Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Politics of Rabbits Pt 3: What do you want in a club?

I have been thinking hard on this subject for the last week or so. As the newsletter editor, I get a lot of emails from people concerning questions about Club business. Those I can answer directly I do, those I cannot I refer on to the appropriate person. But a lot of them are just conversational, discussing current situations in the NARBC, discussing what they think and why, asking me what I think, etc. One person whose emails I especially enjoy is Amy Spang, our President. I am not knocking anyone else, especially since I have held this post during only one other presidency, but I am impressed with the effort she makes in getting opinions on things, and not just from me but also from the other committtee members and from the general membership. I pass on what I have heard from people, and not just those I agree with, but also from those I don't, because they are members and *most* of them have legitimate concerns. Some of them don't, some just complain for the sake of making whomever is in office look bad, but I don't need to pass those on, those people make themselves heard via other venues. I do offer my opinions on their viewpoints, however. ;)

Recently Amy has been criticized for passing the concerns that committee members and general member have onto the Board of Directors. She has been told that this is "muddying" the board's ability to do it's job, and outside input from anyone else is "complicating the issues and making it more difficult for the process to work". She received several messages from a Board member telling her that this is not the way a club should be run and that she needs to stop sending "information" to the regular members.

EXCUSE ME???!!!

1) the C&BL does not explicity state that the discussions of the Board are to remain private, and
2) apparently the BOD has not had any ideas themselves.

I feel that the BOD is accountable to *US*, the membership. And who better to get ideas from than the people who are doing the work (the Committees) and the people whom the decisions will affect (the general membership)?

There is another undercurrent of opposition that Amy is facing, and that is that she is "new", she appointed people into Committee positions who are "new", and the only people have seem to have issues with some of the ways things have been done in the past are the "new" people.

First of all, what is "new"? Some of these people have been members of the Club for over 10 years, and have held positions of responsiblity in the Club previously. Some have not, but so what? Are they qualified? YES!

In any club, there are always people who oppose new things, or who don't wish to be moved out of their comfort level, or who only want new things if THEY are the ones in control. Is this the kind of club you want?

Here are some of the issues the BOD is considering:

1. Should the NARBC website be *the* source of information on Angora rabbits and Club activities? (right now it isn't)
2. Who should own the domain NARBC.org (the Club doesn't, and that's one of the reasons why the NARBC site isn't up yet)
3. Who should own the "official" Yahoo list? (the Club doesn't)
4. Should members be given free ads on the website?
5. Should people who purchase an ad in the newsletter also get an ad on the website?

*No matter how* you feel about any of the previously mentioned issues, I urge you to contact your District Director and other appropriate Board members and establish a dialog with him/her on how you feel about things. Especially regarding being informed of what the BOD is discussing. Here are the current NARBC BOD members and their contact information:

President Amy Spang <amy@spangangoras.com>
Vice President Tracy Rios <lovelyangoras@yahoo.com>
Secretary Beverly DeVone <bevsbuns1@netscape.net>
Treasurer Jacque Dumas <jdumastn@bellsouth.net>
District 1 Director : WA, OR, ID, MT, MT, Canada (Saskatchewan-West) Judy Pinks <pinkhollands@yahoo.com>
District 2 Director : CA, NV, UT, AZ, HI, Mexico Lindsay Logan <lindsayl@aol.com>
District 3 Director : ND, NE, SD, MN, IA, WI Cindy Stelloh <arba600@aol.com>
District 4 Director : CO, NM, TX, OK, AR Carol Joy Collins <caroljoycollins@aol.com>
District 5 Director : KS, MS, IL Holly George <holleegee@yahoo.com>
District 6 Director : LA, MS, GA, FL, TN, AL, Puerto Rico Gerald Buck <shaggywonders@yahoo.com>
District 7 Director : NY, VT, NH, ME, MA, CT, RI, Canada (Quebec-West) Joan Hastings <hopjh1@aol.com>
District 8 Director : MI, IN, OH, KY, Canada (Manitoba, Ontario) Judy Riddle <fantasylandangoras@yahoo.com>
District 9 Director : PA, WV, VA, NJ, DE, MD, NC, SC, Washington D.C. and all foreign other than Canada Sally Campbell <sally@moonstar.com>
Youth Director : Kelsey Schultz <bunniesandcavies@aol.com>

Please make yourselves heard! Tell them what YOU want in a club.

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