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Re: That stupid surcharge

[Thanks to Tadgh for returning this to me when I accidentally
sent it only to him instead of the Atlantian list, as intended]

Greetings, fellow Atlantians!
Tadgh raises a very thorny issue, and makes the following suggestions:
>        1)      Make event donation only--no surcharge is collected;
This has been done with success in the East.
>        2)      Make event donation and dinner free--again, no surcharge;
Great...if your group can afford it. I know we can't.
>        3)      Put a bucket out for non-member fees--they pay into bucket;
If there must be a tax, I would prefer this method.
>        4)      Establish a "typical Atlantian ratio" and write a check;
The Kingdom of the West is attempting to do just this. Here's how it was 
received by the Board at the April Meeting, quoting from the report prepared 
by Fiacha (Nigel Haslock):
:The West Kingdom had submitted a proposal for the Kingdom to pay the Non 
:Member Surcharge, in advance, quarterly, from Kingdom funds. Their offer 
:was on the basis of $5600 per year, being their guess at what they owed 
:based on attendance records of the last three years worth of kingdom events. 
:The Board was most unhappy and ranted at length, implying that the West 
:was trying to get away with not paying their due amount. The 
:representative of the West tried to negotiate acceptable terms and every 
:offer triggered a further rant from someone on the Board (or Betsy).
:The final agreement requires the West to submit monthly attendance
:records for every event in the kingdom along with a matching check for
:the appropriate number of Non Member Surcharges, monthly because it would
:be too much work for Betsy to check compliance at the end of each quarter.
[Betsy = Elizabeth Ellis/Duchess Sedalia McNare, Society Seneschal]
>        5)      Just keep doing it the same old way--pay through the nose.
To which I say, "Hell no!" If I understand things correctly, the Board was 
supposed to review the viability of the non-member surcharge at the January, 
1995 meeting, and this was remanded to the April, 1995, meeting, where it 
was discussed only in terms of enforcing compliance. It seems that what was 
originally suggested to be temporary is here to stay.
Alfredo raises a good point, and one that I agree with wholeheartedly 
(though not necessarily his means of making his point). The SCA is built on 
honesty and courtesy. If someone says they're a member, then dang it, 
they're a member. There is no requirement for membership numbers in any 
autocrat report, and it seems to me that requiring such proof of membership 
implies a distrust of the membership.
On the other hand, I would remind folks that the people running the event 
think as little of this surcharge as you do. They're doing what they have to 
do to put on the event - don't hassle them over this.
So, what can be done? Sharpen those quills, friends, 'cause any complaint
that ain't written down ain't worth jack. You can write to the following people:
Atlantian Seneschal (Sorry, Thomas): 
Master Thomas Smyth of Ayr
mka E. T. Smith
3305 Pine Belt Road
Columbia, SC  29204-3126
Ombudsman for Atlantia:
Dame Bronwen of Irenwold
mka L. Jane Richards
2925 South 7th Street West
Missoula, MT  59801-2021
Society Seneschal:
Duchess Sedalia McNare
E. L. Ellis
18 Liverpool Court
Jackson, NJ  08527
You can find the addresses of the other members of the Board in any Acorn, 
or write to me if you need them.
Tom Brady  804 Washington St. #4, Blacksburg, VA 24060   SCA: Duncan MacKinnon
"Paper ships and painted faces/The world's no place when you're on your own/
                   A heart needs a home." - Richard Thompson
  <a href="http://duncan.bevc.blacksburg.va.us"> Check out my web page!</a>
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