This evening, there was a general membership meeting with approximately 200 members present. I will leave comments to those of you who attended but let me comment that our speaker, Robert Falls, was excellent and answered our questions for over an hour.
Much to my surprise, there were security guards in uniform at the doors of the theater where we were meeting. They had been hired by some members of the board. As a Board member, I wish to go on record indicating that I was never asked whether I approved this expenditure nor would I have approved this expenditure. It was a waste of our money, and an additional indication of the fear of dissent and new ideas. If our meetings are not open to non-members, then it should have been announced ahead of time. We have been in the practice of posting the meeting date and time on our website's public calendar, and this meeting was announced in that fashion.
Upon entry, I was asked to sign my name and pass through a checkpoint where a sticker was placed on my Saints badge. The sticker was not handed to me but placed on my badge without explanation. It felt inappropriate and like an invasion of my personal space. I was most uncomfortable and did not understand the reason for this action.
After Mr. Falls' engaging presentation and willingness to candidly answer many of our questions, most of the members went out to do early signups. There appeared to be concern about losing out on ushering opportunities, and some of these people did return but most left the room to sign up and went home. Approximately 50 members remained inside the theater to ask the Saints President, BJ Nelson, questions. As time progressed, and it became clear that this group was not going to leave without an opportunity to ask a number of questions, two of the other officers, Linda Berg (Treasurer) and Andy Lingras (Secretary) also stood at the front of the room and started responding.
I will leave it to tonight's attendees to comment on their experience of the meeting and their interaction with the board officers. For me, tonight was a memorable evening for both positive and negative reasons.
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