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Don't Hand your Federation to Olympic Elites

Written by: Jack Weiss
Date: Sat Sep 14 2013

The 2013 USAT elections began today and runs thru October 15. Four regions will be selecting General Directors for the National Board: Southwest, South East, Mid East and Florida. This election is different from past elections. The difference is that, for the first time, 3 elite athletes and one “fellow traveler” are running to secure General Director positions that have always been held by Age Group athletes. This is not an accidental happening. These Elites are part of a conspiracy to place Elites in General Director positions on the National Board. The Elites are running for these positions in an attempt to unfairly affect the outcome of all USAT policy and fiscal programs to the detriment of ALL 154,000 age group athletes.
USAT has 155,000 members. Less than 400 of those 155,000 members are Elites and less than 100 of the 400 Elites are Olympic hopefuls and do ITU racing. Only those engaged in the Olympic program and programs associated with that part of Triathlon are entitled to Elite representation. All Professional Duathletes and Ironman Triathletes are represented by General Directors, not the Elite Directors. The 400 Elite members equate to only 2 tenths of one percent (0.02%) of the entire membership. Yet the Elites’ 0.02% already have a guaranteed 25 percent of the Board seats. If they succeed in this election, the Elites will control nearly 60 percent of the Board.
The Elites are trying to trick Age Group members and Race Directors by claiming that they: “care about all the constituents… and are willing to act in a transparent manner…”. That’s simply not true. In the last 12 years, the Elites have burned through over 10 million dollars and have not one Olympic Medal to show for their efforts. Each budget year, nearly two-thirds of the Elite budget is funded with age group monies – your membership money. In 2013, the Elite budget is $2.1 million of which $1.5 million is age group membership monies. The Elites secretly planned to run for General Directors’ seats in a calculated effort to secure their financial interests to the exclusion of both age group athletes and race directors.
Another Elite falsity is their claim that the propositions on this year’s ballot “were not vetted properly through the membership”. Again, that’s not true. The By-Laws require the Board review and coordinate any By-Law changes with the respective standing committees and this was done. As required, the Board first voted on the proposed amendments. After approving the proposed amendments, the Board is now submitting the proposed amendments to the membership. Our Congress follows a similar process: laws are passed by the elected representatives and then submitted to the public at large.
Note the proposal to amend the Bylaws to realign the National Board Regions is a requirement of the By-Laws. If the largest Region becomes twice the size as the smallest region the By-Laws mandate realignment. The Board of Directors is merely following the direction of the By-Laws. It is also important to note that the proposed realignment was vetted through the Regional Chair Council. This important By-Law mandated change because it apportions the membership equally providing for equal representation throughout the Federation. If left unchanged, folks in the existing smallest regions (e.g. Wyoming) will have a bigger vote than folks in the largest regions (e.g. Virginia or Florida).
The bottom line here is the Elites who represent less than 2 tenths of one percent of the membership, already have a vastly disproportionate 25 percent (3) of the 12 seats on the Board of Directors. That is so despite the fact that they physically represent less than 30 percent of ALL Professional Triathletes , have failed to win any medals in 12 years despite more than generous funding, and are now trying to trick you and the rest of the age group membership into voting for them and thus giving you less power and the Elites more power. Don’t be fooled. These Elites are not running to make your Federation better; they’re running to make their financial prospects better and further increase their influence in a Federation started by Race Directors and Age Group athletes long before there was an Olympic movement. Protect your interests, and vote for Age Group athletes like yourself to fill these very important General Director positions.
Jack Weiss is a race director in Texas, a current and long time Board member and officer of USA Triathlon. His own USAT number, such numbers given out consecutively, is 000007. He can be reached at
817-800-9566 or at ironjack@ironheadrp.com

  

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