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Pride Board reinstates two former board members, other candidates “still being considered”

(SAN DIEGO)  The Board of Directors for San Diego LGBT Pride announced Saturday the reinstatement of former board members Joe Mayer and Debra Self.  Mayer served on the Board from 1989-2006.  Self served from 1999-2005. 
 
"[Board Chair Phillip Princetta,Treasurer Mike Karim and I] had a number of people on lists we'd made, and these two in particular had contacted us and said they’d be willing to serve on an interim basis,”  said San Diego Pride Board Secretary Carl Worrell. 
 
“We met with them and decided they were good matches as they had both been on the Board before, they were both former treasurers and Co-Chairs and they both love Pride.”
 
According to Worrell, anyone interested in serving on an interim basis must have served on the Board in the past.
 
“The people who have indicated interest [in joining the Pride Board of Directors] who have not yet received an application packet would be coming on as candidates- and these are two very distinct categories of people,” adds Worrell, noting that while former Board members can be reinstated with full voting privileges, other candidates must wait until the end of a 12-week candidacy period.
 
“[And we will not waive the 12-week voting-stay] because people like you have bit our ass for waiving bylaws, so we are not going to waive bylaws anymore.”
 
Members of SDGLN’s staff reviewed Pride’s bylaws, however, and were unable to find language relating to a restriction of voting privileges.
 
According Article 6 of the bylaws, entitled Directors: “Persons interested in seeking election as a director shall make application to the Personnel Committee [6.4.1]. Candidates for the Board shall be voted on by the existing directors [6.5]. A candidate who receives a majority of votes of the current Board shall be elected as a director [6.6]."
 
While Pride does have policies in place for Board recruitment, page 2 of that document states “The Board reserves the right to deviate from this procedure at its discretion for any reason.”

Voting privileges are required to determine the annual budget, approve policies, and to facilitate overall governance of the organization. Voting privileges are also required to forcibly remove a member of the Board of directors. A director may be forcibly removed if a three-fourths majority vote is obtained- meaning- it would take nine votes by a 12-person Board to make changes to the current status-quo.
 
When asked if Princetta, Karim, and Worrell would be resigning after an interim board was put into place, Worrell indicated that option was not being considered, and noted that although the community’s calls for a full and immediate resignation of the entire board did not fall on deaf ears, it had been an unrealistic request.

“The community called for us to resign immediately. If we were to do that, you couldn’t have Pride because if the three of us were to resign, Pride would go into receivership, which means the Board would no longer be in charge of Pride and the State would be in charge of it,” said Worrell.

“It would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for Pride to come out of receivership and Pride would never be held in Balboa Park as it is now, because of the fact that we are grandfathered in. The regulations for having an event in Balboa Park have changed so much that it would completely change the structure of any future Pride event in the park. It is not realistic for us to step down when we don’t have a Board built up that is going to be more than in interim board, but will be made up of candidates we will bring on. As we rebuild the Board and as the candidates come on and go through their 12-week candidacy, then we will have a Board that will be able to go on and address the future. That’s probably going to take us through Pride [2010], with the time frame of bringing people on and serving the candidacy period.”

Princetta and Karim are set to term out in August of this year. Worrell’s term will not be up until August 2011.

“It’s very hard to say if I’ll resign after Pride,” concludes Worrell, “because projecting if the community is still going to be calling for our resignations is something that’s impossible for me to define.”