Penticton Minor Hockey Association is moving forward with Val Fulton as its acting president, after Bruce Judd stepped down from the position at the end of July.
Judd said he had been thinking about making the move for a couple of years.
“I didn’t want to be there anymore,” said Judd, who is enjoying being out of the picture and having new people take over.
Judd added the past year has been stressful after it was alleged that former treasurer Sandy Elder misappropriated more than $315,000 over three years, according to a forensic audit conducted on PMHA finances following her death in 2013.
“It bothered all the directors and it bothered me,” said Judd. “Made them tighten their ship. It was hard on everybody.”
When asked about the timing of his departure, Judd said he didn’t feel it was right to leave before the annual general meeting held in late May.
Judd denied his decision was related to the board of directors’ decision to go against a recommendation from a four-person executive committee to replace Pam Anderson as administrator.
He said while he disagreed with the decision, he also respected the directors’ right to make it, and had already made up his own mind to leave.
“It was time for me to move on,” said Judd, who had been president since 2006, adding he felt it was right to step away before the season starts in one month.
Fulton, who is also the vice-president, said they didn’t feel other candidates for the administrator’s position had as much to offer as Anderson.
“The majority of us felt that we should be retaining her,” Fulton explained.
“For me, I didn’t think some of them grasp how much work the administrator has to do, or how much knowledge they have to have.
“I just felt for the timing of it all, it was the wrong time for us to be making a switch,” continued Fulton, adding things could change when the position comes up again next March, since PMHA has decided paid positions will be for one year.
“For the scope of the work that needs to be done in the next month and a half, two months, there is no way a new administrator, especially someone who has never been a hockey administrator before, could have walked in there and done it,” she said. “We did what we felt was best for the association.”
Fulton said Judd’s departure came as a surprise to the board.
“When it happened that night we were all quite taken aback,” she said. “I’m glad he clarified why. We haven’t had any contact with him since he left the meeting that night.”
Directors Randy Craig, Rob McLaughlin and Mike Ouellette, plus secretary Carla Relvas, have also recently stepped down from the executive. A new president will be voted in at the 2015 annual general meeting on a two-year term. With positions vacated by resignation, the executive will appoint to replace them per PMHA’s constitution again for the remainder of the year, at which time those positions will also be voted back in at the 2015 AGM for a two-year term. The executive is currently speaking with a few PMHA parents about filling the spots.
Fulton said the board is now looking to rebuild and regain the trust of their membership, the community and sponsors.
“We have sponsors that are so kind to give money for our teams,” she said. “I’m sure when money is misappropriated the way it was, it doesn’t sit well with people.
“We as a new board are going to do just that, we are going to act as a new board. We are pretty much going to try to rebuild Penticton Minor Hockey back to where we once were: a very respected hockey association.”