By Ray Paulick
Apparently, throwing incumbents out of office isn't limited to state and national politics.
Earlier this year, members of the California Thoroughbred Trainers voted to replace their existing board of directors with a new group, and former CTT president Jim Cassidy was one of those who found himself on the outside looking in.
Today, it was the Thoroughbred Owners of California who voted out their chairwoman, Marsha Naify, in a board election. Naify, who has served on the TOC board since 2004 and was elected chairwoman in 2007, finished third of five candidates running for two TOC board seats in California's South district. Newly elected to the board in the South district was prominent owner Mike Pegram, who received the most votes of all candidates, 528. He was followed by incumbent Pablo Suarez, with 404 votes. Naify received 400 votes.
Two members were elected to represent the North district: incumbent Keith Pronske, with 280 votes, and Cal Fischer, with 194.
The newly seated board meets July 23, at which time new officers will be elected. The TOC vice chair is Madeline Auerbach, treasurer is Martin Bach, and Billy Koch serves as secretary. Other directors are David Bloom, Brian Boudreau, Pete Parrella, Donald Valpredo, and Arnold Zetcher.
The apparent dissatisfaction by voters in the direction of the TOC under Naify may be exceeded only by apathy among the organization's members. Of 8,747 ballots mailed to owners and 350 to trainer-owner members, only 740 individuals voted in the election, or just over 8% of eligible voters.
In addition to the election of directors, the 2010 ballot included four proposed amendments to the TOC bylaws regarding expansion of the board and extending the sunset date of the Trainer-Owner category of directors. Current by-laws say an amendment requires a minimum quorum of 900 votes to qualify. All four resolutions received majority approval, but the number of affirmative votes was below the minimum required. Among the resolutions that fell short of a quorum was a vote to maintain the Trainer-Owner category, which the TOC Board now intends to pursue via urgency legislation. If approved, two incumbent Trainer-Owner directors will be restored and a third, Ed Moger, who won in the just completed election, would be added to the board.
Click here for complete TOC election results.
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