ARRL Affiliated Contest Clubs criticize BOD actions

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by W0PV, Jan 9, 2018.

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  1. AJ4XM

    AJ4XM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the pleasure of knowing Tom Gallagher personally, and it is a pleasure. He served as Treasurer of the West Palm Beach Amateur Radio Group while I was President and stayed as Treasurer for the next President. (WPBARG was Dayton Club of the Year for 2012). He was very active as a Ham and knowledgeable. He worked out of Washington DC and lived near our club HQ in Florida as well as having a place in NYC. I can attest to the facts that he understands the needs of the typical Ham, understands the travesty of the HOA situation fully, is an expert in business financial matters, and is very honorable and honest.

    I think he understands the financial problems with the ARRL fully and is working to get them on better footing. An earlier comment had a figure of about $8 million from QST subscriptions. That would seem to some people like a lot of money. (Much more than I have!) But the $49 a year for QST does not cover the cost of producing, printing and mailing QST. One of the many businesses I started and sold, in fact my last one, was a printing company. Although we did not produce magazines (a dying business) I know the costs involved. They lose money on every membership just from QST. (I am familiar with large scale production and distribution. We were the largest single supplier of the most widely used business form in the US, with customers in all 50 states, US territories, and US military bases worldwide. That is hundreds of millions of forms.) But ARRL does make money on most of their books, testing fees, Diamond members, donations, etc. They have raised a few little fees for certificates/awards, QSL forwarding, and similar services. These primarily affect only those who use those services. But they have had a cash flow problem and Tom is trying to get that corrected. (This has affected a lot of companies, like CQ, who also publish a magazine and charge more for the digital version and also had a cash flow problem. CQ has about 1/3 of the subscribers that QST does and provides some contests and gives awards (using a lot of volunteer help). But does not come close to the ARRL in other services or publications.

    I do not have a Director I voted for, since the person who we in the SE elected was removed and replaced by the board without an election. There is no way to explain this that I can find acceptable. I do not like the board having closed door meetings and making decisions based on personal views and not the views of their members. I would like to have board meetings streamed on the Internet and available on demand. Some things, like staff salaries or personnel issues may be done in closed sessions, but that would be the least part of meetings. At least have a full transcript of the meetings on line. While this is a corporation, it is not a secret society. Since the board meets in CT I expect them to have a lawyer who is licensed to practice in CT. It would be nice if he was board certified there.

    I see 2 basic problems with the ARRL. Back in the 50's and 60's most Hams were members of the ARRL (and local clubs). Today with over 700,000 US Hams the ARRL has a membership of about 170,000 or less than 25% based on what numbers you use. When the big increase in licensing came about with the no code licensing, the ARRL did not get a big increase in membership. As the number of new licenses increase each year, fewer join the ARRL. Lack of membership growth will eventually kill the ARRL. Old members do not renew and new Hams do not join. There are those who think we need a simpler Tech test. That is not a fix and not really needed. The test now is really simple and there are extensive study materials available so anyone can do it with just a little bit of effort. We do have those who are 5 years old passing and hundreds from 10 and below that I have met at Hamfests.

    So the problem with membership growth rests solely on the shoulders on the board of directors. While they have to remember that financially the ARRL is a corporation and should at least break even in money, they have forgotten that first the ARRL is a membership organization. They are there to serve and represent the members. My un-elected director has no idea what I want or need or anyone else at the 4 local clubs I participate in each month. He has never asked nor responded to inquiries. I have heard the same things from other areas of the country as well.

    Before the board starts making changes to the articles and bylaws, the members should be given the proposed changes and have time to respond. The most important change is probably not there and that would be to have term limits. I would suggest 2 or 3 years, staggered so they all do not change at one time. We desperately need new directors and people in touch with and responsive to the membership.

    Tom Loughney, AJ4XM
    KV4MO, K8BZ, N5PZJ and 6 others like this.
  2. WR3V

    WR3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very thoughtful and well laid out. If the $49 dues does not even cover the cost of QST, then instead of cheapening the magazine, put it back the way is was (or better), and make it digital only, with a simple pdf format. CQ should do the same. This will no doubt upset many, myself included, but as has been said here quite often, times change, and I guess we will have to change with them. Something as simple as a print magazine should not stand in the way of ARRL or CQ from going forward for the hobby.
  3. K2XT

    K2XT Subscriber QRZ Page


    Unacceptable is putting it mildly. I guess when you folks voted you didn't know you were electing a serial killer?

    (my underlining)
  4. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is a link to a another letter from another major ARRL affiliated club to the ARRL Officers and Directors. The Potomac Valley Radio Club (PVRC), with a claimed 1,189 members (!)

    It covers much of the same ground as other letters listed in this thread but with some slightly different perspectives, important interpretations, and new information. It should be read entirely, but here is a snippet that I found especially interesting,

    "In short, the collegial concept of governance at ARRL has been undermined by what appears to be an effort to consolidate power in a management team that is opposed to open, membership-based decision making. Directors’ fiduciary duties will not be at the minimum level necessary to achieve good governance. Moreover, it eschews the notion of implementing its Bylaws in a transparent and fair fashion. PVRC finds this most troubling.

    It is rumored that Connecticut corporate counsel was retained to provide guidance that suggests that the more severe elements of the Code of Conduct are required by Connecticut law. As noted by others, we think the League should waive the lawyer-client privilege so that outside lawyers familiar with corporate governance matters can review it. PVRC asks that opinion of counsel on this matter be released. "


    73, John, WØPV
    W3JY likes this.
  5. W5JON

    W5JON Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    I never thought I would see the day that I would say this but " I absolutely agree with Chip".


    John W5JON
    N5PZJ, W1YW and N1NDN like this.
  6. K4AGO

    K4AGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Present the evidence, If you can. I do not think you have any evidence. It's easy to say "Circumstantial evidence points to..." But circumstantial evidence does not and never has proven anything. The one who walks like a duck and quacks like a duck is you, not the ARRL. You have not a leg to stand on. The ARRL board members are not criminals and they are not bad people. I am very pleased with the ARRL and their transparency. They are not hiding anything because they have nothing to hide. Your time would be better spent trying to prove that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone (which he did not do.) I personally support and will continue to support the ARRL and applaud them for everything they have done for ham radio. I also condemn your efforts to harm ham radio by trying to cause harm to this fine organization who has done so much for ham radio operators and, equally important, help survivors like those in Puerto Rico who are not hams. Your cause only harms people who need what the ARRL does so well. 73
  7. K4AGO

    K4AGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    What have you read here that presents any evidence at all that the ARRL had done anything wrong or has done anything to harm ham radio? Nothing! No evidence has been presented because there is no evidence to present. If you don't like the ARRL, don't join. If you are a life member, demit and go on about your way. The ARRL neither wants nor needs members who are unhappy with what they have done for our hobby. I support and will continue to support the ARRL. I am confident that they have my best interests in mind.
  8. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Harm is invoked with the passage of the extant wording in the selected bylaw and Articles amendations. That harm is to the membership. I have already cited two specific examples, and it is your obligations to seek them out.

    Start with 'revocation of membership for cause'.

    "Cause" is....? Rape? Treason? Serial killer? Someone who vocally disagrees with the board?

    I like the ARRL just fine. Fine organization. But poor execution on proper wording by the board. Some past, most present.
    K2XT likes this.
  9. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    I see the point you're making, but in fairness isn't it at least somewhat unreasonable to expect every individual possible scenario to be specifically written into the language?
    N0TZU likes this.
  10. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK, I will bite.

    What is a "conflict of interest"?

    Obviously the board felt unwilling to explain the alleged "conflict of interest" when it prevented K3RF from running for Director. If Bob was unaware of any "conflict of interest", and the board and management were unwilling to explain the alleged "conflict of interest" then interpretation reigns, and people suffer.


    (no 'shout' intended, jes' emphasis).

    The board should WELCOME prescriptive attainment, rather than causing potential future issues by ambiguous phrasing subject to interpretation.

    The present amendation language is not it.




    Drop /Rewrite.


    The board should be grateful I have presented such a simple path forward.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018

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