|From:||Leroy Lange||Electronic:||twostrokers -A- hotmail.com|
|Subject:||AMCA/ Davenport||Date:||Thu Jan 5 16:06:21 2012|
I just got this email from my brother, rather disturbing about Davenport...|
Today I wanted to alert you to a problem developing with the AMCA and ask your help in resolving it. You can disregard this message if you are not a member of AMCA.
While reading the Winter edition of “The Antique Motorcycle” I noticed a section in the minutes titled “Membership Revocation”. While I don’t normally read the minutes, I had to see what that was all about. Rather than restate what is said, I encourage all of you to read this section, on pages 85 and 86.
After reading about the Chief Blackhawk Chapter’s (CBC) president being expelled by the AMCA BOD, something didn’t seem right to me. In my opinion, the people of the CBC are among the best in the AMCA – many of their members have served in a national capacity and I think we can all agree they set the standard for a National meet. Had the behavior described in the minutes actually occurred, I thought, CBC would have expelled Mr. Finney themselves. Something didn’t line up, so I sent email to Dick Spagnolli, our National AMCA president, to clarify the facts. I forwarded a copy of my email to Mr. Spagnolli to the CBC for their input and they were only too happy to clarify the facts.
As many of you know, CBC, through a committee of members, decided to make Davenport a local rather than National meet in 2012. Mr. Finney, as president of CBC, was asked to attend the BOD meeting to discuss this decision. Mr. Finney and Mr. Lash wanted to record their presentation to the BOD so they could report accurately back to their membership on what transpired at the meeting. The BOD refused to allow the CBC members present to do so, ostensibly on legal grounds. This led to the fictitious “assault and battery” reported in the magazine, which led to the BOD expelling Mr. Finney from the club.
Members of CBC were elated that I could see through the lies printed in the magazine. I spoke with both Mr. Finney and Mr. Lash, whom I did not know before any of this occurred. They stand behind Mr. Finney and at this point they are so disturbed by the actions of the so-called leadership of AMCA that they are seriously considering withdrawing their chapter from AMCA altogether. Apparently, they are not the only chapter deciding to revert to a local versus national meet, and not the only chapter mulling over withdrawing from the national organization. I think this would be a tragedy if it occurs.
First, let me clarify the facts. There is no legal basis for denying the CBC members from recording their presentation and the discussion that followed. As Mr. Spagnolli and the BOD have not responded to any of my three emails asking for clarification of the legal basis for their decision, I am going to have to go with my original assessment that this was a bogus decision designed to resist transparency on a very significant issue facing the club. If there were legal reasons for not allowing the presentation to be recorded, let’s hear them. Mr. Finney did not assault Mr. Wendel. This was all legal puffery. What happened was Mr. Wendel pushed Mr. Finney when he tried to enter the room where the BOD was meeting, and Mr. Finney responded. Technically, it was Mr. Wendel that assaulted Mr. Finney. The claim that Davenport Police were contacted, a complaint filed, and an investigation followed were all completely false. I have seen correspondence between CBC and the Davenport Police Department that states unequivocally that no call was ever received in connection with the matter, no police report exists because there was no incident as stated, and of course, there was no investigation.
My email was forwarded beyond CBC and I have received multiple emails from notable people who have served AMCA well. The comments I received from these people echoed what I was hearing from the people at CBC – the character and leadership of AMCA and specifically Dick Spagnolli is the root cause of the disintegration that is occurring. Many people have called Dick Spagnolli and outright liar and have stated that they will not volunteer or serve the club – and in many cases they won’t remain a member of AMCA – as long as Dick Spagnolli and Mr. Wendel are in the leadership. I started this process open minded, but Mr. Spagnolli and the BOD’s complete non-response completely validate what I have heard from others aware of the truth in this matter.
Mr. Spagnolli aside, the AMCA, through its magazine, have defamed and libeled Charles Finney. The basis for his expulsion was an exaggerated falsehood. The BOD acted out of anger, and intended to send a harsh message to any other people in the AMCA who had the audacity to stand up to the National “leadership” by making an example of Charles Finney. This is wrong. I expect more of AMCA leadership than to angrily expel members who are simply following the direction of their local chapter. This was vengeance, not justice, and there is no place for it at the BOD level.
It is clear from Mr. Spagnolli’s non-response to my emails (which were articulate and diplomatic) that they do not feel accountable for their actions. They believe they can simply ignore the fires burning below and carry on with their control of the club in the manner they like. The only way we are going to put an end to this lack of accountability is to challenge the BOD, member by member, insisting that Mr. Finney be immediately reinstated if he still wants to be a member. This must be done to correct a very malicious injustice the BOD is refusing to acknowledge. Once that is achieved, we can look at the larger issue of BOD composition and accountability.
I am asking each of you to take a stand in support of Charles Finney. Please send emails to Mr. Spagnolli and the BOD demanding that they reinstate Mr. Finney immediately and apologize for their mistreatment of this man. That alone, however, will not be enough. To make Mr. Spagnolli and the BOD recognize they must be accountable to the membership below, we need for them to hear from many of us. To accomplish that, we need to make this a viral message, shared electronically with other members in this country and beyond, that drives home the point that leadership is not beyond accountability. Speak out, forward this message on to your motorcycle friends and ask them to speak up and forward to their friends as well. Mr. Spagnolli’s email is email@example.com and you can find the email addresses for the other members of the board at the AMCA website. Please take a moment to stand up for Mr. Finney and better club leadership. If we don’t, we can expect to see our club start breaking apart.
Please note that I have no other interest in raising this matter to your attention than to see that justice is done, that our club is managed professionally, and that we don’t start losing Chapters because of poor leaders at the National level. I decided I just couldn’t look the other way and watch a good man’s reputation falsely destroyed by a power drunk and vindictive BOD.