Plainfield Jr Cats Hold Election; Some Barred from Board Meeting

The PJC election went on as planned Tuesday night, despite controversy over who could or couldn't run for the board.

Residents wait outside a PJC board meeting Tuesday night at Plainfield Village Hall. Credit: Shannon Antinori
Residents wait outside a PJC board meeting Tuesday night at Plainfield Village Hall. Credit: Shannon Antinori

A Plainfield Junior Cats coach who was barred from running for the executive board says he plans to pursue legal action.

The election took place Tuesday night, following a PJC executive board meeting that was closed to all but a group of parents and coaches who were on a list of approved attendees.

Dan Cassidy said he and six other people were told they could not run for the board for various reasons, including the fact that some did not have kids currently participating in PJC.

But Cassidy claims that wasn’t what board president Ron Muscato told PJC members in September, a month before election nominations were due.

In a Sept. 30 message outlining the election process, Muscato included the following guidelines for running for the board:

"Who are eligible candidates for the Executive Board Positions?

Candidates must have a minimum of two completed seasons of membership and be in good standing within the organization. A member in good standing is one who has followed all rules and regulations set forth in the PJC handbook."

According to Cassidy, “The email clearly states the eligibility to be a board member."

At a Nov. 12 meeting, several board members put forth motions that would amend PJC bylaws to bar candidates whose children are no longer active in the league.

“You can’t change the rules after you’ve established eligibility, and that’s clearly what they did when they found out who’s running,” Cassidy said. “This nonsense has to stop.”

On Tuesday, some parents were kept out of the PJC board’s open-session meeting at village hall, as only parents of current players and current coaches were permitted in the village hall meeting room, according to mom Margaret Kantor, who attempted in vain to attend the meeting.

“They were checking IDs at the door,” she said. “If [their] name wasn’t on the list, they were not allowed in.”

The board once again voted 6-3 on several motions to change the PJC bylaws and reaffirming the decision to prevent the seven would-be candidates from running.

Only one proposed change — a move that would have reduced the executive board to just four members — was rejected in a 9-0 vote.

Kantor, whose daughters used to be part of the PJC cheer program, expressed disappointment at being kept out of the meeting, and also with the changes at PJC.

“I am still very close to that organization,” she said. “Now people are coming in to try to run against [the current board members] and they were trying to block them because they were afraid of not winning.”

Added Kantor, “It’s really supposed to be about the kids.”

Muscato addressed the controversy an an open letter to PJC families posted on the Junior Cats website. The letter read, in part:

"Over the last few weeks, many within our PJC family have been bombarded with information relating to the last Board meeting and upcoming Board elections.  And, recently, many were directed to read an online line article about PJC that was far from flattering and not quite accurate.

… You may have heard that there was a proposal to change the by-laws in an effort to restrict a person(s)’ ability to run for the Executive Board. This is not the case. To the contrary, the current By-Laws already included eligibility requirements to becoming an Executive Board candidate. These requirements were identified, reviewed and confirmed by two independent legal reviews: our PJC legal counsel, as well as the TCYFL legal counsel. Both reviews concluded that the requirements within the by-laws were valid, and based on the conclusions of counsel, the requirements were ultimately up-held by the majority of the Board.”

Click here to read the full text of Muscato’s letter.

Mayhem December 12, 2013 at 10:47 AM
Just another black eye for Plainfield. First the Park District, now PJC. It's clear that the people on these Boards are desperately seeking a sense of power. If it has become apparent that the public is not happy with the way things are being handled, then change is necessary. If the members of these Boards truly had the best interest of the community (Park District) or the kids (PJC), then why wouldn't they do the right thing and step down from their positions, or at the very least, step away from issues causing public outcry? People would understand and respect those decisions. Oh wait, being respected obviously isn't important. It's all about their false sense of status and about trying to look important. Too bad the situation has gotten this far out of hand. Imagine what the parents that were wanting to attend the meeting and turned away must think of the organization now? Let the exodus begin.
Father of Three December 12, 2013 at 11:02 AM
If you don't like it there stop your crying and move on there are plenty of other good football organizations in the area. Tri-City Wolverines, Plainfield Saints, Plainfield Prowlers. MOVE ON and stop the crying your an adult act like one.
Mayhem December 12, 2013 at 11:41 AM
If you feel so strongly about acting like an adult, then you should take your own advice. No one is crying. I stated my opinion. You don't have to like it. It's not worth getting into a pissing match with you over. As far as people moving on, you don't have to worry about that. People are, and have moved on, and that is too bad. I am sure people will appreciate your recommendations to other organizations though.
Lisa S. December 12, 2013 at 11:48 AM
I have no dog in this fight, so to speak... however I applaud anyone who steps up and fights for what they believe in. These people didn't sit at home and complain. That's obvious from the photo- they dragged themselves out into the cold and showed up for the meeting. THAT is being an adult.
Dan B December 12, 2013 at 12:57 PM
At least the PAC lets anybody come to their meetings without police!
Ericus Alanas December 12, 2013 at 01:23 PM
at least plainfield police have something to do now with all this political bickering. one can only give out so many seatbelt tickets.
just me December 12, 2013 at 01:42 PM
I hope Plainfield has this much passion when it comes to political elections.
holeinone December 15, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Really, these are all people that never made a sports team and now like to be the boss. Go do that at work and let parents couch


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