NEWNAN, Ga. — An editorial published in Wednesday’s RV Daily Report was not entirely accurate, said Dan Saltzgiver, a board member for the Recreation Park Trailer Industry Association.
In an editorial praising the merger between RPTIA and the RV Industry Association yesterday, RV Daily Report Editor Greg Gerber said that several people told him the vote approving the merger was flawed. Gerber noted that abstaining votes by RPTIA members were counted as being in favor of the merger.
That’s not entirely accurate, said Saltzgiver, who has served on the RPTIA board since 1997.
“I have been a driving force behind this merger and I can only see good things coming from it,” he told RV Daily Report. “The vote on this issue was not flawed as some have said.”
Saltzgiver said the decision to move forward with the merger was unanimous among RPTIA board members, which represents the entire association and has the authority to act in the best interests of the association.
A ballot was sent to members because RPTIA wanted its members to have a voice on whether merging the two associations was a good idea.
“Because of the membership status I was in, I was not allowed to vote on this issue, even though I was one of the most active members pushing for it all those years,” he said. “Suppliers to the park model industry were allow to vote as well as third party inspectors that were members of the association.”
Park model manufacturers were not the only people voting on the issue, as Gerber implied in his editorial. Suppliers and others had a voice as well.
“More park model manufacturers did vote in favor of the move than those who voted ‘no,'” said Saltzgiver.
Here is how the ballot read:
“There were no abstentions, as that can only happen if someone is present at a meeting, and there was not a meeting,” said Saltzgiver. “The membership was told that if they did not vote, then their vote would be counted as a ‘yes’ vote.
“So there really wasn’t a need for members to respond if they wanted to vote support the measure,” he explained. “This is how voting is done if you own shares in a company and they are having a meeting to vote on an issue. You are sent a ballot and told that if you don’t respond, it will be counted as a yes vote.
“This is done all the time,” Saltzgiver noted. “Those who did not respond were called several times asking for them to respond and they choose not to. As a result, their silence is consent.”
Saltzgiver said it is “truly sad” that RV Daily Report was only given part of the information and not the whole story.
“Without all the information it is easy to draw the wrong conclusion,” he added. “But, in the end, we gave members a chance to vote and the majority of them supported the board’s decision either with a paper ballot or by their silent support.”