Timeline of Sable Merle Petition
I am sure many of you are not aware of what has been going on w/the sable merle petition. One of the District Directors, Emily Berkeley from KS, has given permission to cross post her email which gives a chronological report on the sable merle issue.
EMILY Berkley wrote:
In the last several days debate has arisen on the sable merle petition issue. I have been through all documents several times and believe this summary is where we now stand on the issue. This is just my interpretation, but I think it is accurate.
As a courtesy I am sending a cc of this to Jennifer Weiner as she was the petitioners' contact with the AKC on the subject of the petition's validity.
1) In October of last year a motion was made to poll the members on possibly changing the standard to include sable merles as an accepted color. President Futh said the motion was out of order as it did not conform to AKC rules for changes to standards, so DD Marion Johnson withdrew the original motion and offered this instead:
"The Collie Club of America members shall be allowed to vote on the issue of a change in our standard to include sable merle Collies.
The ballot would be worded as follows:
"This vote is being taken to determine if a change in the Collie Club of America’s breed standard to include the Sable Merle under “color” and to make appropriate changes in the section “eyes” to accommodate that color, is deemed appropriate and supported by a majority of the membership.
If a majority of the membership marks ballots as "approve", then the Breed Standard Revision Committee will move forward to make the changes following AKC protocol.
If the vote is conducted and the measure passed, the Collie Club of America officers and board of directors would be bound to follow Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution of the Collie Club of America to amend the current standard and do so in keeping with the guidelines for amending standards as directed by The American Kennel Club."
The purpose of the motion was to find out if CCA members were interested in changing the standard to include sable merles.
2) President Futh tabled Marion's motion and formed a Standard Review Committee to consider the status of sable merles and possible changes to our standard.
Some CCA members believed that this approach did not address the core issue: do CCA members want the standard changed or not?
While the SRC worked hard to find and compile facts on the sable merle's history within our breed's history, other CCA members worked on a petition that would allow the members of the club to vote on the possibility of changing the standard to include sable merles. The petition members created does not call for a change to our standard but calls for a vote of members on the subject of a possible change.
Here is the section of the petition stating what it is for and why, when accompanied by 100+ valid signatures as it was when presented to the club's officers at the national, the petition has standing:
We, the active members of the Collie Club of America, hereby submit this petition requiring a vote of all members of the Collie Club of America on the issue of inclusion of the color of sable merle in the Collie Club of America Standard and clarification on eye color. We assert this right pursuant to the Collie Club of America Constitution, Bylaws, Article II, Section 3, Special Membership Meetings which states:
Special meetings of the club membership for the purpose of presenting any business or obtaining a vote of the membership, shall be called by the Secretary upon written request, setting forth the purpose for such special meeting, received from… (d) by a petition signed by at least 100 members, or 10% of the club membership (whichever is less). Meetings convened as the result of a petition shall be held no less than two (2) months, nor more than three (3) months from the date of receipt of the petition.
3) President Futh took the petition from the national and had discussions about it with two persons from the AKC. President Futh reported to the board that
"To: All members of the CCA Board of Directors,
April 22, 2009
…It is not a matter for discussion whether the petition was in order or not. The AKC has decided it was not…
Thank you, Bob Futh"
4) Drafters of the petition went to the AKC on their own and got a response that was different from the one reported by President Futh. They maintain:
"Ms. O’Neill and Mr. Liosis both confirmed that AKC issued no “ruling” as to the validity of the petition. Mr. Liosis and Ms. O’Neill gave advice based upon questions that were posed to them by Mr. Futh. They eventually reviewed the petition and had a concern that it listed proposed language, as any changes to the standard would need to go through the AKC. However, whether it was in compliance with the CCA Constitution and the ruling on that determination is not within the purview of the AKC.
Even though they gave advice to Mr. Futh, they advised that the CCA Board had to vote on how to act in regard to the petition. As Mr. Liosis put it, Mr. Futh, on his own, does not have authority to rule the petition out of order. Only the board can make a ruling on the petition and how to act in regard to the same. In addition, it appears that Mr. Liosis and Ms. O’Neill did not know that the CCA Parliamentarian had advised that the petition was valid."
5) Jane Clymer reported that the CCA Parliamentarian, when advised of the above and asked specifically about the validity of the petition presented at the CCA national, stated that it was his opinion that the petition was valid and that the call for the special meeting was in fact in order.
6) It appears, therefore, that the club must follow the petition calling for a "special meeting". The meeting is the goal of the petition; the subject of the meeting is the possible change to the standard. Having the meeting is not a violation of any part of the CCA constitution nor of the AKC's rules on changing a standard as the meeting is not about specific standard changes, but about whether the club should persue such changes.
This meeting would be in keeping with the original motion proposed by Marion Johnson: to ask the CCA's membership if they want the club to consider a change to the standard to include Sable Merles.
The meeting does not conflict with the work of the SRC as it does not call for specific changes to our standard.
The meeting does not conflict with either the CCA's constitution or the rules of the ACK where changes to a standard are concerned because the meeting is not intended to set specific changes to the standard.
6a) For clarification, below are the steps listed in the AKC rules for amending a breed club standard.
Nothing the CCA has done to date is out of order with these rules nor
would the special meeting be out of order with these rules.
If the special meeting is called and the vote is to proceed with possible standard changes, the work of the SRC is all to our good as it is background for an informed decision. If the special meeting is called and the vote is to leave the standard unchanged then the work of the SRC gives us valuable breed history and need go no further.
"Breed Standard Committee is formed to review and formulate revisions.
Notify staff of the American Kennel Club that the club is in the process of reviewing the standard.
Submit revisions to AKC staff for input while being developed. Staff will present final revisions to The Board of Directors for their comment and authority for the club to proceed to ballot the membership.
Balloting of membership in accordance with Club’s Constitution and By-Laws. The ballot must also inform the membership of the five year moratorium.
Submit results of balloting, copy of the ballot, cover letter, and standard to the AKC. If the proposed revisions do not receive the sufficient numbers of votes to be approved notify AKC Staff."
I believe we must hold the special meeting and based on its outcome proceed or not with changes to our standard.