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Letter to the Editor-It’s Not About Sides-Eileen Winchester

Many are aware of issues that have transpired with the Washington County Republican Central Committee recently in regards to removing Kirk Chandler as the Chairman.  I would like to share about my part in this and start by saying that it’s not about being on Mr. Chandler’s side or not.  It’s about dealing with an issue that needed to be dealt with.  It was not an attempt to take over the committee as was recently stated in an e-mail that went out to people on the e-mail list of a local PAC. 

Some of the recent discussions at the WCRCC meetings have been in regards to whether the members of the Executive Committee can vote at our meetings or not.  Several of the Precinct Committee Persons as well as a great number of constituents whom they represent have had legitimate questions and concerns throughout.  At the WCRCC regular March meeting, Mr. Chandler presented the committee with some information supporting why members of the Executive Committee should be allowed to vote at meetings and a guest speaker from the GOP presented more information.  After, being presented with all of this, I concluded that further digging into rules and bylaws needed to be done to proceed.  Before having time to do my due diligence and homework in this matter, the Precinct Committee Persons were met with an e-mail from Mr. Chandler that stated, “If you are not willing to follow the State Rules, I would accept that as your unaffiliating yourself with the party, and accept that as your resignation”.  

First off,  it is our job as precinct committee persons to research topics and we are allowed to table discussions if we feel the need to.  Since when does trying to do your homework negate your party affiliation?  We are aware we need to follow State Rules, but I and many concluded we needed to cover more ground in the rules to be sure that we proceeded appropriately.  Secondly, there are no rules that give Mr. Chandler the authority to unaffiliate any elected PC from the party and force them into resignation.  Precinct Committee persons are elected by the constituents in their respective precincts.  Removal of a PC would be done by a recall by those constituents..  

This e-mail from Mr. Chandler was of serious concern to me, as well as another e-mail he sent after that on April 4th asking us to vote through e-mail on financial support to candidates.  This sort of vote through e-mail is in violation of Robert’s Rules of Order.  This type of vote would need to be done in person or via a Zoom or equivalent sort of meeting.  The WCRCC bylaws state that “All procedures not herein specified, shall be governed by the Latest Edition of Robert’s Rules of Order”.  In that very same e-mail, Mr. Chandler attempted to cancel our last 2 meetings, which would deny our ability to vote in person and no mention of an electronic meeting was made.  The WCRCC regular April meeting was announced by Mr. Chandler at the regular March meeting and was on the agenda.  I am not sure why people are ignoring this fact and why we still have not received minutes from the March meeting from our Secretary even though we have reminded her many times.  

This was all very stressful as I knew that many relationships I valued were on the line if I chose to speak out about the situation, as such I decided to tender a resignation.  Upon reflection, I soon realized this decision did not sit well with me and I was unable to sleep that night.  This led me to investigate if I could rescind my resignation and discovered that I could.  I proceeded to send a formal letter of the rescission of my resignation to the committee.  According to Robert’s Rules of Order a resignation must be accepted to be effective.  It may be withdrawn in the same manner as any motion may be withdrawn—that is to say, before the proposed resignation has been placed before the assembly by the chair stating the question on its acceptance, it may be withdrawn without the consent of the assembly, but it may not be withdrawn without permission of the assembly once it has been placed before the assembly for it’s approval. [RONR (12 th  ed.) 32:1–8, 33:12–18.  My resignation was not acknowledged or placed before the committee and was properly rescinded. As such, I maintain that I am still a committee person and was a legitimate voting member at the regularly scheduled meeting in April in which we voted to censure and remove Kirk Chandler as Chairman.  I challenge the validity of IDGOP Chairwoman Dorothy Moon’s investigation of this issue as she has never contacted me, nor our Vice-Chairman.  No mention of my rescission letter has been made in her public statements.  The WCRCC Executive Committee was in possession of my letter of rescission prior to the April meeting as verified by an e-mail sent to me from Secretary Lisa Collini stating, “I’m very glad you made this decision, Eileen.  Happy you’re staying for the rest of your term.”

Idaho Code 34-502 which is cited in the WCRCC bylaws states:  “The precinct

committeemen… shall organize by electing a chairman, vice chairman, a secretary, a state

committeeman, a state committeewoman, and such other officers as they may desire

who shall hold office at the pleasure of the county central committee or until their

successors are elected.”  As the executive committee is clearly stated to serve “at the pleasure of” the elected officials, I believe the Precinct Committee Persons of the WCRCC are within their right to remove any member of the Executive Committee for any reason at any time.  

Eileen Winchester

(03 South Weiser Precinct Committeewoman)

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