait a minute- that's MY money, and yours. End laughing. Sob.

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