News From the District VP:
I had hoped to have this update of current events online sooner than this, but AMA requests that we do not release information relating to Executive Council Meetings until the minutes have been read and approved. The reason for this is to make sure that the information released in accurate.
The last EC meeting was long, two days at 12 hours each. The council meets five times a year and it is difficult to do all of the business brought before the council in that length of time. Many things are brought before the council ranging from rules changes to insurance and budget matters. There is a common misconception that I often hear from members that these issues are all cut and dried before the meeting. Nothing could be further from the truth. Each member of the council has a voice and there are many different ideas as how to solve a given problem. This past meeting was a difficult one and many hard choices had to be made.
The decision that will impact the average modeler was the decision to raise the dues by $10.00 a year. This figure is still less than most clubs charge for their dues. In addition the "Earned Memberships" for Contest Directors and other volunteers was reduced and will now become ½ price dues. This includes the EC members who thought it only fair that this apply to everyone.
It costs AMA on the average $70.00 a year to service chartered clubs yet we charter them for $20.00 a year. This is not a sound practice and the chartering fees will also be raised to $30. 00 which still does not cover the costs involved. Sanctioned application fees will be $20.00. Additional Insured fees will increase to keep up with the increased cost of these policies. Many clubs who do not need these policies request them as a matter of habit rather than need. Additional Insured fees will be $60.00 for regular wording and $80.00 for special wording.
Insurance is the driving issue here and if the cost of insurance continues to rise we may be faced with being self insured as we have done in the past. To do this we would have to have cash reserves set aside to cover claims that might arise. This past year we were not sure we could even renew with or present carrier. We have a very good working relationship with our agent and he understands our needs and our special circumstances. He does a very good job shopping the market for us but some companies look at our hobby as being a risk they do not care to cover.
I had earlier told you I thought we would be looking at a $7.00 a year dues increase but when we took a hard look at the numbers and the insurance issue we realized it might get is by for a year maybe two. Most of those of you who contacted me regarding this said you would prefer an increase that would be like the last and hold us over for 4 years rather than increases every other year. Most of the other members of the EC received similar responses.
We had discussed an across the board budget cut of 5% but realistically that is not possible. There are cost that we have no control over and a 5% cut along with 3% inflation means a 8% cut.
Joyce has been working with her staff and many cost cutting plans have been put in place. Much of AMA's business is being conducted by e-mail and you would be surprised what savings that can produce.
I wish this report could have been better news but this time we had to bite the bullet. I look at the increase as about 2/3 of a can of fuel, or one prop if you don't fly big birds.
On the lighter side we have had a great summer for flying and I hope you got in as much flying as we have. We have had some great times with old friends and made some new ones and isn't this really what the hobby is about?
I would like to encourage you to consider a serious matter. This year all members will be voting for the Executive Vice President of AMA. This job description would best be described as AMA's Chief Financial Officer. This is a position where a strong financial background is imperative. Doug Holland has served in that capacity for several years and his knowledge and financial background has been invaluable to AMA. I have the greatest respect for Doug's abilities and for him as a person
Keep your airspeed up, BruceAMA Club By-Laws
Beginning the first of the coming year NEW CLUBS chartering with AMA will be required to include in their paperwork, a copy of their club bylaws, heretofore not required. Beginning 2002, ALL Clubs will be required to do the same. The reason for this if for the protection of clubs, club officers and members in case of law suits. AMA will be providing a list of minimum requirements for those bylaws, and a downloadable set of bylaws for clubs wishing to use those.
Go to this site for the AMA example of CLub By-Laws Click Here. This is a PDF Document and requires that you use the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Also be sure and check out the AMA Web site as it has been updated Academy Of Model Aeronautics home page.
For some time I have encouraged all clubs to incorporate. It is a simple process and papers of incorporation can usually be obtained from the Secretary of State's office. They usually come with simple instructions and contrary to common belief you do not need an attorney to do this. If your club has not done this check with a club in your state that has and get them to help you do it. It protects officers and in case of a suit, you can only be sued for the assets of the corp. and not as individuals.
Re: the recommended By Laws from AMA, they are now downloadable from the AMA site (See URL above). I would like to add the following explanation under the bylaws;
I have received several inquiries as to why these By Laws are being forced onto clubs. I would like to set the record straight on this issue. It is sad that we live in times where everything has to be set down in black and white. The fact remains that Clubs and their members have problems from time to time and some of these issues have even wound up in court. If your club has a set of By Laws that set out responsibilities of officers as well as members, much of this can be avoided. Most older clubs by laws are not up to date, and some clubs have no formal by laws. A complete set of bylaws offer protection for club officers as well as members. Now is a good time to review you clubs By laws and consider updating them. This is one of those ounce of prevention things.
If you have any questions about this e-mail me and I will be glad to try to help.
Bruce Nelson: (E-Mail: NelsonAMAVP@msn.com)
The new edition of the Rules Governing Model Aviation Competion are available. Each member of AMA is entitled to one free copy. Additional copies will be available for $2.50 each from ACADEMY OF MODEL AERONAUTICS, 5161 East Memorial Drive, Muncie, Indiana 47302. You may order your free copy of the Competition Requlations by emailing MS Amy Wilson (E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). A copy will be sent to you as soon as it becomes available.
Glacier RC'ers will host their 2nd annual Fly-In and Swap Meet on 29 Sept 2002 at their field adjacent to Glacier Int'l Airport, RT 2 North, Kalispell, MT. Fun, food, prizes. Current AMA card will be required to fly. RV parks nearby. Contact Jerry McManus 406 844-4612, ( E-Mail: email@example.com), for further info.
SUBMITTING DIGITAL PICTURES FOR PUBLICATION:
We can take digital pictures now in the monthly District XI column, but they have to be sent on a disk that will not be returned. They have to have a print of the photo accompanying, a print from your printer will do, and there most be accompanying text.
Instructions for sending material to be published in District XI's Model Aviation column. Please click here.
The District XI Contest calendar for 2002.
Links to AMA Clubs in District XI