Who you know, not what you know

2crappychairsMany members will remember rW story “Winning every time, making your own luck” when in 2010 Merilee Verhoeven was voted out by her Blue Mountains Branch as the branch representative on the WSC and Board. But then voted back onto the WSC and Board as a representative of a management team.

In fact Merrilee has racked up some back up positions since 2010 and is now on three management teams; they are the Governance, Admin and Training and Small mammals teams.
Which is why it comes as a surprise to rW that Merrilee Verhoeven recently nominated herself for another position on the WSC: As the Blue Mountains WSC representative. Yes! The same branch who has kicked her out a few times! Talk about front!

Merrilee Verhoeven claims her position on the WIRES Board via a Management Team is legitimate, so what then was the reason for nominating herself recently as the Blue Mountains WSC representative? Is she trying to collect a set? Is the Board playing Gin Rummy with Branches to keep themselves amused? "Oh look Mike, I've got 3 Management Teams and a Branch; What have you got?" Happily we can report that she lost the nomination in a resounding and undeniable rejection of her nomination.

This was also a very handy trick too for Mike Jupp who was another Board member voted out as rep for his branch in 2012. He was able to get back on the Board by being reincarnated as the representative for the Reptile Management Team, as predicted by rW at the time of his defeat at his branch AGM. It is believed that he has moved to a Sydney branch. Will we see Mr Jupp shed his skin again?

Comments  

 
AGM time again
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowAGM time again 2013-07-20 08:56
It only takes the branches to elect decent WSC reps who want to stand for the board next AGM. If enough of them stand it would be possible to vote out those board members who have created the culture of themselves fighting the rest of the membership by any means. Membership can't wait for these board members to leave the board through death or becoming too sick and elderly. This has been the only reason some permanent board members have had to leave the board and free up a seat in the past. What happened to the idea of changing the WIRES constitution to limit the time a member could stay on the board? Hidden away with other ideas of reform no doubt.
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Anon
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowAnon 2013-07-26 13:20
Have you ever read the Constitution especially where proxy votes are involved. A true indication of disenfranchising the members. A member who attends an AGM can only hold one proxy vote from one member. No postal proxy votes are accepted. The branch I belong to insists on your name being on the vote as well, so much for a secret vote. I though the gerrymander system died with Joh, obviously not. Wires Inc has perpetuated their own power base and jobs. Every public election and business AGM are run democratically, but not WIRES with their method. Nothing will change unless there is a mass showing of members at the AGMs. I know our Board rep would chew his/her own leg off before abandoning the board position. This person is a well know bully.
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Onlooker
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowOnlooker 2013-07-28 18:14
Your branch needs to read the instructions more carefully. The name goes on the proxy registration form that is sent to the secretary, not on the vote itself. That is prepared from the registration but is anonymous like all the others that are put in for the returns officer on the day. Only the secretary and the person holding the proxy know who voted which way.
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Annon
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowAnnon 2013-08-03 16:26
That's not how it was run in this branch. The members name and number were on the bottom of the voting form, so no secret voting. AEC guidelines are ignored.There was no registration form issued only a ballot paper emailed out.
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Reality Check
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowReality Check 2013-08-31 19:31
In this branch the sec got the registration paper the person the proxy was given to got a copy and then an anonymous ballot was prepared for the proxy holder to check against the copy they held and lodge it on the day so the returns people couldn't tell which ballots were proxies and which not. Only the sec and the holder knew how the member had voted.
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Rogue
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowRogue 2013-09-01 16:47
Doesn't seem right how would you know its not made up. I would write a complaint ASAP to the WIRES VSM you can also remain anonymous.
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Its time
# proxiesIts time 2013-09-06 13:22
No point writing any complaints about how proxies are used. The board has been aware for many years that proxies have been dodgy.In fact SMC member/s were instrumental in them being so.
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Reality Check
# RE: proxiesReality Check 2013-09-06 18:29
The person the member gave the proxy copy to checked at against the prepared ballot and then put the ballot in. Which ensured that the ballot paper matched the submitted registration. Unless the members gave their proxies to people they didn't trust.
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Rogue
# RE: proxiesRogue 2013-09-07 18:49
Except now complaints don't go to the Board they go to a Volunteer Support Manager. I would hope that something is done if you write a complaint. But if you do nothing, nothing will surely happen. You could also write to Fair Trading and Australian NFP Charities Commission. Even if nothing is done it is on record.
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Conrad
# RE: proxiesConrad 2013-09-07 20:53
Merillee Verhoeven is responsible for policies and couldn't even get the proxy policy to match the Constitution until 5 years after the constitution came in so the proxy policy was different. Not that this sort of conflict is ever seen as a problem.
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Sam
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowSam 2013-07-29 19:00
Hello Anon, Are you aware that there are new bullying laws that protect members. Complaints against Chairs or Board members are now sent to the VSM, if the bullying continues you can go to workcover. There are a few known bullies.
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Annon
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowAnnon 2013-08-03 16:33
You obviously haven't been to Workcover or the VSM lately. Workcover will only investigate extreme cases (personal injury or bullying that leads to mental breakdowns, suicides etc) they will ask Wires if they have a bullying policy but they won't police it, perhaps if there was a concerted effort by many people it may be different.. My partner has been dealing with the VSM since the end of 2012 and the VSM has done absolutely nothing to resolve the situation. Even going to Workcover (and letting WIRES know) will get you in trouble.True - have the paperwork to back it all up.
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Annon
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowAnnon 2013-08-10 19:53
A simple complaint against another member takes months and months to be even investigated let alone acted upon. The VSM is paid to do what? How many problems and complaints are there in the Wires branches. There is obviously no time frame for conflict resolution - and Workcover don't want to know unless it escalates into physical violence.
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conflict of interest
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowconflict of interest 2013-08-26 18:32
Members cant expect the VSM to help if they have a complaint against a board member. The VSM is employed by the board so his loyalty can only be in one place.
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Rogue
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowRogue 2013-09-07 18:53
Well its better than what there was before, where complaints went to a Board in which you were complaining about! As the VSM or GM are employees if they do nothing to help, you could then go to workcover or Fair Trading or Austalian Charities commission. You may be able to take them to the CTTT but you would need to check this.
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people
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowpeople 2013-08-30 17:41
Well that would be against policy and the Constitution wouldn't it! Just another breach, and who's gonna do anything about it?
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Grumbler
# GrumblerGrumbler 2013-09-10 08:33
The VSM has already proven himself to be a puppet of the Board. Forget going to him for assistance with any sort of complaint. If only the volunteers didn't have to spend so much money on food; they could then all lawyer up. The antics of this so called organisation laid out in a court of law would prove to be newsworthy. Perhaps a reality show could come of it??
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people
# RE: Grumblerpeople 2013-09-10 11:27
Well grumbler you need to start somewhere! Start writing to government departments Fair Trading and ACNC which deal with Associations Act. I like your reality TV idea it would be an interesting show and a different side that people would not have seen. Maybe approach animal planet and call it "Inside wildlife rescue".
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Edgar
# RE: GrumblerEdgar 2013-09-10 20:01
A court case would expose how they break the rules and the media would no doubt cover it. WIRES though has the use of millions of dollars of donations to use to pay lawyers so any individual member would need backing against this Goliath.
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Despairing
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowDespairing 2013-08-01 13:13
it is mean that these reps stay on each year and don't give the other members in the branch a chance to see what it is like to be on WSC. Some have been there for years and years and 1 rep (could be yours Anon) has returned twice after doing in the members who have outvoted him/her. Reason that new ideas from the council and board are few and far between is that both bodies are stale because of the large number of members who never allow new members to have a go. And yes there are a few who will do whatever it takes to stay there.
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jennifer
# who you know, not what you knowjennifer 2013-09-06 15:45
Well, it is that time of year again for the Board to be assessed on it's performance during the year. Council reps are being asked to fill out an assessment form and send it back by email to "YOU GUESSED IT" Mr Verhoeven, Merrilee's husband. Job for the boys again. How can they truly expect anyone to say what they really think when they have to put their names on the bottom of an email, secret vote I don't think so. What about conflict of interest. Will Merrilee's husband tell the truth if members say they think Merrilee is rude, arrogant and lousy at her job. I think not. So why is Wires wasting time and money on this rubbish, when nothing good can come out of it. I can only imagine what members would love to say about Bill Fortier and his first year as Chair. He is much worse than the 2 bullies who were there before him, being an ex-cop does not give him the right to treat members with such contempt.

Nothing that happens in Wires is ever democratic or above reproach.
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a useless excercise
# RE: who you know, not what you knowa useless excercise 2013-09-07 20:45
Year after year John Verhoeven does the performance reviews of the Board and the Council as he needs to put something on his cv. How impressive that he is entrusted with the job of doing the performance reviews for WIRES INC! He doesn't say he got the job because his wife is the secretary. Merrilee Verhoeven uses the written reviews to get her views across on members she doesn't like. It is a way of bagging some members without them being able to defend themselves. The exercise is a waste of time, useless and a joke. Do donors know that the performance reviews of the WIRES board and council are done by the husband of the WIRES secretary and that they have no value at all. Is the Board afraid that if they get someone they don't have drinks with to assess their performance, the review may be bad? Time WIRES ventured into the real world of business accountability.
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anon
# anonanon 2013-09-07 20:58
The only real performance review of the Board and Council is a fair annual election where every member has the right to vote out those board members and council members who have not preformed. This will never be allowed while the Board is controlled by the present group of power heads.
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Its time
# who you know not what you knowIts time 2013-09-12 18:16
"a fair annual election". Pigs will fly....
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Emu
# RE: who you know not what you knowEmu 2013-09-24 15:29
The AGM is soon and the mighty 4 will stand as usual as they think they are entitled to permanent board seats. They may get a new one up from one of the branches they control and may even resurrect a former board member mate who has joey blood on their hands. There is no doubt that the mighty 4 will again have control of the board for another year and there will be yet another year of the same old inaction.
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Anon
# RE: who you know not what you knowAnon 2013-09-25 15:57
Are you the Emu that used to live in Caroline Enfields backyard?
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Cronyism
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowCronyism 2013-07-11 20:01
Cronyism is rife from the WIRES Boards. It appears that to keep themselves in their positions of power they had to give positions with voting rights to each other, friends and allies. Never mind they don't possess the qualifications, skills or the time to do the job. You only have to look at what has been achieved to understand this. I don't think they understand any of this as they are too busy patting themselves on the back and creating more positions for themselves. Kill me now!
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CM
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowCM 2013-06-19 09:56
The reason for some board members like Merrilee Verhoeven having so many positions is to make sure she gets back on the board each year. Some teams may not be teams as they dont have enough members. They also want to stack all teams with board members and friends to make sure that each year the representative of that team voted onto the state council is on the side of those in power. This is why those not on side never get onto the teams even though they are more experienced and qualified. So how many possums does Merrilee Verhoeven have in care as she is on the SM team? All of this is motivated by politics.
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guest
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowguest 2013-07-02 08:13
In the labor party it is called branch stacking and in WIRES it is called management team stacking.Same result - manipulating the system to get your own mates in power.
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guest
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowguest 2013-07-09 08:47
The Labor party is about to reform to give all its members the right to elect its leader. This will make the Labor party democratic but WIRES will remain undemocratic because its members do not have the right to elect the Chair and the Board or to expel a Chair who is running it like a sergeant in a 1980 local cop shop.
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possum whats that
# RE: Who you know, not what you knowpossum whats that 2013-07-04 20:40
My bet is that Merrilee Verhoeven has not had a possum in care for about 2 years. Makes the SM team a joke. Some of these teams do nothing and exist only to provide votes at the WSC and on the Board to keep the same old group of cronnies on the board. It is a waste of donors money to keep these teams going.
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