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Old 01-03-2004, 12:16 PM   #1
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There certainlyhas been a lot of contiversy for our organization over the past year or so and quite frankly,I thought about leaving the hobby.Over christmas,I decided to review the pros and cons of how I felt and what direction I wanted to go.
My sole searching reveiled that I really do not want to leave the hobby and that after reviewing the MAAC constitution,I became very angry.That anger was intesified more when I started reviewing the minutes fro our own annual zone meeting,excerpts from the southwest zone and that form BC.
Somethings became obvious;A/ why are there recommendations to remove model rocketry from MAAC when the AMA sees the bennifits to having them in their organization?
B/ South west zone is demanding that we cease any and all discussions pertaining to model aviation with Transport Canada.That recommendation is in direct conflict with Article 3 paragraph (d) of our constitution and by laws.A strange recommendation since I have learned that Transport Canada is to officially recognize MAAC as the official organization for model aviation in Canada.That recognition may open doors in other areas with in the government ot get funding.
C/ There has been in two zones,identical resolutions covering the introduction of what a model is and lowering the weight limit to 55.12 pounds and eliminating model rocketry.
What bothers me here is that there is very poor communication coming from the board of directors on these various topics that are leading to bad and mis informed resolutions and recommendations.Is there anything that we the average member can do? Yes! When you get your next MAAC magizine,it will ahve a list of all the recommendations and resolutions for the coming AGM.Read them carelfully,discuss rhem with yiur fellow modelers,complete your proxy if yiou cannot attend,indicate which way you want your zone director to vote.Then send it in.
The second thing that must be done is that the minutes from ALL board meetings MUST be published on the MAAC web site 30 days after each meeting.Why? Currently,most members are unaware thatthe minutes are available,upon request and at a logical cost.We have a web site that should be used to COMMUNICATE with the membership.This would also help in making the board more accountable.
Well,I realize that I'm sticking my neck out on this one folks but instincts tell me some just ain't right with our little group and we need to help it.
Please try to be constructive in your reactions and comments. I've instructed Jason to shut this down if it gets anywhere near getting out of hand.
It's our organization folks,not just a small group.
Ian Gunn
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Old 01-03-2004, 12:31 PM   #2
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As much as I dislike poitics, I try and at least understand what is going on with MAAC. I will take your advice and try and pay more attention to that part of the MAAC magazine in the future.

But I will say this, model aviation is so much a part of my life, I would never EVER think about quitting - no matter WHAT happend with MAAC or any of the politics.

You have to remember why we do this in the first place, for the love of flying and aviation. You can turn off the computer, put down the magazine and not answer your phone. Go grab a small model you can fly at the local "whatever" and have a dose of pure, unadultered fun. Think about why it makes you feel the way it does. Each and every time I go flying I remember why I do it....

It will set you back on the right track, I promise!
Andrew Coholic -MAAC #26287L

1/2A to giant scale, IMAC, SAM, R/C sport, turbine jets, Heli's...
if its got a wing or two and an engine - I like it!
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Old 01-03-2004, 12:39 PM   #3
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I haven't been around the hobby that long, and know very little about the workings of MAAC, but I see it as an organization of self interest groups, that are always trying to promote their own agenda's. 3 presidents of MAAC resigning their position in the last ten years does not speak well of it at all. I for one would like to see the Board of Directors responsible to the membership, and be voted on by the membership, rather than being voted in by the Zone Directors. I also feel that the President should have a little more power over the Board. With a membership of over 12000 and annual revenue of over $600,000.00 it would be nice to see some accountability on how these monies are spent. I might have missed something somewhere along the line, but since its my money and yours, and everybody else's who pays dues to MAAC every year, when was the last time they asked us how the money should be spent and on what? JMHO

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Old 01-03-2004, 01:22 PM   #4
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Andrew,I agree.Model aviation has been part of my life since I was born.However,reality is,if the MAAC organization is not health,we all loose.For my club and others with civic sites,if MAAC were to self distruct,there would go our insurance and a site we've worked long and hard for.There goes a hobby with no protection from Home Security as we would no linger be viewed as the regognized authority by the government.There goes the ability for all of us to gather at meets to enjoy our hobby.
True,they cannot take away my love for it and the ability to build but if I cannot fly it...what's the point? Remember,we elected our directors who are the board.Make them accountable,exercise your rights come the AGM and complete that proxy form after digesting what is being placed in front of us.
Ian Gunn
MAAC 25307
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Old 01-03-2004, 02:46 PM   #5
Tom Skoropad
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Ian...... Hope Ya got big shoulders. Sheeeesh..... read what happened on the thread below when questions were asked.

Good luck!!!
Tom Skoropad MAAC 26627 - SAM 4112
Secretary - North of Superior Flyers / S.A.M. 110
Assistant Zone Director NW Ontario/Manitoba Zone D
Member MAAC Safety Committee
Thunder Bay ON

The facts expressed here belong to everybody, the opinions to me. The distinction is yours to draw.

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Old 01-03-2004, 02:55 PM   #6
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Gutsy post Ian!

You are 100% correct that if individual members wish to have any influence in matters of the affairs of the association they must make their wishes known. As things currently stand, attending Annual Zone Meetings and/or the Annual General meeting in person or by proxy are the only means of achieving this goal.

The problem is that the vast majority of MAAC members have no inclination to become involved. They join the association either simply to get insurance or because they cannot join a local club without having a valid MAAC membership. How can this attitude be changed? I suppose no one has the answer, but little by little, forums such as RC Canada may prove to have some influence by (unofficially) educating the masses. Still, the RCC membership is only some 1,100 out of a total of 13,000 or so MAAC members. Less still, if out of country RCC members are discounted.

Even if, more MAAC members could be persuaded to attend AZMs, there is the problem of putting forth properly worded recommendations and resolutions. In the final analysis, resolutions are the ones that really count. The majority that go to the AGM cannot be acted upon simply because of their wording. Perhaps its time to review the constitution to permit resolutions to be appropriately reworded at the AGM in accord with the original intent. (The Zone Director ought to be aware of he original intent). I'm not suggesting however, that we want or need a bunch of Philadelphia lawyers!

Some recommendations and resolutions seem to come from AZMs that make one wonder what goes on the minds of the people that promulgate them. Its my understanding that if any recommendation or resolution carries a majority vote at the AZM it must be carried forward to the AGM. Even the obviously looney ones! Even the ones born out of hatred (yes hatred) for other groups or individuals. Sad indeed.

In earlier times, MAAC had a system using a number of Voting Representatives from each zone as well as the ZD. Today each zone is represented by only one individual the Zone Director. Each zone director carries the votes of their zone membership total. Closed Proxies (very few) for part of the zone membership may instruct the ZD how to vote on certain issues at the AGM, other open proxies give the ZD carte blanche to vote however he/she may see fit. The Open Proxy is really a waste of resources, as lacking specific direction, the ZD will vote unilaterally anyway.

So, the entire voting process comes down to eleven Zone Directors essentially voting more or less as they see fit as individuals. Of course politics also come into play as has been witnessed time and time again, ad nauseum. Unfortunately, the current methodology means that there is little incentive for the individual member to become involved.

"Simplicate and add lightness"
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Old 01-03-2004, 03:08 PM   #7
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Dennis,nail number two hit.The zone directors need to do a better job encouraging members to get involved.They need to use the tools available,MAAC web site,to communicate.Lastly,they must genually provide positive feedback to the members and be nutural.Promoting their own agendas is dangerous and I have a gut feeling,that is what's happening now.As I said earlier,members not showing an interest could soon see MAAC implode and then we'd have no protection as a group.
Make your next club meeting the time to promote discussion on the AGM and maybe a special nite inbetween to reinforce it.
Ian Gunn
MAAC 25307
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Old 01-03-2004, 04:20 PM   #8
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Good post Ian. I agree communication via the web site could help. Minutes of meetings and passed resolutions/motions would be informative to the members who care.

Just one note to Frenchman(not personal). I understand that 3 presidents did not resign over 10 years. At least one president just reached the end of his term. I don't think things are quite as bad as initialy thought regarding the presidents. I for one feel for the recently resigned president, but perhaps there should have been more communication in the open about concerns/actions in recent history. Most of us are left guessing as to what the problems really are.
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Old 01-03-2004, 05:00 PM   #9
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The reality is that 99% of MAAC members dont want to know about the politics of running the orginization,judging by the interest level I have seen since becoming a ZD.
I think I can say with full confidence that each of the current thirteen zone directors would be delighted to have more input from their members,and a full house come AZM time,but it isnt going to happen based on history.The sad reality is we are lucky to have a quorum at our zone meetings and quite often need at least a few proxies to form that quorum.

Sad experience has taught us that trying to debate any issue on web sites is futile and leads to nothing but providing those with large egos and personal agendas a stage on which to perform,and I for one wont do it any more.
That said ,I welcome any input,question,communication,or even a friendly conversation from any member in my zone,personnaly,by phone or E mail,at any time,and I would be delighted to hear from you.
I cant speak for my brother ZDs,but I attended 90% of all the club fly ins in Northern Ontario zone last summer thus being available for any purpose to the members I represent ,and I feel I have a pretty fair understanding of what the members here want and need.
I strongly suspect that all the zone directors are putting in an effort at least equal to mine,although their zone and personal situations are probably quite different.
Keep in mind all the ZDs are modellers first and came from the same ranks as all of you.The time and personal $ expense,are probably far greater than any of you might think so we sure arent doing this job for glory or income.
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The Planet is doing what it has always done.......floods,volcanic eruptions storms,
earthquakes.........but today there are more people in the way.
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Old 01-03-2004, 05:16 PM   #10
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Giving up the Vote

AAh Dennis,

I remember the meeting very well where the membership voted away their right to vote. There were just two opposing votes, but they would not listen to us would they.

Ed S
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