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Michael Hanley
Well said Walter!

I thought a lot of this had been resolved at Council with a lot of goodwill on both sides but it seems not. I just don't understand it... what is the desired result? No good can come of this constant bickering from both sides. It makes CS look like a disorganised rabble precisely at a time when we need to show ourselves to be a committed and professional voluntary organisation if we are going to replace the loss of the grant.
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional!
Quote:Several people who have left CS should be brought back as short of numbers: MH, S Hilton ,Andrew McCusker etc

how can you bring back people who clearly dont want to be here? p.s. S hilton is still a member
Quote:It makes CS look like a disorganised rabble precisely at a time when we need to show ourselves to be a committed and professional voluntary organisation if we are going to replace the loss of the grant.

i disagree David, CS is very well organised and despite the protestations of a few, very well run. I think that CS is very committed and professional. The fact that a few vocal protesters are getting short thrift demonstrates that.

Quote:I thought a lot of this had been resolved at Council with a lot of goodwill on both sides but it seems not.

I too thought that a lot of hatchets had been buried but it now appears not to be the case. Some people said one thing but maybe intended another Sad
One of my rare forays into the world of the discussion forum, so here goes.

I realised that as soon as I was appointed Chairman of the standards Committee I would become a controversial figure. This assessment was based on observing the treatment given to my predecessor. In fact, the Phil Thomas unpleasantness generation machine was started up and aimed at me even before my appointment was confirmed at the 2012 AGM. Well, nobody loses any sleep over that but I do feel that various facts should be stated here to avoid misunderstandings amongst the many people who read this forum.


Michael's original report, the one he emailed to the whole world, ended with:-

Please accept my resignation from the end of the council meeting, as I can no longer be associated with such an organization.

I have contacted my colleagues in Holyrood to inform them that I am no longer involved with this organization.

Most readers would interpret that as having a certain ring of finality.

At the Council Meeting, Michael was unable to substantiate his allegations and he undertook to issue a revised report. I have no information on whether the revised version has been distributed as widely but it concluded with:-

My membership of CS ran out on the 1st July, I will not be renewing it after the way [edit] ......[end edit] have been treated.

The complete, revised report is here (albeit redacted in the final paragraph).

Recently, I was asked about the removal of Michael's name from the various lists and replied:-

When a membership falls due for renewal I email the member to remind him/her and to express the hope that they will continue to support Chess Scotland. Some members, pay up immediately and I update that day the membership records as displayed on the website. Some members ignore me and then I wait a month and send another reminder, in this case I leave membership status unchanged meantime. The third category is where a member lets me know that they will not be renewing membership and, again, I update the membership list that day by deleting the relevant name. There is a corresponding change to any listing as a Chess Scotland Registered Volunteer for PVG related purposes. This is an automatic process which does not require any thought or consideration. All coaches and arbiters on the lists must be Chess Scotland members and if their membership lapses, they are immediately removed from the relevant list/s. (There is a separate process to add the person's name back onto the Registered Volunteer list if they reinstate membership at a later date, the details depend on the time which has elapsed.) Michael Hanley came under the third category, decision to not renew, and he was processed accordingly, there was nothing overzealous or particular to his case. The only unusual aspect was that in Michael's case he had also resigned as a Director.

In summary, Michael was treated no differently from any other member who decides not to renew membership. In my years of Membership Secretary, I cannot recall ever having briefed Council or sought their approval in operating at individual level the mechanical process of membership renewal and/or cancellation. Equally, Council has never shown any interest in the membership list at individual level. On the other hand, at an aggregate level, every piece of statistical information I can think of is published on a monthly basis here.


If Council wishes to authorise each and every cancellation on an individual basis I would have no problem with that, not sure what value that would add and may be rather embarrassing for some of the individual non-renewers but certainly no problem to implement. Before adopting any such new procedure, please bear in mind that many members who decide against renewing take their decision for a whole variety of different, personal reasons. It is also the case that many lapsed members do in fact renew their membership again at a later stage. I would therefore suggest that the existing, low key approach of leaving the Membership Secretary to operate the system is more member friendly but, as I say, a formal ratification by Council of each and every cancellation could be implemented. Bureaucrats love bureaucracy.

In this regard, I would have only one request, namely that the Membership Secretary should be given contact details for Council because the current incumbent has no information on who is, or is not a member of Council.


Because Michael's original report had been sent to so many people, there was quite a bit of comment, questions were asked about Michael's status within Chess Scotland. After various discussions involving a number of people, it was decided that an announcement should be made. It is a moot point whether the recent news panel was a more or less effective approach than using the discussion forum. The decision to issue a notice on the recent news panel was taken jointly by the President, Executive Director and Membership Secretary. The actual wording used was agreed by the same three officials. I was given the short straw of posting the notice to the home page because Andy was so busy at the Scottish Championships.

Again, I would have no difficulty in implementing the suggestion that potentially controversial announcements on the home page (but not the forum?) should be vetted and authors named. The obvious question is who watches the watchmen? At least I managed to resist the temptation to resort to my schoolboy Latin but, on a serious note, I suggest that the membership should be able to trust the combined resources of the President, Executive Director and Membership Secretary. Despite all the ballyhoo being generated on the discussion forum, we are simply well-meaning volunteers working for the good of chess as a whole.
Interesting use of hyperbole as I would doubt the whole world received Mr Hanley's email, but each to their own spin. As to the questions to Mr Hanley's status in Chess Scotland I would be interested to see the number of questioners expressed as a percentage of members to gauge the amount of interest that then triggers a notice on the home page.
John, I really cannot get my bowels into a turmoil as to whether an announcement about Michael's departure appears of the home page, the discussion forum or nowhere at all. I did say that the location of any announcement was a moot point. If the President and the Executive Director tell me to move or delete the notice on the home page, it will take me just a few seconds and a shrug to implement. For my own part, I think that the resignation of an immediate past President is newsworthy and I supported the decision to add something to the home page.

By the way, this is an illustration of why I avoid the discussion forum, it simply eats time whilst these threads wander onwards over the horizon. Sorry, no offence intended but this is not my scene.
The state of your bowels notwithstanding, the question still stands, what percentage of members does it take for a members non-renewal of their membership to be agreed at high level to be posted on the home page as news? I personally do not agree that just because he was a recent past president as sufficient reason, and, given the recent turmoil, it does give the impression of a witch hunt which was , I am sure , not the impression intended. I take note of your implied contempt for the members using the forums and my bowels are similarly not in a turmoil, though if that is your position I would suggest allowing someone else to reply for you. I read the post and I read it as a confusion between cancellation and non-renewal, one of which involves the Council and one doesn't. If you do decide to post again I would point out that any post you feel you have to finish with no offence intended is not a post that should be made.
I hold no person in contempt. All I say is that this is not my scene.

If I may enter the debate? It is normal when a Director steps down or leaves their post that an announcement is put on the website. I am aware that other Directors had been asked what is happening with this by members and people were confused by the situation. In a statement Mike sent out to half of Scotland, he stated that he was resigning. A statement had to be made to clarify this.

People are divided on what is right here and despite quoting the constitution, it is not clear either. The constitution cannot cover ever eventuality and therefore has to be interpreted by the people who have been entrusted. If we get it wrong, we are answerable to both Council and the AGM, not a very pleasant thought!

The rights and wrongs of this are open to debate by all but Mike has made his position crystal clear here on the noticeboard a few posts up from this one. If someone has not paid their membership in time then they get a 3 month extension, if however they have stated that they are not renewing then is it correct that they get a 3 month extension? They can change their minds but they are then members again! The constitution does not cover this.

Had not Mike said he was not renewing it then the correct decision would be for him to remain on all lists (I need to check out the chaperone one as I thought you did not have to be a member for that one...) and so on.

Mike is a real asset and I hope we can get this all resolved soon and have him back on board driving Junior Chess throughout the country (as well as driving me nuts with some of his ideas!).

I hope I have not muddied the waters!

Getting back to the Scottish now Big Grin
"How sad to see, what used to be, a model of decorum and tranquility become like any other sport, a battleground for rival ideologies to slug it out with glee"
Andy, all are welcome, you knew when you stated that it was normal that a notice was posted I was going to have a look. I can't find another posting in the archive or the historic archive of a director stepping down or leaving announced on the news section. I can find them on the forum but Mike Hanley is the first, as far as I can find, who has been given a news item. So my question still remains, how many members making a query about another's status does it take to be deemed important enough for a news announcement as opposed to a forum topic. As this seemed to be advanced as the reason for the placing of the news item I was curious. Just because I'm from Ayrshire doesn't mean I always have an agenda.

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