Monday, April 25, 2011

No One In Charge

That was the message members took away from last Monday's bizarre meeting.

Last month, we reported Review Office ("RO") Dennis Walsh, issued President Lawrence D'Errico, a notice of possible action, and is considering vetoing D'Errico's employment as a council representative/President, allegedly for organized crime associations.

D'Errico, after receiving the notice, packed his personal belongings, left the council and no one has heard a word from him since, a source said.

Last week I wrote that Vice President pro tem Gerrry Gausman, is the new President of Local 157. Gausman was appointed Vice President pro tem in accordance with Section 32 B of the UBC Constitution, by President pro tem Mike Bilello, who was elected in accordance with Section 32 D, at the March 21, meeting.

Since that time Gausman has been serving officially as the Vice President pro tem by attending executive committee meetings and meeting with Chief Compliance Officer, John Ballantyne.

According to Conductor, John Guerrero, Gausman was able to reach a compromise at a meeting with the executive committee, reducing the cost and security personal for local meetings from fifteen security guards to seven, Gausman wanted just one.

"The vice principle of the school where we hold our meeting met with Gausman and agreed that one security guard was suitable for the meeting," Donny Arana said.

On April 12, the RO, vetoed D'Errico’s employment and his services as President of Local 157.

After learning of the veto by the RO, an informed source said, "Gausman, is prepared to fill the office of the President and open the April meeting in accordance with Section 34 of the UBC Constitution."

At the April 18, meeting, Recording Secretary Mitch Sonntag and Financial Secretary Paul Capurso were both absent. The meeting was called to order by Treasurer, Larry Becerra.

To the surprise of many members Becerra, with no explanation, stated there will nominations for a President pro tem for the "meeting only."

The RO had an eleventh hour meeting with Gausman, informing him that he is not the Vice President pro tem, because Bilello had no authority to make the appointment at the March meeting since D'Errico was still the president, and if you proceed to open the meeting you will be “vetoed," an informed source said.

In an unprecedented turn of events, the local had to elect a President pro tem, this time with one exception; both the President and Vice President Officer positions are vacated. So once again, the April meeting resembled the March meeting.

At the start, no one, including both Gausamn and Bilello challenged or disagreed with Treasurer Becerra's statement that the nomination for a President pro tem, is for the "meeting only,"--you can make the motion to Appeal from the Decision of the Chair.

Section 32 D, is very clear regarding electing a President pro tem, "In the absence of both the President and the Vice President, the Recording Secretary shall call the meeting to order and those present shall elect a President pro tem."  

"It doesn't say for just that meeting. It doesn't say until the next meeting. It doesn't give a time limit. Past practice has been when an office was permanently vacated and the remaining term was less than 6 months the pro tem officer filled the remainder of the term, if it was more than 6 months the pro tem officer held the office until such time as a special election was held," brother Bill Lebo said.

Bilello was elected unopposed President pro tem for the "meeting only." Upon taking his position on the dais, Bilello departed from appointing a Vice President pro tem as he did in March, and strangely chose to call for nominations for both a Vice President pro tem and Recording Secretary pro tem for the "meeting only."

Now if you accept the premise, (I do not) that you are electing a President pro tem to conduct a "meeting only," why was it necessary to have a Vice President pro tem, either appointed or elected to conduct a meeting? The UBC Constitution does not require that a Vice President be present to conduct a meeting.

What section of the UBC Constitution states, "The President pro tem is for the "meeting only,” and in the absence of a Vice President and Recording Secretary, the President pro tem shall call for nominations and those present shall elect temporary pro tem officers to fill positions for the “meeting only?”

The President pro tem premise for the "meeting only," I believe is incorrectly being confused with a “Chairman pro tem” under Roberts Rules, to conduct a meeting. If we are electing someone to conduct a "meeting only" then that person is supposed to facilitate the meeting, not waste over an hour where the membership gets emotionally swept up with this unconstitutional nonsense of holding nominations and elections that serve absolutely no purpose.

But the membership did not elect a "Chairman pro tem," they elected a "President pro tem for the meeting only," and that interpretation is not found anywhere in the UBC Constitution.

The Constitution, Bylaws, and Roberts Rules are there for our protection. If we don't follow these rules then whose rules do we follow? Yours? Mine? Or do we make them up as we go along?

If Bilello is going to accept the premise of the "President pro tem for a meeting only," he could have easily ask for a volunteer from one of the executive board members to act as Recording Secretary and start the meeting. Instead the membership had to suffer through this bizarre wasteful meaningless spectacle of voting for "meeting only pro tem officers" that serve no purpose.

Gerry Gausman was elected "meeting only," Vice President pro tem over Bill Walsh and Pat Nee was elected "meeting only," Recording Secretary pro tem over Donny Arana.

"This is the craziest meeting I have ever been to, D'Errico (President) is gone, Pugliese (Vice President) retired, the Financial Secretary and Recording Secretary are absent, and they tell us we just elected people for a meeting only, and no one is in charge." "Its madness, a three hour meeting and this is what we get, it makes no sense," brother George said as he left the meeting early.

Bilello was questioned about being elected for the "meeting only," and he stated that there is "a lot of gray area in the UBC Constitution" regarding how positions are filled, and he was “unprepared and did not know he was going to be nominated” even though he was dressed wearing a suit and tie for the meeting.

Bilello did not explain nor give any reason why he named Gausman Vice President pro tem if he had no authority to do so. Nor did he explain why it was necessary to call for nominations for both a Vice President pro tem and Recording Secretary pro tem in order to conduct a meeting.

Members were also making motions and statements to have Bilello serve until elections are held, these motions should have been ruled out of order by the President pro tem since it was stated at the start of the meeting (which he has agreed with) that the nomination is for the "meeting only."

Brother Dan Franco raised a point of information, and asked Bilello, “where are the other officers, I want to know what’s going on here!” Bilello for the second time, (March meeting) ignored and incorrectly ruled a member out of order, without stating any reason why the "point of information" was out of order, displaying an arrogance and conduct unbecoming a President.

"Last month he (Bilello) stuck to an irrational interpretation of the constitution, disagreeing with a motion and blocking the members from voting on it. This month he says there is a lot of gray area in the constitution. He twice incorrectly ruled members out of order for raising questions (a very harsh statement) without stating the reason why the questions are out of order. His actions in the past two months have been very disappointing and does not inspire confidence," an anonymous member commented.

At the end of the day after all the nonsense, most members walked away from this bizarre, painfully long, unproductive and unconstitutional meeting learning one thing: NO ONE IS IN CHARGE TO CONDUCT DAY-TO-DAY BUSINESS!

The May meeting may turn out to be even more bizarre, in-addition to doing the April meeting allover again, the local will be conducting scheduled nominations for the entire executive committee with an election in June.

Better fasten your seat-belt; it may be a wild ride!

(John's Note: After posting the article this morning, I received an email message from Review Officer Dennis Walsh at 6:11 am, which he said was distributed on Thursday, April 21st to the executive committee.)

To the Executive Committee of Local 157, Gerard Gausman, and Michael Bilello:

On Tuesday, I asked the UBC to inform me of its interpretation of Section 32 of the UBC Constitution.

I was advised yesterday that if a local union president is absent at a meeting, Section 32 vests the full authority of the local union president in the president pro tem selected at said meeting and that if such president pro tem fills a vacancy such as local union vice president at said meeting, the appointee is to be regarded as the vice president until such time as an election must be held. As currently applicable to Local Union 157, Gerard Gausman is thus the vice-president of the Local until an elected vice-president is installed.

As a result, Mr. Gausman’s appointment by President Pro Tem Michael Bilello on March 21, 2011 (when Lawrence D’Errico was still the President of the Local), and service as vice-president will be immediately reviewed by my office pursuant to Paragraph 5.b of the Stipulation and Order.

Dennis M. Walsh
Review Officer

Robert's Rules of Order - How to Be an Effective Chair.


  1. Last week I wrote that Vice President pro tem Gerrry Gausman, is the new President of Local 157.

    Thats right you did and the jackass ran their mouths and ridiculed your post but here it is. If the UBC position is true than Gausman is not just VP he is President under Section 34. He moved up the day Derrico was officially removed

  2. Gerry is doing a great job he got the members copies of the constitution, Is reducing the number of security guards, folllowing up on all motions made. More than any VP we ever had in the past. GO GERRY GO


  4. Way to go John Musmmece you have to critcize everyone. Like you would have know prior to meeting. If you think you know so much. Why don't you try to run a meeting.

  5. Frank DeRosa: Are we just suppose to shut up and sit down if rules are not followed? I wrote on March 27th, that Gerry will become the president if Lawrence is vetoed. That did not not happen. What did happened was a ridiculous joke. Don't you understand that.


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