Re-elect Kermit Carlson as Central Division Director                                                                            
Censure of Director Norton

As you might have seen, there is a considerable amount of effort being expended by Mr. John Crovelli W2GD and his myarrlvoice group to not only challenging my candidacy but the candidacy  of the other four incumbent candidates as well.  The reason for this can be traced  back to the  censure of South West Division Director Norton on November 16th, 2017.  As a  member of the ARRL Ethics and Election Committee I was responsible for the task of collection  and presenting the information that had been gathered to the Board.

While it is true that a portion of the discussion in that meeting did concern Mr. Norton’s actions and  Statements  at the 2017 DX Convention in Visalia, the majority of the discussion was about Director Norton’s  actions in and out of the Boardroom concerning the mistreatment of ARRL staff and abusive conduct towards fellow Board members.  If you are under the impression that 75% of the Board  would censure a fellow Director based on what that Director said at a Hamfest or Convention, you would be completely misled.

The most compelling portion of the discussion in that November 2017 meeting centered on the derogatory nature of  Director Norton’s comments in the Board room towards other Board  members and  specifically about that staff member and abusive nature of his statements to a female  Staff member. My largest concern about this issue arose from my fiduciary responsibility to the  members of the League which  does require me to speak out against any potential or  demonstrated creation of a hostile work environment, such as what had evidently  been created by  Director Norton’s discourse. Given the seriousness the creation of a hostile  work  environment does encompass, I felt that Director Norton’s damning rhetoric and mis-characterizations could not  continue without challenge.  The ARRL is not only a member-driven  membership organization but the League is also an employer. And as an employer, there are responsibilities and duties to the employees  under Connecticut and Federal Law to conduct all  business, including employee reviews in a professional, respectful, non-threatening and non-confrontational manner.

A censure is the statement of displeasure of the actions of another member of the body, and a public censure is when the knowledge of that displeasure is recorded publicly, not the details  but the fact that such a matter was considered and that vote was cast for a censure.  The censure  is a statement of displeasure with the actions of another and nothing more. There is no removal  from office, loss of privilege, membership or entitlement.  The action of a censure is to provide  the group an opportunity to discuss  a complaint about the actions of another and  then move on. 

In this particular situation with Director Norton, he has rallied his friends in various circles to his side and formed myarrlvoice, and the 75% of the Board who had voted for Director Norton’s censure began to receive what can best be described as “hate mail” primarily from the ARRL South West Division members. A common theme in those letters was that the Censure should be Revoked. A censure is similar to any other statement in the regard that; like a bell once rung – it cannot be recalled or revoked.

A question I have been recently repeatedly asked is if I would have voted the same way now, had I  known then the present “political” entanglements.  That answer is yes, given  the totality of the circumstances of Director Norton’s actions. Having witnessed myself his needlessly sharp and stridently hateful attacks upon  staff and fellow Board members I would not change my vote. I am still comfortable with the expression of  displeasure with certain occasions of his actions. I believe that the censure for those particular actions was warranted.

As I have mentioned that is the substance of a censure – it is statement of displeasure with his  actions and given the past intensity of his verbal abuse the censure was a  group  expression of displeasure of  that Director Norton  richly deserved.

Had it been me that was being censured, I would have apologized and moved on. A censure has no  other purpose or encumbrance and should signal the end of an issue.   But in this instance, it has  become  a political tool for Director Norton.