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Oliver: Motion of vote of no-confidence will not stand

  • Carl Oliver

    Carl Oliver.


Published: Nov 12, 2013

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The turmoil continues in the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA). Carl Oliver, known as the quiet one because of his ultra reserved character, was elected to his position during the general elections of the BAAA in November of 2012.

The most unsettling period in the history track and field in this country ensued. The BAAA has become rocked with controversy as executive factions battle and supporters hold firm with respective sides. Legal action was taken. This was followed by counter legal aggressiveness as the sides lined up with lawyers. In the meantime, the organization became more embroiled in rows, to the point whereby meetings were not civil at all.

What has rankled the Oliver side of the controversy is that they felt that BAAA President Mike Sands went all out to function exclusive of the elected secretary general, elected vice president Iram Lewis and Harrison Petty who represents the Bahamas Parents Association of Track and Field Athletes on the BAAA executive board. According to Petty, he showed up for a meeting of the local organizing committee for CARIFTA Games 2013 and was asked to leave.

There is the claim that Oliver, Lewis and Petty were not allowed to contribute to any decisions about the CARIFTA Games LOC, even though the body was appointed by the BAAA. Subsequently, representatives of the BAAA have been placed on the local organizing committee for the inaugural International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Relay Championships to be hosted here May 24-25 next year. Petty has informed that this also was done without the trio of executives (Oliver, Lewis and Petty) being brought into the decision-making picture.

A BAAA general meeting was held recently and reportedly a vote was carried that would change the representatives on the world relays organizing committee. Finally, at another general meeting, a motion for a vote of no-confidence in all of the executives was allowed and carried. Such is the backdrop that resulted in a letter from Oliver to President Sands and other executives. The letter follows in its entirety:

“Dear all,

“I was instructed to circulate an e-mail to the general body informing that a vote of no-confidence arose from the general meeting last night, November 6, 2013. Further, my e-mail to the general membership should state that within two weeks, and I stand to be corrected, that a meeting will be held to elect a new executive board.

“In my deliberation of the instruction and being mindful of comments made by the president when he spoke on the litigation, I concluded that Carl Oliver will not be recorded as the one found guilty of ‘Contempt of Court’. The president stated that he will respect the court orders which in summary clearly enunciated that Iram, Mr. Petty, and myself, cannot be removed from our positions on the BAAA executive board until the litigation is addressed by a judge.

“As for the vote of no-confidence in the 20-member executive board, the motion in my view has no weight, for by grouping, Iram, Mr. Petty and myself with the other 17 members, the motion in fact protected all. I ask a question. If I am protected by the court, why should I take on a role where I am defenseless and could face charges for contravening a judge’s ruling? This would most certainly be one of the most asinine decisions that I would have made in my life.

“Mr. President and other members of the board, as general secretary, circulating an e-mail to the general membership is certainly an action that I will not undertake. If another member has the testicular fortitude to e-mail the general body and assume the role of rallying the troops for the purported election, then go ahead. At the end of the day, I am not paying any fines, and I certainly have no desire of being prisoner number 2804 in the hotel out east.

“In my research of vote of no-confidence, and I could be wrong, our constitution has no provision for this action. However, when the constitution is silent on the subject, then one can resort to Robert’s Rule. Here is what I found on the Internet with respect to Robert’s Rule on the subject. The acronym RONR is simply (Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revisited).

Question 7: What is a vote of no confidence?

Answer: “The term ‘vote of no-confidence’ is not used or defined anywhere in RONR, and there is no mention of any motion for such a vote. However, this does not mean that an assembly cannot adopt a motion, if it wishes, expressing either its confidence or lack of confidence in any of its officers or subordinate boards or committees. Any such motion would simply be a main motion, and would have no effect other than to express the assembly's views concerning the matter. A vote of ‘no-confidence’ does not – as it would in the British Parliament – remove an officer from office.”

“In my final comments and I specifically refer to you, Mr. President, Carl Oliver Jr. was elected to the position as the secretary general of the BAAA on November 17, 2012. I refer to all of you and others as friends, even though we are not at peace. You can try as much as you can (if this is in fact the case). I can be falsely accused, but at the end of the day, I will stand simply because I am covered in the whole armor of God.

“So, that strategy of trying to remove Mr. Petty, Iram and myself will not work. The strategy of moving a vote of no-confidence against the board must have been refreshing to some but that too has failed. Mr. President and others – the strategy that you need to deploy now is encapsulated in the five-letter word PEACE. I speak with authority, confirmation and without fear. You will never be able to overwhelm the God that is within me. Have a good night.


This is probably the longest testimony in the life of Carl Oliver. He seeks to bring order to the most productive sports discipline in the country.


• To respond to this feature, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com.

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