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"Here We Go Again" in the ARRL West Gulf Division

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K0IDT, Aug 16, 2019.

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  1. K0IDT

    K0IDT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Posted without comment.

    This is an opinion editorial from W5DNT, on the current state of affairs regarding the upcoming ARRL West Gulf Division election.

    “Here We Go Again!”

    A Letter to West Gulf Division ARRL Members

    Dan White, W5DNT

    As an active amateur radio operator for 48 years, and a Life Member of the ARRL, I am appalled at what I perceive to be a pattern of rather sophomoric shenanigans coming out of ARRL Headquarters and its Board! There have been numerous board candidate disqualification attempts under questionable circumstances over past years, in my opinion, of those running for Board positions, along with frequent late term resignations that create incumbency for handpicked Vice Directors. This has certainly been a pattern in our own West Gulf Division, with the past two Directors coming onto the Board as appointed and handpicked Vice Directors, without any member election. Our current Vice Director was a similar appointment. Similar stories can be told about other Divisions.

    Alan Brown, K5AB, who recently decided to run as West Gulf Director, was blindsided by the ARRL Ethics & Elections (E&E) committee on Aug. 8th, when he was told that they believe he had a 3 month lapse in his membership within the last 4 years, specifically from August 16th to November 20th of 2015. This was after he had previously checked with the DXCC desk about his membership records and status, prior to requesting a petition to run. DXCC folks had told him he has been a continuous member for the past 36 consecutive years, and then after the August 8th letter was received, they even sent him a screen shot from their member database to show it. The E&E Committee looked at some other member database and claimed it showed a lapse of 3 months within the 4 years previous. Alan was then instructed by E&E that he must either prove payment was made in 2014 or he would not be “qualified” by their committee to run. Alan is not able to find proof of payment at this time and due to his own circumstances will likely not be able to do so.

    It is very interesting, however, that on August 15th, 2015, exactly one day before E&E’s required four year membership date, Alan submitted a $100 check to ARRL and applied for “Top of the Honor Roll”, which was weeks later granted. This occurred during the time period the E&E Committee claims Alan was not a member. This prestigious award is only available to amateurs that are ARRL members in good standing, if they reside in the United States. The DXCC program is widely known for its high level of system integrity and data accuracy! Alan believes he was a member in good standing at the time he applied for Top of the Honor Roll. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that in the years just prior to 2015, Alan had made donations of several thousand dollars to ARRL, above and beyond normal dues.

    Regardless of what E&E has told Alan, he still plans to submit his petition and force E&E to look at all the facts and make a decision. Perhaps E&E should consider both databases and rather than require proof from Alan, they should produce proof themselves. It is my opinion that ARRL has had some past issues with documentation, information quality and completeness within their internal systems. Something is just not right here, and in light of numerous attempts to disqualify “non-handpicked” candidates, all I can say is, HERE WE GO AGAIN!

    The most interesting and curious part of this whole situation is that Alan had not even sent in his nomination petition and application yet! The deadline for filing is August 16th. Ask yourself this: If he had not officially filed yet, why would they even attempt to disqualify him? How did they know for sure he was going to file? He had announced his intention to challenge the sitting Director, but protocol, one would think, would say you don’t attempt to disqualify someone before they even officially file to be a candidate. It takes very little imagination to figure this one out! Perhaps some ARRL leaders don’t share the belief that contested elections are good for the health and advancement of an organization.

    Madison Jones, W5MJ, who has already filed for Vice-Director, upon hearing that Alan might be disqualified, has decided to run for Director. He will file before the deadline and under ARRL rules, if both petitions are filed, he will automatically be considered a candidate for Director.

    It’s time for a change in the West Gulf Division – we need new Leadership! For 9+ years we have had those in power who do not really listen to the Members, in my opinion. When was the last time you were in front of our Director or our Vice-Director and they asked you for your opinion? What I have personally observed is they simply provide an “update” on ARRL goings on, not a meaningful request for input. We need a real, active, well-seasoned ham representing us, who cares about what we think, more than which way the political winds are blowing in Newington!

    “Electioneering” is not the only issue with ARRL leadership. We have the filing of FCC petitions aimed at bandwidth and spectrum proliferation of an automated HF Digital email system which utilizes amateur spectrum for free email, bypasses commercially available services and allows unattended stations to send third party non-ham email without true “control operator” oversight; an attempted gag order that disallowed Directors to openly disagree or talk to their constituents about any Board related issues and eventually wasted several months to undo; the filing and ultimate retraction of “antenna” legislation which ignored input from experts, the questionable censure of a Board Member ultimately expunged after over a year of acrimony with an associated downturn in major donations, and finally to outright disdain, as I see it, for Members and their input. It is definitely time for a change in both the ARRL and West Gulf Division leadership.

    There are about 12,000 ARRL members in the West Gulf Division and unbelievably, less than 4,000 vote in elections. That is very sad, in my opinion! If we don’t like the present leadership we have no one to blame except ourselves. We all need to vote!

    Let us all resolve right now that we will make our wishes known, that we will take back the West Gulf Division for us, the members, and that we will start by electing a new Director. Perhaps the E&E Committee will see the inconsistencies in their two databases and their claim of Alan’s lack of qualifications to run, yield the benefit of the doubt to Alan and approve his petition to run. In either case, Alan Brown, K5AB, or Madison Jones, W5MJ, both have our best interests, needs and desires at heart, and either would represent a very significant improvement to the West Gulf Division Directorship.

    Thanks & 73,

    Dan White

    K8BZ, KA4DPO and K5ABB like this.
  2. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is symptomatic of a long-standing problem not limited to only one area. While someone will no doubt respond with some anecdotal story about a League official asking for an opinion, that is the rare exception to the persistent lack of interaction with members of the League regarding what we want, think or care about.

    Until the ARRL begins soliciting input, it’s just more of the same while the faces change.
    KK5JY and KA4DPO like this.
  3. WG7X

    WG7X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    WX7P, KJ3N, N2EY and 7 others like this.
  4. KJ4VTH

    KJ4VTH Ham Member QRZ Page

    West Gulf includes Texas and Oklahoma. Another from there care to comment?
  5. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Hoping this will be yet another ARRL thread to run dozens and dozens of pages with endless bickering, one side constantly trying to convince the other side they are right, with lots of opportunities for the Moderation team to delete personal attacks and slurs along the way with a ban or two possible...

    Should be fun ;)

    Not :)

    WX7P, WA9JOQ, N2EY and 6 others like this.
  6. K0IDT

    K0IDT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry Dave, I don't have a dog in this fight, not my division. I'll go quietly now before I attract the detractors :)
    N4QX and WE4B like this.
  7. K5ABB

    K5ABB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm from the division next door in NM, but I'd vote for K5AB if I could because I have the same call sign as his beacon..... (K5AB/B) :p
  8. KI7HSB

    KI7HSB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can I get an executive summary?
    KC0KEK and N1OOQ like this.
  9. W2JKT

    W2JKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    As the letter is titled, "Here we go again."

  10. W2AI

    W2AI QRZ Lifetime Member #240 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    It's so ironic how people will bicker over a hobby and use of adult play toys (radios that is :eek:) that neither pays their bills nor puts food on their table. Now you know why newcomers to the hobby don't want to post here!!
    VK4HAT, K1TGX, KK5JY and 3 others like this.

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