Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Peninsula Coop Election Candidates

The package for the election arrived in the mail and there are eight candidates for four positions, three of them are for three years and one for two years to fill a vacancy.  

The list of candidates:

  • Glenn Davidson
  • Mike Fecteau
  • Rob Gaudet
  • Roger Hart
  • Ron MacIsaac
  • Cathy McIntyre
  • Cathie Ounsted
  • Jack Thornburgh
(if I can find more good links to information on the candidates, I will post them)


The 2012 Ballot
The unfair election process
I am not happy at all with the way the Peninsula Coop conducts their election, the existing board of directors has a nominations committee that then decides who to endorse which is then prominently listed in the bio information and even on the ballot.   The ballot and bio info also highlights the incumbents over all the other candidates.  

The way the elections are conducted are clearly not fair and do not allow for an even playing field.   The incumbent board has all the power and is using that power to win the election for their own slate.   While I like most of the current board, a fundamentally unfair electoral process will lead to a board that will not govern well.   The financial sustainability  of the coop will suffer the longer the elections are unfair.

I look at the candidate Jack Thornburgh and I what I know of him  he would seem to be a prefect board member for the coop but he was not endorsed.   The endorsements look more like seeking candidates for the right political views than for competency to sit on the board.  

I compare him to Cathy McIntrye, who was appointed to the board recently, and as a great a person she seems to be, I do not seem an core competency with respect to a cooperative in which she would seem to have more skills than Jack.   I am also concerned that they appointed someone to the board that members in 2011 did not elect to be on the board of directors.  She goes into the election with incumbent and nominations committee endorsement beside her name

The argument is that the nomination committee needs to vet who is best qualified to sit on the board of directors.   I do not think it is the place of the existing board to make such a determination.  If they want to make a difference, they would seek out all the information on the candidates and post it online.  

As it stands, the current board effectively chooses the board of directors which severs the link of accountability to the members.

I look at the way MEC, a much bigger operation, conducts their elections and it is clear that the way Peninsula Coop conducts their elections does not need to be so unfair.  I have been a member of credit unions over the years and I have never seen an election so clearly unfair.

If the elections are to be run this way, it is time for the Peninsula Coop to demutualize and become a publicly traded company.  Maybe the government needs to pass some laws to ensure fair elections and force coops to demutualize of only a small percentage of the members vote in each election.

Who Will I Vote For?
I will be voting for Cathy McIntrye and Cathie Ounsted - I know they are two of the four candidates that benefit the most from the unfair process but in my opinion they are the two best candidates running.   I am not sure I will vote for anyone else.  

I can not vote for Ron Gaudet because as president he should be taking action to make the elections fair.

I will not vote for Jack Thornburgh or Glenn Davidson because I believe they want to be elected for partisan political reasons and use the Peninsula Coop for social engineering.

I might consider Ron MacIsaac because he is an interesting character and would bring a knowledge to the board that no one else has.

Roger Hart and Mike Fecteau have not put enough information into their bios for me to be able to vote for them at this time.
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