LAB election in upper midwest

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Karen M., Apr 6, 2003.

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  1. Karen M.

    Karen M. Guest

    Hi all-- We have a real tempest brewing in Mich, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Bill Hoffman (who has
    enough of a real life that he doesn't do UseNet) put it much more eloquently than I can; his words
    are below. (Bill is the guy who routinely attends League board meetings at his own time and expense.
    He's also traveled to HQ to watch as election ballots are counted; something tells me this is one
    that he should not miss.) Note that the candidate being touted and advertised by some members of the
    board of directors lists his cycling experience as "our bikes accompany us on family vacations up
    north, to Mackinac Island, and on our annual fishing trip in Canada." This message was sent to folks
    who are commuters, people who ride their bikes *to* the straits of Mackinac, and others who more
    often than not take the bikes off the roofrack to ride them. The guy I voted for, Fred Oswald, is an
    Effective Cycling instructor, year-round commuter in the Cleveland ares (any snowfall there??), and
    a regular at local government meetings. He recently brought a weird law to the attention of
    legislators in a local jurisdiction, and they promptly changed it. --Karen M.

    To LAB members in Region 4 (IL, IN, MI, OH):

    Within the past week you probably received a mailing from "the Committee to Elect Mark Terman." It
    contained a letter signed by seven LAB Directors, a ballot, and a return envelope. Whether or not
    you have not already voted in this election, I ask you to read the following.

    In 32 years as a League member, I have never seen any Director, or group of Directors, play so fast
    and loose with the rules governing Board elections. Their letter tells you that you don't need to
    supply your membership number when filling out your ballot. This is in direct opposition to the
    instructions in the 2003 Almanac, which contained the ballot. The membership number is the means by
    which LAB ensures that each member votes only once, and that all those voting are in fact eligible.
    Changing the rules in the middle of an election is unethical, if not outright illegal.

    This mailing is clearly a desperate, last-minute attempt by these seven Directors to salvage the
    campaign of a weak candidate, the one proposed by the Nominating Committee and approved by the full
    Board. Consider what Mr. Terman wrote in the letter about his cycling experience: "From my childhood
    and teen years, my bicycle was my primary form of transportation and outdoor activity." That's true
    for most kids-—big deal. "Now bicycling and walking are my main forms of physical activity." Again,
    true for many people. But just how much, and what kind, of cycling does he do? One would expect
    that, if he's an active cyclist, that fact would be mentioned. But it wasn't. "Our bikes always
    accompany us on our family vacations." Do the bikes actually get used during vacations, or just
    accompany his family?

    There's nothing in the letter stating what Mark Terman has done in the past to help bicyclists, only
    a vague general statement (ghost-written by the "Committee", perhaps?) as to what he'll do if
    elected. Even long-time cycling education and advocacy leaders in his own state have never heard of
    him! Why, then, was he nominated? I can only assume it's because he may have contacts to
    deep-pocketed organizations that could be tapped to fund LAB's misdirected advocacy efforts.

    Now compare Mark Terman's self-described cycling record to Fred Oswald's. Fred has commuted to work
    most days year-round for many years in a large metropolitan area-—Cleveland. That means that he
    rides on major roads in heavy traffic, and in darkness during the winter. Fred is a League Cycling
    Instructor. I observed him when he took his LCI training. He demonstrated a deep understanding of
    vehicular cycling principles and showed excellent performance on his bike. His work on model
    bicycling laws has led to important improvements in several Cleveland suburbs that formerly had
    serious restrictions on cycling. Fred is on the board of the Ohio Bicycle Federation. While we can
    only guess about Mark Terman's cycling activities, Fred's cycling habits, knowledge, and
    contributions are well known, and will be brought to bear for the benefit of League members.

    Please forward this message to other League members you know in Region
    4. And if you have not voted, please vote for Fred Oswald, who has worked and will continue to work
    for programs that benefit the kinds of cyclists the League represents. Be sure to put your
    membership number (it's on the mailing label of your LAB magazine, just above your name) on your
    ballot. I can assure you that ballots submitted without this number will be challenged. Your
    ballot must be postmarked by April 15.

    It's unfortunate that Mr. Terman has to bear the brunt of such negativism, but the onus for that
    rests squarely with the LAB Nominating Committee, Board, and especially these seven Directors.
    However, the outrageous action by the "Committee to Elect Mark Terman" cannot go unchallenged. The
    seven Directors who signed the letter should resign immediately. They have violated League
    election procedures in several ways, and have destroyed the trust the members have a right to have
    in the Board.

    Bill Hoffman Lancaster, PA 17601-2852

    LAB Member since 1971; Life Member #34 (since 1976); LAB volunteer 1972-Dec., 2002

    ECI/LCI #33 (since 1980); Member of LAB Education Committee 1994-2002; chair 1996-2000

    LAB Regional Director 1974-82 and 2001-02; Board Secretary 1974-76 and 1979, Treasurer 1977-78

    Rally Advisor c. 1978-90 (position eliminated about 1990)

    Touring Information Director for NY 1976-90; for PA 1990-97? (program eliminated about 1997); chair
    of Touring Information Committee c. 1992-97

  2. "Karen M." wrote:
    > Hi all-- We have a real tempest brewing in Mich, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. ... The guy I voted
    > for, Fred Oswald, is an Effective Cycling instructor, year-round commuter in the Cleveland ares
    > (any snowfall there??), and a regular at local government meetings. He recently brought a weird
    > law to the attention of legislators in a local jurisdiction, and they promptly changed it.
    > --Karen M.

    Let me add my endorsement for Fred Oswald. While I haven't met Fred face to face, I've corresponded
    with him and talked to him by telephone. Several dedicated cyclists whom I know and greatly respect
    _have_ met Fred, and in fact know him very well. They attest to the fact that Fred is not merely a
    person who will politic for more bucks; he's a person who will help get the League back to its
    mission of defending our rights to the roads.

    Karen's statement about Fred work regarding a "weird law" doesn't go far enough. First, understand
    that Ohio's constitution somehow allows every tiny burg to make its own bike laws. Fred did
    laborious research to track down the bike laws of 60 little burgs surrounding Cleveland, and rated
    them for acceptability. Many failed terribly - for example, saying cyclists must ride on the
    sidewalk, or must walk their bike across every intersection! See for more details.

    Due to Fred's efforts, some laws have already been changed, and state legislators have begun
    considering a statewide remedy. But this has involved countless hours of volunteer work by Fred.

    His opponent is an unknown fund-raiser/fitness-promoter who, apparently, sometimes rides a
    bike. Nobody has uncovered any expertise regarding cycling, nor concern about cyclist's rights.
    Yet, because he may bring in money, several board members appear to have bent the rules to
    favor his election.

    We must get the League of American Bicyclists focused, once again, on defending our rights to the
    roads. I know that's Fred Oswald's focus. Please, if you're a LAB member in MI, IN, OH or IL, send
    in your vote for Fred. Do it before the April 15th deadline.


    Frank Krygowski [email protected]
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