From: Michael Kauzlarich
My hat is off to the Edgewood Recreation Council for finally breaking its long silence on the cheerleading problem and answering some of its critics. What at first appeared to be a rigid recreation council board of directors turned out to be a rather tolerant board of directors dealing with an unyielding group of "ex-employees."
After attending some of the Edgewood Recreation Council's public meetings, Iam convinced that the council has been more than fair.
The ladiesinvolved had their cases appealed at three levels within the council, plus numerous public council meetings. They even attempted mediation at the county level. The end result was always the same: the Edgewood Recreation Council's decision stood.
It is apparent that these ladies want to go through as many appeals as it takes until they heara decision they like. But instead of abiding by the council's decision, a decision based on a set of bylaws they agreed to follow when they volunteered, these ladies chose to begin a focused public relations campaign, complete with media involvement, and letter writing by well-meaning friends.
The three ladies involved have attended every meeting with their
following in tow. I found it ironic that these people have the time to attend meetings but not time to assist the council with recreation programs for our children and community.
I applaud the Edgewood Recreation Council for having the fortitude to stick by a tough and unpopular decision.
Usually, in recreation programs it is the children who are influenced by adults.
In this case, it's reversed. It's the adults who are acting like children.
Editor's note: The writer's wife, Nancy Kauzlarich, is parliamentarian of the Edgewood Recreation Council.
COUNCIL VIOLATED RULES
From: Catherine R. Potter
Vickie J. Tolson
Cynthia J. Minacapelli
We are extremely pleased that public outcry has forced the Edgewood Recreation Council out into the open and to state a firm position on banning us, which we feel is not justified. But the article in The Harford County Sun (March 22, "Rec councils grapple with how to discipline volunteers") needs a few points clarified.
1. The Harford County Sun reports that the "council refused to participate in ahearing before the newly created Appeals Board." Unless there was a unilateral decision made by one member of the board of the Edgewood Recreation Council Inc., the final decision to recognize Harford County's appeal process was not made by ERCI.
The appeals process issuewas first brought before the council by the ERCI president at the February meeting. Discussion began concerning the issue, but it had to be tabled due to another problem concerning the boys basketball program. The March ERCI meeting adjourned early and did not address this issue.
2. The article reports that the ladies were banned and that ERCI representatives stated that they did what was necessary according to the bylaws. The problem is, the ERCI did not follow the rules. The secretary's report of the ERCI January meeting clearly points out that the bans were passed under questionable parliamentary procedures. The "motion to ban" in itself was in violation of the ERCI's bylawsand Harford County rules governing recreation.
In the ERCI motionto ban, it states that if we did not accept our bans, the cheerleading program would be abolished. This motion clearly contradicts the purpose of the ERCI's mission and rules governing the ERCI. It may alsobe a violation of our First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
3.Cynthia Minacapelli has never been told exactly what she has done tobe banned. She has asked on numerous occasions to have her exact alleged violations documented.
4. The Harford County Sun reports thatthe ERCI wanted to settle the dispute in-house. ERCI's idea of settling this issue in-house was at the November meeting, when it gave everyone exactly two minutes to state their case.
5. The article reports that we don't want to listen to the ERCI. We do want to listen; they don't want to talk to us. We have asked
on numerous occasions for a face-to-face discussion on the cheerleading issue, but the ERCIdeclines.
6. We think the ERCI should know the embarrassment their actions have caused the children of Squad 1.
This issue is no longer about children or cheerleading; it is about a recreation board that will not address community concerns.
Is it not ironic that Minacapelli and Catherine Potter were asked recently to serve as volunteer managers in another sports program within the ERCI?
On a positive note, we commend the Forest Hill Recreation Council which drafted specific arbitration procedures to avoid this type of problem. We only wish the ERCI could be so bold.
KEEP YOUR $2, COMCAST
From: B. J. Fleming
Comcast Cablevision has insulted the intelligence of senior citizens by offering a measly $2 discount and then asking for information which is none of their business. My doctor doesn't ask those kinds of questions.