Sunday, January 25, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Senior Citizens of Davis accept board resignation, transition to interim leadership

Donald and Carol Harting — former treasures for the Senior Citizens of Davis — listen to speakers at Thursday's meeting, where members voted to accept the resignation of the former board and appointed an interim board. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | October 12, 2012 |

Thursday morning, 150 members of the Senior Citizens of Davis arrived at the Senior Center prepared to vote out the organization’s board of directors.

Instead, all they had to do was accept the board’s resignation.

The entire board and president stepped down earlier this week — just days before the membership had planned to remove them — in the wake of an overwhelming disagreement with the proposed changes to the nonprofit organization’s bylaws.

Among other amendments, the board had proposed to eliminate the Senior Center from the organization’s official purpose and to shift management of the group’s money from a finance and budget director to a committee that the president would oversee.

The organization has about 970 members and $560,000 in its coffers.

Many members believe the new bylaws would have jeopardized the organization’s relationship with the Senior Center, 646 A St., a key reason many of them had joined SCD in the first place.

But on Tuesday, former board president John Gerlich posted a letter on a bulletin board in the Senior Center formally announcing his decision to step down. Gerlich’s note was accompanied by email resignation notes from each of the other three board members.

“I wish to thank all those who have actively served with me during my tenure on the SCD Board of Directors,” the letter read. “I have received notices of resignation from SCD Secretary Marie Harlan, Treasurer Barbara Takasue and Chairperson of Membership Services Noreen Mazelis. It should therefore be noted that the active SCD Board of Directors and the elected Executive Committee members have all resigned.”

But the letter didn’t end there. In closing, Gerlich also took a shot at the membership, calling the situation “sad” and “disgusting.”

When the members voted to accept the board’s resignation, they also voted to “object to the unfair blame attributed to SCD members embedded within the resignations.”

The Enterprise has reached out to Gerlich on numerous occasions during the past few months to discuss the situation at length, but these efforts have not been successful.
In an email response to Thursday’s inquiry, he stated the letter’s “pretty much spell things out.”
In the past, Gerlich has said the board had no intentions of changing the mission of SCD and that the purpose would have remained to provide support to the Senior Center. He also has said that the organization still would have had a co-sponsorship agreement with the city of Davis.

But according to Christine Helweg, the city’s community services superintendent, recent events have prompted the city to rethink that arrangement, even with the resignation of the board.

“We don’t want to be put in a situation like this again,” Helweg said after the meeting.

The city counts on funding from SCD to pay for copier maintenance at the center and for production of the monthly “Senior Scene” newsletter.

Once the board had officially been removed, the members then elected a new interim board to oversee the organization until a new permanent board can be properly elected.

Margot Loschke was unanimously elected interim president. Loschke also was appointed by the City Council earlier this week to the Davis Senior Citizens Commission.

“I look forward to helping the organization through this transition as smoothly as possible,” Loschke said after the meeting adjourned. “This was a tough situation.”

Bill Powell was named vice president, Wanda Winton secretary, Carol Harting treasurer and Matt Williams finance and budget director, beating out Edgar (Steve) Hamilton for the job.

“What we’ve accomplished is phenomenal, it really is phenomenal,” Winton said after the election. “You should all be proud of yourselves.”

The organization then appointed a nomination committee, which will coordinate a December election for a new SCD board.

Elaine Roberts Musser, the attorney who represented about 30 SCD members in the dispute with the former board, walked the membership through the process of removing the board Thursday to make sure the California Corporate Code was followed properly.

After the meeting, she said that though the situation was difficult, the organization will emerge from it for the better.

“I’m disappointed that the board chose not to resign in a professional manner,” Roberts Musser said. “(But) I’m excited that the members are energized. This has been a blessing in disguise.”

— Reach Tom Sakash at tsakash@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter @TomSakash

Comments

comments

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at tsakash@davisenterprise.net, (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Share your love (story) with us

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Winter produce available at Sutter market

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Donations to be distributed during homeless count

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Speaker will share computer security tips

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

    Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Davis, Woodland are saving water

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

    Words and Music Festival events

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Forum

     
    Caring for the aging mouth

    By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

     
    Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

    By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

    We have the right to choose

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    We don’t have to suffer

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    City helped immensely

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

     
    When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

    From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Sports

    Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD men take two tennis matches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

     
    Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

    By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8