Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

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Jonathan Hartendorp
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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby Jonathan Hartendorp » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:28 am

Lots of interesting viewpoints and opinions in this discussion. Think it's about time I chimed in :mrgreen:

When I first started Autocrossing back in 2004, I thought I'd do a few events and be done BUT I kept coming back for more and before you knew it, I was hooked and couldn't stay away. Not only had I found a place where I could drive my car STUPID-FAST-CRAZY without getting busted by the cops BUT I could test and improve upon my car-control skills. The more I came back, the more friends I made which in turn led to that camaraderie I felt and still feel to this day. Many members have told me that part of the reason they come autocross in our region is not only because we're MORE AWESOMER compared to other autocross organizations (speed ventures, bmwcca, etc.) but because it's the people who make up our region; there is that sense of family and belonging that the members like and have grown accustomed to.

I did not have a points card for the first few years of Autocrossing and resisted getting one because I was a little bit intimidated to compete (I would only run on practice days and not Sundays). When it did come time to purchase one however, I was a little bit confused of why I had to select a club even though there was already one big club, the "Cal Club Region." I could say that it was kind of a barrier for me wanting to get into joining but after much pushing and prodding, I ended up choosing SCNAX and the rest is history.

AND then I was roped/suckered/rationally dragged into doing registration which I still do to this day (although I would like to take a break from it) and somehow, someway I became Club Rep of SCNAX. I didn't think in a million-years when I first started this sport that I would be involved with the Eboard or be part of the decision making in our region but I guess the Cone-gods had other plans...

NOW that I have served over 5+ years as SCNAX Club Rep on Eboard, it is not easy to run a region- it takes a lot of work, effort and most of all, time. I have realized that although our current system of running things has done a good job, I think it is time for a change that will take us to the future and beyond, one that will not only allow for the growth of the region and attract new members BUT also help run it more efficiently. And I think and feel this proposal is a step towards that direction (however, I do think that the Clubs should still exist with the change).

The proposed change is a good framework to start with already BUT from reading and seeing other posts, it may need a little tweaking/tuning here and there along with some compromise to make it mostly agreeable with all members of our region. SO instead of bashing, criticizing, and/or being negative about it, please post up any suggestions and/or changes that you think should to be made to the proposal.

Besides, this thread was created for just that :thumbup:

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Anthony Porta
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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby Anthony Porta » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:16 pm

Jayson Woodruff wrote:
c. Ballots shall be sent out to current regular members in good standing no later than seven days after the October meeting.
d. At the December meeting the Chairman shall present the vote counts and announce the new presiding directors. The new officers will be installed as of January 1st.


I've got a question on this. Has a vote method been determined? e.g. a member is presented with a ballot of 15 nominees and votes for... 1, 3, 6 of them?

Jay W


a vote method has not been determined, other than a ballot is sent to current regular members. What would you suggest on how many nominees to vote for? There will be alternating 3 then 2 openings on any given year.
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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby Anthony Porta » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:38 pm

Rick Brown wrote:History Lesson:
There were local clubs putting on events for themselves long before there was any National organization. Some realized it would be fun to compete against each other and needed a set of rules, plus it would increase their ability to get insurance. They formed an organization called the Southern California Council of Sports Car Clubs (SCCSCC) sometime in the 50's if I recall. The clubs took turns hosting events, and initially didn't even run their own event, so competitors didn't have to work, the host did it all. It was still that way when I started in the early 70's. When SCCA came along in the mid 80's and wanted to do autocrossing (Solo2) here, it was decided rather than compete with SCCA, SCCSCC would become that part of Cal Club. A contract was made maintaining autonomy for the Solo2 group from the rest of Cal Club so there was no mixing of funds (Solo2 was more profitable than Club Racing at the time). The basic SCCSCC rules were re-written somewhat, but the only thing that really changed was adopting SCCA's classes. The club system has worked fine for nearly 60 years. But things change, time to move on.


Picking up where Rick left off...
I remember back in the 2000's when I would only get into my "clubs" practice, which meant I would be able to attend at most 2 per year. Also back then the courses were less than subtly suited to that particular club at the cost of overall drive-ability. Eventually the "e-board" (region) stepped in and started to run a large portion of the events, which also helped save the region financially. Since then the events have had a much greater consistency and our participation has continued to grow. After submitting my proposed ideas to the club reps, there was sufficient interest at that time to develop them into proposed by-laws for 2018 that would actually usher in the transition. After two months of conversations, the club reps wanted to put it out to the members to gain additional feedback which brings us to where we are today.

When the clubs became a focal point over the last few years about who was stepping up, staying late, or putting in more effort it seemed like the "clubs" were dividing the region instead of bringing it together. Seeing other regions at nationals paddocking together, helping each other, and enjoying time together it highlighted what was possible.

In large part the reason I researched possible paths is because I saw club membership and active club participation declining. This year no clubs stepped up to pick events when the dates were released and it was some time into 2017 until both SCNAX and CASOC signed up for one event each. Since no other clubs volunteered to host an event this year, that means in 2018 we will only have 2 active clubs. Lets come together next year as a region because we already run events, volunteering as needed, without respect to clubs on 11 of 13 events per year.

Some of the changes that I think will help the region in addition to what Sean wrote.

1) Term limits; Term limits would help prevent "burn out" of core leadership.
2) Open elections; I would like to see our leaders represent all and be those who have the time to commit to volunteering for the region. Those with the eagerness and willingness to lead our membership into the future.
3) Simpler structure that eliminates the club within a club.
4) Moving on from what is best for "their" club to what is best for the entire membership.

My hope is we can continue to build the region together and develop a long term plan, as an entire region with definable actionable goals to lead us into the future.
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Bill Martin
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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby Bill Martin » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:38 pm

Hmmm, an anti-democratic moment. I think the bulk of the community will be largely unaffected by this decision in any huge way. The program will go on. That diminishes the need for consensus amongst the many. What's more important is the opinions of the much fewer number of people who will be significantly affected. That would primarily be the people who are shouldering the main part of the program's load. The people who do the heavy lifting should be the primary deciders. And no, I don't know how to quantify that.

Personally, I think the club system is a result of our founding conditions, and we keep it mostly due to inertia. It's not adequate to just say other regions do it another way -- but it's not meaningless either. If we were to start from scratch today I suspect we'd be in line with the other regions. If this were a poll, I'd be voting aye. But then I'm not one of the heavy lifters. :)

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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby Steve Ekstrand » Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:13 pm

Bill makes a very good point.

I'm still "Meh".

There are been moments of ugliness in regards to leadership. Not a lot in the big scheme of things. Many many years ago, I was told privately by an old guard member that they had total control of everything because they controlled the largest club and the 2nd or 3rd largest club would always have their back.

I helped prove that wrong thanks to the club system. It's a sleepy old system. It has a nice history back to 1954. It can sometimes be manipulated to "manage" a situation. Nothing similar to that has happened in recent memory. Most of the clubs now are pretty irrelevant to the whole running of the region. But I do like the idea of some club rivalry and fun and games. No reason that can't happen still regardless of governing issues.

I'm concerned about club profit splits and IRS hurdles on distributions. The region is the one in need of reserve funds and capital improvements, not the clubs. I'd be very positive about the proposal for this reason alone but for.... My concern over losing the political safety valve. Some would say it's a contradiction to my main concern, but I'm not big on term limits. A healthy region with healthy leadership should constantly be finding ways to bring in and promote fresh blood at its core. If leadership has closed ranks and is failing then the membership should be active enough and informed enough to vote them out! But trying to artificially force it with term limits seems like a weak solution.

Good discussion for the most part. Arguing it out peacefully and respectfully can be a good way to figure out what is the best course and what in particular needs to be changed, fleshed out, or scraped in any proposal.

Keep it going!
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Anthony Porta
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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby Anthony Porta » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:17 am

Just an idea for those that wanted to be continuously involved. There is nothing that would prevent a director from being an eboard member their off year. So if you reached a term limit as director you could still be secretary, treasurer, Vice President, President, communications, membership etc. Then run again for director.
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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby Daryl Lane » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:01 pm

Been keeping up with this thread for awhile now, still wondering what things/ideas will take place with this change of governing to:

That will increase involvement by sideline members, such as I, in regards with helping to run the events? No matter how you change the way the region is structured most members will not notice a change has been made. Most importantly their personal desire to get involved will not be effected by any changes in who makes the rules.

So I ask, for the mass of us sideline members, how are voting board members going to steer or create in me an interest and ability to do more during an event?

Any plans for classes during events to teach others how to be a safety stewart, run Tech or be in-charge of workers? And if their are already ways to do this, why do we not know of them?

The non involved members need to be made aware more help is needed and given ways to learn how to do these things. One of the factors of some not becoming more involved could be a lack of easy ways for them to learn how to do things correctly.

Personally I would attend a how to class if it was done during an event - shadow a stewart during the event. I could come to the event just for the class and watch how it is done during the event and not worry about driving at the event.

Just thinking and talking out load to myself - not pointing fingers.

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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby rmgibson » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:15 am

Daryl Lane wrote:Been keeping up with this thread for awhile now, still wondering what things/ideas will take place with this change of governing to:

That will increase involvement by sideline members, such as I, in regards with helping to run the events? No matter how you change the way the region is structured most members will not notice a change has been made. Most importantly their personal desire to get involved will not be effected by any changes in who makes the rules.

So I ask, for the mass of us sideline members, how are voting board members going to steer or create in me an interest and ability to do more during an event?

Any plans for classes during events to teach others how to be a safety stewart, run Tech or be in-charge of workers? And if their are already ways to do this, why do we not know of them?

The non involved members need to be made aware more help is needed and given ways to learn how to do these things. One of the factors of some not becoming more involved could be a lack of easy ways for them to learn how to do things correctly.

Personally I would attend a how to class if it was done during an event - shadow a stewart during the event. I could come to the event just for the class and watch how it is done during the event and not worry about driving at the event.

Just thinking and talking out load to myself - not pointing fingers.


Daryl makes a really good point here. I think the general purpose of this change is to get the clubs out of the way as the sole funnel to doing more than just your mandatory work assignment. I know from experience that its difficult to figure out who to approach to get more involved in our sport. We are always looking for more volunteers and Daryl's statement shows that new members want to participate but just don't know how.

If we can get our leadership to help promote this publicly and get more people trained . I for one think we can start giving open invitations to let people start shadowing some of the necessary positions during our weekends. As such, I'll probably ask for anyone who is interested in course design to come out and shadow with me for the next event so we can get more members up to speed on the process.

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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby Lauren Kane Porta » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:33 am

Shadowing chief positions (and adding a mentoring program for newcomers) are certainly ideas we have had. We have started asking for volunteers on our post-event surveys (and we even posted a volunteer equipment manager position on the forums)... these things take a little time to implement, but we are beginning with small steps.

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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby Sean Fenstermacher » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:01 am

I think the idea is that thru the annual general election process general membership will be more aware to the issues leadership faces and create additional opportunity to get directly involved.
For those "sideline members", not too much will change operations-wise vs an eBoard event, but hopefully the increased awareness and seeing their peers being nominated or elected will motivate more members to become involved in event planning or regional leadership. At the end of the day, we are all volunteers that just want to race. Hopefully, the new process will make the amount of work needed to run event the events we love more transparent and encourage more to get involved.

As Anthony clarified, term limits are just on how many consecutive terms. There is no intention to permanently push away any leadership talent.

I do think that if we decide to proceed with the regional change, I would like to see if we can expand our Novice Coordinator program to be more than about course walks and driving line.
The program could also be used to as an entry to get novices educated early on how events are run, what the event roles are, how to get involved, etc...
This kind of novice education was a role potentially fulfilled by clubs hosting events to its members, but with less clubs hosting something should be put in place help promote volunteerism early for newer members.

It's hard to predict what immediate potential changes could be introduced with the governing change.
It could be something as significant as lower event fees (due to elimination of club profit sharing) to something smaller like iced bottled water at events.

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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby Jayson Woodruff » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:24 am

Anthony Porta wrote:.... Eventually the "e-board" (region) stepped in and started to run a large portion of the events, which also helped save the region financially. Since then the events have had a much greater consistency and our participation has continued to grow....


I don't know about this statement. I'd have to see hard numbers on an increase in funds and participation in the late 2000s. As far as I remember participation was very high in the early 2000's, upwards of 300/event. With those numbers the clubs were very efficient and I don't remember there ever being a financial problem (we got regular reports back then as well).

A big issue I have in moving to a "Director" style is as such: We're a squeeky wheel government. Loud voices tend to get more of their way than the quiet ones. Which is acceptable to a degree, since the loud voices are usually the heavy lifters and heavy users who deserve a little more representation than others. As it stands now though a loud voice is limited to his single club rep, he can at most really effect/harass just one voter. In a director system all voters represent all members. So now this loud voice will have the complete set of voters to harass/sway getting a much larger portion of the overall representation than before.

I asked the question about how directors would be voted for, but really have no "solution" because I don't like any scenario of this. If we're told to "Choose One", then I see the top 3 guys getting 90% of the vote and the last guy getting an equal share of representation for the 2% of people who voted for them. If we're told to "Choose Six", then the biggest "click" {club} would block vote in their reps and we have mob rule. If we're told to "Choose Three", then we end up with a two party system, power struggles and politics run rampant.

Jay W

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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby David Barrish » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:28 pm

Again, thank you to those getting this through the process. But looking at the first post, do we have an end date that wraps up the process? Is there any agreement on any of the suggestions?

Is there a agreement on the term board term limits? Will it not allow people from running for another board seat after their term limit? What if anything is paid for by the club. Do we have a sinking fund for event equipment that is more than $XXX.XX. Is the club set up to receive tax deductible donations?

I do like the team concept for working with first timers and "willing repeats".

Our club rep could be the conduit for this kind of questioning. I understand a representative democracy and I have served on a governing committee, three year term. Twice. But an open ended form for detail input with in an all volunteer organization spread over the geographic area of a state, someone might not appreciate someone else's efforts.

I see two corner stones as one, open financials and two, seats on the board with a path through the running of the club. After you have been the President and the Treasure, you are done. And when running for office I would request a resume form potential office holders that highlights how they have they have grown the participation of the club and what they want to add to continue its expansion.

Having kids that have graduated through the FJ Kart program and have driven at the Nationals, a real plus.

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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby Sean Fenstermacher » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:23 am

:BUMP:

Can someone publically post up an explanation as why the Board moved to not consolidate without a vote?

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Anthony Porta
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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby Anthony Porta » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:47 pm

Sean Fenstermacher wrote::BUMP:

Can someone publically post up an explanation as why the Board moved to not consolidate without a vote?



Not one club rep motioned for it, nor anyone to second it.
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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby Jayson Woodruff » Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:27 pm

Anthony Porta wrote:
Sean Fenstermacher wrote::BUMP:

Can someone publically post up an explanation as why the Board moved to not consolidate without a vote?



Not one club rep motioned for it, nor anyone to second it.


Well that seems to have been a big flop in momentum from the conversation here.

Sean - Best to get answers from your club rep.

Jay W

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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby Stephen Yeoh » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:57 pm

If I'm not mistaken, for what it's worth, with effectively only 2 clubs that have real voting impact, only one club has to be present and vote and a motion will carry. Nobody else will have any input if the opportunity is missed. In a way, there is already an imbalance of power. It would seem that individual voting directors would help balance this out.

Keep discussing...
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Rick Brown
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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby Rick Brown » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:30 pm

Stephen Yeoh wrote:If I'm not mistaken, for what it's worth, with effectively only 2 clubs that have real voting impact, only one club has to be present and vote and a motion will carry. Nobody else will have any input if the opportunity is missed. In a way, there is already an imbalance of power. It would seem that individual voting directors would help balance this out.

Keep discussing...

Don't think I agree. Two clubs with 6 votes, two or 3 more with 2 or 3 votes each. In my long experience, it's rare that the majority don't agree, most things are unanimous with an occasional abstain. One powerful club's votes are meaningless if you can't get a motion and second to have something to vote on. If you are doing hypothetical, a large club could elect the majority of the directors and control everything. Even if it's sometimes a struggle, in my experience most changes and disagreements are worked out for the best in the long run.
Since light is faster than sound...many people look bright until they speak...

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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby Anthony Porta » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:13 pm

Rick Brown wrote:
Stephen Yeoh wrote:If I'm not mistaken, for what it's worth, with effectively only 2 clubs that have real voting impact, only one club has to be present and vote and a motion will carry. Nobody else will have any input if the opportunity is missed. In a way, there is already an imbalance of power. It would seem that individual voting directors would help balance this out.

Keep discussing...

Don't think I agree. Two clubs with 6 votes, two or 3 more with 2 or 3 votes each. In my long experience, it's rare that the majority don't agree, most things are unanimous with an occasional abstain. One powerful club's votes are meaningless if you can't get a motion and second to have something to vote on. If you are doing hypothetical, a large club could elect the majority of the directors and control everything. Even if it's sometimes a struggle, in my experience most changes and disagreements are worked out for the best in the long run.


It's been more than 12 months since any club other than casoc and scnax have hosted an event. Ergo they are the only active clubs in Cal Club Solo Autox. Other clubs are welcome to give input but as the supps are written they aren't entitled to votes.
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Re: Everybody - Please read - Club consolidation

Postby Jayson Woodruff » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:06 am

Anthony Porta wrote:It's been more than 12 months since any club other than casoc and scnax have hosted an event. Ergo they are the only active clubs in Cal Club Solo Autox. Other clubs are welcome to give input but as the supps are written they aren't entitled to votes.

Co-hosting counts. E-board events seem co-hosted to me.

Jay W


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