SM042 – The Board is Back In Town

A message from our West Gulf Division Director, John Stratton N5AUS. Our Oklahoma/Texas leadership supports this Motion. However, they are currently in the minority. Feel free to contact the leaders that John lists below and contact your friends outside the region so they can review this information and take appropriate action:


“No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the Legislatureis in session.”                       A centuries old truism often attributed to Mark Twain — it isapplicable to any elected organization with the power to alter the livesand rights of others — public, private, or governmental — includingthe ARRL Board of Directors.        While the Agenda for the Board Meeting is always published before aBoard meeting, the many motions to be considered by the Board haverarely ever been published before a Board Meeting. The most recent andnotorious exception occurred before the January 2018 Board meeting whenthe Executive Committee and Lisenco motions intended to juice the 2017“Code of Conduct” were leaked to the general Membership. Theoverwhelming Membership outrage resulting from the unintentionaldisclosure was instrumental in the punitive proposals being withdrawn.The 2017 Code of Conduct was itself overturned by a newly elected Boardin January 2019.     The Members’ voices were heard — and their wishes werehonored.     It is my belief, that of a small minority of Directors, and ViceDirector Lee Cooper’s, that the Members should be permitted to haveadvance notice of the substantive matters to considered by the Board ofDirectors at its meetings.     To that end, the West Gulf intends to publish to its website thesubstantive motions scheduled to be considered at the January Boardmeeting and subsequent meetings.     It is our intent to discuss each known January 2024 motion in aseparate email, although we will publish to the website each motion asit becomes available.     At present, there are three known motions. The Agenda for theJanuary Board meeting and each of these three motions are available forreview and download at:        first motion we wish to discuss is the:   Motion To Honor Membership Contracts        In July 2023, the Board voted to raise the annual dues from $49 to $59and to eliminate the delivery of a printed copy of QST or On The Air,effective January 2024, unless a Member paid an extra $25/year.        The West Gulf Division, the Atlantic Division, the SoutheasternDivision, and the Southwestern Divisions voted against both proposals,but the two proposals passed by an 11-4 vote.        While a dues increase was long overdue and actually needed, the WestGulf Division voted against it because it was tied to the termination ofthe delivery of a printed copy of QST/On The Air unless a Member paid anextra $25/year.        The four divisions argued it was a breach of the ARRL’s legalcontract with those Members — both annual memberships and 3-yearmemberships — to terminate their promised printed copy of QST/On TheAir before their membership contracts expired. The membershipapplications in use at the time promised, in writing, the delivery ofQST/On The Air magazines by “standard mail.”        Besides the risks attendant upon a breach of contract, Article 11 ofthe ARRL Articles of Association prohibits the Board from terminating orreducing the rights of any Member. The stripping of the delivery ofprinted copies of QST/On The Air from unexpired Memberships constitutesa reduction in the rights of the affected Member.        Both the Membership Application and Article 11 are promises — and theLeague should stand on its promises. That is the reason we have filedthe Motion To Honor Membership Contracts.        The ARRL is a membership organization, and the opinions of the Membersare important.        I have been asked by each of the West Gulf Division Section Managers— NTX SM Steve Smith (KG5VK), STX SM Stuart Wolfe (KF5NIX), WTX SMDale Durham (W5WI), and OK SM Mark Kleine (N5HZR) — to share that theyeach support the Motion To Honor Membership Contracts.     If you believe the Motion has merit and it should pass, it would beimportant for you to share your support for the Motion with the ARRLPresident, Rick Roderick, and the other Directors. All of their emailaddresses can be found on Page 15 of QST or at . If you choose to share your views,please be respectful — we choose to disagree, but need not bedisrespectful.John Robert StrattonN5AUSWest Gulf Division DirectorLee H. CooperW5LHCWest Gulf Division Vice Director