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[flieg@garnet.berkeley.edu: Broadside of a Board II-2]

Broadside of a Board, reposted from sca-east:

Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 09:32:57 -0800 (PST)
From: "Flieg Hollander" <flieg@garnet.berkeley.edu>
To: <e5@uriacc.uri.edu>, <antir@gaia.ucs.orst.edu>,
        <sca-caid@ecst.csuchico.edu>, <sca-east@world.std.com>,
Subject: Broadside of a Board II-2

This is the electronic edition of Broadside of a Board.  It has been
posted to sca-west, sca-caid, antir,east, e5 and rec.org.sca.  Cross posting
to other relevant electronic areas is allowed and encouraged as is
creation and distribution of hard copies. For further information on
copying, see the colophon at the end. (The text will fit on two sides of
one page if formatted in WP 5.1 with three columns, 0.25" gutters, Dutch
Roman, 8.5 point, full justification, hyphenation.)

*Broadside of a Board - Cynagua Investiture Edition -- 
*January 28, 1995 (XIX)

*General Report on the Board Meeting:*
          Only five Board members were present. Ed Kreyling had severe
mundane job circumstances, John Fulton had both of his parents go into
the hospital. (Post-meeting report: The job survived and both parents
are better.)
          A significantly better attitude towards the populace was expressed
verbally, especially in the opening statement from Chairman Randall
Tatro.  However, in many of the discussions it seemed that both A.J.
Riviezzo and Randall were defensive and unwilling to put any trust in
the membership of the SCA.  There was still an obvious split old-board /
new board.  
          About 50 additional people were in attendance, mostly Western, but
some from Ansteorra, and one Easterner. The King and Queen of the West,
Prince and Princess of the Mists, King of Ansteorra and Crown Prince and
Princess of Ansteorra were present. The audience was mostly polite. The
newest Board Member, Ed Morrill, ("Fast Eddie"/Edward Zifran of Gendy)
wore a casual suit with a "They're Lying" button. No one asked him who
"They" were.

*Compliance Low on Non-Member Surcharge*
          According to the report of the Society Seneschale, the non-member
surcharge has collected $25,350.40 as of December 7.  However, the
Society Seneschale complained that compliance was low, and she "had
concerns" about the West Kingdom method of collecting the surcharge. The
East Kingdom has the lowest "compliance rate", but no Kingdom's
compliance rate was high. By reading between the lines on the report,
the compliance rate is calculated by counting the events in a group and
comparing it to the number of surcharge checks sent in. (Opinion: It is
clear to this reporter that Society Seneschale's "concern" with the West
Kingdom method is that she can't tell if we're complying or not.  The
compliance rate as currently measured also ignores the fact that an
event with a "donation only" policy doesn't owe any surcharge.)

*Board Actions on Officers:*
          The Board extended the term of the Laurel King of Arms for one
          The Board accepted the resignation of the current Chirurgeon
General, and did _not_ appoint a new one. The matter will be considered
at the April meeting and further applications are solicited.
          Lori Taylor (Viscountess Lore de Lorraine) was confirmed for
another quarter as Executive Assistant.

*Where to write:*
          Budget: A.J. Riviezzo, 19211 East Rice Dr., Aurora, CO, 80015.
          SCA Office: P.O. Box 360789, Milpitas, CA 95036-0789

*Grand Council Charter Approved:*
          The Board approved the Charter for the Grand Council as submitted
to them (amended from an initial proposal).  In a move which raised some
procedural questions and a good deal of hilarity from the audience, the
members of the Board first voted "yes". When Randall pointed out that no
motion had been made, a motion to approve was made, seconded and passed. 
The Board also approved the other six Kingdom-appointed members of the
Grand Council. Corwyn da Costa reported for the Grand Council that more
than 100 applications had been received for the remaining slots in the
Grand Council.  Applications are still open.
          One key provision of the Grand Council Charter is the control of
the Council over its own agenda (with some "suggested concerns", which
may or may not be considered for more than two minutes). Membership in
the SCA, Inc. is not, repeat NOT, a requirement to serve on the Grand
          In a recent note published through the electronic media, it was
announce that publication of the proceedings of the Grand Council will
be starting soon.  +Broadside of a Board+ will be copying the electronic
form of the reports, and will publish the way to obtain hardcopy
information as soon as we know it.

*Membership Services makes plea *
          A plea was made by Rene Signoretti, who manages the SCA office,
that a copy of all communications to Board members be sent to the SCA
Office.  You may send a letter to individual Board members.  If you do,
please indicate clearly in office copy of the letter which Board members
you have sent to. This will save the central office time and effort, and
the SCA will save money, since Rene will know who has to be copied.

*No New Waiver Yet:*
          The waiver committee did not report.  In part this was due to the
fact that Director John Fulton had been called away suddenly due to
medical emergency in the family (see related story).  The matter was put
forward to the April Meeting.

*Next Board Meetings:*
          April 9, 1995 -- Location unknown. The Pittsburgh bid fell through
due to timing problems.  The criterion for selection of place will be
based on cheapest air-fares.  Deadline for commentary is March 24.
          July 22, 1995 -- Deadline for comments is 30 June.  Location to be
decided at the April Meeting. The following two meetings are scheduled
for October 21, 1995 and January 20, 1996.

*Foreign Rates changed:*
          The new rate for Foreign Membership will be $25.  No effective date
was announced, but it should be pretty soon.  This brings the amount of
a Foreign Membership into line with the actual costs of processing the
membership and printing and mailing T.I. The Foreign membership rate
published most recently was actually costing the SCA, Inc. several
dollars for each Foreign Membership received.

*Non-member surcharge rebates:*
          Checks in the amount of $1 of each $3 of non-member surcharge
collected from each Kingdom were written and waved at the crowd.  The
crowd liked the idea of getting the money back from the Board, but
several people were heard to wonder why the money had to make the back-
and-forth trip. (Other people, notably Your Correspondent, had firmer
opinions on the matter.)

*Budget approved:*
          The 1995 budget was approved as amended in Executive Session. This
means that the SCA, Inc. has an official budget for the first time in a
year. The budget will be published with commentary and sent to all
Kingdom Exchequers "in a few weeks". Individuals can obtain a copy from
their Kingdom Exchequer, or they can send an SASE to A.J. Riviezzo.
(This publisher recommends four ounces of postage and a $1 bill to cover
copying costs. Order it. Inspect it. Comment on it!)
          Broadside of a Board offers a few quick questions to think about: 
Why is the Stock Clerk office running at a loss? (Projected income minus
cost-of-sales is positive, but cost-of-sales does not include the Stock
Clerk's salary and benefits.  If any reasonable salary is included in
the costs of the Stock Clerk office, it is losing money.)  Why, in what
ought to be an "austerity budget," is the actual budget higher than what
the SCA, Inc. spent last year?  Why is a large amount for an Executive
Director's salary budgeted into the Salaries section?

*Non-member surcharge discussed -- 
Extended without vote.*
          An extended period (about half an hour) of commentary from the
audience on the non-member surcharge and its influence on the budget
took place. 
          Several people commented on the fact that the overall surplus of
the budget was $67,000, of which only $33,300 was attributable to the
non-member surcharge. Questions of why the surcharge had to be continued
as a mandatory activity were met with a consistent tactic of saying
things equivalent to "one cannot balance a budget on voluntary
donations", usually by A.J. Riviezzo. Concerns expressed by several of
the audience on the social implications of the surcharge being levied on
non-members only were listened to, but not acted on.
          Several pleas for the Board to _ask_ for money rather than
_demanding_ it, were met with resistance from A.J. and Randall.  Ed
Morrill, however, noted that if the Board had come out last January and
_asked_ for $5 each from the membership, then there would have been no
problem. (There are many "might have beens" in the Known World -- that
was one of them.) Several people also noted that the Board needed to act
to solve its PR problem. Some members of the Board admitted that there
was such a problem, but the Board as a whole took no action to solve it.
(At last report, however, Fast Eddie was preparing an appeal to the
populace. Watch this space.)  One of the most startling statements of
the afternoon was one by Randall Tatro that it was not the Board's
function to ask for money.
          While many people spoke eloquently against the surcharge (and no
one spoke for it), the surcharge was continued without a vote.  When
this lack of action was questioned, the answer given was that the sur-
charge was in place and that no vote was necessary to continue it.
Inspection of the actual motion made last April confirms that there was
not official cutoff.  However several people remember clearly that when
the surcharge was put in last April it was as a temporary measure. (See

*West Kingdom buys out??? 
No more surcharge?*
          This weekend the West Kingdom Exchequer Council will be meeting to
decide what to do about the continued imposition of the non-member
surcharge by the Board of Directors.  Both His Majesty and the Kingdom
Exchequer stated in interviews this week that they strongly favored
"buying out" of the surcharge by paying the West Kingdom share of the
surcharge in advance from the Kingdom Treasury.  Once this buy-out has
been accepted, no West Kingdom event would apply the non-member
surcharge. This would allow local groups to stop worrying about it
(either in collecting it or in working around it), drastically reduce
the paperwork at the local, Kingdom, and Corporate level, and allow the
West Kingdom to go on about its own peculiar way.  Money to replenish
the Kingdom coffers would be included in the budgeting of site fees for
Kingdom events.
          At the Board Meeting, the Treasurer, A.J. Riviezzo, said definitely
that Kingdoms could not just do fund raising to raise the money for the
surcharge, (since he didn't trust people to do it) but he left open the
possibility of pre-payment. This was implicit in his public statements
and explicit in private conversations with Their Majesties.  Given the
advantages of pre-payment to the SCA, Inc. as well as to the Kingdom, it
is hard to see why such a plan would be refused.
          Based on the interviews it seems likely that the Council will
decide to attempt to buy out for at least one quarter. Look to your
local information sources for confirmation of this. If it happens, the
news will be broadcast as widely as possible.
          In our interview, His Majesty expressed a strong desire to know the
wishes of the populace on this matter.  Despite his own feelings about
the surcharge, he wants to act for the good of the Kingdom _and_ to be
responsive to the wishes of the populace of the West.  He will
undoubtedly be publishing his own plea for commentary, probably in the
March Page. However, there is no reason to wait until then to let Their
Majesties know your feelings on the matter.
          Broadside of a Board offers the following as possible topics for
discussion in your letter to Their Majesties:  Should the West Kingdom
pay the surcharge at all? (Some of us feel that the West should tell the
SCA, Inc. to forget any _mandatory_ fees from the populace or the
Kingdoms.)  Should the West Kingdom raise money to offset the deficit in
the subscription liability, but hold it in escrow until the SCA, Inc.
produces fiscal policies that ensure that the subscription liability
will not be touched for operational expenses? Is the buy-out a bad idea?
Is the buy-out a good idea? Should we continue as we have been doing and
raise the money via a $1 surcharge per person attending an event? 
Should we switch to collecting $3 only from non-paid-member attendees?
Should we go to "requested donation" site fees for events at all levels
and thus owe nothing to the SCA, Inc. by its own rule?
          Broadside of a Board has been clear on its opinion on this matter.
We feel that the SCA, Inc. has no right to impose _mandatory_ fees on
the populace or the Kingdoms of the Known World.  However, we also feel
that funding the subscription liability should be a priority for the
Board of Directors. If the Board is unwilling to properly beg for the
money that it wasted last year, we feel that the idea of the West
Kingdom paying its fair share via an annual or quarterly check to the
SCA, Inc. is a reasonable one. We urge the populace of the West to
support Their Majesties in this idea while working to convince the Board
that they can get more money with honey than they can with vinegar.

*What is this man afraid of?*
          The Board had established at its October meeting that people in the
SCA could apply to attend the Friday "working sessions" of the Board of
Directors.  Your Correspondent applied to attend the Friday meeting. I
felt that I could contribute significantly to discussion on the budget,
and wished to witness discussion on other matters. In my letter of
application I clearly acknowledged the right of the Board to limit
outside discussion.

          I received, three days before the meeting, a letter from Randall
Tatro, Chairman of the Board, stating that: "One of the members
expressed grave concerns over your attendance and in this case the
wishes of the board members need to be respected."  _One_ Board member
was able to blackball me from attendance! I have inquired.  It was not
Lee Forgue, Ed Kreyling, John Fulton, L. Jane Richards, or Ed Morrill. 
I believe that Randall Tatro would have had the courage to state his own
objections for himself.  Therefore the person mentioned, must have been
A.J. Riviezzo. What is this man afraid of?

*Kill the Surcharge!*
          The Board did not _vote_ to continue the surcharge.  The Board did
not have all its new members present, and an action of the Board takes
four votes. I know that there are Board members who do not like the sur-
charge. They couldn't do anything with five Board members present and
two of them in favor of the surcharge.  
          But in April it will be different. Write now to the Board and urge
that the matter of the surcharge be put on the agenda as an item to be
voted on, and then urge the Board to vote it out. 
          The SCA, Inc. does need to raise money to fund the subscription
liability, but it has a budget that can do that without the surcharge. 
All they need to do is not hire an Executive Director and they will more
than make up the amount that is budgeted for the surcharge. The
imposition of the solution for the bad fiscal decisions of the Board
last year should not rest on the populace of the Known World, and it
most certainly should not rest upon the shoulders of the non-paid-
members! It is time for the Board to clean its own house and then to ask
for help!

*Make your event donation only!*
          Autocrats -- consider making your event "donation only".  Most
people will pay the "suggested donation", some few people will not, and
some people will add extra.  The advantage is that you don't have to
keep track of paid versus non-paid members, and you don't have to send
money through the Kingdom Exchequer to Milpitas.  Less paperwork for


Broadside of a Board is an occasional publication written and edited by
Frederick of Holland (3334 California Street, Berkeley, CA, 94703. Phone
(510)-653-3652. email: flieg@garnet.berkeley.edu). Reproduction of all or
parts of _Broadside of a Board_ is encouraged. Please don't alter any
article, and please do credit the source. Contributions from other authors
are solicited and will be printed on a space-available basis.

   *   *   *    Frederick of Holland, MSCA, OP, etc.
  *** *** ***   flieg@garnet.berkeley.edu
  (((Flieg Hollander, Chem. Dept., U.C. Berkeley)))
 ================== Old Used Duke  =================
        [All subjects of the Crown are equal under its protection
          and no Corporation is going to convince me otherwise.]

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