Frequently Asked Questions
Over course of the last few days, we have received questions from our membership and have had some concerns brought to our attention. In order to be transparent and ensure that all voting members of the Association are aware of these questions and concerns, we have decided to respond to these questions and address these concerns through these FAQs.
Why did the AGM get rescheduled?
A member of our Association raised the concern that we didn’t follow our bylaws in the way we notified the membership of the AGM. We posted the notice to our website as we have done for several years, but upon further investigation, we found that we were supposed to have sent it by email. As soon as we realized our error, we cancelled the AGM and rescheduled it. The concern was heard, and we acted swiftly and correctly.
Why are we not voting on the new bylaws as was previously planned?
We have been working on a new set of bylaws to replace the current ones. The current bylaws are poor and old and in desperate need of updating. I became President last season and we didn’t get to it in my first year as President. In my second year, we made a good effort but there is still some work needed. There was never any expressed interest in the bylaws until this past month. As soon as we realized that there was interest from some members, we decided to delay the vote on the new bylaws for a subsequent meeting to ensure that they are fair and reasonable, provide much needed clarity and so that we could send it out to our members for comment/input. We want bylaws that represent all of our views and so we plan to share the proposed bylaws with the Association in the fall and to solicit as much member feedback as we can get over a two-week period. Once we receive the feedback, we will incorporate the ideas and suggestions as much as possible before submitting a final draft to a vote of the members. Again, we are pleased there is such interest in things like the bylaws and the AGM and that so many new members are seeking to get a spot on the Board. The reality is that we have never had interest like this before and so we are responding as best we can as a volunteer Board. We truly hope that the interest is genuine and with the best interests of the kids at heart, rather than for reasons that won’t serve or benefit the broader membership. We absolutely welcome any and all genuine interest in volunteering for the Association in any capacity.
Why did we move current Board members to challenge for positions other than the ones they held previously?
Due to all the negativity that has surrounded this year’s AGM, two of the Board’s most significant contributors have decided to resign. This has left the two VP roles empty and we felt it was our responsibility to propose our most qualified candidates for the most important positions. This is why we are proposing Eric Nicholson to assume the VP Admin (VP1) position and Mike Masse to take over the VP Hockey (VP2) role.
We also had a 5th Director at Large (DAL 5) spot that used to be the Registrar. When the Registrar duties were assumed by a paid individual, we thought it appropriate that a paid individual should not have a vote as a Director. We also didn’t think it appropriate to shrink the Board, so we were lucky to have Mike Masse join the Board as DAL 5, which really meant that he was taking the seat of the Registrar. In fact, we have never officially changed the name of the position from Registrar to Director at Large 5, so the position is still called Registrar. We did not have any nominations for this position, so Mike Masse could have remained in the role and he would have been guaranteed a spot on the Board. Instead, we thought that the strongest Board we could propose to our Members would have Mike Masse as VP Hockey (VP2) so we did that. After that, another excellent contributor in Grant Pellegrin moved into the “Registrar” role in order to allow more new volunteers in the 4 DAL positions. In our view, we are creating more room for new Board members this way, rather than having both Jeff Hill and Grant Pellegrin in the general pool of DAL nominees.
We believe that structuring the Board elections in this manner gives our members actual choice and makes this a truly democratic process. We could have provided a list of Directors for election that would have seen four Directors, almost half the Board, run unopposed. We did not think this was in the best interests of our membership given the number of candidates who were interested this year.
What goes into hockey fees? Is there any reasonable way to reduce these fees?
The major costs that go into Registration fees are ice costs, admin costs, mandatory Hockey Canada Insurance costs, and mandatory Hockey Calgary registration costs. A small portion goes into capital expenditures such as 1/2 ice boards and nets for our younger players, jerseys, pucks and other necessary supplies. We also invest in coaching clinics, etc. to support our volunteer coaches, and skills and dryland sessions for our teams, so we can ensure the best experience for the players. The only way to meaningfully reduce costs would be to reduce the amount of ice (and full ice practices) each player/team gets, and there has never been an appetite to do that. Rec hockey offers less ice and less general programming for those that want that. We want to give our athletes as much ice as we can, and we do.
We were asked to produce date-stamped nominations for the incumbents.
The current bylaws do not limit incumbent candidates from running for new positions on the Board. Our interpretation of the bylaws is that new Director nominees are required to be nominated by a member of the Association, but that the Board’s proposed candidates can be “provided” by the nomination committee (or the board as a whole in absence of that committee). We believe the bylaws were drafted this way to ensure a qualified Board is always there to serve the Association for the coming year. We believe this interpretation is reasonable and allows for members of the Association to have the most choice possible at this year’s AGM. As previously noted, the bylaws are far from clear on this point and we will address these and other matters with new bylaws this fall. We do not believe that looking for technicalities or loopholes to somehow disqualify proven, committed and capable Directors benefits the Association at all. Our incumbents/returning Board members are good people with passion and experience, have committed a lot of time and effort, not only on the Board but also at the rink in many other capacities, and the Association and the kids that play within our Association are better served by having their names on the ballot.
We were asked if we would accept votes by proxy.
Our bylaws clearly don’t allow for this so the answer is no, as per the bylaws. Further, it is already a daunting task for a group of volunteers to try to pull off a Zoom AGM with as many people as we may have in attendance. Adding the option of proxy voting would be extremely challenging logistically, but it would also be near impossible for us to maintain the accuracy and legitimacy of the vote. Lastly, hosting the AGM on Zoom enables members to attend on their phones or other devices from anywhere in the world where there is access to the internet. We believe that provides broad and sufficient access to the AGM by our members.