A membership meeting held Thursday night at the Moorer branch of the YMCA of South Alabama to elect the organization's board resulted in the passing of the metro board nominees by more than 80 percent of voting members.
The election required 10 percent of the Y's 10,663 members to vote for the results to be valid. Of the 1,830 members who voted by mail, online or at the meeting, 1,491 voted in favor of the board nominees and 347 voted against, according to a tally by an independent certified public accountant firm.
The YMCA held the election in response to a lawsuit between some of its members and the regional YMCA board over a strategic plan about the future of the Moorer branch that led to the lawsuit.
Though the election was required by the court in order for litigation to proceed, the opponents of the branch-relocation plan and plaintiffs in the lawsuit were not pleased by the results.
The Mobile (AL) Press-Register reported a member who opposed the plan came to the meeting with a copy of the YMCA's bylaws that noted the board members up for election were supposed to have been nominated by a committee made up of representatives of each branch, which they were not.
Moving forward from the election, Mark Hanke, CEO of the YMCA of South Alabama, says a date has not yet been set with the judge, but both parties will see him within 30 days to report on their progress. In the meantime, the new board members will have an orientation and will meet to consider the strategic plan.
"Now that the metro board has been reconstituted and elected, with the powers and duties afforded the board, they will revisit the strategic plan with the expectation of passing the plan as is or with changes as they see fit," Hanke says. "This action however won't be rushed and we anticipate it will take at least 60 days, more if needed. The metro board will have ample time to study the strategic plan and to get additional feedback from the membership."
Hanke says the new board members also need to consider upcoming events, including its annual campaign for youth and families, a golf tournament benefit and the Ride the Bay for the YMCA.
"I welcome the day we can move into a state-of-the-art YMCA in downtown Mobile and help the YMCA become financially stable, sustainable and able to serve more people in the greater Mobile community," Hanke says.