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CCA by-law changes debated at monthly members meeting

By Staff | Jan 29, 2009

Captiva Civic Association members met on Tuesday to vote on proposed CCA by-law changes.

According to a Jan. 15 letter sent out to all members by CCA President Tobe Deutschmann, on Jan. 6, the CCA’s Board of Governors unanimously approved certain changes to the CCA by-laws, as recommended by the five-member Assessment and Mission Review Committee.

The Board of Governors asked the membership to approve these proposed changes during the CCA’s general membership meeting on Jan. 27, but while most of the changes passed, several issues instigated a heated tug-of-war between proponents and opponents.

Changes to CCA Article IV involved reducing the amount of members serving on the CCA’s Board of Governors to nine instead of 11, thereby facilitating board meeting quorum requirements and increasing each Governor’s maximum amount of two-year terms served to three instead of two.

Members voted down the reduction of board members but passed the addition of an extra term for Governors.

Former Board of Governors member Mike Mullins objected to many of the proposed changes, and voiced his opinion on each issue throughout the meeting.

“I really think it’s a veiled attempt to concentrate control within a few people and, in particular, I think the reduction of size is a serious problem,” Mullins said, particularly in regards to the proposed changes of Article IV.

“This is not attempt to concentrate power. All change tends to be viewed with some natural reservation – it is human nature,” Deutschmann responded. “This is not change for change’s sake. This is nine months of a committee working hundreds of hours to make these recommendations to the current 11-member Board of Governors that fully understand that they would be going from 11 to nine and unanimously supported this recommendation without reservation.”

Some members present at the meeting strongly voiced their opinions against a wording adjustment in CCA Article XI that would formally change the word “govern” to “guide” in the following statement: “Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the meetings of the Association and those of the Board of Governors.

According to Deutschmann, this amendment was suggested based up legal advice. Several members were staunchly opposed to the changing of “govern” to “guide” but the required majority voted in favor of the alteration.

In addition, a minor adjustment was made to the mission statement of the organization.

The proposal which seemed to generate the most discussion and debate among the group pertained to CCA Article II, in which voting members who sell their property on Captiva and/or move away from the island, but continue to pay dues, would be allowed to retain their active voting rights in the Association, but not serve on the Board of Governors.

Members on both sides of the debate voiced their opinions, several of which were extremely opposed to the change, and after a lengthy discussion, in the end, the nays had it.

“That was strictly an altruistic measure on the part of this committee that was doing the work of the mission review and the assessment of the association,” said CCA executive director Paul Garvey. “And it’s a mathematical improbability that the five or six people who are members who have moved off the island and once were voting members would really ever be able to take over or control the association, as Mike Mullins and his friends indicated. It just can’t happen.”

“But the great thing about having a large membership organization and having meetings where people can come and talk about it, as we discussed it. In the end, it lost by about two votes on a two-third majority and we did the count real quick, so who knows. It’s fine the way it turned out,” he added.

“The folks that Mike Mullins encouraged to come to our meeting may have not had the full background and strictly based their opinions on what they read in the advertisement that he put in the paper (Captiva Current, Jan. 23, 2009 issue) on page three last week. We were glad to have an opportunity to discuss the by-laws and the background for the proposed changes with those folks in the hopes that they would get a full story as to the reasons for those changes,” Garvey concluded.

If you have questions about the by-law changes or would like more information, please contact the CCA at 472-2111.

Because the meeting ran over due to the extensive debate over the by-law changes, several speakers did not get a chance to present.

However, Joyce Slaughter of Lee County Memorial Health System withstood the extended discussion and reminded members that the Lee Memorial Health System would be hosting a blood donation drive at the CCA on Tuesday, Feb. 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you choose to donate, nurses will include free cholesterol, blood type and iron level testing. If you would like to donate, contact the CCA for an appointment.

The next general membership meeting for the CCA will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 10 a.m.