10 November 2014
November 3, 2014
To: Board of Directors, Orlando Metropolitan Bridge Center
I am disappointed and dismayed by the dissension that currently threatens our bridge club. In my opinion the problem arose because of a set of clumsily written by-laws of questionable validity written almost thirty years ago when OMBC was a very different entity from what it is today. Presumably these by-laws were adopted (no one seems to know by whom) to protect the interests of the original bond holders whose bond purchases made possible the construction of the club building. Over the years the number of such bond holders has been reduced significantly by redemptions.
The support of OMBC, both financial and otherwise, no longer comes from the few bond holders who remain but from the large number of loyal players who play regularly and frequently. I count myself in that group but there are many more as you all know. I personally have played almost daily for well over ten years and have paid over $20,000 in entry fees. Yet we have no direct representation on the Board of Directors and cannot even call ourselves members since membership per se does not exist under the current structure.
For these and other reasons and to avoid in the future the kind of duress to which we are all now being subjected I urge the Board to consider hiring an attorney to draw up a new set of by-laws to replace the existing antiquated and inadequate set. I would hope that under the new by-laws OMBC would make membership possible to those players who pay the annual club dues (perhaps $200 initially). These card-carrying, voting members would elect members to a new Board of Trustees. Members would also receive a small discount (perhaps $2) on their daily entry fees. Players who are non-members would be welcome to play anytime and would pay the usual $7 entry.
I would also hope that the restructured OMBC under its new by-laws would do away with the term “club owner”. Current “club owners” own nothing, as recent events have dramatically demonstrated. An entirely new system for assigning game directors would have to be addressed as would director compensation.
I am writing to you out of my deep concern for OMBC and its future. The events of the past few weeks, whether in substance or execution, have been corrosive and destructive. The disillusionment of several of OMBC’s most active supporters will prove costly indeed. Let’s bring OMBC into the 21st century , a club that is governed by a Board of Trustees that is transparent and represents its true constituency.