Presidentís Comments

October 1999

I have spoken many times of the importance of accepting the need for change, and even of being a change advocate when appropriate. My saying of the year for 1994 was "The most important thing to recognize about Change, is that in the future It Will Be Different".© Each year we face different challenges, and the changes required to responded to them take different forms. Many of the pressures on Amateur Radio today are distinctively different from those that we faced just a decade ago, and as we go into the year 2000 the challenges we encounter will require us to respond to them with new ideas. I believe we must be alert to recognize these new pressures and we must be responsive to the need for change.

Over the past several years I have tried to guide the Association along a path that would bring us recognition (acceptance) within the Amateur community. Thanks to the support and encouragement of many members, we have been generally successful in our pursuits and I believe the 220SMA is respected by Amateur Radio in Southern California. It is known for being fair and insuring that every Amateur who wanted to use the Band having a chance to make their case, whether it be involving a Band Planning issue or Repeater Coordination application. I do however have to state that I have not achieved some of the things that I considered most important. I don't think that it was because others generally objected to what I was proposing, but instead that some of the ideas will take a lot of effort to bring about and the needed inertia has yet to develop. Since, as I announced last year, I do not intend to accept the position of Association President again (new blood is needed after 10 years), I want to take this opportunity to encourage each of you to consider your interest and willingness to get involved in the following subjects.

PLANNING - The 220SMA has had the responsibility for sponsoring Band Plan development meetings and adopting the formal 220 MHz. Band Plan for Southern California for many years. The last formal review of the current Plan was accomplished several years ago and usage patterns have changed to the extent that a formal review is again appropriate. Revised patterns of activity in the weak signal, FM simplex, and digital (packet) areas need to be assessed. I tried to organize a Band Plan Review activity this last year in anticipation of going into the year 2000 with a current plan, but was unable to garner enough interest to make it happen. Isn't it time for a Band Plan review?

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. For several years I have encouraged the 222 MHz. Coordination Board to spend time planning where we want to go with the repeater segment of the band in the future. Current issues like maximizing the use and enjoyment of the band through techniques like cellular re-use planning and technically valid adjacent channel assignments, as well as providing spectrum for development of future modes and use of new technology, all need to be carefully considered in a planning environment. The Coordination Boards have never had time (taken time) to work these issues and have continued to issue co-ordinations without the benefit of a master plan. I strongly recommend that we begin to properly consider the future.

RECOGNITION - Although the national efforts to develop recognition for formalized co-ordination (NFCC) have achieved very little so far, the process has brought about a renewed interest in insuring that local co-ordination activities are performed in a fair and consistent manner. I have promoted an ISO-9000 type of approach where you document and formally adopt the applicable procedures, and then you operate to those procedures with frequent audits to verify conformance. I continue to believe this approach will facilitate accountability to the Amateur Service, and will be the basis for eventual recognition by the FCC. The Process Improvement Committee headed up by Richard Matheson, KG6Y, is the vehicle for accomplishing these goals within the 220SMA. So far only those currently active on the Coordination Boards have demonstrated an interest in this effort. This is your opportunity to take an active part in the Association and make a difference in how things are done in the future. Please call Dick or meet him at the next meeting and get involved.

NEW BLOOD - I have spoken about the need for new blood in the form of additional members and new officers. Only one new member joined the Association in the last quarter. We must involve the new operators on the Band and interest them in the 220SMA! Election of Officers will be held at the January meeting. Please be thinking of who you want to lead your organization during the coming year and make sure you are in attendance at the Annual Meeting. Members must have been a Full Member in good standing for one year to hold office.

Finally, let me thank the ARRL members and leadership responsible for selecting me for the South Western Division Meritorious Service Award received at the 1999 ARRL SWD Convention Banquet. It was a complete surprise and is greatly appreciated.

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