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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:40 am 
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Location: southeastern PA
Apparently, the old "my way or the highway" is the approach to communication within this magazine's hierarchy, 'cause it's an arrogant way to run a car club...but if it's what the subscribers want........

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:33 pm 
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Last edited by Guest on Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:01 am 
Mr. Sampson:

This is pretty interesting stuff. While no one could call it a smoking gun of malfeasance, it does raise some interesting questions about financial prudence and Club priorities.

For example, why wouldn't it be prudent to cut a couple-four pages (of the what, ten (?) recently added) of the magazine so that more dues income could be available for new/other Member Services?

Also, am I the only one who thinks it would also be prudent to inquire after the per-page publishing costs of the magazine so that we would know the Club is getting a fair deal.

And certainly, the very reasonable accountability issues you mention should be addressed by a responsible (and properly responsive) leadership.

While we're at it, why wouldn't it be most prudent to conduct Trustee meetings via Skype and get past the cost, inconvenience, and risk of moving people around at all? As a bonus, any member could tune into the proceedings. Secrecy? This isn't the CIA or a Third-World country (is it?), and I fail to understand why the membership needs to be spared the knowledge that an advertiser is jacking the Club around. Seems to me that common knowledge of questionable behavior would make an excellent additional deterrent.

And we haven't even approached the business of the half-mil slush fund and its lack-luster return.



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:32 am 
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I also have questions. I have run my own businesses for 26 years but this does not make sense.

1-How do we get Lawyers, Accountants and other independent contractors to work for only $28754 per year?

2-Only $18960 for insurance for an organization with so many members and activities seems incredibly cheap for the potential liability.

3-Web hosting for $3517 is about half of what I pay.

4-Bank charges of $20042 seems in line based on what I pay for credit card processing and the computer charges are probably reflecting lease charges for the equipment that is needed to process the cards.

5-Discretionary spending of $20170 for holidays, events, and meetings is what allows some local clubs to offer a better event than the entry fee would otherwise allow. It sure doesn't seem like much for two Holidays plus the multiple small events. Local clubs that are not active lose because they lack motivation but that's life.

6-Board expenses of $10845 for a year for 7 Trustees and maybe the Treasurer and Secretary means that each spent no more than $1549.29 per person per year. How far can you get on that?

I am glad to see that membership fees have been kept low in an attempt to deficit spend and therefore reduce the excessive cash reserves. We don't need such a large amount of cash and that is the member's money to be used for the member's benefit. I am sure that there is an "industry standard" for the minimum cash reserves for a non-profit of our type. We don't need any more than is prudent.

Bill, thank you for the good news and taking the time to expose it.

Cliff

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'59 Sunroof - mostly real
'60 Devin D Race Car-in process - fake chassis - real body
'63 GS 2133 coupe - very real
'67 S Original Owner - ultra real


Last edited by C J Murray on Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:23 am 
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To Bill Sampson: since my name and company are prominently noted in your comments, I should reply. As you point out, a lot of the club's money goes to my company. None, I might add, to me personally as the "Editor" - a volunteer officer position in the club hierarchy. A fine point, perhaps, but bear in mind the club has no employees, just contractors and volunteers (who get reimbursed for expenses). While I appreciate your kind words about the magazine, I would expect that among our members there is a number who do question the cost/benefit of what my company has provided to the club the last 19 years or so. For them, I want to emphasize that each year there is a call for proposals for each of the contracts for club services: publishing, membership and goodie store. Any person or company (assuming they are qualified) may submit a proposal. There are job descriptions available to interested parties.

Your analysis of July 17th wondered about "discretionary spending" and expense costs for non-trustees. Of course these people (treasurer, membership chair, editor and secretary) are reimbursed for direct costs when they attend meetings. While the terms "board" and "trustees" have been used interchangeably, the elected group relies on the other appointed officers to help run the day-to-day of the club. From time to time the other volunteers who help run our web site, organize club events or work on specific projects are also invited to attend meetings. We usually buy them lunch. The meetings themselves are always discussed long in advance to maximize the ability of everyone to attend, and minimize the cost. We usually plan to meet at a Holiday where most of the board would already be attending, or at the Lit Meet weekend (convenient and cheap for our three California trustees). A general rule of thumb is that a trustee who would normally attend an event as an enthusiast or club member does not claim expenses for travel, lodging or meals he (or she) would spend to be there on their own. However, a meeting will usually be set for the Friday before or Monday after an event, and an extra day's lodging and meals are allowed. Seems pretty efficient to me.

The issue of a need for face-to-face meetings has long been considered by the trustees, and their continued decision is that it is important to do so. Believe me when I say nobody in the group wants to fly across the country and sit in a hotel room for eight hours droning on about club business, but it remains the best way to get work done, at least once, usually twice a year. If you or any member disagree, I understand, but it is a carefully-considered decision the trustees have made (and continue to consider).

We also all take part in on-line (Go-to-Meeting.com) meetings several times a year. Email correspondence between trustees and officers is constant, along with phone and yes, even a letter or two. The trustees and officers devote an incredible amount of time to their volunteer jobs; I have great respect for them all, especially president Chuck House and treasurer Fred Nielsen who have gone (in my opinion) far beyond the call of duty in the last two years.

To SJ Szabo: your reply of August 2nd was thoughtful and I call your attention to my first paragraph above regarding magazine costs. On the matter of cutting four magazine pages or more in order to re-direct income to other club areas, I think the membership would revolt at the idea. The only comments I get are,"Why can't it be monthly", or "Let's have more of this or that". I'm personally proud of the growth and improvement in the magazine over the last ten years, but as realist I see other print publications wither and die. I don't see that happening anytime soon with our magazine. Also, let's clarify that there is no crisis in cash flow or money available for any program in the club. The trustees have intentionally chosen to operate at a slight loss (keeping dues the same) in order to preserve not-for-profit status, not because we're broke. Your "slush fund" comment is perhaps referring to the revenue set aside to fulfill obligations (delivering magazines, services and web content) for members who have paid up to three years in advance. No reasonable person should fault this approach. Lackluster return? Do you know of a 9% CD we could invest in as treasurer Randall Yow did some years ago? I am confident the club's money is safe and prudently handled, I hope other members agree.

To CJ Murray: Seems to me your comments are perfectly reasonable; thank you for that.

Gordon

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:25 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:32 pm 
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Bill Sampson wrote:
Mr. Murray: Thank you for unintentionally misrepresenting the good news about the bank charges and taking the time to thus help us us locate even better news on that item by demonstrating the need for greater accurary from our leadership.
Bill, can you translate that into English?

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'57 Speedster - very real
'59 Sunroof - mostly real
'60 Devin D Race Car-in process - fake chassis - real body
'63 GS 2133 coupe - very real
'67 S Original Owner - ultra real


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:21 am 
Mr. Maltby:

I, for one, should like to extend my thanks for your valuable input (tho I remain curious about the per-page costs) regarding the subject you know better than anyone, our indisputably fine Club magazine, which surely rates as among the best Club magazines in the world. In addition, I would personally offer major props for responding (with the courtesy and respect the members of our Club have earned for their unflagging support, many for thirty years or more) promptly when the discussion touched upon your area of expertise. I am encouraged to finally learn that there is at least one stand-up guy in the current Club hierarchy, even if he's not actually an elected Officer.

However, the majority of your remarks address subjects that are rightfully within the realm of expertise of the elected Trustees of our Club and it only deepens my despair that these same Leaders still cannot muster the respect or the stones to address these issues of curiosity/concern themselves. I would note tho, that as beards go, its clear they've dragged out the Big One with you (with Mr. Murray, one can still see Mr. House's lips move); seems a shame to cash that chit for a purpose so lacking in nobility.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:56 am 
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S.J. Szabo wrote:
I would note tho, that as beards go, its clear they've dragged out the Big One with you (with Mr. Murray, one can still see Mr. House's lips move); seems a shame to cash that chit for a purpose so lacking in nobility.
Now that IS funny! I imagine that Chuck House is falling off his chair in uncontrolled laughter. I barely know Chuck and the only club governance issue that I asked him to address(multiple times) ended with him sending me a rather unpleasant email response. That was the first and last issue about which we have had contact. I also disagree with Chuck regarding the club ban on competition like hillclimbs. If I am getting something in return for stating my opinions then I would like to know what I am getting?

My real motivation is to amuse myself by pointing out the total lack of facts, logic, communication skills, and credibility of the accusers. If you (collective) come up with real facts of real problems then I would be happy to support you. Otherwise, I have more important things to worry about.

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'57 Speedster - very real
'59 Sunroof - mostly real
'60 Devin D Race Car-in process - fake chassis - real body
'63 GS 2133 coupe - very real
'67 S Original Owner - ultra real


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:49 am 
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Looks to me like the Model T is not the only thing with a crank.
Why don't you guys who have concerns run for trustee on a platform of cleaning up the conspiracy you see? Put up or shut up.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:10 pm 
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Mark Roth wrote:
Looks to me like the Model T is not the only thing with a crank.
Why don't you guys who have concerns run for trustee on a platform of cleaning up the conspiracy you see? Put up or shut up.
Right on brother!

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'57 Speedster - very real
'59 Sunroof - mostly real
'60 Devin D Race Car-in process - fake chassis - real body
'63 GS 2133 coupe - very real
'67 S Original Owner - ultra real


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:20 pm 
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I have to howl everytime I read a new response to this thread. Despite the long winded responses, I notice it still isn't attracting much readership from the masses! On a serious note: this reminds me of my involvement with my homeowner's association. Only 450+ homes, so no where near as big as the Registry. But there are few individuals who think they should know every detail about what's going on in our community. They bitch and complain about everything. They want to know what we are spending money on. They want to second guess everything and every decision our board makes. They even occassionally think board members are corrupt! The interesting thing is that they spend more time and energy bitching and complaining than doing something constructive for the community. One of the loudest complainers is a home owner the Association went after for a major CC&R violation. I think he's just bitter and vengeful and after some retribution. After several years of putting up with this nonsense, it's interesting to look back. The easy consensus is that this little group really didn't have much of an impact. They really didn't make any meaningful contribution to the good of the community, and basically, they just wasted everybody's time, that could have been spent doing something useful.

CW

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:35 pm 
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Charlie White wrote:
I have to howl everytime I read a new response to this thread. Despite the long winded responses, I notice it still isn't attracting much readership from the masses! On a serious note: this reminds me of my involvement with my homeowner's association. Only 450+ homes, so no where near as big as the Registry. But there are few individuals who think they should know every detail about what's going on in our community. They bitch and complain about everything. They want to know what we are spending money on. They want to second guess everything and every decision our board makes. They even occassionally think board members are corrupt! The interesting thing is that they spend more time and energy bitching and complaining than doing something constructive for the community. One of the loudest complainers is a home owner the Association went after for a major CC&R violation. I think he's just bitter and vengeful and after some retribution. After several years of putting up with this nonsense, it's interesting to look back. The easy consensus is that this little group really didn't have much of an impact. They really didn't make any meaningful contribution to the good of the community, and basically, they just wasted everybody's time, that could have been spent doing something useful.

CW


Right on brother !

Mike.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:11 am 
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I asked if there was any progress on opening honest and meaningful dialogue between dues-paying members of this group of old Porsche enthusiasts and those who do the decision-making for them. It's obvious there is no current means to do so and unless Chuck decides how and if such a mechanism is to be created, there will be none.

I must apologize for my frustration in this regard and how it comes across. The apologists for the status quo, conspiracy theorists taking "sides" and everyone else (including me) would do well to stay clear of adolescent remarks, sarcasm and bizarre analogies and stick to the point to make a point or just stay away....like Chuck does. Chuck, the old saying holds true; "You are known by your friends." You get to pick.

Perhaps a return of one-at-a-time "why" questions with a "because" answer would be a good beginning, even if, like "what's the best oil to use," it's been answered a 100 times before. Best, too, if you answer personally.

Perhaps the participants and viewers of this thread would do well to ask "why" some of us who have been around the 356 block a few times and yes, even run for election, care so much and about what when it concerns the club and not just the cars? You will find it is more curiosity than anything. Heck, if there is nothing to hide, what's the problem?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:57 am 
Mssr. Murray, White, et al:

I would thank you for your participation if it was an effort to add something germane to the subjects at hand instead of simply more of the now-familiar character assassination. Regardless of the popularity of this tactic in national politics, it is still just an admission that one's position is indefensible, leaving intentional distortion and vague but vicious personal attack as the only viable alternative to intelligent discussion. This is hardly the moral high ground.

Nor are you fellows the first to slander activists in fevered defense of some Status Quo. History shows that in every instance of meaningful change, the most difficult adversary has always been the blind and somnambulant. Were it not for the involved activist (and their willingness to endure the calumny of unquestioning loyalists), we would all be singing "God Save the Queen" as the Union Jack rises over Washington. Its important to remember that those who choose to get involved have every right to do so and exercise of this right does not, in and of itself, make them wrong.

The subjects of discussion have been stated many times with clarity and repetition; choosing not to see is your right, but it doesn't mean that these issues do not exist.


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