Clarity from a former Mullis Center board member

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As a former board member of the Mullis Community Senior Center, I was asked who to vote for in the next board election.

We live in Act 2 of the 2019 “Bring Back the Pledge” campaign. A group of grievances, following the conclusion of their trial, have gathered at the Friday Harbor American Legion to campaign against the Mullis Center, based on misinformation, misunderstanding and twisted facts.

Perhaps in response to the recent acquisition of substantial legacies that finally ensure the financial security of the Mullis Center, this grievance group has bought ads and developed several websites and publications, full of accusations of mismanagement. Their smear campaign aims to take control of the centre’s board in the next election. What is missing here is more than a vague mention of improving management if they are successful. Based on their previous activities, the group appears to want to hijack the center into a flag-centric patriotic organization, primarily serving the needs of veterans. Another possibility is that they wish to restrict the centre’s services to conservative causes, essentially becoming the center of the right for San Juan Island. These are not suitable goals for a senior center.

A recent claim for this group is that the center “took your vote”. In 2019, the current board revised and updated its 2002 bylaws to meet current conditions. By not giving proper notice to the assembly revising the statutes, the court demanded this new election and the restoration of the old statutes.

Why eliminate the election of the members of the board of directors in the new statutes? The 2002 statutes specified a board size of 15 members, a total that had not been achieved for many years. The annual elections saw a very low turnout. I have been a member since 2007. Before this election, there were never more candidates than vacancies. A vote without choice does not make sense for most members. This is the reason why most nonprofits do not have members who vote for their boards these days – because there is no competition for board seats; they are struggling to find enough people to sit on their boards.

As always, the mission of the current Mullis Center Board of Directors is to continue to provide and expand services to all residents over the age of 60 or with disabilities on SJI. No particular interest; at the service of ALL.

Vote and reject this attempt to take over our senior center!

Rita weisbrod

San Juan Island

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