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NLA President Diane Forgy strongly defended and clarified the roles of the NLA, LCT, and Bobit Business Media on Feb. 13, 2012 during the International LCT Show in Las Vegas in response to false and defamatory attacks on the organizations.
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Members of the National Limousine Association on Monday approved a contentious measure to eliminate term limits in the association’s bylaws.
The measure passed 117-77 on a ballot vote during the meeting. Each participating member card voted Yes or No on a green card that included the member’s name.
When the vote was first announced, the total number of voters (194) fell one vote short of a quorum, defined as 10% of the 1,955 NLA members. A bylaw change must be approved with at least 10% of members present at a general meeting. But some members in the ballroom had not voted, and once their presence was verified via their voting cards, a quorum was attained.
The bylaw change allows board directors to serve unlimited consecutive three-year terms upon re-election. Under the previous bylaws, board directors could serve a maximum of two three-year terms, and then would have to leave the board for one year until they could run again for a new set of three-year terms.
Supporters of the bylaw change asserted that such intermittent term limits historically had forced out several talented, dedicated board members who would then not run again after a one-year break, thereby causing the board to lose some of its institutional knowledge and practice. The NLA also has had difficulty in some years recruiting candidates to run for upcoming vacancies.
Opponents of the measure who spoke at the general meeting claimed term limits were good for turnover and encouraged more participation from newer and more diverse industry candidates. They asserted that term limits generally help deter boards and groups from becoming entrenched good-old-boy networks.
NLA President Diane Forgy reminded the membership that any NLA member-operator may choose to run for the board, which holds elections each year as a result of staggered terms. About one-third of board seats are up for election each year. As is the case with any number of democratically-elected legislative bodies, contested elections with victorious challengers are a form of term limits, Forgy suggested.
Defending the industry
In a strongly worded statement preceding the bylaws voting session, Forgy rebutted a slew of slanderous e-mail blasts from an industry figure that had distracted and attempted to divide industry members in the weeks leading up to the International LCT Show.
The e-mails, blasted out under the name of “Limo Insider,” were written and signed by Houston operator Joe Jordan, also the former president of the Limousine Association of Houston.
The erratic, fevered, rambling scrawls dripped with insults, scurrilous rumors, malicious gossip, false accusations, sexist remarks, and veiled threats — all aimed to attack the NLA, LCT Magazine, and specific industry figures. The defamatory missives tarnished the reputations of the targets while sliming collateral people associated with the two organizations.
Attorneys for the National Limousine Association have put Jordan on notice of pending legal action related to his e-blasts.
Forgy told the audience that there is a crucial difference between opinions on policy issues and outright “lies, slander, and insults” that spread misinformation.
“Opinions are one thing, and everyone is entitled to them,” Forgy told the meeting. “Lies, slander, insults and defamation of character are another story. Thankfully most of us are above such regrettable and ill-advised tactics and know how to properly and sincerely seek out answers and express concerns. . . We will do our best to address and clear up any further misconceptions. You deserve better and we are here to serve you. . .
“Now, more than ever, our industry must stay united and not get sidetracked by isolated dissenters who attempt to confuse. Our industry is under intense scrutiny and this behavior does nothing but reflect poorly on every one of us. Do not let detractors destroy what we have accomplished for their own selfish purposes and attention getting. We have so much to be proud of and a lot at stake to defend.”
Jordan attended the general meeting and was present during Forgy’s statements. He did not speak during a member comment period.
[Click on next page to read full text of Diane Forgy's statement].
— Martin Romjue, LCT editor