The President's Message

FEBRUARY 2001

George Lakes

A man contacted me on Friday night about giving a brief presentation to the club at the January meeting and I told him no, he would have to go through the proper channels. I gave him Vice President Craig Ladd’s e-mail address. He asked me if it would be all right for him to just come to the meeting to see what our club is like. I told him he was welcome as a guest. The man, Ralph L. Abruscato, asked me again before the meeting started if he could talk to the audience briefly about an Internet service provider (ISP), MiracleNet.com. I had told him that I am personally very well satisfied with my present provider, ISWest (Internet Specialists West), and they treat our club very well. I told him I do feel loyalty to the club, but it is a free county and reluctantly said he could give a 10-minute dissertation to the club. Unfortunately, this proved to be less than satisfactory because it took extra time away from our normal procedures. It was necessary to shorten our business meeting, and also decreased the normal time allotted for Toby’s Q&A.

OK., so I made a mistake, but just because I made a mistake, it was not justified for a member of our club to carry on the way he did after I had said it was all right for the man to talk. You can bet your life it won’t happen again! At our board meeting, it was decided that in the future all speakers would be required to contact our program chairman for permission in advance to speak, no matter how brief the message.

The current changes in the bylaws that were voted on at our January meeting were passed almost unanimously. Before I leave office, my plan is to have the constitution and bylaws gone over and changed where necessary in those sections to bring them up to conformity to the recent changes and additions to the bylaws that have been voted on and passed. A committee of Art Lewis, Helen Long, A rline and myself will go over them thoroughly and make the necessary changes. They will be presented to the board when completed and, if approved, they will be presented to the membership in the April and May newsletters and voted on at the June meeting along with the ballot for officers.

A nominating committee meeting is scheduled for Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. at our home. Committee members will be contacting you. They need you and will appreciate any help you can give them whether you can volunteer for the presidency or chairmanship of one of the committees or if you have a suggestion as to who would be good to nominate to serve.

It was mentioned briefly at the last meeting and I feel it is well worthwhile repeating. It was also discussed at the board meeting. I think that some of our volunteers are not being treated fairly. For instance, some of the people who cover the back tables – including membership chairman John Godwin; TOE editor John Weigle; Ron Pinkerton, acting raffle chairman; librarian Arthur Jensen; Helen Long, guest table and Webmaster; treasurer Art Lewis and other volunteers -- are forced to miss out on being able to listen to the meeting and Q&A’s. The PA system does not carry to the back of the room well enough so those back there can hear enough of what is said to know what is going on.

The answer that would help rectify this is to have the people come in, register, pick up their badges, go over to the raffle table and get their tickets before the start of the meeting and find some seating. This should help reduce the noise level due to the amount of conversation going on at the back of the room during the meeting and Q&A. A skeleton crew can be left for latecomers so the majority of the volunteers can be just like you, sit down and be included. Those members who feel they have to wait until the last minute to buy a ticket so they have a better chance of winning are kidding themselves. The club spent over $100 to get a raffle drum, which should give everyone an equal chance.

I had suggested at the last meeting, when talking to our refreshment committee, that it would probably be a good idea to let some of the chair people and volunteers at the back tables be allowed to get their refreshments before the break so they can be there at the back tables during the break. I had thought when I talked to them that we could get different colored badges for them. However, during discussion at the board meeting, we found it would be a little cumbersome to have an ever changing number of badges available, so it was decided to have passes the same color as the officers’ badges.