From the W1AW Bulletin / ARRL ...
Meeting in Irving, Texas, January 19 and 20, the ARRL Board of
Directors voted to increase membership dues from $34 to $39 annually
for full members younger than 65, and from $28 to $34 for full
members 65 and older. The dues hike goes into effect July 1, 2001.
The last ARRL dues increase was in July 1997.
The dues increase resulted from a need to fund initiatives to expand
the League's advocacy activities on behalf of Amateur
Radio--including the defense of amateur spectrum--and to enhance
ARRL Headquarters' abilities to serve members during a period of
projected deficits. The Board okayed a $1 greater increase for
seniors in an effort to narrow the dues gap, as more and more ARRL
members fall into the senior category.
At the same time, the Board approved the hiring of development and
sales and marketing professionals on the Headquarters staff as part
of an overall plan to augment revenues.
''The ARRL carries out a lot of activities that no longer can be
fully funded by dues or publication sales revenues,'' ARRL Executive
Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ, explained. While voluntary
contributions towards Amateur Radio advocacy are helping greatly,
''we need to professionalize these activities if we are going to
sustain them,'' he said.
The Board also revised its position on whether Morse code
proficiency should continue to be an international requirement to
license operation below 30 MHz. The Board approved a resolution that
''recognizes and accepts'' that the Morse requirement likely will be
dropped from Article S25 of the international Radio Regulations at
the 2003 World Radiocommunication Conference. But the Board held the
line on retaining a domestic Morse requirement, saying that each
country should be allowed to determine for itself whether it wants
to have a Morse code requirement.
The Board's Morse Code resolution declared that deletion of the
Article S25 international requirement at WRC-03 ''should not
automatically or immediately mean a similar removal of the Morse
code from Part 97 of the FCC rules.'' Morse code, the Board
affirmed, deserves continued support as an important operating mode
as well as in terms of spectrum and ''should be retained as a
testing element in the US.'' The resolution also called on ARRL
Headquarters staff to ''develop a program designed to promote the
use of Morse.''
The resolution supersedes all previous Board policy statements
regarding Morse code and Article S25.
The Board has adjusted the management structure at ARRL
Headquarters. Publications Manager and QST Editor Mark Wilson, K1RO,
will serve as the ARRL's Chief Operating Officer. In that position,
Wilson will oversee sales and marketing, publications, field
volunteer and membership services, the ARRL Lab, and other
day-to-day Headquarters activities.
The Board also established a committee to solicit membership input
to update the ARRL's position on refarming the HF Novice bands ''in
light of the 1999 FCC license restructuring Report and Order.'' The
five-member panel will be named by President Haynie. It will report
to the board in one year.