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Broadside of a Board II - No. 6

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Broadside of a Board Vol. II - No. 6
Purgatorio Coronation Special Edition

+Broadside+ at the Board Meeting: The Inside Story!
-- by Frederick of Holland 
        I found myself able to attend the Summer meeting of
the Board of Directors held in Pittsburgh this last 21 and 22 July.
I found things better than they have been in the past, but at the
same time there was a discouraging lack of change in some areas.
        I wrote to Johnny Fulton (John Bearkiller), President of
the Board, and requested permission to attend the Friday
Working Session of the Board of Directors as a witness and
potential contributor. This time, unlike previous occasions, I was
not only _told_ that I could attend, but was actually _allowed_ to
attend that session (at least most of it.) Also in attendance at the
open parts of that session were Master Bertram of Bearington,
Baron Hossein Ali Qomi, the Society Chronicler, the Society
Marshal and Mark Long (co-chair of the Waiver Committee.) In
attendance at all parts of the session were the Board, the Society
Seneschale, the Executive Assistant and Rene! Signoretti, the
head of Membership Services.
        The Working Session was held in a small conference
room at the Parkway Inn, where the Board was staying. The
Session started at 9:00 and lasted until about 5:30 with a short
break for lunch. There was an Executive Session from about 1:00
to 4:30 from which we were excluded. I spent much of my time
taking notes. I have fifteen pages from the Friday Session and
twenty-two pages from the meeting. The notes are available for
view at the B.C. information table.
        Of particular interest to me was the establishment of the
contents of the Executive Session. This included several "Under
the Rocks" matters brought up by the Society Seneschale (see
accompanying Editorial). These were discussions of the Nord-
mark secession movement, a problem in Ansteorra, a possible
(not actual) banishment in Trimaris, and "a problem in Calontir".
A.J. Riviezzo, the Treasurer, then asked that the discussion of
the Budget, on the agenda for the Working Session, be moved to
Exec. Session "because of salaries". Other Board members
suggested that discussion of the Budget could be open except for
the salaries, but A.J. was adamant. He was not overruled.
        Also of interest was the discussion on guidelines for
attending the Working Session. Lee Forgue had drawn these up
and there was a deal of discussion on them, clearly divided
between those who were in favor of more openness and those
who were not. The final result appears to be that Kingdom Sene-
schals, Royalty, and Corporate Officers have the right to attend
if they give proper notification and that members of Board
Committees and all others must petition for permission to
atttend. The deadlines for such petitions (and notification of
intent to attend) are the same as the deadline for commentary to
be considered at the regular Meeting.
        The regular meeting of the Board was held in the
basement of a church on Saturday, 22 July. All in all there were
about 50-60 people in attendance, almost all of them local. The
only Royalty present were the Prince and Princess of !thel-
mearc. The meeting started at 9:00 with a one-hour Executive
Session, went public at about 10:00, broke for lunch at 12:30 with
an Executive Session from about 1:00 to 2:30 and finally ended
around 5:45. Items of interest from the Board Meeting are given
in several articles below. Audience participation was allowed
more or less freely in the public sessions and there was much
more give-and-take than in many previous Board Meetings.  The
free lunch, feasting and entertainment provided by the Barony-
Marche of the Debateable Lands were most excellent.

Report of the Waiver Committee:
         At the Board Meeting the Waiver Committee made
their final report. They are done with the U.S. version. They
emphasized that this is the U.S. version only. (There are other
groups working on the foreign equivalents.) The text was
analyzed and the dreaded word "indemnify" was explained in the
context of the waiver. (Basically it means that if you cannot sue
the SCA directly, due to the waiver, then you can't collect any
money via an indirect suit by a third party, either.) Mark Long
(co-chair of the committee) noted that the waiver needs to be
periodically reviewed, but it's done for now. There is also a new
Minor's Waiver. The Committee was thanked for its work.
         The Waiver Committee also suggested that the SCA,
Inc. needs to keep waivers for at least 7 years, and minor waivers
until the minor isn't a minor any more. Implementation of the
new waivers is to be considered by the Board at the October
meeting. If you have concerns about that implementation, you
should write to the Board immediately.

New Waiver Can Be Used Now!
         In a surprisingly sensible move triggered by a question
from the audience, the Board allowed that the new waiver text
may be used immediately, in place of the text currently on mem-
bership forms and site waivers. Your local Seneschal(e) should
have the new text; ask that it be published, circulated, and used. 
It is a far superior text in terms of your legal rights and interac-
tion with your insurers. You can sign the new waiver text and
send it in with your membership form and it will count as a
signed-waiver membership.

Budget Review???
         Well, it said in the agenda that there was going to be a
Budget Review. However, what happened was a report on the
Budget, presented by A.J. Riviezzo, not really a review. There
were very few questions from the Board, and the report was not
clear enough for there to be many rational questions or critiques
from the floor.
         The bottom line was that for the first six months of this
year Income was ahead of projections (55%) and Expenses were
behind projections (45%) (this despite the fact that the entire
liability insurance premium of more than $40,000 was paid in the
first half of the year). There was no commentary on the Board
Tax despite the fact that the Budget is solidly in the black. 
         Also of note: The Soc. Sen. and Exchequer stipends
have been moved to Salaries, but as far as I could tell the
originally budgeted amount for the stipends was not moved to
the Budget for Salaries.  A.J. in several cases claimed he didn't
have exact figures for expense items. A question from the
audience about the Kingdom Refunds on the Board Tax revealed
that A.J. could not tell whether the figure he had for the Board
Tax ($39,500) was a figure before or after refunds!

TI and CA Report:
         The Society Chronicler reported that T.I. and the
Compleat Anachronist should be caught up to schedule by this
Fall. He publicly apologized for the condition of the Spring
T.I., which just arrived. He also publicly kissed the feet of the
new CA editor, Martha Wallenhorst, who is apparently working
minor miracles with what she was given. This action was greeted
with cheers and applause from the audience.

Marketing Committee -- Role of the Stock Clerk
        The report of the Marketing Committee brought about
a lot of commentary on the role of the Stock Clerk. Should it be
only a source of official documents you can't get anywhere else
or should it be a money-making operation for the general
budget? There was no general consensus either on the Board or
in the audience. Input is requested from the populace, and there
is a general survey planned.  Look to your T.I. for the survey.

Board Recruiting Wants Commentary!
        L. Jane Richards once again asked for letters comment-
ing on the proposed Board Member list and for more volunteers
to go on the list. There was a public plea for letters of recom-
mendation for new entries. What is needed is input about the
people you know, not commentary on the entire list. It was
emphasized that you do not have to be a Peer or an officer to
have opinions!

Editorial: UNDER A ROCK?
        Several items of discussion were sent to Executive
(Secret) Session during both the Board Working Session and the
Board Meeting itself. These included not only discussion of
personnel, but also the Budget and three highly political situa-
tions -- one each in Trimaris, Ansteorra, and Drachenwald. These
situations were public knowledge to all the non-Board people
sitting in the room, to a greater or lesser extent.  In the case of
the Drachenwald crisis, the threatened secession of the entire
Barony of Nordmark (Sweden), there was at least one person
who was excluded from the Board's discussion who had direct
knowledge of the situation which the Board did not have! Each
of these cases was classified by Sedalia as an "Under the Rocks"
        "Under a rock" is where you find disgusting messes, not
where you should discuss them! Messes found under rocks react
best to being exposed to fresh air and sunshine! No reasons were
given for putting the discussions of these matters to the Executive
Session, no request for input from those present was made, no
opportunity was given for a parallax view which might open
discussion on the Board to alternatives. 
        It does not seem to us that this is the way to solve a
problem (such as Drachenwald's) where part of the problem is
the response of the Board itself. Write to the Board and demand
sunshine and public discussion!

Editorial: Budget Matters.
        A couple of issues ago I published a list of questions
about the SCA, Inc. Budget. I sent a copy of that column to the
Board for this meeting. The Board "reviewed" the Budget, but
none of those questions were answered or even addressed. Nor
was the matter of the Board Tax on the Kingdoms addressed, not
even to officially extend it. Given that the Board Tax was
supposedly a temporary measure to balance the Budget, I regard
the fact that it was not even discussed as prima facie evidence
that the Board does not intend to remove it, but rather is willing
to have it drift into being the status quo.
        We _can_ resist the Board Tax. Firstly and foremost we
can write and talk to our Kingdom Officers and ask them to tell
the Board to "go shove" its Tax. The Tax is an unethical and
untraditional infringement on the rights of the Kingdoms and
undermines the traditional support of the SCA,Inc. through
voluntary donations by its members.
        Secondly we can talk to our local group officers and the
other people in our areas and encourage them to hold all events
with "suggested donations" rather than "site fees". This is already
happening in the West. There is no Board Tax on events without
a site fee, so this denies the money if not the Tax itself. If people
remember that our gate contributions make the event possible,
then there will be little in the way of free-loading. 
         We can also encourage the collection of the money as
a minor tax on everyone, which is what it is, rather than as a
surcharge on a few. The West is still paying its tax as a lump sum
and is thus in perfect "compliance". I wish it weren't, but I think
it's still the second best way of doing it if we won't confront the
         Finally, you can write or call the members of the Board
who have publicly stated their opposition to the Board Tax, and
encourage them to vote their consciences and force discussion of
the Tax at the next meeting. Lee Forgue, Ed Morrill, Ed Kreyling
and Johnny Fulton have all at one time or another said that they
oppose the Tax. Help them overthrow it!

Write the Board! Now!
         There are three items of importance which are supposed
to be on the agenda of the October Board Meeting, the changes
in the relationship between the Soc. Sen. and the Exec. Director,
the sixty day comment period on changes to operations and
Governing Documents, and implementation procedures for the
new waivers.  The Board also wants opinions on nominees for the
Board (there will be two new Directors appointed in October).
So why haven't you written yet? It is important. Do it!

Where to write: 
         SCA Office: SCA, Inc., P.O. Box 360789, Milpitas, CA,
95036-0789. (If you are writing to the Board you can send your
letter here. If you write to individual Directors, please send a
copy to the SCA Office with a clear indication of which Directors
need not be copied.)

Board Meeting Coming Up
         The next Board of Directors meeting will be held in
St. Louis, MO on October 21, 1995. The Friday Working
Session will be on 20 October.  The deadline for commentary
is 30 September, 1995.  That is the date for receipt of letters
at the Corporate Office, not a postmark date. It is also the
deadline for applications for people to attend the Friday
Working Session. (See above.) Hotel: Holiday Inn Airport
West, St. Louis. Autocrat: Ron Broach, 2420 Laclede Station
Road #3, Maplewood, MO 63143-1827, (314)781-5123 

Upcoming Meetings
         Further down the road, the January meeting is
scheduled for January 20, 1996 but the schedule is not yet set
up for further ahead than that.

West Kingdom ombudsman
         The West Kingdom ombudsman is: L. Jane Richards,
2925 South 7th St. West, Missoula, MT, 59801 (406) 721-9658.
Broadside of a Board is an occasional publication of news and opinions on
matters concerning the Board of Directors of the SCA, Inc. and its vari-
ous Kingdoms. We welcome contributions by any subject of the Crowns
of the Known World. All opinions contained herein are those of the au-
thors. Unattributed commentary and news was written by the publisher.
The publisher is Frederick of Holland, (Flieg Hollander), 3334 California
Street, Berkeley, CA 94703. (510) 653-3652  e-ad-
dress:flieg@garnet.berkeley.edu  This issue is Volume II, No. 6. The next
issue is scheduled for October Crown.

   *   *   *    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.]