U.S. Figure Skating Governance - Reader Comments

Our comments on U.S. Figure Skating governance has resulted in comments from fellow delegates.  We share some of them here.

We begin with a flyer from the Eastern Section that has begun circulating among the delegates.

They Want Our Dues – Not Our Voice



We all - athletes, club members, individual members and clubs – are U.S. Figure Skating

The By-Laws state that the governance of our organization is vested in a Governing Council, the annual cost of which is about 1.2% of the budget, compared to our membership dollars, which now account for nearly 41% of total income. If passed, Exhibit D will transfer power from the hundreds of member delegates at the Governing Council to the 15-person Board of Directors removing the “checks and balances” and centralizing the power of the Board. And if passed, Exhibit D will change nearly all of us from active, passionate members to passive recipients of new directives.

We must not relinquish our annual voice with the right to debate and vote at Governing Council





Annual voice/ vote by Clubs and Athletes on Governance

Biennial “education meeting” no voting, no input on Governance

Annual Voting Representation based on membership

Two non–voting Club representatives

Annual review and ratification of all Board actions, including rule changes, providing necessary transparency & accountability

No review, no transparency, no accountability

Grassroots power of the delegates, including all athlete delegates

Power centralized in the Board of Directors, who continue to meet and conduct business

Annual In-person debate, discussion and vote

No debate, no discussion, no vote

Annual New Business

No opportunity to bring up, discuss and vote on new business

Annual Athlete representation

Athlete representation limited to athlete board members

In-person forums and voting for Leadership and Nominating positions with voting procedures written in standing rules

Online voting for Leadership and Nominating with no plan for security of on-line voting

Proxies allowed for voting





Annual budget and modifications approved by Governing Council

Potential for the Board and hired Staff to deviate from the Budget; without approval of the voting membership for up to 2 years

Budget driven by Governing Council with public disclosure and discussion of costs of new initiatives such as technological education, webcasting, etc.

Budget driven by Board of Directors and Staff with limited-to-no transparency or accountability




Club involvement in all aspects of Governing Council

Clubs will participate in “Education Only” meeting

Annual in – person interaction

Reliance on biennial electronic communication

Annual Requests for Action to Governing Council

Requests for Action at discretion of Board of Directors

Meet, know and question our leadership

Leadership is insulated from membership

Individual Member representation by delegate

No consideration for Individual members


We may need to change how we do business BUT there is more than one way to refresh the Governing Council format to reduce costs and increase participation. Send Exhibit D back to a Task Force comprised of grassroots membership and athlete representation with the mandate that other options, with itemized budgets, be fully explored and presented at next year’s in-person meeting of Governing Council.

And from our readers:

AMEN! My thoughts exactly. I live in                       and the is the headquarters for                       and the                       corporations.
They hold their annual meetings here in                      .  I think we should always hold our meetings in Colorado Springs at our headquarters.  It is in the center of US, so would be feasible for east and west coast travel. This make sense as there would be no airfare, no hotel lodging, and no per diem for the staff. Also no shipment of equipment etc. The Cheyenne Mountain Resort has lots of rooms and meeting spaces.   If people want to make a vacation and come early (or stay after) there is plenty to see and do in the area, i.e. Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods and so on.  Fares are reasonable to Denver (after ski season) and if you did not want to spend extra to fly to CS you could rent a car in Denver and drive the 60 some miles to CS.  I also think we should meet every year.


WAY TO GO, GEORGE!! This was a great article!! My hat's off to you!! You touched on EVERY reason why this should be defeated, and you stated it so well.

Sorry I won't see you there this year due to expense and 16 travel hours one way!


I pulled out my notes on the topic of Exhibit D and they virtually mirror yours.

Also, do we still need                       every year?  Very expensive!  Well... maybe this year!!! 


I totally agree with you. It is wonderful you spoke up, and brave. Its within our rights as members to voice our opinions to leadership. Hopefully we will not lose those rights.

Good luck. It will take them a few weeks to sharpen the ax they throw.


Those going to Governing Council really need to think long and hard about this.  Do we want our federation to go the way of the ISU?  Meet every other year?  In the meantime the staff and Board have free rein to do as they please?

If the reason for the change is money, there are other things, which are suggested in the piece, that can accomplish the goal.  And they would do so, without taking away the little bit of grass roots power we have.


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