Motion attempts to remove Bangasser from VMICC board

In what appears to be an unprecedented effort, council members will decide Monday night if a sitting board member should be removed from the Vashon-Maury Island Community Council’s board of directors.

A motion before the council, brought by Islander CC Stone, seeks Tom Bangasser’s dismissal from the nine-member board, a position he was elected to four months ago.

Any Islander who attends the meeting and is 18 or older can vote on the motion, which requires a two-thirds majority to pass. Tim Johnson, the board’s president, said he expects a big turnout at the Monday night meeting, the council’s regular monthly gathering.

“It’s a pretty hot topic. I think it will be a fairly well-attended meeting,” he said.

Stone, who began attending VMICC meetings last summer, said she decided to seek Bangasser’s removal because of what she called his “bullying behavior” on the council’s board. She voted for him last fall, she said, but has grown increasingly unhappy with him, particularly in light of the public records request he filed against former board member Hilary Emmer.

A public records request that he filed last year was one of the reasons the council’s board resigned en masse last summer, Stone added.

“When I voted for Tom, my hope is that once he was on the board he would put some of these other tools aside and work for the common good. I don’t think that is what has happened. He has a personal agenda that trumps anybody else’s agenda,” Stone said.

“While his goals may be reasonable or even admirable, the way he goes about achieving them is just appalling, at least to me,” she added.

Bangasser said he was not concerned by Stone’s effort. “Anybody can make a motion,” he said.

What’s more, he said, he’s not the one who made his public records request public; Emmer did, he said. “The source of all the conflict is not me,” Bangasser said.

The issue, he added, “is personality-driven. ... A group is, in effect, saying, ‘We don’t like so-and-so. ... Let’s get him off the board.’”

Craig Beles, a former president of the community council who has been paying close attention to the body for many years, said he believes this is the first time a motion has been filed that seeks to force a member off of the board.

“I don’t remember this ever happening before,” he said.

Johnson, who’s new to both the board and Vashon, said he, too, has heard that it may be unprecedented. “It’s either rare or completely unprecedented,” he said.

According to the council’s bylaws, a board member can be removed without cause. Johnson, who plans to moderate the gathering, added that he won’t be voting on the motion.

“Somebody in position of referree should do so in an impartial manner,” he said.

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