Presidentís Comments

October 2000

It has been said that something worth saying is worth repeating. I hope this correct, because I intend to start this quarter's comments by repeating what I said in July. I need you to hear and hopefully respond.

********** From 220SMA President's Comments of July 2000

Last quarter I posed several questions for discussion and asked for your ideas. I have received very little input on most of the subjects (membership, participation, mergers, leadership), and we have made little progress with our "to-do" list (band planning, coordination procedures, process improvement, data base management, formal documentation, educational programs, etc.). It is July already! The year 2000 is going to be history before we know it, and so will all our chances to do something constructive this year unless we get to it now. Our list has several items that need attention. Are you doing your part?

Membership: Along with most other Amateur Radio organizations, we continue to lose active members. We are down about 20% for the year and almost 10% this quarter. In order to be effective, we must represent the Amateur community we serve. Your duty is to remember to renew your membership when it comes due, and to encourage other Amateurs to become involved in the Association. Have you done your part? Do you share the Association Web URL with those that you talk to on the Band? How can we help you spread the word? What more should we be doing?

Participation: We not only need your dues to support the organization, we need you too. There are lots of ideas being discussed and decisions being made at our General Meetings, and many actions are taken by our Coordination Board. Do you attend the General Meetings, are you as active as you can be in the SMA?

Policies and Procedures: I have been encouraging improvement in the documentation of our policies and procedures. A committee was named to review what we do and how we do it, but very few members appear interested enough to participate. Are you interested? Can you help us here?

Leadership: An organization is only as good as its membership, and its leadership. The 220SMA needs more members who are willing to take on the leadership jobs. A very few of the members do the most of the work. Have you considered serving in one of these roles?

In order to perform the Spectrum Management and Frequency Coordination roles we profess to provide, it takes an interested membership and a few dedicated individuals. We need to significantly increase our interested membership, and we could use a few more dedicated individuals to help share the load. Please help us by doing your part. Share news of the 220SMA with others you talk to on the Band.

********** Do you agree?

If so, I need you to respond. You don't need to respond to me. You need to get involved. You need to attend our meetings. You need to participate in making the decisions. You need to help get things done.

MERGER - Consideration of merging the 220SMA with TASMA as a solution to declining participation was an agenda item at the July meeting. Despite the passing comments included in the yet to be approved minutes, the TASMA Chairman (Jeff Reinhardt - AA6JR) was in attendance and a healthy discussion took place on the subject. The clear indication from that discussion was that 220SMA members believe a merger is not the answer and that more efforts must be directed toward increasing Association membership and participation.

OCTOBER GENERAL MEETING - Following our normal practice of moving the General Meetings around Southern California so all interested Amateurs may attend, the SMA's 90th Quarterly General Meeting (can you believe that record) will be held in Anaheim. Now I expect (almost) every 222 MHz operator in Orange County, and a lot of those in Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties to attend. Those of us who come from Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Los Angeles Counties will be expecting you to outnumber us.

THE FUTURE - I continue to believe that the future of Amateur Radio is going to be full of exciting challenges. The coming of new technologies including fully digital and software programmable radios is going to require new and challenging solutions. The 220SMA has been a leader in Spectrum Management procedures and a good illustration of what a participative democratic process can accomplish. I want us to continue in this direction, don't you? As proud as I am of our accomplishments, I am very concerned about what I consider our (my) failures. We have tried unsuccessfully for five years to document a plan on how to improve our performance as a frequency coordinator. For ten-years we have failed to accomplish an update of our Coordination Policies despite obvious shortcomings. Last quarter I apologized for errors made in our submission to the ARRL Repeater Directory. The facts are, the root cause of that problem is a failure in our strategy of maintaining Association coordination records. I have tried to fix that problem for over four years with minimal success. January will bring new Association Officers. What will be your response?

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