Baseball Parents Cry Foul

A group of parents whose children are in the Middlebury Baseball Inc. program, Concerned Parents of Middlebury Baseball, has scheduled an informational meeting for parents of past, present and future program participants Monday, June 30, at 6 p.m. at Shepardson Community Center in Room 5. Middlebury Baseball is part of the Cal Ripken League.

Some parents say the league is not following its bylaws and had a secret meeting sometime early this year. At that meeting, they said, a small group chose this year’s officers – President Joe Koziol, Vice President Vincent Anelli, Secretary Jim Styblo, Treasurer Pat Dunfee and Vice President Bob Twombly – among themselves instead of having open elections.

The parents also say the baseball program is suffering because those who object to the officers’ actions are banned from participating in the program, leaving teams with no coaches and depriving youth of the opportunity to play ball.

Glenn Dean said, “I’ve been coaching in sports for 25 years and probably am one of the top coaches.” He coached for Middlebury Baseball last year, but he said this year he wasn’t allowed to coach. He believes that’s because the officers think he was involved in attempted overthrow of the organization.

Dean said, “What has happened here is they are running it like a good old boys’ league. The only way to run a league is to run it in a democratic way with elections and all.” And, Dean said, “It’s the kids who suffer; it isn’t me. I love coaching, I love sports and I love teaching kids.”

Rebecca Hare-Roque, parent of a player said, “They collect over $15,000 a year from us, and we aren’t invited to a meeting. My biggest pet peeve is they don’t bid out anything. They don’t get three bids on anything.”

Dean said, “We’ve asked to see the books, and they won’t let us.”

Theresa Giancarli has two children in the program, an 8-year-old and an 11-year old. She said she has concerns: “There is no information. There have been no board meetings. We have not been involved in any decisions. The teams that are being chosen and the coaches being chosen are secretive.”

Giancarli said parents did not get a message about an annual meeting. When some parents sent out an email calling for an annual meeting Jan. 8, the board sent out an email saying there was no Jan. 8 meeting. The board said in its email that “a group not affiliated in any way with Middlebury Baseball” had used the program’s email distribution list without authorization. The email also stated Middlebury Baseball “is governed by a set of bylaws that have been in place since 1985.”

“It’s in the bylaws there is to be an annual meeting,” Giancarli said. The bylaws state the annual meeting will be held the second Wednesday in January. This year, that was Jan. 8.

Giancarli also is frustrated that tryouts for her 8-year-old’s travel team (a 9U team) weren’t held until after the date by which teams had to be formed. Then parents were told there weren’t enough coaches or kids for a team. She said Coach Dan Mardorf pulled a team together with no help from Middlebury Baseball. Hare-Roque said Middlebury Baseball didn’t get the team’s paperwork in on time, so the team can play but not travel.

Giancarli said she has responded to emails sent out by the Middlebury Baseball board to no avail. “They never, ever respond to an email,” she said.

Hare-Roque said, “We need to have a meeting to elect officers fairly.” The bylaws say elections will be held at the January annual meeting. Written notice of meetings is to be mailed to each member not less than 10 days nor more than 60 days before the annual meeting and not less than 5 days before any special meeting. The bylaws also require a quorum of 51 percent of the membership at any membership meeting before business may be conducted.

Calls from this newspaper to Koziol and Anelli had not been returned by press time.


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