Photo: Wayne Moore - Castanet
Photo: Wayne Moore - Castanet

KMHA & President at legal impasse

by - Story: 46169

Close to 200 Kelowna Minor Hockey members crammed into a conference room at the Sandman Inn Monday thinking they were going to decide the fate of President, Luis Diaz.

Most left frustrated their questions were not answered after what was supposed to be an extraordinary general meeting to determine the fate of Diaz turned into nothing more than an information session.

Many left before an informal, non-binding vote was taken asking the KMHA Board of Directors to take 'all necessary steps' to remove the president of Kelowna Minor Hockey.

A notice sent to all minor hockey parents stated, "Based on Part 3, Article 11 in the KMHA Constitution, the KMHA Executive calls for an Extraordinary General Meeting to take place at the earliest possible time to discuss the conduct, and undertake the removal of the sitting KMHA President."

KMHA 2nd Vice-President, Pat Omoe, told those assembled, the board and President Diaz are at a "Legal Impasse" over Diaz's decision to fire administrator, Corrinne Reid.

Omoe says the board refused to accept the letter of termination and instead, asked for Diaz to resign. He did not, prompting the call for the extraordinary meeting.

Omoe says it was the opinion of the board that Diaz had overstepped his authority as President in unilaterally terminating Reid's employment effective April 10, 2009.

However, he says Diaz believed due process had not been followed in notifying the membership. He says a legal opinion indicated that to be correct.

"We will not be presenting any binding motions tonight," Omoe told those assembled.

"The point of this meeting is to inform you what is going on. It is for clarification only."

Omoe says at this point, the board can't work together.

"We don't know where to go from here. We are at an impasse. We are asking for your input."

One option that was brought forward by more than one in attendance was to call upon all members of the board to resign and new elections to take place at the AGM slated for late May.

"Membership should always be able to decide that, if they want members to be on the board for any of the directors. Perhaps it may be (a viable option)."

Kim Dobranski, a first year member of KMHA was one of those to suggest the board be asked to resign.

He says regardless how the impasse is settled, hard feelings will remain.

"This governing body is no different than any other governing body, when they are at an impasse, you call an election, that's how you solve the problem. You let the people decide," says Dobranski.

"That way, at the end of the day, everybody can live with the decision because as a group we've all made the decision. The way this is going to turn out, if they don't resign and allow everybody to make the decision, there is going to be one segment with a chip on their shoulder."

He says it won't turn out well.

When informed Diaz was elected last year by acclamation, Dobranski said he would be willing to let his name stand if it came to that.

"I'm a person of action. When I see something in disarray, I like to do something about it. I'm a firm believer that you either lead, follow or get the hell out of the way and I'm just a leader."

The informal motion was given an overwhelming vote of approval.

Diaz was not in attendance at Monday's meeting.

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