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Broadside of a Board, Vol. III, No. 2

This is the electronic version of Broadside of a Board, V. III, No. 2.
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Broadside of a Board - Vol. III, No. 2
Special Cynagua Investiture Edition (January, XXX)

          In a special Board Meeting on 19 January, 1996, the Board of
Directors of the SCA, Inc. voted 5 to 1 to rescind the Non-Member
Surcharge/Board Tax. (Note that in Board voting, the Chairman does not
vote unless necessary.) The results of the vote were announced at the
regular Board meeting on January 20. Kingdoms were given up to 60 days,
at their option, to implement the change in policy. The last possible
day for collection of the NMS is 20 March, 1996.
          No official note was made of the West Kingdom's letter of 2
January, in which the Kingdom refused to pay the Tax. The people present
at the meeting greeted the report with quiet approval.

*Report on the Saturday meeting:*
          The meeting was held in a meeting room at Crown Sterling Suites
Hotel. The atmosphere was semi-formal. There were half a dozen attendees
at the beginning, increasing to a high of 30-40 people, including a
delegation from An Tir. The King and Queen of the West, King of
Trimaris, Prince of the Mists and Lord and Lady of the Summits were in
          Chairman Ed Morrill started the meeting promptly at 9:05 and kept
the meeting moving while allowing significant input from the audience.
Agenda items were taken out of order so that substantive matters could
be treated before the boring Officer reports rather than after. Possibly
as a result, or possibly because some business had been taken care of in
the special Meeting on Friday, the meeting was over at an unprecedent-
edly early hour of 3:30 pm.

*Personnel Decisions:*
          The Society Seneschale, Sedalia Mac Nair, is resigning effective 30
June 1996, "for personal reasons". The Board accepted her resignation,
and will be advertising for a successor in the near future. Applicants
should send resumes to the SCA Office by mid-March so that a replacement
can be chosen in time for the April Board Meeting.
          Other personnel decisions: Jaelle of Armida was chosen to be the
new Laurel Sovereign of Arms, effective in July of this year. The
current Laurel stated his intent to resign some time ago. Board member
Carol O'Leary (Melisande de Belvoir) was confirmed following her
probationary period. The current Society Exchequer, Kathy Palmer, had
her term extended for two years.

*Other Actions at the Meeting:*
          (This is not a complete catalog of all decisions at the meeting,
but rather a selected subset of those actions.)
          The policy proposed in October to rescind membership of people
involved in lawsuits against the SCA, Inc. was voted down unanimously.
New short-time Board member Wm. Colbert called the proposed policy
          Broadside of a Board welcomes the two newest Principalities of the
SCA, Avacal and Summits, both in An Tir. The Board approved both
petitions for advancement in status. The children are proud and happy.
          As reported below, the 1996 Budget passed in October was reworked.
The current Budget has a predicted surplus of just over $70,000. This by
itself will generate the desired operating reserve in a little more than
two years. Although the Budget was not discussed in the meeting, the
revised Budget, together with the figures for 1993, 1994, and 1995 was
posted at the back of the meeting room for inspection by those present.
A significant amount of discussion between observers and the Board took
place at the breaks in the meeting. It is the opinion of Broadside of a
Board that the new Treasurer passed her "test" with flying colors.

*Report on the Friday meeting:*
          This reporter was allowed by the Board to attend much of the Friday
working session of the Board of Directors. The working session began at
9:30am and continued through 5:00pm.  After the working session a
Special Meeting of the Board of Directors took place in Executive
Session from 5:10 pm to 6:30 pm.
          Unlike previous occasions, the atmosphere seemed open, and comments
from the audience were recognized and seemed to be listened to.
Interaction between Board members during discussion seemed more amicable
and less formal than on earlier occasions.
          One of the highlights of the working session was the markup of the
1996 Budget. The markup session lasted from about 3:00 to 4:50, and
covered the Budget line by line. This was clearly the biggest Budget of
the SCA, since it measured 3' by 4', held to the wall of the SCA Office
with tape. As the markup progressed, the changes were recorded by the
Treasurer in her laptop computer. This resulted in the modified Budget
which was posted at the Board Meeting the next day. Cost cutting removed
more than $10,000 from the expense side of the Budget. Your
correspondent was present during all of this exercise and was impressed
by the efforts of the Board to understand and modify the line items.
          Other decisions included buying a new (plain paper) FAX machine for
the office, so that FAX messages do not have to be recopied, and plans
to put the subscription liability into interest-bearing accounts instead
of holding it in the checking account as at present. Also discussed were
means of communication between the Board and the populace, including
regular publication of short items in Kingdom newsletters and the
possibility of an _official_ SCA Web-page including the Governing

*The New Waiver: Implementation*
          Proposed implementation policies for the new waiver were received
in a report from the Society Seneschale. There was no detailed
discussion at the Board meeting because the Directors had only just seen
the documents and had not had time to study them. 
          The proposed policy will be sent out to Kingdom Seneschals for
detailed commentary. While Broadside of a Board did not get to view the
actual documents, this correspondent did get to view and comment on an
earlier draft. The current draft was several pages long. Broadside of a
Board suspects that it is as convoluted as the first draft. We suggest
that you immediately contact your Kingdom Seneschal for a copy and that
you comment on it. 
*Waiver Implementation (cont.) *Things to watch out for: excessive
paperwork and reporting requirements, onerous requirements for docu-
mentation, anything which will keep the implementation policy from being
easy to use. This correspondent was able to write a one-page policy and
procedure which was easy to implement and which included corporate
procedure. (Write to our address for your free copy.)

*Editorial: NMS/Board Tax Gone*
          And it's way past time! Broadside of a Board thanks all of you who
helped bring this about, including the Directors who finally voted it
out. Our especial thanks to the King and Queen of the West for their
courageous letter of 2 January.

*Editorial: What now?*
          The disastrous actions taken by the Board in January 1994 and in
the six months following that meeting have now been largely reversed.
The Board that now exists seems to understand that they exist to serve
the SCA and not vice versa. The Tax is gone, and several decisions take
at the recent meeting were decisions _not_ to interfere in the Kingdom
side of the SCA.
          But the structure is still unchanged. There is still no check on
the Board of Directors other than their personal commitment to service
rather than control. The changes to the By-Laws that allowed the
abominable decision of Membership-to-Play have not been reversed.  There
is still no formal structure of accountability of the Board of Directors
to the membership of the SCA.
          Broadside of a Board feels that the present Board of Directors can
be trusted to remember their commitments to the membership, but they
will not be on the Board forever. We must continue to work towards real
changes in the Governing Documents which will reduce the possibility of
a repeat of Black Saturday and the attitudes that made it possible.
          Accountability. Communication. Fiscal responsibility based on cost-
cutting whenever possible. Increased membership input in decisions of
the Board. All of these and more must be pushed forward, lest the dark
days come again.

*Editorial: Board Letter*
          The Board of Directors posted a letter to various electronic media
and to all Kingdom Chroniclers. The letter asks for donations to help
raise the desired operating reserve, and asks for comments on
suggestions on how to do it. In an error which was not caught in time,
it also forgets to mention explicitly that the NMS/Board Tax has
actually been repealed. (As Broadside of a Board goes to press, the
letter is being revised prior to further publication.)
          *Too much. Too late.*
          Broadside of a Board feels that since the current Budget is
projected with a $70,000 surplus which will fund the operating reserve
in approximately 2 1/2 years, such a letter is too much, too late. Had
it been issued a year ago, combined with a repeal of the Board tax, it
might have been appropriate. Now it is simply an insult (albeit minor)
to the intelligence of the membership of the SCA.
          Broadside of a Board feels that if you comment on this letter, you
should make it very clear that your preferences are for voluntary
fundraising and that you feel that such immediate efforts at fundraising
are _not_ needed at this time.

*Editorial: Nominate and Comment*
          While the SCA waits and works for true reform of the structure of
the Corporation, there is even now a way in which YOU can affect the
composition and attitudes of the Board of Directors.
          It's easy and very few people are doing it. _You_ can nominate
people to serve on the Board of Directors. _You_ can comment on the
nominees who are currently on the list.                                            Right now, there are about
25 nominees on the list out of an overall membership of 25,000. That's
only one person per 1,000 members. Most of these nominees only have one
or two letters of comment on file. In the last quarter only three (3)
letters of comment were received! This is not enough to give the Board a
true sense of who these people are and what they can bring to the SCA,
          Nominations are easy. Send a letter to Director L.Jane Richards,
(address below) giving the name (legal and SCA) of your nominee and your
reasons for thinking that he or she would be a good Director. Self-
nomination _is_ allowed; don't be shy. All nominations are acted upon;
there is no pre-selection. The only reason a name is not placed on the
list is if the person nominated refuses to accept.
          Commentary is easy. If you know even one of the people nominated,
write a letter to the Board through L.Jane telling them either why you
think the person would be a good choice, or why you think they would be
a bad choice. (For ease of filing, please write one letter per person.)
The Board needs both positive and negative commentary. If you don't know
any of the current nominees, then nominate someone you do know. (It's
probably a good idea to talk to them first.)

*Next Board Meetings:*
          2nd Quarter Meeting: April 19 and 20 in Orlando, FL. Deadline for
commentary is 1 April, 1996 (no joke).
          3rd Quarter Meeting: July 19 and 20, tentatively in Missoula, MT
(Barony of Sentinel's Keep). Deadline for commentary is 1 July, 1996.
The Board will look at the formal bid and make a final decision at a
later date.
          4th Quarter Meeting: October 18 and 19: Not yet set. Bids are
solicited for a group willing and able to host it.

*Where to write:*
          All general correspondence to the Board of Directors should be sent
to the SCA Office, P.O.Box 360789, Milpitas, CA 95036-0789. Nominations
to the Board and commentary on nominees should be mailed to L.Jane
Richards, 2925 South 7th St. West, Missoula, MT, 59801. The SCA Budget
as posted at the meeting can be had from Broadside of a Board. Please
send $2 postage and copying for the patchwork version or $11 for a one-
piece full-sized poster.
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
various Kingdoms. This issue is Volume III, No. 2. All opinions con-
tained herein are those of the authors. Commentary by outside authors is
invited and will be published on a space-available basis. Unattributed
commentary and news was written by the publisher, Frederick of Holland,
(Flieg Hollander), 3334 California Street, Berkeley, CA 94703. (510)
653-3652  e-mail: flieg@garnet.berkeley.edu  Permission to copy and
reproduce Broadside of a Board in any form is hereby given, provided the
text of any article is held intact.

   *   *   *    Frederick of Holland, MSCA, OP, etc.
  *** *** ***   flieg@garnet.berkeley.edu
  (((Flieg Hollander, Chemistry Dept., U.C. Berkeley)))
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 [All subjects of the Crown are equal under its protection.]