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Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]
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Al Olme
Posted 3/28/2009 1:58 PM (#42935)
Subject: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]


Posts: 1736
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
A little over five years ago the USCA started to have elections to name its officers. Before that someone [usually Ed Johnson, the unquestioned father of the USCA] talked folks into taking the officer jobs. That actually worked pretty well... for a while, but people stayed in office forever and club matters were very slow moving.

Nominations recently closed for this year's election and there are several positions that have NO nominees. The North Central Region is one of them. The region consists of Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska. It is the smallest region in the USCA in terms of membership yet it has hosted two national rallies in recent years and has a number of friendly sidecarists. It is also close to Wisconsin [which IMHO should be part of the North Central Region but that's a different subject] where there are a lot of equally fine folks who drive hacks.

The point is [bet you never thought I'd get there] we need folks to step up and run for these open slots. I know, nominations are closed but what's the alternative? The alternative is an appointment by the Board later when someone finally raises their hand and says “OK, if no one else will do it, I will”.

I've been on the Board for about six years in one position or another. Many of the Board members have been there as long as I have. Having some experienced folks on the Board is a good thing but right now we are once again out of balance. We need NEW folks to come forward and look at our issues with fresh eyes. Things on the board are so settled and familiar right now that a few of us can guess the way each member will vote on an issue without even asking.

I've been here too long. Six years ago things needed to be shaken up, now we are in a building stage and we don’t need folks like me. It's time for some of the folks who sit on the sidelines and hurl in comments to get of their duffs and actually do some work for the club. Heck, it would be nice if some of those folks were even members.
The BMW CCA is the national BMW car club. It is huge, has huge assests and it is run by professionals. When I joined back in the dark ages it was a lot of fun. There was only one paid staffer and a ton of volunteers and things got done despite that. Now it is run by professionals. It has a paid Director, paid Administrators, an accountant and a lawyer, paid newsletter Editor, paid Events person AND NO SOUL! The rallies are about as much fun as an insurance convention.

Volunteerism is the life blood of any organization like ours. Individuals like YOU, have to step up and get involved for things to work. NEW people have to be brought into the management of the organization or the organization becomes stale and falls into bad habits. Very little actually gets done. When new ideas come up, old thoughts stifle them before they can breathe. We worry more about our bank balance than we do about having fun. Yes, fiscal responsibility is important but I don't believe that it's necessary to have a year's operating expense in the bank in order to do things or in order to have fun. I don't have a year's home expenses in my checking account and I don't feel that I'm about to fail financially, of course I could be wrong.

Right now the club is losing money. Our newsletter is too expensive to print and mail [compared to the cost of membership] and the rally that I put on in Duluth lost a lot of money. I can’t resist saying that if it had been better attended we would have done fine. We are working with our printer to see if we can get costs lowered. One of the spearheads on that effort is the NEWEST member of the Board. ‘See, fresh eyes!

The USCA has made progress this year, we replaced our newsletter Editor with a new volunteer, we have a new volunteer Treasurer [who actually has an accounting background!] and we have a new web guy who is making some difference already and promises to do a lot more. We had to go begging for all those folks. What have we done that’s new and fun for the membership? How has your per
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Reardan Tom
Posted 3/31/2009 9:33 AM (#42986 - in reply to #42935)
Subject: RE: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]



Posts: 1164
Location: Reardan, WA
Thank you Al. Out here in the NW we need someone to replace Vernon as regional rep. I've got all I want in the WA state rep position but I'd sure hate to see the club go in the direction it looks like my other favorite group is going- just fading away due to a lack of enthusiasm. Is the age of innocence past and nobody gives a rusty rat's a** anymore?
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RichardMc4
Posted 3/31/2009 1:17 PM (#42990 - in reply to #42935)
Subject: RE: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]



Posts: 1141
Location: Williston, Fl
Well done Al!

I am one of those new guys he was talking about people. If you want to make this YOUR club be a part of it. You can tell me how you want the club to be and there MAY be some changes. But there is a better chance if you get in and help make the changes your self.
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maxm
Posted 4/3/2009 10:53 PM (#43080 - in reply to #42935)
Subject: RE: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]


Posts: 63
Location: Moses Lake, WA summer, SanTanValley, AZ winter
As a fairly new member, I hesitate to drop in this discussion, but i must. Why is it when I log in the ratio of members to guests usually not a drastic as it is showing now, 3 members to 35 guests !! Seems like these lurkers need to pony up dues so the sidecarist lives on as does this wonderful site. Max who isn't at home to post his member #.
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SidecarMike
Posted 4/3/2009 11:25 PM (#43081 - in reply to #43080)
Subject: RE: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]



Posts: 1710
Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin USA
That just means they are not logged in. Most of them are registered users. Lotts of users only log on to post. When they're just lurking they don't bother.

Edited by SidecarMike 4/3/2009 11:26 PM
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gpers2
Posted 4/4/2009 12:13 AM (#43083 - in reply to #43081)
Subject: RE: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]


Posts: 570
Location: SoCal
A registered user is not necessarily a USCA member. There are way more registered users then there are dues paying members. Dues paying members are the financial support for this forum.

As you said, a registered user means they can post, not that they are a dues paying United Sidecar Association member. It would be nice if more registrants were dues paying as well.

By the way, I am both - registered and a dues payer.
gp
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Al Olme
Posted 4/4/2009 12:46 AM (#43084 - in reply to #43083)
Subject: RE: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]


Posts: 1736
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
I can only agree that we need more dues paying members but the fact that this site is free is very important. Those that do pay dues support the site and enable the free exchange of ideas and information about sidecaring. I'm definitely for more members in the USCA and I admit to having complained about the ratio of paying members to free users of the site but I'd never want to make the site available only to members. This site is often the first exposure that an interested person gets to sidecars. It is usually the first hit on a Google search of the word "sidecar" and serves as a portal to many of the other online resources about sidecars.

For a long time the USCA Board has talked about the creation of a PART of this site that is for members only. The idea hasen't progressed for a couple of reasons, one of which is, "What would we put in a members only section?". Do you have any ideas? Would you view a members only area as an extra value for members?

Growing the membership and helping to pay for a site that so many people use is a great idea but please, let's never even consider ending free public access to the main part of the site.
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Loon
Posted 4/5/2009 7:43 PM (#43112 - in reply to #42935)
Subject: RE: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]


Posts: 162
Location: Southern Tier of New York
As a newbie and dues paying member it is interesting to see both sides. I feel it is important to be an active member so that I can give back to the organization, in some small part, for all the valuable information I have gathered from the many varied and much wiser people who have posted information on the site. The free interchange of information is best served by a free membership. But the value of dues paying members to keep this site "free" cannot be understated. (Here is where I pitch to all the members using the site without paying dues - for what you are getting the dues really are a small price to pay.) I also understand that registered users might not be logging on unless they are posting, but just maybe if they were to log on periodically (once a week?) even if they don't have anything to post, that would show they are out there using the site. A look at the member listing has some people not logged in for several years. Are they still interested? Or even using the site? Should they be removed from the members listing if they have not logged in within the last year? Maybe these questions have already been answered, or maybe they should be considered.
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Al Olme
Posted 7/29/2009 6:40 PM (#45456 - in reply to #43112)
Subject: RE: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]


Posts: 1736
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
It's important to remember that once you log on [and IF you accept cookies] you will be recognized as a registered user when you sign on in the future. Being a registered user here has nothing to do with being a member of the USCA. The numbers of "Members" vs.guests is probably even higher than the numbers on this site indicate!
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Doug Hasert
Posted 9/17/2009 9:08 PM (#46306 - in reply to #42935)
Subject: RE: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]


Posts: 105
Location: Mesa AZ.
I agree with you Al, about new members volunteering, and burn out in the present board do to volunteering too long. I was the last President of the Third Wheel sidecar Club, it died in 1987 due to that same reason.. I was approached by Joyce to be the Arizona state rep. and I have accepted , just hope I can get some activity here this year. So , I guess I'll have to put my sidecar back on the Goldwing. Beeen driving on 2 wheels for a month. Doug
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Jim Van der Veen
Posted 9/23/2009 1:48 PM (#46468 - in reply to #42935)
Subject: Re: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]


Posts: 173
Location: Miami, Florida
Sounds like we need to copy some of our "big brothers" in the business and start charging. I don't believe you can get into the BMW MOA web site without being a dues paying member. Probably same for the BMW CCA. I would be the last to say this group of wonderful people are snobish or have their collective noses up in the air, but we do need members and our prices are hard to beat. There is a mountian of information on this site, most of it pretty good. If "outsiders" want to mine it for it's value, let them pay. I, myself, have sent people to this site when I have been stopped and questioned about sidecaring. I always hope they will get interested and buy a rig and become one of us. Maybe we could limit the amount of times a non-member can access the site without becoming a member. Just some idle thoughts from a usually idle mind. Starting to cool a bit down here in south florida, and the rain is becoming slightly less significant, so riding time is coming.

Another thought. Has anyone charted the number of members per region and suggest that the region with the greatest number of members be the host region for the Annual? It is an old marketing ploy; "Shoot at the ducks while they are flying overhead." I am sure you guys and gals know much more than I about this club, but what a waste if we loose it.
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Doug Hasert
Posted 9/23/2009 2:24 PM (#46470 - in reply to #46468)
Subject: Re: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]


Posts: 105
Location: Mesa AZ.
We could do like the GWRRA does, you can read the Forums, but you have to be a member to write on it. This would " may be " encourage outsiders to join. "Maybe' . Doug
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Joyce
Posted 1/13/2013 6:44 PM (#69031 - in reply to #46470)
Subject: Re: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]



Posts: 3024
Location: St. Joseph,MO

BUMP and Volunteers are still something we can use.

Elections are upon us once again. We are looking for a few good folks to step up and pitch in. The Offices to be filled this year are: President, Treasurer, SE Regional Director, MW Regional Director, SW Regional Director and NC Director. The Board positions are open to anyone who is a member in good standing. Look for the Election Procedures in the next Sidecarist Magazine and nominate someone or send me an email if you would consider being nominated. The votes will be counted at The National Rally with results announced there also. Now is the time to step up and be heard. As it stands there are a LOT of open offices(Vice President, Secretary, NE Regional Director) and that leaves a ton of work for a few, (like me)

 

I am also looking for an Election Chair, someone who would be willing to accept nominations and ballots and can transport the ballots to the National Rally in Arkansas.

 

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gpers2
Posted 1/14/2013 1:42 AM (#69034 - in reply to #42935)
Subject: Re: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]


Posts: 570
Location: SoCal
bump
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Reardan Tom
Posted 1/14/2013 10:47 AM (#69036 - in reply to #69031)
Subject: Re: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]



Posts: 1164
Location: Reardan, WA
Joyce - 1/13/2013 3:44 PM

As it stands there are a LOT of open offices(Vice President, Secretary, NE Regional Director) and that leaves a ton of work for a few, (like me)


I for one really appreciate all your hard work Joyce!! Thank you for everything you do for the USCA!!!
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Mary Jo
Posted 1/15/2013 7:37 PM (#69060 - in reply to #42935)
Subject: Re: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]



Posts: 133
Location: Valencia, PA
My two cents for points raised in this discussion:

I belong to another motorcycle forum. Membership is free for a month, and then the dues are $12 a year. Most folks join because, like this site, you save more than $12 in information from just one suggestion a member makes to a question you may pose. I am not opposed to being both a USCA member and website member.

Is it possible to send the newsletter via email or a link on this site? This would cut costs and the newsletter could be in "members only" section as some folks talked about.

I need to read the requirements for volunteer positions and I'll get back to you. I can't make all the rallies if that is a requirement. I would really like to see a club or group in my area that would be interested in getting together for rides. I should just start one and see what happens.

Thanks to all the officers for all they have done to keep us informed, plan rallies, and keep this organization running.

MJ




Edited by Mary Jo 1/15/2013 7:46 PM
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Joyce
Posted 1/15/2013 8:52 PM (#69061 - in reply to #69060)
Subject: Re: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]



Posts: 3024
Location: St. Joseph,MO

Thanks Mary Jo for the comments. This thread was started in 2009 and a lot of things have improved since then with a better magazine, online store and memberships online. Our membership is growing and we are financially secure. It seems if there are real problems with any club there are always folks to offer to help but when things are going along pretty smoothly everyone is willing to let someone else do it.

About all you need to serve on The Board is to be a member in good standing and willing to help. Our Constitution and By-Laws are posted in The Reference Section here. All the information is in there like officer duties and requirements.

http://www.sidecar.com/mbbs22/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=2470&posts=1&start=1

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SwampFox
Posted 1/15/2013 10:32 PM (#69066 - in reply to #69060)
Subject: Re: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]



Posts: 1662
Location: Summer Grove, LA USA

Mary Jo - 1/15/2013 7:37 PM

... I can't make all the rallies if that is a requirement....

Mary Jo, I hope rally attendance is not requirement, as I'd be out of luck as my travel time is generally limited to the occasionl long weekend.    Keith & I + our wives are attempting to organize the national rally this year.  None of us have had an opportunity attend a past national rally.

... I would really like to see a club or group in my area that would be interested in getting together for rides. I should just start one and see what happens....

That's how the Uncertain?Rendezvous at Caddo Lake got started.  I wanted an opportunity to meet fellow sidecarists, but there  was no gathering in our area  -- so we started one.  Just look for a facilty in an interesting area with suitable lodging options, a gathering area/pavilion, a nearby cafe' and invite sidecar enthusiasts to come. 

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J.R.
Posted 2/28/2013 8:10 AM (#69893 - in reply to #42935)
Subject: Re: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]


Posts: 354
Location: Crockett Tx
Lee You are doing a great job. I think the rally in Ar. is going to be great. Plans are to have enough things going on to keep everyone as busy as they want to be. People who have attended Uncertain have all been pleased. Hopefully we can get more to come.By the way,are there any plans for this year? J.R. Tex rep. BMW cruiser/Hannigan Burgman/Bullit
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SwampFox
Posted 2/28/2013 9:42 PM (#69909 - in reply to #69893)
Subject: Re: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]



Posts: 1662
Location: Summer Grove, LA USA

J.R. - 2/28/2013 8:10 AM
... I think the rally in Ar. is going to be great. Plans are to have enough things going on to keep everyone as busy as they want to be. People who have attended Uncertain have all been pleased....

  Keith & I are slowly working towards plenty of options, including simply hanging out at air conditioned rally central.  And we almost have a logo.

... are there any plans for [Uncertain/Caddo Lake] this year?....

  J.R., we haven't yet decided re: Caddo Lake in October.  We have plenty going on with the national rally.  However, I have thought of a simpler Caddo Lake rally with the primary organized event being a group ride to Cedar Run Ranch near Scottsville for a campfire meal by Jay, our chili cook.

  Also, I found last year there is a scheduling conflict on our preferred mid-October weekend with the Harvest Classic vintage rally in Luckenbach -- most of the central Texas Ural riders attend.

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Txart
Posted 3/8/2013 6:56 PM (#70102 - in reply to #69909)
Subject: Re: Elections & Volunteerism [long and maybe boring]



Posts: 145
Location: Brazoria, tx
I have my high school class reunion (50th) in October 2013. Waiting for the football game schedule to be set in May before a date is selected for the reunion in October --- hope we can do both the reunion and Uncertain... If we cannot, then I'll drive the rig to the reunion

Edited by Txart 3/8/2013 6:58 PM
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