May 3, 2015

By Stephanie Steiner, Alliance Council President

In February of this year, Alliance Council was invited to SSFC headquarters to meet with Adrian Hanauer and to be introduced to our new General Manager and President of Soccer, Garth Lagerwey for the first time.  During the evening’s conversation, Mr. Hanauer introduced the topic of the General Manager Vote and asked us to collect our thoughts and make a recommendation on the right thing to do regarding the timing of the vote.  In reading the Charter, we realized the ambiguity of the language included there.  So here we are, only two and a half years following Adrian Hanauer’s landslide vote of “confidence,” facing questions we weren’t expecting so soon, if at all:  Is it the right thing to do for the Club to hold a GM Vote every four years on a set schedule no matter what?  Could it interfere with the Club’s ability to hire the best General Manager possible, if the candidate would be facing a vote within a very short time of accepting the position? If the candidate is the best and confident in their abilities, would that scheduled vote even matter to the person? What is the Alliance actually expecting or wanting?

At the March Council meeting three weeks later, we created a work group to take on the task of debating the conversation surrounding the GM Vote topic, collecting ideas and opinions, and we took those to the general council meeting in April.  After that conversation, the ideas grew and the extended list was shared with our SSFC Liaison, Taylor Graham at the end of April – and the ideas grew even further.  It is easy to see how each time we add a different perspective to the conversation, new ideas emerge as to how to solve the same challenges and our opportunities to satisfy our Alliance members get better and far more interesting.

Our challenge has been to get to the Alliance at large.  In the coming weeks, you will see these questions in social media.  Please take the time to answer them in the comment sections of that media format, or send us a direct message:  [email protected]

Democracy in Sports:  What does it mean to you?

  • What would “Democracy in Sports” need to provide such that the Season Ticket Members could influence the direction of the Club?
  • In a perfect world, what does “Democracy in Sports” mean to you?  How would it function?
  • With regard to General Manger Vote of Confidence – No Confidence, do you believe a new General Manager should have a minimum amount of time to prove him/herself in the position before facing a vote?  If so, how much?
  • In the context of “Democracy in Sports,” what can be done to make this your Club and not just a product you are consuming?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.  Go Sounders!