Rift on SK Soccer Board Leads to Change in Leadership

Note Dec. 29, 9:21 a.m.: My apologies for the delay in posting your comments on this story. Here is the link to the story.

If you are a parent of one of the 1,500 kids in South Kitsap Soccer Club, you have already received an e-mail informing you that the Kitsap Peninsula Youth Soccer Association has assumed temporary leadership of the club. Disagreement among board members has interfered with the club’s ability to conduct business, said George Campbell, KPYSA president.

The complete story will be posted on kitsapsun.com a little later. I’ve pasted the first few graphs below. Note that the club will hold a general meeting Jan. 10 to elect new leadership.

Here’s the story in a nutshell (obviously not the whole story as the purpose here is primarily to publicize the meeting; feel free to contact me if you have pertinent information for follow-up articles.) :

A shake-up in leadership on the South Kitsap Socer Club Board of Directors has led the club’s parent organization, Kitsap Peninsula Youth Soccer Association, to assume temporary authority over general elections and other business.
The club will hold its general assembly meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 10 at Givens Center in Port Orchard. Parents of children on SKSC teams are encouraged to attend. Board members for the 2008-09 season will be elected at the meeting.
KPYSA president George Campbell of Silverdale announced in mid-December that he was taking over as acting president of the club until a new president could be elected.
Former president Bill Hammer of Port Orchard resigned shortly before Campbell’s e-mail was sent to club members.
One thing on which both men agree is that conflict among board members contributed to the situation.
“South Kitsap has had some fighting going on, disagreements and everything else,” said Campbell. “It’s been going on for a while, but it came to light a few months ago. They’ve been unable to get club business done. We were asked to look into things, and we did. We thought it got settled, but it got ugly.”

15 thoughts on “Rift on SK Soccer Board Leads to Change in Leadership

  1. I remember when I called Kris Bush, director, of the NW Parks Foundation to discuss what I feared was a dark turn for our Grow the Park group, that the politics had turned ugly.

    Her response both shocked and silenced me. She said, “Sometimes that’s how it is done,” and proceeded to tell me that she was working with “very powerful people.” She mentioned the County and SK soccer clubs as being part of these “powerful people,” but wouldn’t name any specific names.

    I think the thing that bothered me the most was that there was nothing forthright or upfront about the goals of the clubs in relation to the SK Community Park. One of the members of the SK soccer club was part of Grow the Park and very determined to see the park become County property.

    Kris Bush later referred me to Fields Today, Fit Tomorrow, a group that is working to build artificial turf fields on County Park land. I met with the group last spring and heard of their goals, which did align with some of my own. However, it appeared their first goal was to have the SK Community Park fall into County hands, which is a goal that Kris Bush shared. Two of the members of that group were chosen for the County Park TaskForce.

    I just wish that the clubs and these little offshoot groups would be upfront with the public about their plans.

    This story just confirms in my mind that their tactics and methods are not above board and clean.

    That’s an opinion I hold.

  2. I attempted to attend the meeting of December 13th and was refused admittance by KPYSA. Before leaving, I asked whether any business of South Kitsap Soccer was going to be conducted at the meeting and was told, “No, no business is going to be conducted”. Taking over the leadership of SKSC isn’t conducting the business of the club? Members in good standing weren’t allowed to attend the meeting where KPYSA took over our organization? Good grief! If this is being done with honesty and integrity, why the secret squirrel approach?

    KPYSA’s assistance to SKSC should come in the form of facilitating better esprit d’corps, teamwork, and ideology. If that doesn’t work, then KYPSA may need to bring formal written charges against executive board members for behavior incompatible with board service. However, KPYSA has an ethical obligation to stay within its authority, avoid temptation to take-over without due process, and conduct the business of kids and soccer in full view of the membership.

    By the way, SKSC was not without a President. Mike Kerr (SKSC VP of Admin) was ready, willing, and able to assume the SKSC President’s role (as is the procedure articulated in SKSC’s bylaws and constitution when the President’s position becomes vacant).

    According to Mike, he specifically asked, during the December 13th meeting, if any charges were pending against any member of the executive board of SKSC. He was told, “No, there have been no written complaints”. So, why did George Campbell usurp the authority of SKSC and insert himself as President? Why unilaterally take over leadership instead of render assistance and support to Mike?

    KPYSA and SKSC are both under the jurisdiction of The Washington State Youth Soccer Association (WSYSA). WSYSA rules clearly state that administrative action will not be taken because of verbal complaints. Complaints must be put in writing to have merit and standing.

    If SKSC is in such disarray that KPYSA, feels so compelled to step in and take over, one would think that at least one individual would be willing to put pen to paper. If KPYSA is really receiving verbal complaints, then why aren’t they able to convince anyone to put pen to paper (as required by the rules of administrative procedure).

    Why is KPYSA inserting itself into SKSC affairs without following administrative procedure?

    My opinion: Follow the money.

    To all parents of SKSC players, please attend the club’s meeting on January 10th!

    Kathryn Simpson

    (former member of the SKSC Executive Board, former coach for 6 years, and current parent of a player)

  3. Chris,
    I read your comments conserning SKSC and felt it neccessary to reply. I am a SKSC coach and member in good standing. I have been attending club meetings the past year and have bared witness to some of the problems you have mentioned.
    The real problem is the division that exists on the executive booard of SKSC. You have one group of board members who are dedicated volunteers committed to the kids and the game. The other group is dedicated to personal gain. Bill Hammer, the clubs former President was forced out by these selfish members.
    George Cambell say’s that the problems have been going on for a while and he was forced to assume control of our club. I think if you review our club Constitution you will find that George has no legal grounds to take over our club. All complaints or accusations against board members must be submitted in writing allowing 30 days for review and response. After 30 days these documents become public record. George has been asked to produce copies of all the complaints he says existed but has yet to show evidence of one.
    Our club Vice President assumes the resposibilities of president when the president resigns. KPYSA must have just cause to over rule a clubs constitution and by-laws before they can take over. To date, no club member has benn shown in writing the reasons for this take over.
    George Campbell has abused his authority and should turn over the presidency immediately to our club VP Mike Kerr.

    Paul Platt

  4. Beneficial conflict can and usually does lead to positive results….when the ‘team’ has the same goals but different ways to get there.

    Port Orchard is an anomaly. Within the past year PO has had TWO Boards of Directors…the Parks earlier…under tremendous stress, unable to agree with anything and threatening a lawsuit.

    Today we have the kids soccer team Board of Directors…grown adults squabbling worse than any group of kids I’ve ever seen….unable to agree about anything.

    The kids and their parents pay for this boards nonsense, pitting kids and parents against each other and certain board members (apparently) incapable of working together for the benefit of the kids AND soccer.

    And now one of the above posts suggests formal written charges be brought against board members if there is cause.
    Well, yes…it sure beats ‘bad mouthing’ without conviction or ‘proof’ of wrong doing. Put it in writing to enable the person ‘bruised’ by the negative remarks to formally respond..

    What is it about some Port Orchard people that keeps them involved and getting on boards when its clear they can’t work as a team member and the club or kids or soccer pays the full price of the ugliness.

    Why not change the by-laws a tad to reflect that future unyielding fighting between board members is cause to ‘fire’ the entire board and restock it with new board members more focused and intent on working toward the common cause?

    Maybe incorporating Silverdale would be a drastic mistake…certainly if incorporation could cause such division as PO appears unable to resolve.

    On the other hand, arguments, disagreements, can be normal between most people of intelligence, focus and a smattering of common sense.

    Silverdale has plenty of such civic minded people able to work together.without loud name calling.

    Port Orchard happens to be the home of people I love and care for…none with the PO characteristics of the people seemingly doing their best to destroy the organizations they claim to be ‘helping.’

    I’m sorry… because life really is too short to waste it.
    In my opinion… Sharon O’Hara

  5. Sharon,
    I appreciate your passion, and I agree with you.. it’s about the kids and the game. We need more concerned and caring parents like you on the SKSC board.Their are several board positions available. The clubs Annual General Meeting is on January 10th at the Givens center at 6:30pm. I hope to see you there and I hope you will consider running for a board position.
    A major problem with the SKSC membership is lack of participation. We have over 2,000 parents and guardians who are members in good standing and we continually see less then five percent attending club meetings.
    Like you, I want to see leadership committed to the welfare of the kids and the positive future of the game. It is most unfortunate that a small minority focused only on money, power or selfish pettiness because they can’t get their way, stand in the way of progress.
    I hope you, like me, still believe in the future of SKSC. I think exciting and properous times are ahead and I hope you, and other committed and determined individuals will play an active role.

    Best Regards,

    Paul Platt

  6. Paul, it might be easier to find board members by sending a note to the parents challenging them to get involved…letting them know the kids can’t play without more parent or community involvement.

    In addition… send a letter to every service organization in the area, every senior center, every church… let this community know you need help.

    Write to each Chamber of Commerce… they might well include the kids needs in a newsletter

    We have seniors and retired folks … incredible talent going to waste. Ask them.

    Ask the ethnic groups to add your letter or poster to their bulletin board…

    As for me…no…but thank you.

    I would also hand deliver a letter or poster to each and every business in PO….though business owners usually won’t waste their time listening to non productive complainers and prefer to work with like minded people…no garbage,,, just get the job done…let the kids play soccer!

    In my opinion… Sharon O’Hara

  7. “…… is lack of participation. We have over 2,000 parents and guardians who are members in good standing and we continually see less then five percent attending club meetings….”

    Paul … under the circumstances, I’m surprised any members attend the meetings if all they hear are complaints and disgruntlement.

    “… I want to see leadership committed to the welfare of the kids and the positive future of the game. It is most unfortunate that a small minority focused only on money, power or selfish pettiness because they can’t get their way, stand in the way of progress….”

    What progress do you refer to?
    What ‘selfish pettiness’, power and money do you mean? In what regard?

    What power? What money?
    Why can’t they get their way? Power and money for the soccer team kids doesn’t sound like a bad thing to me.
    Sharon O’Hara

  8. Sharon,
    One can not reaaly understand what I’m talking about unless they attended club meetings and heard and seen what I have experienced. I don’t wish to name names or sling mud. The responsible parties know who they are.
    Money for the teams is great! However, money for personal gain is not. SKSC is a non profit organization. Do you think members with businesses should be able to earn profits for themselves at the clubs expense?
    In order to conduct club business; get things done, two thirds of the board need to be at meetings to have a korum. Unhappy board members consitently continue to make excuses for not showing up for meetings because they are personally upset that a board majority decision will not go their way. No korum, no vote… no progress made.
    Again, our priority is the kids. When we work together as a group we won’t always agree on the same direction, but we must trust the majority for the sake of the kids and the good of the club and the game.
    Best regards,

    Paul Platt

  9. Paul… Just as anyone else, I’ve attended meetings in different ‘roles’…taking note that I’ve had outstanding help in the meetings I’ve organized. People just step up to the plate and we achieve goals in most part directly through their efforts.
    NONE had the conflicts you describe…that PO has had.

    The board members of EVERY organization I was actively involved in were there because they WANTED to be there. If they couldn’t attend a meeting, they had a good reason..

    ‘Nobody’ can properly run a company or business without a quorum. Be it board members or employees.

    Another blogger had the great idea to let the kids run it. Why not? They couldn’t do worse.

    Good luck to the soccer kids!
    Sharon O’Hara

  10. Sharon,
    It does sound like a great idea! The kids just want to play soccer and have fun.
    In all honesty, these conflicts are not as bad as they have been potrayed. The vast majority of the board and club members are there for the kids. I spend time with and engage in dialogue with many committed to helping with out expecting anything in return. They give because they want to. They give because they care.
    In every bunch you are bound to have a couple of bad bananas; but don’t despair, things are just scratched on the surface. Underneath, we have good people and a great club. Infact, I believe the best club on the peninsula!
    Things will work themselves out and 2008 will be an awesome year for SKSC!

    Best Regards

    Paul Platt

  11. Sharon,

    All organizations, even the best of them, have conflict from time to time. What makes a difference in the organization meeting its charter is how those conflicts are resolved. In a club that has a mission to serve the best interest of kids and soccer, the question that should always be paramount in a board member’s behavior and vote is, “What is best for kids and soccer in our community”.

    Unfortunately, conflicts of interest change priorities and the behavior and voting (or not showing up to vote) becomes, “What is best for me”, instead of “What is best for kids and soccer”. That is why WSYSA policy speaks so strongly against participating in the leadership of soccer organizations when one has conflicts of interest.

    We teach our kids to play by the rules, as it facilitates fair play. Adults have rules to play by too. We call them governing documents, Roberts Rules of order, and civility. When some of the adults set aside the rules for their own personal agendas or gain, the rest of the organization’s ability to do what is best for kids is seriously hindered. Such is the current situation with the hostile take-over.

    Those with personality conflicts (but otherwise honorable agendas) are being taken-over by individuals with conflicts of interest, personal financial gain to protect, and a complete lack of regard for the rules.

    You can’t right the course of an organization by breaking it’s rudder because there was brawl in the galley. Address the reasons for what caused the brawl through facilitation, refocus the team back to their common goals of kids and soccer, and support them as they move forward. You don’t come in like gun-blazing pirates and expect a welcoming committee to serve you tea as you commandeer the captain’s cabin.

    With conflict and a group willing to adhere to the established rules of engagement, great things are possible through mutual respect and focus on the goals of the organization.

    With conflict of interest and individuals unwilling to adhere to the established rules of engagement, great things are destined to fall prey to power trips and selfish interests.

    Kathryn Simpson

  12. Paul…Kathryn…Great things are ALWAYS possible… and if both sides agree to abide by a mediator, the conflict could wrap up this month.

    I hope we will continue to be informed, that your bylaws can be updated to reflect lessons learned during the present conflict.

    Best wishes to the kids, to the sport of soccer and for those committed, hard working volunteers who make it happen.

  13. “With conflict and a group willing to adhere to the established rules of engagement, great things are possible through mutual respect and focus on the goals of the organization.

    With conflict of interest and individuals unwilling to adhere to the established rules of engagement, great things are destined to fall prey to power trips and selfish interests.”

    Great things, like the vision for a family recreational center? I wish you had adhered to those types of rules of engagement when you went after the SK Parks & Recreation Board and me, Kathryn.

    “You can’t right the course of an organization by breaking its rudder,” yet you tried and broke instead the spirits of good people. I would love to believe you learned something from that experience, but your response will probably tell me differently. Ah, well.

  14. Mary,

    I learned a great deal from my experiences in advocating on the SK Park issue.

    I learned that good people can make a positive difference in our community. I learned that a clean conscience is the best thread for weaving a tougher skin. I learned that facts and open public records are more powerful than a tantrum. I’ve learned that there is far more to be gained from fishing for truth and bringing home the meat than simply playing with the bait.

    Oh, I’m also learning brevity (a hard lesson for me). ;=)

    Kathryn Simpson

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