Great Lakes Division needs new blood

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W8HDU, Sep 30, 2002.

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  1. W8HDU

    W8HDU Ham Member QRZ Page

    There will soon be an election for the position of ARRL Director, Great Lakes division. The two candidates are Gary Johnson, KI4LA, who presently holds the Vice Director’s position, and Jim Weaver, K8JE as his opponent.

    In the past several years in Allen County (OH), we have had problems of abuse by ARRL appointees. I could easily fill several pages with examples, E-mail messages, copies of letters, etc. I believe that many of you would be shocked and outraged by what you would read.

    The short of this is that ARRL appointees abused their positions, and forced the local government agencies to completely write hams out of any emergency plans for our area.

    When we had a tornado come through our area 2 weeks ago, React and Vanguard (CB groups) were called in. Weather spotting is now performed by a select group of fire, police, and EMTS folks. A side note … the local Skywarn guys were nowhere to be found in the affected area, but the EC felt it his responsibility to mass mail hams in the area stating that the EMA director "jumped the gun" in setting off sirens in the area.

    What does this have to do with the contest for Director?

    This problem with the ARRL appointees started several years ago. The ARRL was contacted due to outrageous statements made by persons holding ARRL positions. In one case, a league appointee filed a (false) complaint with the Commissioners of Allen County against the EMA director.

    League offices said to take it to the Great Lake’s directors. Both George Race and Gary Johnson were contacted multiple times by E-mail, letter (one certified), and one face to face meeting with George Race at the Van Wert Hamfest. Neither expressed any interest in trying to assist. In fact, we heard NOTHING from then Vice-director Gary Johnson.

    Recently Gary Johnson asked for my vote in the upcoming election. I replied to him that I was disappointed that he, at the least, did not answer my concerns and inquiries about the problems we had. The reply from Gary basically blew me off with an excuse.

    Due to no solution, hams were written out of local emergency plans. Hams were also removed from access to the local EMA and command center, and will not be permitted access to any emergency tests or drills anytime in the future. In fact, there was to be a drill last year (preempted by 9/11), and had the hams shown up, they would have been escorted off the training grounds.

    Hams are “Persona non grata” in the eyes of our local government. As a ham, I am sadden by the fact that our hobby is looked on with such disregard.

    I have no doubt that this could have been headed off if it were not for the apathy of Great Lakes district directors. Had they met local officials, or at least agreed to conference phone calls, the problem would not exist today. Local officials are still willing to meet, however they need to meet with responsible parties who will take action.

    As I mentioned, Gary Johnson is still distancing himself and does not want to deal with the problems. He has had two years to step up to the table. To me, apathy speaks of character.

    However Jim Weaver, K8JE, wrote an E-mail to me today and pledged his help in resolving problems if elected. I think this is the kind of person we need in the office of Director, Great Lakes division.

    If you are voting in this election, please vote for Jim Weaver, K8JE. Jim Weaver sounds like the person we need in the position of Director!

    Frederick R. Vobbe, W8HDU
    fred@vobbe.com
    bio at: http://www.nrcdxas.org/bios/fv.html
     
  2. K3UD

    K3UD Guest

    What is going on in this division? We had about the same problem here a few years ago where there was a split between some hams in the local club and the Red Cross over emergency communications help and I guess we were written out of their planning for a while.

    Also,

    A few years ago we had a fellow running for director who promised to infuse new ideas into the division. I voted for hime and he was elected but only served about 4 months then resigned suddenly. I assume it was for personal reasons although I never actually found out the particulars. Change seems to come hard.

    73
    George
    K3UD
     
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Good post Fredrick!

     You're quite right about the abuses by ARRL appointees, especially by the OOs here in the Bay Area! Some of my very good Ham friends have been singled out for petty infractions and other mundane musings by them within the past few years, some of them have even been FABRICATED just to harass the individual(s). The Hams who have had these problems have complained vehemently to the ARRL over the past few years, and these complaints have fallen upon "Deaf Ears" meaning the ARRL. No doubt this stems from the FACT that they are a "close-knit" good old boys network, and that they think their edicts are etched-in-stone with no room for Logic nor Fairness!

     The aformentioned problem is one of many for my not bothering to get our Ticket, our patience-quotient is very low when thinking about having to deal with "ARRL Knuckle-Heads!"

    CJ
    (SWLer since 1961)
     
  4. W8HDU

    W8HDU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I feel what is most disturbing is putting people in a position of authority, then having them not want to do the job. To me, it's like a volunteer fireman that never answers the call.

    And as for the claim that it was not his responsibility, then who is responsible for local ECs when they are out of control? If Gary didn't want to deal with it, that's fine. Simply tell us who does.

    The lack of respect in answering E-mail and letters pretty much tells me that he wants the title, but not the job! Power is a dangerous thing when someone assumes the role yet refuses to act in the capacity.

    I just hope that enough hams get the word and Gary looses the election. We not only need to get things back to normal here in Ohio, but we also need to send a message to league officials that people holding positions and not doing their jobs will not be tolerated.

    Frederick R. Vobbe, W8HDU
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    But also remember too Fredick, that those that have that "Limited Power" should not use that posistion to "ABUSE IT" either, and if they do, I say "Throw the Rascals out on their ears!" The ARRL has enough Image Problems to worry about as it is. And as other guys have asked, out here I might add,if the ARRL is so great why is it that only 1/5 of the entire U.S Ham population are members. You have to ask yourself, "what's wrong with that picture?" also!

    CJ
     
  6. N5LRZ

    N5LRZ Banned QRZ Page

    There are two ways for amateurs to assist the local and regional governments: RACES and ARES. RACES is essentially a part of the Civil Defense/CD. ARES is an independant group of Amateurs that help with emergencies but are not a formal part of CD.

    There are several reasons why either one might not be completely welcomed.

    If I remember correctly RACES being part of CD must have its members covered as if they were employees in so far as medical insurance and such. AND medical insurance is definatelny not inexpensive. ARES, while being voluntary labor, it is still a voluntary group is not subject to direct orders of CD.

    So on one hand a strapped budget subject to belt tightning might want to squeeze out the RACES people yet still reject the free ARES people because they are not under the authority of CD command and decision structure.

    Then too there is the problem of not wanting to admit publicly that the city would be in deep poop if a real emergency came along. Cross your fingers and hope is the usual solution adopted by politicians.

    The real question is, were the amateurs squeezed out simply because the local governments did not like the legal requirements under the law?

    If this is the case then the ARRL Reps were not at fault. The law is the law.


    If I have made any errors in the above post as to the present state of legal standing concerning RACES ane ARES please let me know.
     
  7. W8HDU

    W8HDU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, Debbie, I have also heard that Section Managers are suppose to be the ones to deal with on several occations. I've asked the person telling me this to give me names. So far, I've not heard anything. I've also heard that District Managers are suppose to deal with this issues. Again, names and point of contact is necessary. Additionally, I've heard that only the folks in Newington can only make change. Call signs and E-mail addresses with no faces keep mentioning titles. It would be nice to get a name and address of someone who would really take charge.

    The problem is that when I contact someone, it's always someone else's issue. Nobody will raise their hand and say, "it's my responsibility, and I'll deal with it."

    Gary gets the heat for one reason. I was referred to Distric Director(s) by Newington several years ago. I have to assume that Newington understood the situation described to them and sent me to the correct people.

    Gary was sent E-mail, letters, and asked to participate. He made the _choice_ not to reply. Then, just this past week I get an E-mail from him asking for support. Now, we've established that he can write since I got the E-mail, but why couldn't answer several inquiries years ago?

    It would have been very easy for Gary to do one of several things. 1) Tell me that he contacted (insert name/call) and they would be in touch. 2) Tell me whom specifically to contact that will do the job. 3) Say, "OK, when can we schedule a conference call", Gary get the facts, and it's turned over to the correct person".

    Instead, we heard NOTHING... that is till he wanted our vote. Two years have gone by. No action. The problem still exists. Then out of the woodwork a message to support him. Tell me, what should I think?

    I've heard from supporters on both sides. Jim Weaver, K8JE, has stated that if elected, he will deal with the problem. He stated that he will come HERE or that we can visit him in Mason.

    The last E-mail from Gary not only passed the buck, but the buck went to someone else than you said it should go to. Do you see the trend appearing?

    I'm sure that Gary has done good in the hobby. In fact, one fellow raved about Gary getting a ham club a grant of equipment. I'm sure he is a nice guy, (if I ever could meet him). I'm sure that the two of us, given his involvement years ago, could be friends.

    Debbie, MY ISSUE is how he chooses to deal with the people he represents. He did not reply when he could have. He could have taken one of the options above. He could have stepped up to the plate. He did nothing.

    One of his opponents said he would, if elected, and I think that says a lot about character.

    Dispite how many others in the ARRL inner circle might support Gary, I think Jim would be a better candidate because he has stated that he would become involved! That means something because there are too many volunteers in positions that do not do the meaningful work. There are volunteers who are comfy in their positions and do not serve the membership as a whole.

    The ARRL needs people who are proactive and interested in solving problems, rather than hiding from the issues.

    I notice that you're a Section Manager. Instead of debating the merits of Gary v Jim in this forum, why don't you call your counterpart here in our region and we can get a meeting set up? I would love to get the RIGHT person at the table to discuss our issues so we can get things resolved.

    Again, I'm not trying to discredit Gary. I'm stating the facts that he had an opportunity to reply and didn't. I don't want someone in the position of director that doesn't answer his mail, or deal with issues. That's why I can't support him

    Frederick Vobbe, W8HDU
     
  8. W8HDU

    W8HDU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, Jon, I'm amazed that you find our local problems amusing.

    It's easy to say it's NWS, Skywarn, this guy, that guy, and push the responsibility off. If you talk to the Skywarn people they say it's someone elses problem. The NWS says it's the Skywarn managers problem. Talk to one of the ARRL fellows and they say it's someone else in an ARRL position that is responsible. Talk to that person, and it's someone elses . Before long we go full circle. Is there a reason nobody wants to deal with this, or is it just easier to not deal with it because we're uncomfortable with having to do the work.

    I look forward to meeting with you, the EMA director, EAS chairmen, and others, so we can improve the situation. I trust that within the next 30 days you will make contact and everything can be resolved.

    I also look forward to seeing some people in ARRL positions who are proactive in content and not in word or title.
     
  9. W5ATX

    W5ATX Guest

    Politics as usual. This concept has been discussed before. The age of volunteerism is dying. The folks willing to "invest" time in these things, as well as often in local community politics, are the ones who had their lunch money taken in grammar school, and now they see a way to "get back." And there are those who see an opportunity for some sort of personal gain. The guy who volunteers to run this or that gets to play with all the nice toys the taxpayers buy for him. What a concept. Happens all the time.

    And woe be to he/she who tries to step in the way.
     
  10. K8YS

    K8YS Banned QRZ Page

    you must be kidding!
    Having been a 25+ year local ham, nearly 25 years active with the local red cross, nearly 25 years active with the races/ares group called ARPSC, I can tell you that we DO NOT need Jim anymore... he is better off staying retired. Jim is every bit a member of the ole boys network that has brought to us... Stan Cohen, Bob Libben, Bill Tittle.
    This is going to be an interesting election. Two local Cincinnati boys and some guy from Michigan. The two SW Ohio/NKY are going to split the vote and Michigan is going to win... and we all know what is going on in Michigan... Michigan has brought us... W8JOE [someone must has something reallllllly good on that guy!], and WB8BGY ["I'm pissed off and taking my toys and quitting the game"].

    It is high time that we split this Division.

    Joe Phillips for Director! the only MAN I know that has stood up for the members.  [​IMG]
     
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