Saturday, July 26, 2008

A disgraceful Event

Title 67, Idaho code

Chapter 77


"(3) As used in this subsection, "net proceeds of a charitable raffle"
means the gross receipts less the cost of prizes awarded."

Three weeks have gone by since the Bayview Chamber of Commerce held the drawing for it's annual fund raiser. No prize has been awarded yet, and there doesn't seem to be any movement toward repairing the situation. It must be noted that many residents of Bayview have already sworn no to ever buy tickets in a chamber raffle again. When the rules are ignored and payouts don't happen, mistrust occurs. The initital damage was done when the money wasn't immediately paid out. More damage, even to the extent of curtailing important fund raising efforts, may occur if this isn't resolved, and quickly.

The whole situation stems from the mis-interpretation of the term Proceeds, as it applies to compensation. The above, cut and pasted from Idaho code 67-7710, clearly defines the difference between winnings and proceeds, yet once taken, it appears that the board of directors position has solidified, not so that clarification might happen, but apparently pure stubbornness. Egos are fine, but not when they obscure logic.

Some officers have stated for the record that"We don't intend to break any laws."

Well, It is against the law to hold a raffle, then defraud the winner out of their rightful prize. That constitutes a felony, which would be enforceable against each and every officer or board member that participates in the fraud. Voting does not relieve the organization from any responsibility for honesty. Predetermining what action to take in a board meeting between two or more officers, then bringing a position paper into a formal meeting as a "done deal" constitutes a violation of the open meeting laws, also actionable.

I am not immune from making mistakes either, but as my late father once said, "When you have dug yourself a hole, the first thing you need to do is let go of the shovel."

Also, for those curious, the winner, Braden Rosenau, was born healthy, and Grandpa, always trustful, gave his Son's Mom $1000 in cash, in anticipation of the chamber finally doing the right thing.


Anonymous said...

Glad to know you have a law degree and can sit in judgement over this process. It is my understanding that the state is making a determination and that mud will be smeared pretty evenly over everyone's face.

At least someone is finally doing something to ensure the Chamber follows the rules when it comes to the managing donated money. Oh, I don't think that person is you Herb.

Can't wait for the next Chamber meeting. Should be good for attendance. Don't we all love slinging mud until it hits us.

Bay Views said...

I would like to make two comments about the above comment from "anonymous."

First, you don't need to have a law degree to read most law. That the term "proceeds" was misunderstood is a literary event, not interpretation of law. Those issues were addressed 15 years ago when the raffles were first started by Liz Justus and Lorraine Landwehr, a CPA, and obviously qualified to set it up lawfully. Newcomers that do not pay attention to what has gone before, are re-inventing the wheel, and spinning them as well.

Secondly, I wouldn't worry about the mud reaqching me. Unlike most of you, I sign my name to all of my writings, rather than lash out from the shadows, and a substantial amout of mud has found it's way to me already.

This whole situation and the way I am handling it is about principle, not popularity.I couldn't sit still for the shenanigans that were going on behind closed doors. Remember, I didn't create this situation, I just shined light on it. The day of shooting the messenger when the message is unpleasant, is long past. Concentrate on the initial problem, and how/who created it, not the voice of many residents howling in protest.

Linda Hackbarth said...

This should be a non-issue. All non-profits is the area have had officers and/or relatives as winners of raffles. Those people are the organizations' staunchest supporters. A winner is just that - be happy. The only time a group looses is when all tickets aren't sold.

Anonymous said...

Herb, open meeting laws apply to government agencies. A Chamber is not a government agency. That's like saying all meetings of the Free Masons must follow open meeting rules, not gonna happen. Too many secret rituals.

Anonymous said...

I won't be buying any tickets for any of their two raffles each year.

They lose!

liz said...

I for one will not attend the next Chamber meeting or any there after. Sounds to me like one more time the Chamber is biting off it's nose to spite it's face. By the way,sitting in a room full of idiots slinging mud is not my idea of a good time. Pay Ralph HIS WINNINGS and move on! While your at it GET A LIFE!!! Former Bayview Chamber member/Pres. LIZ JUSTUS

Anonymous said...

"....Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it.”

David Crockett

Anonymous said...

Better check with Ralph because he might of agreed to have the Chamber seek legal advice and would go along with whatever that decision was. Have you spoken to any of the Board members since they met on this? Don't you think it would be a good idea before you used rhetoric such as felony and fraud? Seems to me like you might be overstepping.

Bay Views said...

I find it interesting, and at the same time disappointing that one, people take free shots at my attitude, rather than address the subject. Two, that they do this from the shadows, as anonymous comments.

Ralph will have to speak for himself as to what he did or didn't agree to. I do know, that if I had contacted an attorney over such an obvious issue, and in three weeks plus, didn't get an answer, I'd get me another. Secondly, I would have announced the action taken to the community at large, rather that the apparent few insiders that either share accurate information, or in fact are guessing.