John Aaron fears no elections without board meet
With the USA Cricket Association (USACA) general elections scheduled for October 15, secretary John Aaron is anxious the board's failure to have an in-person board meeting since November 2010 will result in the elections being postponed.
"My concern as the secretary of this organisation is that we, the board, agreed upon an October 15 electoral date and will not honour that date," Aaron told ESPNcricinfo. "The board won't get an opportunity to review the electoral process or put into place the mechanism for conducting a fair, transparent election."
USACA president Gladstone Dainty told stakeholders in an email at the beginning of August that an independent auditor was being brought in to evaluate the eligibility of each league to vote in the upcoming elections, and that there would be a stay of all regional elections until that audit is completed. However, more than a month later, there has been no word on the status of that process. According to Aaron, three regions have still not held their elections and the USACA constitution states that each region must conclude its own election a minimum of 30 days before the USACA general elections can take place. Meanwhile, the results of the Atlantic region election that took place in July have still not been disclosed.
"It is fitting that the board meets and at least reviews the electoral process," Aaron said. "I don't believe that if the board was to meet as late as October 1, it would be enough time to agree upon, make and implement any necessary changes within two weeks, so that we can have elections on October 15. My concern right now is that USACA at some point earlier this year agreed upon elections on October 15, and we will not have elections by then given the fact that the board has not been given the opportunity to meet and to review the electoral process that will be put into place."
Aaron had proposed to have an in-person board meeting on September 17 but he said Dainty countered by requesting to have a meeting on September 24, before asking to have that date changed to October 1. Aaron said that seven of the 13 board members responded that they were available to attend on September 24, but a minimum of nine were required. The seven who responded affirmatively to September 24 said they were all unavailable for October 1. The six who did not respond or were unable to meet on September 24 indicated they were free to come on October 1, giving the appearance that political gamesmanship was getting in the way of carrying out the administrative process.
"I'm optimistic that we can have a board meeting on September 24," Aaron said. "All the members of the board have been given the requisite 21 days' notice as per the constitution. Seven members have responded in the affirmative, that they would like to meet on the 24th, but I have not gotten back any word yet from the president."
The USACA website has also been down since Tuesday morning for unknown reasons. Aaron says he has emailed Dainty to find out what the problem is so it can be rectified, but that no response has come.
Peter Della Penna is a journalist based in New Jersey