Thursday, March 09, 2006

Letter to NCVA from group (parents) volleyball

In the interest of being open about communication from the parent group to the NCVA and vice versa, I'm posting the below letter from the parent group in response to the e-mail from the Commissioner. As I wrote earlier, I believe that we can ultimately improve communications between parents and the Region and help to make certain that parent concerns are heard by whoever happens to be on the board.

For those not in the region, I believe that in all youth sports parents should assert their right to participate in governance, know their bylaws, and be aware of the organizational budget both for their clubs and the governing body for their region. Most states lay out clear duties for any public benefit corporation and 501 (c) (3)'s are required by the IRS to provide copies of form 990, which may not be the same as the budget, but is a good first guide.


Dear Ms. Donaghy and Ms. Mazzei,

As we have stated from the beginning, our only interest has been to provide input to the NCVA as parents who want to help improve the level and quality of our communications  with you by clarifying the way the region works for our children, for us, and for Northern California volleyball.  We ask the board and the region to work with us rather than against us in that effort.       

On behalf of the parent group who met with you at the Bladium on March 4, I first wanted to say that we are troubled by your apparent sudden change of position on certain key matters and the tone of your most recent e-mail. At the meeting, you had stated that the bylaws were available and in fact were substantially identical to the bylaws of the other regions.  You had indicated that you considered all the requests in the agenda presented to you, including the request for a budget, as “doable”.  You had also indicated that the board did not need to be involved in these discussions, but now tell us that the board has not conferred any official “status” on the group which raises the concern that our meetings as currently configured may not lead anywhere.

In light of that, we are making the following formal requests.

1.  While we are happy to hear that the soon to be “revised” bylaws will be posted on the NCVA website, we believe that the membership should have some familiarity with what’s being revised and the opportunity to offer input to the board about possible revisions, additions, and changes to those bylaws. On behalf of my daughter who is an NCVA member, I request a copy of the current bylaws.  I would prefer to have a copy mailed rather than to physically visit the NCVA office.

Under California Corporations Code 5160 or 7160 (we're not sure at this point if NCVA is public benefit or a mutual benefit corporation)
  1. Every corporation shall keep at its principal office in thisstate the original or a copy of its articles and bylaws as amended todate, which shall be open to inspection by the members at allreasonable times during office hours.  If the corporation has nooffice in this state, it shall upon the written request of any memberfurnish to such member a copy of the articles or bylaws as amendedto date.

  1. We would also like to request copies of the last seven IRS form 990’s filed by the NCVA.  Under IRS regulations, anyone can request three years of the  990 form, which is essentially a matter of public record.  We were surprised that the commissioner of the region seemed to be unaware that the board chair considers the “budget” per se a private matter and that you did not in its stead mention the 990 form.  The regs provide that it’s reasonable to charge a dollar for the cover page and 15 cents for each ensuing page.  The standard 990 is 17 pages.  I am enclosing a check to NCVA for twenty dollars under separate cover (in the mailed version of this letter) to cover the costs of copying and production both for the 990’s and the copy of the bylaws.

  1. The group requests the opportunity to attend the next NCVA board meeting to approach the board about officially recognizing a parent “study” sub-committee to include one director and at least three currently active parents of NCVA juniors to a) look into the concerns presented in our March agenda, b)to collect information about the effectiveness of the Region,  c) and to present recommendations to the board.  

     If a director is not available to serve as a member of the sub-committee, we request that the board grant the sub-committee the full inspection powers of a director.

  1. The group requests a list of all upcoming board meetings with proposed agendas.  This includes any meeting that will consider changes to current bylaws or adoption of new bylaws.  In addition, we would like notice of any meeting at which the board selects its directors or nominates new directors.  Under California Corporations Code, this is supposed to take place annually.  We are concerned that a substantial numbers of the individuals we spoke with had never seen the current bylaws.  To change them without discussion with the major stakeholders in the region would possibly be a violation of the directors’ duties under Corporations Code.  

  1. On behalf of my daughter, I am requesting a list of all members  of the NCVA with addresses and contact information as provided under Corporations Code 6330 (a) (1) or 8330 (a)(1) so that even more parents and members may participate in providing input to this group.  

     We do appreciate your having met with us at the Bladium.  In light of the busy schedule this month outlined in your e-mail, we believe that it makes more sense for our group to meet directly with the board of directors and hope that you will be able to provide us with some dates when that can happen.  In the meantime, we look forward to working with the board and staff to resolve these issues.

Chancelucky volleyball links


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