Presidentís Comments

January 2000

By the time you read this the Y2K event will have occurred and everyone will be wondering what all the hoopla was about. As an Information Systems Specialist, I can tell you that in the company I worked for we started planning for the year after 99 over 15 years ago. As a Y2K Consultant, I can share with you that of all the assessments I was involved with, less than 5% of them identified any system changes that were REQUIRED to be able to deal with the year 2000. There is no doubt that some systems are just not Y2K compatible, like the Amateur Radio BBS systems that were all going to roll over to 1/1/100 (or 100010), but the vast majority of the money spent on Y2K was just fuel to the economy. Actual experiences this week, like the one in England where most credit card transactions were suspended on December 28th because of a 4-day authorization window test, demonstrate that the failures will occur where we least expect them anyway.

What does all this have to do with the 220SMA, well the Y2K crisis is similar to the crisis created by the Postal Service earlier this year when they tried to "outlaw" deceptive addressing. Anyone (including the 220SMA) who received their mail at a Private Mail Service Provider was directed to reformat their address to clearly show that they were hiding behind a (non-USPS) Post Box. Well, after forcing the public to spend millions to add PMB (Private Mail Box) to their address, and creating one of the biggest uproars against the government since the Boston Tea Party, the USPS now says that most of the old address formats were Okay as they were. It was only those that called their box a Suite, or Room, or some such highly deceptive name that needed to change (now they tell us). Anyway, the 220SMA is still hiding in Box 220, and although the PMB 220 address will get the mail to us, #220 works just as well.

QUORUM - Several years ago the 220SMA revised its quorum requirements to deal with an influx of new members who only came to one meeting, and then crippled the Association until they were off of the books. Our membership, voting, and quorum requirements as they now stand, help keep the Association operating on a consistent basis while still offering the opportunity for introducing change when it is appropriate. In case you were not aware, we were not able to hold our October General Meeting because we did not have a quorum in attendance (even after we shook everyone awake early enough to make it to the meeting on time). Some say that the earthquake kept people away, others have complained to me that they did not want to drive to Highland. I'm sure the Swapmeet that has cropped up on "our" 3rd weekend isn't helping either. Whatever the case, we need your participation to insure that we have a quorum at our General Meetings.

ELECTIONS - January is election month for 220SMA officers. Are you going to help decide who you want to lead the Association for the coming year? I have strongly suggested that I think we need new blood in the President's chair, and I would hope that others will step up and volunteer to help with some of the other jobs. Because we did not have a quorum at the last meeting, it also means that two seats on the 222 MHz. Coordination Board are up for election. Quorum, Election of Officers, Coordination Board Seats, now there are three reasons why you need to show up at the January meeting!

ASSOCIATION GOALS - I have been reading over prior issues of these President's Comments pages and noting that I often speak of my goals for the Association. I believe I have been speaking for the majority of our members when I encourage complete representation of the Amateur community, or support for all modes, or clear documentation of our processes, or process improvement evaluations to insure we are doing the right job correctly. But, what do your think? Are we representing your ideas and opinions? The next reason for you to attend the January General Meeting, is to let your ideas be known. I have received a significant number of contacts this last year from non-members interested in our policies regarding non-FM (weak signal, AM, and SSB) operations. Our records indicate that we have over 28% of our members interested in at least one of these modes. Are we properly representing you?

PLANNING, EXECUTION, RECOGNITION - In my comments for October I said " Success comes from knowing where you want to go and planning your course so you can get there. Achieving planning objectives marks success in any endeavor and Spectrum Management is no different." In those comments I also laid out what I think we need to do to obtain recognition, first from the Amateur community, and then from the FCC. The Amateur License Restructuring Report & Order released this week clearly indicates the direction the Commission is going as far as self-regulation is concerned. Despite recent comments by some FCC staff to the contrary, I believe that the management of our Bands will become more and more our responsibility. The dismissal of the Central States VHF Society petition should be considered in this light. Are we, the Amateur community, ready for this task? Isn't the 220 SMA the best vehicle we have to pull together the necessary resources? Isn't it time we looked at streamlining our Spectrum Management efforts in Southern California?

Looking forward to seeing you at the January General Meeting

Jim Fortney, K6IYK Jim@Fortney.com P.O. Box 3419, Camarillo, CA 93011-3419 805-491-3916