Embattled Rutland Park Society president to quit

Todd Sanderson says he will resign Aug. 23 at a meeting he has called to elect a new RPS board.

The president to the Rutland Park Society says he will step down Aug. 23.

But before Todd Sanderson goes, he plans to dismiss the RPS treasurer Wendi Swarbrick from the board. He has accused Swarbrick of conflict of interest.

Sanderson says he and Swarbrick are the two currently legally recognized directors on RPS board, despite the society’s membership naming six interim directors Tuesday night to replace the 10 who resigned July 18.

Sanderson plans to go ahead with a board meeting he has called for tonight to give Swarbrick an opportunity to respond to his allegations. Swarbrick has denied having any conflict and has said she will not attend tonight’s meeting.

The six men named to the board Tuesday will not be invited, he said.

According to Sanderson if Swarbrick doesn’t show up, he will dismiss her from the board, something he claims he has the power to do as president despite the fact there are only two directors left on the board.

Contacted Thursday, Sanderson said the six men named as interim directors are not legally recognized, according to the society’s lawyers. And he said B.C.’s Registrar of Societies has been requested by the lawyers not to change the official list of directors until after the Aug. 23 membership meeting, which Sanderson called to elect a new RPS board.

He said the six are not recognized because they were named at a meeting that was not duly constituted, should not have been run by Swarbrick—who said she was chairing it in Sanderson’s absence—and because not all RPS members were notified of the meeting.

Swarbick said an attempt was made to notify as many RPS members as possible but organizers were not given a full membership list prior to holding the meeting.

Sanderson said he will resign at the Aug. 23 RPS membership meeting and the six men—Bob Dhanwant, Joe Iafrancesco, Walter Viita, Gene Booth, Chase Jestley and Steve Swarbrick are welcome to seek board positions at that meeting.

But he said they must declare their relationship to Swarbrick prior to the vote. Sanderson said Dhanwaat is a client of Swarbrick’s, another one of the six is an employee of her’s and Steve Swarbrick is her ex-husband.

“There’s nothing wrong with them being on the board but they have to declare that,” he said.

The simmering feud between Sanderson and Wendi Swarbrick has resulted in the former board removing Swarbick’s signing privileges on behalf of the society and Sanderson suspending her as treasurer, a move Swarbrick does not recognize. She remains a RPS director, according to Sanderson.

On Tuesday, about 70 people showed up for what turned out to be a chaotic member-organzied meeting—23 new members signed up at the door—and they passed a motion calling on Sanderson to resign.

Sanderson said while he will do so, he has not received the society’s books to submit to the independent review he wanted prior to a new board coming in. So he will make the new board aware of that, and of the conflict of he believes exists.

While she has said the the Aug. 23 meeting will not be valid, Swarbrick has urged RPS members to attend.