After some confusion over voting regulations the Penticton Hospitality Association is moving forward, re-electing Barb Haynes as president at an extra-ordinary general meeting Tuesday.
Haynes was elected by the PHA on March 30 at the association’s annual general meeting, however an extra-ordinary general meeting was called to host another vote on Sept. 15 due to some discrepancy in the legitimacy of past president Rob Appleman’s vote.
“The confusion was that it was pointed out by board members that the president could only vote if it was a tie,” Appleman said. “We didn’t realize that during an AGM the president is a member and has the right to vote as a member.”
Board members believed Appleman may have the choice of a presidential vote, only to be implemented in case of a tie, or a membership vote which would be counted the same as any other member. According to Appleman, nobody really knew for sure.
“I didn’t think that was right to begin with. I looked it up afterwards and it’s not true. I’m a paid up member and at an AGM I have a right to vote,” Appleman said.
Appleman’s vote tied the March election at eight votes apiece between Haynes, who is a former executive director of the Downtown Penticton Association and represents the Penticton Lakeside Resort, and Stacy Tonita representing the Casa Grande Inn B&B. His vote was taken away and Haynes was announced the winner.
Legal representation was brought in via a proxy vote, which allows members who cannot show up to give their vote to somebody else, a few weeks after the AGM in March.
After looking into the Society Act, it was discovered that Appleman could in fact vote as a member.
“It was more of the point that the procedure was wrong that my vote was denied and we just had to go through the formalities of having a re-vote to make sure that it’s done properly,” Appleman said.
Haynes was elected as president once again with 11 votes, with Tonita receiving seven votes on Sept. 15.
Haynes is ready to sit down with the board and move forward starting Monday.
“We’ll start with getting the board together,” Haynes said. “We’re excited to sit down as a board and strategically plan the future.”
Haynes is joined by the new vice president Jessica Agur-Dolan representing the Ramada Inn, who is currently the vice chair of the Tourism Penticton Board of Directors and Barb Schneiderat will remain secretary/treasurer. Appleman will stay on as past president as well.
“We will all sit down together as a board and see what our future looks like and start looking at some changes that are important to make,” Haynes said.
As for what those changes entail, Haynes doesn’t want to say just yet.
“Until the board sits down, it wouldn’t be for me to say, that’s not my role. My role is to bring them all together and that’s what I’m going to do,” Haynes said.
Haynes was vice president last year and this is her second year with the PHA — first time acting as president.
She feels staying the course will bring good things for the hospitality industry in Penticton.
“I think hotel properties are looking for the same thing they have been looking for since the beginning of the Penticton Hospitality Association, and that is that we grow and that we market who we are and what we have to the external community,” Haynes said.