Presidentís Comments

July 1999

Thank you to the several members who contacted me concerned about the absence of Presidentís Comments in the April Newsletter. Iím fine. The facts are that I had more to do at that point than I could handle and I just didnít get everything organized in time to get my thoughts in print last Quarter. My new employment involves a lot of travel away from home and Iím still learning how to get everything done in less time. I need all of you to help, more than ever, to accomplish the goals we have discussed over the last several years. Please be a part of the solution.

SUPPORT - I want to say a special thank you to the 220SMA Officers who are supporting me and doing their jobs. Jug, WA6MBZ, our Secretary has assumed his full responsibilities and published the April Newsletter. (He's publishing this one also.) Walt, W6CWD, is wearing the Treasurer's hat while still performing as a 222 MHz. Coordination Board member and carrying a lot of the clerical load associated with the Board. Walt is looking for some help, but I can always depend upon him to do a good job.

MEMBERSHIP - As with many Amateur Radio organizations, our total membership has dropped over the last year. It is important to note however; that the average length of time 220SMA members have been active in the organization is getting longer (A very dedicated core group!). What I need now is your help in recruiting as many newcomers to the Association as we can. The availability of new radios has certainly brought a lot of newcomers to 220, now is the time for you to share the word about the 220SMA and bring them into the fold. Please be a 220SMA Elmer.

SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT & COORDINATORS FORUM - I am pleased to announce that there will be another of our very successful Coordinators' Forums at the ARRL SWD Convention held on the Queen Mary this year. The session will be Saturday morning (October 2nd) and will immediately precede a special session featuring the FCC's Compliance and Information Bureau Legal Advisor Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH. I will be joined for the Forum by leadership from both TASMA and SCRRBA, who will describe their organizations and discuss important activities happening in their areas of responsibility. There will be time for questions from the floor.

NFCC - After over three years of rather stormy online "meetings", the National Frequency Coordinators Council has been very quiet for the last several months. You will remember that in January of this year the Council tried to obtain the support of the ARRL Board of Directors for their PRM which, among other things, seeks to institute mandatory repeater coordination wherever a Coordinator exists. As the 220SMA representative to the NFCC, I joined all but one member entity of the NFCC in supporting that submittal to the League. I believe the majority of us thought that the internal NFCC Committees had spent enough time trying to develop a compromise proposal, and it was time to "get off the pot". The general consensus was that we could work out the wrinkles and support improvements to the document while it was undergoing public scrutiny as an NPRM. Little did I know that the concerns I had expressed about the Council needing to sell itself to the Amateur community before it expected the FCC to pay any attention, would be the major issue in the League Board presentation.

The Board rejected the proposal but softened their rejection by offering to reconsider it when the NFCC could show a need for the proposed regulations. Early this year it looked like the NFCC Board was going to get organized, and be prepared to submit the proposal to the League Board again at their July 17th meeting. It is now early July and there has been minimal discussion regarding the proposed rulemaking and it is unclear what the NFCC leadership is planning. I have developed great reservations about an organization so full of politics that it can't seem to remember why it was formed. We once again are in a period where the FCC is very receptive to stronger management of Amateur Radio, and we are not ready to demonstrate how we can effectively self-police.

PROCESS IMPROVEMENT COMMITTEE MEETING - Although we apparently aren't being successful at the National level, we are making good progress locally. The Committee I appointed last year to investigate and make recommendations on how the 220SMA could improve itself through development of defined plans and documented procedures is now ready to make a presentation to the membership. They have drafted a written proposal describing how we should go about performing our function and making recommendations for improvement. There will be a special open Committee Meeting to review this document at the Altadena Library following the July General Meeting. If you are interested in helping us determine where we are going, and how we are going to get there, you are invited to attend. Please come and help us review this proposal. See meeting details in the Newsletter or on the Web - http://www.220sma.org

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