Seven past OFA presidents sent an email October 22 asking OFA members to vote against the proposed amendments to the constitution and bylaws. OFA quickly followed that email up with one of its own the next day, apologizing for the ongoing feud while reiterating that the proposed revisions do not remove Ohio members from OFA participation.
OFA closed its email by asking members to vote for the proposed changes.
The email sent from the past OFA presidents was signed by Justin Marotta, Gordon Perkins, Walter Krueger Jr., Roger Feist and Robert Maddux, who sent out a joint letter in early September that began:
“”We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis! As past presidents and former chairmen of the constitution and bylaws committee, we urge all members to vote no on the proposed changes being presented at this time. When a committee has to eliminate three-fourths of the provisions of the constitution and bylaws to achieve their objectives, something is terribly wrong with the process.”
The past presidents had a similar tone in its latest letter, and it reiterated its stance that Ohio should keep its six director positions. It also questioned OFA on the number of association members from Ohio.
“In response to our concerns,” the past presidents wrote, “we were told that only 7 percent of the membership is from Ohio. The (OFA) website lists 613 members from Ohio, which accounts for 25 percent of the total membership of 2,397.”
In OFA’s most recent follow-up letter, executive committee members reinforced that Ohio grower members only represent 7 percent of the total membership. They also pointed out that while the bylaws now mandate six Ohio board members, the current OFA board has 10 individuals from Ohio as a result of the “voting will of the membership.”