Cortland YMCA Board Members Reelected; Fmr. Director Ousted Over Relationship with Employee
The controversy at the Cortland YMCA bubbled to head last night at the organizations annual meeting. The club membership re-elected incumbents to the board of directors as several members said the nominating and election process is fixed by a heavy handed out of control group of leaders.
Well over 100 members attended the annual organizational meeting at YMCA last night, at various points the meeting devolved into a shouting match with opponents of the current Board of Directors.
During the meeting Board of Directors President Tim Herman introduced Auburn Y Executive Director Kurt Kramer who is currently overseeing operations at the Cortland YMCA under a six month management agreement that was put in place following the firing of former Cortland Y Director Don Kline.
Kramer explained that the Y has certain national standards that it is obligated to meet to maintain its charter. Kramer says during this six month period the organization will look at the Cortland Y to see how it measures up against recognized and approved best practices.
Following Kramer's comments Cortland Y President Tim Herman who was among five Directors that were voted out of office at a meeting Tuesday addressed the crowd and for the first time publicly disclosed the basis for Kline's termination back in March.
Herman says that Kline was let go for multiple reasons, among those he was having a romantic relationship with a co-worker, he created a new position for the unidentified woman and gave her a pay raise without board approval. In addition Herman said Kline refused to implement the Y's strategic plan and did not hold regular staff meetings. Herman also accused Kline of giving away free memberships without approval.
Kline was not at the meeting, he is reported to be preparing a lawsuit against the organization.
Following the disclosure members held the election of new board members, several attendees challenged the nominating process. 22 people submitted petitions to run for seats on the board, all but one of those petitions were tossed by the nominating committee, three of the people on the committee were running for seats on the board, including Herman.
Bill McDermott who was among those than turned in petitions was critical of the meeting last night, he says that the board is using the organization by-laws to manipulate and control the YMCA. At one point McDermott attempted to address the crowd and urged them not to vote for the approved candidates, Herman pulled the plug on his microphone.
After the votes were tallied all the candidates approved by the nominating committee were elected, those in opposition said they were unhappy with outcome and would not rule of the possibility of bringing a lawsuit against the Y.
Following the meeting longtime Y member and current Board of Trustees President Dan McNeil Sr. urged the current board of Directors to end the management agreement with the Auburn Y and move forward with putting a new local executive director in place.