Updated: Rutland Parks Society president calls board elections for Aug. 23

Disgruntled society members have already planned their own meeting to elect a new board Aug. 9.

Update: One of the men behind a plan to pre-empt an Aug. 23 Rutland Park Society meeting called to replace 10 RPS directors who quit two weeks ago, says their Aug. 9 meeting will go ahead regardless of the planned Aug 23 meeting.

And David Buckna said replacement directors will be elected at the earlier meeting.

Buckna, a vocal critic of RPS president Todd Sanderson—one of only two members of the current RPS board—has also rejected Sanderson’s public invitation to join him on current board as an interim director, until the society’s AGM in October. Buckna said in an email to the Capital News he would never serve on a board with Sanderson.

Sanderson had extended the olive branch through the media last week after saying he had made several calls and sent several emails to Buckna, all of which Buckna admitted he intentionaly did not answer.

Buckna’s refusal to serve on the board with Sanderson is actually a moot point given he is not eligible to serve on, or run for election to, the RPS board because he has not been a member of the society for the required five months.

Original story: The embattled president of the Rutland Park Society has called a membership meeting for later this month to replace the 10 directors who quit the board two weeks ago.

Todd Sanderson announced the Aug. 23 meeting late Friday afternoon, saying it will be open only to RPS members, of whom there are 48 according to the latest count. Identification will be required at the door to make sure only RPS members get in.

Sanderson’s announcement comes after disgruntled RPS members, upset with his leadership and that of the former board, announced they would hold their own meeting Aug. 9 to elect replacement directors. It’s not clear how, or if, the Aug. 9 meeting will be impacted that the announcement of the Aug 23 meeting.

The existing board consists of just two people, Sanderson and treasurer Wendi Swarbrick, who Sanderson wants to dismiss from the board because of what he says is an undisclosed conflict of interest. Swarbrick has denied she has a conflict and has said she plans to sue Sanderson for defamation.

Sanderson has summoned Swarbrick to a meeting Aug. 12 to discuss that alleged conflict but Swarbrick has said she will not go. According to Sanderson, if Swarbrick doesn’t show, he will dismiss her from the board.

The Aug. 23 meeting is a bid to replace the 10 directors who quit at a heated RPS membership meeting two weeks ago that was to have decided Swarbrick’s fate. All of the directors who quit had terms that would have expired in October. Sanderson’s announcement said the newly elected directors would be elected on an interim basis to complete the terms of the directors who quit. A new slate of directors would then be elected at the October  annual general meeting of the society.

Quoting the RPS bylaws, the announcement said to be eligible to be elected as a director, a person must have been a member in good standing for at least five months prior to the AGM.

While there will be a call from the floor for nominations of eligible members to sit on the interim board, the announcement said in keeping with the spirit of the bylaws, nominations will be accepted for eligible members not in attendance provided the eligible member present written evidence of their consent to act prior to the election.  The written consent can be presented by any valid voting member.

There was no immediate reaction from those leading the charge for the Aug. 9 meeting other than a curt one-word response from David Buckna, one of Sanderson’s sharpest critics.

All he said was “huh?”