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Land for Sale

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Old 10-17-2004, 08:22 AM
  #1  
frankp
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Default Land for Sale



I would like to ask one question of all of the AMA candidates. Do you support the continued purchase of land in Muncie or would you support ANY NEW LAND PURCHASES BE FOR DISTRICT FLYING FIELDS?

Frank V. Ponteri
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IMAA District Director
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Old 10-17-2004, 10:35 AM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

I don't support AMA purchasing ANY addtional land with membership money. I've had all of big brother and big government I can stand. Wonder what the candidates will say, or if any except Dave Matweson will take the time to post a reply.

quint

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Old 10-17-2004, 10:57 AM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

Frank, you might want to include airport purchases as well.

Gee, could you imagine the AMA becoming the condo management company for an R/C retirement community surrounding the national flying site? Tie this in with an airport, and you'd have an airpark also! Sounds so good, I'd actually retire there.

But that couldn't possibly happen. Insurance takes up the majority of the operating expenses, Right? Thats' what keeps increasing our dues, right?

tell me I'm right, Frank, please !!!
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Old 10-17-2004, 11:35 AM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

Gee, could you imagine the AMA becoming the condo management company for an R/C retirement community surrounding the national flying site? Tie this in with an airport, and you'd have an airpark also! Sounds so good, I'd actually retire there.
That sounds great... if they were in the south where you could use the site most of the year without freezing your rear off!!!!! I think they put the site in a great place if they were a facility for winter sports!!!
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Old 10-17-2004, 01:33 PM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

True, but Alpine compulsories for R/C pattern can't be much behind the snowmobile races in the museum parking lot. LOL

But, all things considered, can't heated pilot stations be far behind either?

You've got a valid point, as do many questioning Muncie. A more southerly site would have allowed a longer season. But I think the membership (as a whole) would have been better served by regional (read that district) AMA sites, rather than a showcase which the majority of us will never use, visit or ever see it self supporting.

Given the proper incentives, a case can be made for any type of expendature. But we have to get back to Franks question: does the menbership, as represented by those we elect, support the continuing use of dues to pay for land aquisitions? Would these monies be returned as a return on investment if these properties were to be sold?
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Old 10-17-2004, 02:40 PM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

ORIGINAL: scrcc_guy

Given the proper incentives, a case can be made for any type of expendature. But we have to get back to Franks question: does the menbership, as represented by those we elect, support the continuing use of dues to pay for land aquisitions? Would these monies be returned as a return on investment if these properties were to be sold?

Good question. There is history to draw an answer from, though I've never seen that answer. If you've been around long enough, you may recall the "Buy the AMA HQ building" fundraising drive of some years ago. We bought th building in Reston, VA, and some years after the move to Muncie, it was sold to a church congregation that had been leasing it. I think that deal included some significant 'creative financing' aspects, like AMA paying for improvements including putting a new roof on it, and carrying back the mortgage. AFAIK, AMA is still the mortgage lender for that property. I rather suspect that if there was a 'return on investment' in that property, we would see it MA headlines.

Abel
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Old 10-17-2004, 08:41 PM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

Abel
I would suspect if the AMA ever made money on any of their ventures that the clouds above would part and the angels would herald sing.

My personal opinion, the bylaws should be modified to ensure that only member benefits and the magazine be funded by dues revenue.
If the executive committee wished the land aquisition program to continue, then those expendatures would be funded by income from profits, not dues.
I think this headlong rush to build a momument to themselves should be taken from the backs of the membership. Perhaps it's time to hold the E.C. to a higher standard and insist the organization act like the business it is.
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Old 10-17-2004, 09:25 PM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

SCRCC and Abel,

I agree that the possibility of the AMA showing a positive return on the investment has declined greatly over the years. However, this question is being asked by the same Frank Ponteri that as President of the IMAA said that organization needed to raise its dues because it had been so long since they were changed. That was back in the days when the IMAA membership was over 12,000. Today his dues increase is in place within the IMAA and the membership rolls are down to around 9,000, or less. I think they stopped putting the number in High Flight out of embarrassment.

I wonder if his selected candidate (the old IMAA Contest Coordinator) has plans to get the AMA to buy flying sites all over the country. You know, it wouldn't take much of a dues increase to do that. I suggest you hide and watch this one come back as a working deal.
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Old 10-17-2004, 10:10 PM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

All that being equal (I haven't a clue as to the internal politics of the IMAA) I still think the question has merit despite who poses it: Should the continued land aquisition program at Muncie be funded by membership dues?
I well understand the need to "buffer" the site from possible neighbor encrochment and 'GASP' subsiquent noise complaints along with purchasing the local airport to avoid it becoming active and thus effectly closing Muncie due to that irritating 400' rule.
I think it time that the AMA be run as a business, answerable to it's shareholders (members) for its' financial health and self sufficiency. If the business wishes to make expendatures over those of member benefits, they should come from proceeds from income generating ventures.
I fear, just as you illustrated what happened with the IMAA memberships, the AMA will loose increasing numbers of members as we reach the point of diminishing returns, (the benefits don't justify the cost of membership.).
Sadly, I fear we may be closer to that point then we wish to acknowledge.
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Old 10-17-2004, 11:57 PM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

ORIGINAL: scrcc_guy

SNIP

I fear, just as you illustrated what happened with the IMAA memberships, the AMA will loose increasing numbers of members as we reach the point of diminishing returns, (the benefits don't justify the cost of membership.).
Sadly, I fear we may be closer to that point then we wish to acknowledge.

I think the lack of growth clearly points to the fact we have already passed the point of diminishing returns with our dues being higher than an e-flight guy can buy his airframe.
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Old 10-18-2004, 10:12 AM
  #11  
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Default RE: Land for Sale

I think the smartest thing to do would be to sponser a different club each year within each district to hold a Nats style competition etc. It would get more attention, help the club and the district and promote R/C on a more local level and just plain get people involved that would like to help but can't afford/don't have time to drive 100's of miles or take off a week to go to Muncie. I guess in other words I think the money would be a better investment being put back into the people and clubs in the ama rather than to buy more property somewhere where 95% of the membership will never visit or see other than on the cover of the ama rag.... Just my 2 cents which is usually 98 cents short of a dollar :^)

Edited to add:
It's probably just me but I get all upset to see a dues increase then find that the ec has decided to buy something else in California or land around Muncie, things that I'll never go to!!!!
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Old 10-18-2004, 12:57 PM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

jon,

it is already there... at least i believe it is. the 'grand event'. it is coming to waco for 2005 and from what I understand they need to provide manpower, but that is about all.. i will be curious to see what exactly happens to what is already a premier flying site in our district with this event.
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Old 10-18-2004, 01:03 PM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

That sounds great!!! Hope they do more events around the country where more people can attend!!
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Old 10-18-2004, 04:19 PM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

Instead of investing all our assets in one place, why not have a facility in each VP's district. The location could be determined by locating the center of memberships in each district. The area VP would have the resonsbility to see to things like maintinance, events and normal flying activities. With some imagination the facility could be self sustaining...Also the purchases could be achieved over a period of time as cashflow permitted...
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:04 AM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

ORIGINAL: jpmcclary

Instead of investing all our assets in one place, why not have a facility in each VP's district. The location could be determined by locating the center of memberships in each district. The area VP would have the resonsbility to see to things like maintinance, events and normal flying activities. With some imagination the facility could be self sustaining...Also the purchases could be achieved over a period of time as cashflow permitted...

While all these types of dreams sound so well and good, such fantasies only open another Pandora's Box. There are eleven districts, and the square-miles-area do not really relate very well.
Any District with an AMA sponsored field would have the same complaints as Muncie has. "Too far away," would be a common whine. Here in District VIII, those living in New Orleans would not often get to even a centrally located facility in the Dallas area. The same problems would exist there as many now complain about Muncie.

Who would be the "Manager" of the site? The DVP? I think good DVPs -- VOLUNTEERS -- now have their hands full especially those that try to do the job. It's difficult to find good ones now, much less if such a job is levied on that individual WHICH MUST BE A RESIDENT CLOSE TO THE FACILITY which severely limits the applicants for the position.
How would the events and times be allocated? Will the workers be AMA employees or private contractors? Who keeps the records? What happens in the off-seasons?

There are so many problems associated with such a plan that AMA is in no way financially stable to even initiate such an operation. Just consider the land costs for the minimum 50 acres of suitable land (prime development land?) especially in the Eastern regions. With minimum site development costs, all subject to loss when home developments move in, I predict that each site, even in the Midwest, would exceed 1 million $$. In the East that would triple. Remember one cannot build a decent flying site on the side of a mountain. To build a site capable of hosting a mini-Nats will be in around 5-8 mill. Don't forget about site location -- close to a town or not? Facilities available? Many many questions.

I could write a book here but the only feasible program for AMA to pursue is to arrange for low-interest loans to large well-established Clubs that will undertake the establishment of the Club's privately owned facility built to a common level of requirements, as modified for their local area's codes. Again I can find many holes even in that *dream* reference defaults and liabilities.

For the foreseeable future, AMA should focus on programs to stabilize potential RC frequency problems, establish a foundation to become the AMA's tax-free entity, make AMA per se a viable Lobby organization to promote Model Aviation (the sport, not the mag.) throughout the nation. Assist Clubs with obtaining sites and retaining same with footwork rather than buttwork, and while providing a viable insurance plan, the insurance should not be the sole focus.

As for flying sites overall, that is the Club's job. OTOH, AMA can and should be working to open many doors for the clubs rather than making more and more rules that simply demoralize both clubs and individual members.

edited for a punctuation change
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:26 PM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

ORIGINAL: Hossfly

ORIGINAL: jpmcclary

Instead of investing all our assets in one place, why not have a facility in each VP's district. The location could be determined by locating the center of memberships in each district. The area VP would have the resonsbility to see to things like maintinance, events and normal flying activities. With some imagination the facility could be self sustaining...Also the purchases could be achieved over a period of time as cashflow permitted...

While all these types of dreams sound so well and good, such fantasies only open another Pandora's Box. There are eleven districts, and the square-miles-area do not really relate very well.
Any District with an AMA sponsored field would have the same complaints as Muncie has. "Too far away," would be a common whine. Here in District VIII, those living in New Orleans would not often get to even a centrally located facility in the Dallas area. The same problems would exist there as many now complain about Muncie.

Who would be the "Manager" of the site? The DVP? I think good DVPs -- VOLUNTEERS -- now have their hands full especially those that try to do the job. It's difficult to find good ones now, much less if such a job is levied on that individual WHICH MUST BE A RESIDENT CLOSE TO THE FACILITY which severely limits the applicants for the position.
How would the events and times be allocated? Will the workers be AMA employees or private contractors? Who keeps the records? What happens in the off-seasons?

There are so many problems associated with such a plan that AMA is in no way financially stable to even initiate such an operation. Just consider the land costs for the minimum 50 acres of suitable land (prime development land?) especially in the Eastern regions. With minimum site development costs, all subject to loss when home developments move in, I predict that each site, even in the Midwest, would exceed 1 million $$. In the East that would triple. Remember one cannot build a decent flying site on the side of a mountain. To build a site capable of hosting a mini-Nats will be in around 5-8 mill. Don't forget about site location -- close to a town or not? Facilities available? Many many questions.

I could write a book here but the only feasible program for AMA to pursue is to arrange for low-interest loans to large well-established Clubs that will undertake the establishment of the Club's privately owned facility built to a common level of requirements, as modified for their local area's codes. Again I can find many holes even in that *dream* reference defaults and liabilities.

For the foreseeable future, AMA should focus on programs to stabilize potential RC frequency problems, establish a foundation to become the AMA's tax-free entity, make AMA per se a viable Lobby organization to promote Model Aviation (the sport, not the mag.) throughout the nation. Assist Clubs with obtaining sites and retaining same with footwork rather than buttwork, and while providing a viable insurance plan, the insurance should not be the sole focus.

As for flying sites overall, that is the Club's job. OTOH, AMA can and should be working to open many doors for the clubs rather than making more and more rules that simply demoralize both clubs and individual members.

edited for a punctuation change

Horrace the Horrible,

Sit down because the earth is going to shake.

It is clear that you and I CAN agree on a few things. The only thing I question in your missive is the comment about establishing a foundation. I think there be dragons there so I disagree strongly on that point, but ONLY that point. The rest of what you said is right on target and correct in almost every detail.
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Old 10-19-2004, 02:05 PM
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Default RE: Land for Sale



I have seen a number of responses posted but none from the folks running for AMA President. It kind of reminds me of the election for President of the United States. The questions the electorate want answered never seem to get answered.

Frank Ponteri
AMA Leader Member
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Old 10-19-2004, 02:31 PM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

ORIGINAL: Jim Branaum
<snip quote>

Horrace the Horrible,

Sit down because the earth is going to shake.

It is clear that you and I CAN agree on a few things. The only thing I question in your missive is the comment about establishing a foundation. I think there be dragons there so I disagree strongly on that point, but ONLY that point. The rest of what you said is right on target and correct in almost every detail.
Jim-
The concept of a foundation has been kicking around for years. Some (D-X VP Hanson among them) think that AMA's favored tax status based on being an educational institution operating for the public good is on shaky ground, and the 'foundation' needs some reinforcement. IIRC, something less than $0.20 collected from each member goes to a scholarship fund. Do you suppose that might be viewed as tokenism? I'm sure you can guesstimate how that princely sum compares to what AMA would shell out to IRS if it were treated like most other businesses that do not enjoy tax-exempt status.

Abel
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Old 10-19-2004, 07:34 PM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

Abel,
The question is what happens as we move in that direction? That is where I think the dragons are.



Frank, THIS is not the correct place to ask any AMA candidate anything. Rather this is the place where those of us who really do care about the AMA discuss things of interest. If you really want an answer to the question I suggest that you ask the right folks in the correct venue instead of telling everyone here who has an opinion to shut up. That might work better.
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Old 10-19-2004, 08:48 PM
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ORIGINAL: Jim Branaum

Abel,
The question is what happens as we move in that direction? That is where I think the dragons are.

,snip>
Jim-

Apparently somebody encountered the dragons and backed off, as the notion seems to have been stalled for a heck of a long time. Wonder what the Executive VP will think of of the dragons from IRS when they descend on Muncie to conduct an audit.........

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Old 10-19-2004, 10:51 PM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

It is clear that you and I CAN agree on a few things. The only thing I question in your missive is the comment about establishing a foundation. I think there be dragons there so I disagree strongly on that point,...
Thank ya' Suh, Mister Branaum! That do be right neighborly and kind of ye' to say!

It all has to do with getting the recognized name of AMA into the battle-field as a direct lobby for model aviation while some form of tax-exempt organization maintains the overall "Educational" operation. Yep, thar do be som' Dragons out thar, Ol' Pard!

However, among us there are some real dragon-slayers and I think it can be done.

Later!

PS: Frank, except for D. M., those guys aren't going to risk saying something among the more learned voters out here.
_ell, man you don't hear the news media asking Bush or 'kerry', or do you hear those guys bring up such items as why Red China now has a military force in Haiti (UN peacekeepers??[X(]) the first Chinese forces ever in the Western Hemisphere, nor do they speak of the potential of the Chinese 5000 mile IRBM being deployed in the Panama Canal Zone now basically owned by China. So, AMA Leaders are not going to venture far or into real problems here in such a small segment of the membership.
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Old 10-20-2004, 05:11 PM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

ORIGINAL: frankp



I have seen a number of responses posted but none from the folks running for AMA President. It kind of reminds me of the election for President of the United States. The questions the electorate want answered never seem to get answered.

Frank Ponteri
AMA Leader Member
If you want an answer, try e-mailing them, or calling them. If you chose e-mail, it is advisable to include the fact you intend to post the answer, if that is your intention.

As a friendly suggestion, I would suggest that you discontinue the use of the title "Leader Member" when posting on the internet. For more information, contact Red.

Edit: Since the President traditionally, does not vote on motions, except to make or break a tie, it might be of more interest to see the position of the individual VP candidates, or, for that matter the sitting VPs as well. Your initial question in this thread did not express an interest only in the position of the President, and we have not seen answers from any of the VP candidates either. Since you appear to represent one, that is rather surprising.
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Old 10-20-2004, 07:08 PM
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Default RE: Land for Sale

Hi ya'll,
Just a quick one> flying sites have an apparent answer with no problem?
First> a site committee had a meeting with a county recreation director.
The director opened the meeting with a statement> "As recreation director
it is my duty to provide the citizens with what ever is needed to enjoy their activity" Could anything be any plainer than that?
As a result of that meeting a county sponsored R/C site emerged. When
adjacent counties became aware they followed suite.
Should be said the 3 R/C sites are over 30 years later still exsisting and with time have seen many amenities added. Very nice?
Botom line> is AMA really aware of how willing government can be? Has
anyone considered a flying site program as you have suggested? Would
the above factor be worth investigating?
Sometimes the tree can not be seen because of the forest?
Nuff sed?

Hal hdebot1@juno.com
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