March 1, 2013
Towns County Fire Corps
PO Box 118
1896 Jack Dayton Circle
Hiawassee, GA 30546
To the Board Members:
B. J. Peters
Effective March 1, 2013, I hereby resign my position as Vice President of the Towns County Fire Corps. I wanted to briefly discuss my decision to resign with the board and members of the public to make absolutely sure the record is clear.
In June 2012, Fire Chief Mitch Floyd issued a mandate to the new incoming board. That mandate was two-fold, first, to better observe corporate formalities (some of which are required by State and Federal Law in order to maintain the exempt status of a Non-Profit Organization), and second, to expand the membership and in particular to increase the meaningful mind and management (decision making) of the board to include input from an active and participatory membership. Chief Floyd then issued a Memo to the Board in July 2012 listing certain priorities and needs of the Towns County Fire Rescue Department, the ultimate beneficiary of the Towns County Fire Corps. At that time, the Board had agreed to hold a strategy meeting and develop a plan in accordance with the request of Chief Floyd. To date, that meeting and plan agreed to by the board has not taken place (at least not since my last active involvement with the board in November 2012).
While I was active with the board, I observed the following irregularities most of which were committed under the unilateral direction of President Ordiales and rubber stamped by the remaining board members (with the exception of past member Dewaine Olson and recent member Buddy Sumner):
Lastly, the fact that Robert Mawyer was appointed as Vice President (more than three months ago) before I just resigned at this moment here and now in this letter, merely serves to highlight just some of the irregularities in the corporate governance of this organization. In sum, the reason for my reluctant resignation is that I felt, as a matter of ethics, that I could no longer be associated with an organization that was being operated in such a manner. To that end, I sent numerous emails to the other board members expressing my concern and received no follow up. I also discussed my numerous concerns on numerous occasions with President Ordiales personally and I was ingored.
UPDATE: Recently members of the public were openly solicited for donations by the Towns County Fire Corps by virtue of a mailout which was received by residents on March 1, 2013. There were several notable federal fund raising violations on the actual solicitation flyer. On March 3, 2013, a member of the public alerted Ms. Liz Ordiales to the violations. The Towns County Fire Corps sent a second mail out which was received by residents of Towns County on June 21, 2013, with the same fundraising violations as previously reported.
Although I realize that many of the board members have received no formal training, I might humbly ask that the Board focus on the needs and wishes of the served agency, the Towns County Fire Rescue Department, as well as equip itself with the tools and learning (such as the roles and responsibility of board members, including fiduciary duty) to implement more effective corporate governance. In my experience, people who donate funds to Non-Profit Organizations have a right to know and genuinely want to see that their funds are being properly and wisely applied to the exclusive exempt purpose of the organization.
Donors to the Towns County Fire Corps deserve better, the Citizens of Towns County deserve better and the Towns County Fire Rescue Department deserves better. More importantly, all of you, can and should do better.
Please govern yourselves accordingly,
Kenneth L. Bryant
Towns County Commissioner
Fire Chief Mitch Floyd
Assistant Chief Harold Copeland
Members of the media