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Gun club tackles turmoil: Four of five board member resign immediately

It was standing room only Saturday as more than 100 members of the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club packed into their meeting room to hear what’s next for the club following the resignation of four of its five board members just days earlier.

The information-only meeting was led by Mike Pacini, the lone remaining board member and the only Boulder City resident on the five-member board.

“I don’t want to be a part of the trashing of anybody,” Pacini said to those in attendance. “I can’t tell you all what to do but I would appreciate if we could take the high road and think to ourselves if any of us were in this situation how we would want people who had been around us to react.”

Four resignation letters to Pacini, dated Aug. 14, were all brief and very similar in nature. But on the club’s Facebook page, the four outgoing members wrote in part, “It is with the greatest regret that we (Dale Tweedy, Judy Tweedy, Bob Brown and Ken O’Rouke) are resigning immediately from the Boulder City Rifle and Pistol Club’s board of directors. We feel that all the hours and effort that we are putting in, are not getting the results that are benefiting the members or the club.

“It is not fair to put the other board members through all of this. We are at a point where we do not want to continue putting the extra strain on our physical and mental health.”

The BRPC was founded decades ago and is located off Utah Street, a mile past the transfer station. The city leases 550-plus acres to the club for $1 a year. The club has nearly 3,000 members with 506 from Boulder City.

One of a handful of issues that the club has faced over the past several months was the raising of the annual dues from $75 to $150, half of which was to go to range improvements.

“After some more digging I found that we couldn’t do that for Boulder City residents because of a clause in the lease,” Pacini said. “I wanted to seek legal advice but there was not support to do that (from fellow board members). Fast-forward to this point. It was an issue.”

The group ended up sending refunds totaling $37,000 to its Boulder City members.

He said the city also received emails and phone calls from members who were unhappy with the direction the group was heading. Attorney Steve Morris, who represents BRPC, addressed some of those concerns.

“In May, we received a notice from the city manager that the club was in default, specifically to the range maintenance fees that were charged to Boulder City residents,” he said.

Instead of not charging those Boulder City residents a membership fee next year, it was determined that reimbursement checks would be mailed out. The city granted them 90 days to do so.

“You have to have approval of City Council before you charge or raise fees for Boulder City residents,” Morris said.

He said the city had additional concerns that they want to address by way of an amendment to the lease agreement. While council has not yet agreed to this, Morris said he anticipates the city will add another amendment to the lease stating that at least three of the five board members must be Boulder City residents.

“As the landowner, they (city) have the ability to enforce certain things,” Morris said.

With Pacini’s term not up until the first of the year, two positions to be filled must be Boulder City residents while the other two can be at large. In order to run for a position on the board, those doing so must be club members in good standing.

The current 10-year lease was extended 18 months ago but, as Morris pointed out, the city has a six-month termination for convenience clause. As the lease holder, the city is able to address issues, like the current ones, when they arise.

The city is looking to require the club provide an annual financial audit and report the findings, Morris said. It was stated the last audit was two and a half years ago.

Another anticipated requirement, Morris said, is that board members cannot be directly related, such as spouses, parent and child, siblings or aunt/uncle and niece/nephew.

“The desire is to work with the city, to be a partner with the city and not be at odds with the city,” he said. “I can guarantee you, despite how much I beg and plead, they will not take out that clause for termination of convenience. It’s the nuclear option and they hope to never use it because they don’t want to be in the business of operating this (club). But at the same time there have been sufficient complaints that have reached their ear.”

On those lines, Pacini added, “The city could send a letter tomorrow, if we said ‘hey, we don’t want any of that’ and they could say, ‘that’s fine, you have six months, thank you so much.’”

He then added, “Someone said is this is an ask or a requirement? If the city is asking, it’s a requirement.”

In an email Monday, City Manager Taylour Tedder said, “Boulder City staff is currently looking at concerns that were raised, and we look forward to working with the Gun Club.”

In order to fill the four vacant seats, the club is looking to have a special election by the end of September. Pacini would like to see the election broken into two separate votes. The first being for the two Boulder City seats followed by another to fill the two at-large seats.

“That way we can fill this board and get back to business,” he said.

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