NJSA Board of Directors Re-Election
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Dear NJSA Rec and Travel Families,
We are starting a petition to ask for the election of an entirely new NJSA Board of Directors effective immediately. This is centered around certain decisions/events which have occurred over the last month at the hands of the NJSA Board. Unfortunately, the Board has failed to make these decisions/events public knowledge to the entire league. Stated below are the reasons we are asking for your signatures:
· Failure to inform parents of critical changes prior to the 2017/18 registration deadline
o On or about June 3rd, Chris Laughton officially resigned as Co-DOC (was not and still has not been made public knowledge to the league).
o On June 20th, Travel Team roster spots were announced.
o On or about June 23rd, Joe Funicello resigned as Co-DOC and the association with SoccerViza was terminated.
o Roster spots needed to be accepted without late fee or risk of losing your spot, by June 30th.
o During all of this, multiple travel team coaches resigned.
o On July 3rd, the NJSA Board of Directors notified NJSA parents (via Facebook) of only one of the above changes: the disassociation with SoccerViza.
o Given the above, parents and the Board should be made aware that these charges can be disputed due to false advertising.
· Details mentioned at the 7/5 meeting
o This meeting was called by NJSA President, Bob Fosina, and was advertised only to the parents of the four NJSA Premier teams.
o Bob began the meeting by telling a room full of dedicated and concerned parents that he was “OK” with their children leaving the NJSA family.
o Bob informed parents of the offer made by SoccerViza FC to become an affiliate of NJSA and take over the Premier portion of the program, while continuing to run the technical and coaching aspects of the NJSA Rec and Travel Programs.
§ Included in this offer was a 10% (as a starting point for negotiations) finder’s fee for every NJSA player going over to SoccerViza FC with SoccerViza FC handling the registrations. This would have amounted to approximately a $13,000 profit for NJSA for the 72 premier players, not to mention that SoccerViza FC would also be paying NJSA for the use of the fields.
§ Another huge benefit of this offer was that SoccerViza FC is based out of Norwalk, which means premier level players would get the benefit of continuing to play on the excellent soccer facilities at Norwalk High, Brien McMahon and Nathan Hale that our tax dollars paid to build.
o Bob then informed us that he has been working on forming an affiliation with a Premier club for about a year now (much to the surprise of everyone there who is not on the Board).
§ He admitted, after being asked, that he has a Consulting/Business relationship with one of the clubs (CFC) being considered for affiliation with the NJSA program.
§ Bob should have been open to explain the CFC affiliation in detail, yet he was not.
§ Bob had also reached out to numerous parents asking them to sign up with NJSA because of a "CFC affiliation."
· Now, Bob would probably say, “Well, Joe sent an email to NJSA Premier Parents prior to a concrete decision being made about an affiliation with SoccerViza”
o Joe admits he jumped the gun, but anyone who knows him, knows it was due to excitement.
§ Joe immediately worked with Edwin Miller, Director of Travel, to correct his human error by drafting a follow-up email, but this email was never sent out to the parents by the Board.
o Bob’s reaching out was due to greed and deceit.
o A Board member who also happens to be a NJSA Travel Coach told the premier parents that he did not think NJSA had the talent to field premier teams.
§ Why is he coaching and sitting on the NJSA Board if he does not believe in our kids and our program?
o In response to the repeatedly asked question, “Why did Chris Laughton resign?” Bob showed a slide with two dollar amounts: $75,000.00 and $4,000.00.
§ He proceeded to explain these were the amounts of money given to NHS Men’s Soccer ($75k) and Brien McMahon Men’s Soccer ($4k) over the last ten years through NJSA. There was no further explanation as to where these monies came from or why it took the Board ten years to realize this issue; just an innuendo to damage the reputation of a man who has donated countless hours to improve youth soccer in the city of Norwalk for over 11 years. Bob’s slide in no way explains why Chris Laughton unexpectedly resigned. Some quick facts regarding this subject:
· Chris has been a part of NJSA in some capacity for the past 11 years.
· Chris has been DOC or Co-DOC of the NJSA Program for the last 3 years.
· He is currently the NHS Boys Varsity Soccer Coach.
· As part of his contract with NJSA, Chris is paid to run the NJSA Soccer Camps.
· The monies mentioned above were donated to the NHS Soccer Program from the money Chris was paid to run the camps as per his contract.
o We were all introduced to the new head of the NJSA Girl’s Program
§ This new head also happens to be the girls’ soccer coach at Iona College where Bob’s daughter recently received a scholarship
o Just before the end of the meeting, a concerned parent asked if differences could be put aside so the Board and SoccerViza FC could find a way to repair the relationship for the good of our children.
§ Not one parent or Coach who attended this meeting was in favor of ending the NJSA relationship with SoccerViza, Joe Funicello, or Chris Laughton.
§ Joe Funicello said he would absolutely be willing to try to find a solution.
§ Board President Bob Fosina, seemingly on his own, stated, “NJSA has severed its relationship with SoccerViza.”
· NJSA BOD Process
o Per 7/5 meeting, the Board said by-laws/meeting minutes would be posted online. The by-laws have been posted, but NOT the minutes.
§ NJSA’s by-laws clearly state, “no member can hold the same position for consecutive terms unless authorized by the Executive Board.“
· We must demand that meeting minutes of the re-election, or the board authorizing Bob Fosina to a second term be made public.
· Same goes for the Executive Members of the Board. When were they elected?
§ Why does NJSA have $158K in the bank and still raising fees?
§ What is the league’s budget?
o Why does the Board conduct side meetings where decisions are simply made, not voted on.
o There is a grave overall lack of transparency.
Over the last 3 years, we have watched our children develop in various ways and chose to stay with NJSA (or in some cases come back to NJSA). Our children have developed tremendously in every aspect of the game, both individually and as team players. Many of us agree all of these things are a result of the training curriculum and free technical skills clinics implemented by SoccerViza. NJSA has achieved great things as a program over the last three years, but more importantly, our kids have grown into respectful, responsible, dependable, hardworking young men and women. The training and over all experience Chris Laughton and SoccerViza have provided to this league is astronomical and losing them is a real shame. All of this started with the loss of Chris and Joe, but it turned into so much more by bringing to light the dishonesty that is going on behind the scenes.
Given the above mentioned facts, it is imperative the existing Board members step down and we elect a new Board of Directors effective immediately. There are far too many unanswered questions regarding conflicts of interest and impartiality to allow the existing Board of Directors to make the decision as to which program, if any, NJSA should affiliate with. Such a decision will have a long lasting effect on NJSA and its families, and should be made with the best interest of the kids and the City of Norwalk in mind. The Board of a Non-Profit Organization should not be able to overrule the will of its members!
We ask that you please sign this petition in an attempt to safeguard the kids we love and the league we love. Thank you!
Concerned Parents of NJSA Rec, Travel, and Premier Programs
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