Presidentís Comments

January 2001

My comments for several quarters have talked about what we needed to do. I discussed representation, participation, membership, leadership, planning for the future, formal band planning, coordination standards, documentation (including policies, procedures, and coordination records), and a variety of subjects about how we do business, especially communications and financial management, including budgeting. As we start another year, and go into a new millennium, I want to report on how we have been doing from my perspective.

REPRESENTATION - Several years ago I added an area for members to indicate AREAS OF INTEREST on the Application. That data shows us the following percentage of members have interest in the survey areas:

219 Linking - 6% Weak Signal - 16% AM - 9% SSB - 29% Spread Spectrum - 14%

Packet Simplex - 15% FM simplex - 41% Digital Repeaters - 12% Voice Repeaters - 94%

I believe this suggests we represent the existing modes on the Band fairly well.

PARTICIPATION - Measuring the percentage of the eligible voting membership that attended the General Meetings during 2000. January - 27%, April - 10%, July - 19%, and October - 16%. Not good, but not that bad.

MEMBERSHIP - There were 89 members eligible to vote last January. Despite a mid-year slump, there are 88 members eligible to vote this January. An additional dozen new members joined in December and will be eligible to vote starting next month. Our decision to mail special letters to those members who's membership had expired within the last three years paid dividends, and our recruiting efforts at conventions and club meetings are paying off. The addition of over fifteen members from the Hispanic Amateur Radio Network organization has also helped round out our representation.

LEADERSHIP - Our successes here are not as good. We had difficulty in filling our officer positions this year and your President was obliged to accept an unprecedented 12th term (remember, 13 is unlucky). A major plus was when Jeff Hilmer, KB6LJQ, volunteered to serve as Association Treasurer following in the big footsteps of Walt Diem, K6PEA. Rick Eastwood, KB6LJO and Ken Tagami, WA6BCC, returned to the Coordination Board after a little rest. Ken has now been active in the Association for over 20 years, many of them on the Coordination Board. We badly need more members who are willing to serve in the "worker" positions, and I hope that some of our new members will consider participating.

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE and BAND PLANNING - Our performance here has not been sterling. Despite my goal of developing a formal plan for improving the utilization of the Band, encouraging the Coordination Board in this area for the last five years has not produced any identifiable results. Establishment of a committee of the membership to help failed to identify any interest beyond Coordination Board members. (Many thanks to Richard Mathison, KG6Y, for his excellent organizational and leadership attempts.). An effort to review and update our Band Plan last year met with an equal lack of community interest despite what I believe is an obvious need to address changes in the weak signal and digital communications areas.

COORDINATION STANDARDS - The current 222MHz Coordination Board Policy and Procedure Document was last updated in 1989. Efforts to have the Coordination Board document the new guidelines and policies they have developed over the subsequent years have so far been unsuccessful. The Board always says it is "too busy". Despite the problems this situation produces, no one has yet been upset enough to force it to be an Association priority (I have done all that I can do). We have made significant improvements in the operation of the Board and documentation of Board actions. Not withstanding the fact that we haven't seen a Coordination Board report in the last 4 1/2 months, the Coordination Board Reports of the last few years clearly document the actions of the frequency coordination activity.

We are making progress in some areas related to coordination. In 1993 I proposed a periodic (every 3 year) formal update and review of existing coordinations which was adopted by the General Membership. Last year the Board started a concerted effort to identify and disposition several inactive coordinations and now they have begun requesting updates from many of the older coordinated systems (I received one of those requests associated with my 1986 coordination.). In conjunction with these requests, the Board has completed their redesign and proofing of the RFC Form, and it is being supplied along with the update request. We hope to have the RFC Form available on the Web in the near future.

DOCUMENTATION / RECORDS / COMMUNICATIONS - Establishment of the 220SMA Web Site and use of email for meeting notification has greatly improved our ability to communicate with the membership. A portion of the Web Site accessible only to members has fostered recognition of the value of being a member. Jug Jogoleff, WA6MBZ, documents our meeting actions and approved minutes are posted to the Web for member reference. I have already mentioned the excellent efforts of our recent Treasurers. The latest year-end report is included in this newsletter. Our weakest area in the documentation arena is our coordination records that continue to be primarily on paper. Despite reported efforts by the Coordination Board, I am not satisfied with the progress that has been made in maintaining these records in electronic form and it was necessary to re-establish an old data base once again this year in order to make the ARRL Repeater Directory submittal. I am personally evaluating the several available Amateur coordination data base programs available as shareware or freeware and will make a proposal to improve this situation in the near future.

I am in fact proud of what we have accomplished, but there is a lot of work to do and your help is needed. Please show up for the General Meeting in Burbank. I would like your feedback on this report, and I look forward to your participation.

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