KEN EDWARDS CENTER — Three long-standing members of the Wilshire Montana Neighborhood Coalition resigned from their positions Monday night, leaving the organization to an almost exclusively new board.
Former Chair Valerie Griffin, Frieda Dubin and 18-year member Larry Isaacs chose to leave the organization after the neighborhood group’s annual meeting Saturday in which eight people who had been kicked out of the organization in July were allowed back in and elected by acclimation to the board.
Griffin said Tuesday that she decided to leave the board after she came to the conclusion that the majority of the people who participated Saturday didn’t care whether or not the amendment to bring back the eight nor the election were legal under the California Corporations Code.
Only four months have passed since that group took control of the previous annual meeting on June 9 and conducted an election that the old board declared invalid. The “Wilmont Rebels,” as they dubbed themselves, continued to represent themselves as board members at other neighborhood group and public meetings.
“Not one of us who resigned could imagine trusting those people,” Griffin said.
Griffin’s resignation came as a surprise to board member and former “rebel” Jeanne Dodson.
She and other members of the board had received a letter from the attorney retained by the old board before the meeting Monday that warned that the Saturday actions that had reinstated and elected the eight formerly ejected members of Wilmont were illegal.
The only way to bring those eight people back on would be through a special meeting, wrote Becki Kammerling, the attorney.
“I thought we were starting all over again,” Dodson said.
The new board, which includes the eight former rebels, two of the original board members and two others elected Saturday, will not hold a special meeting to affirm the elections, Dodson said.
Instead, the board first cut ties with Kammerling and now will focus on completing the transfer of Wilmont’s assets and website and ensure that they are squared with City Hall. After everything is in order, the board hopes to tackle parking and other issues that face the neighborhood, Dodson said.
It’s just a relief not to hit resistance anymore, she said.
“We’ve been through so much. All of us think that it might actually be over,” she said.