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MAAC membership reasonable?

Old 04-05-2005, 01:54 PM
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4*60
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Default MAAC membership reasonable?

Let's hear the arguments whether $75 per year is a reasonable fee for membership and insurance.

Should the magazine be optional or twice a year?



My opinion: The budget needswork. $75 is too much for what I get, but I am held hostage by the insurance and the ability to fly at other clubs with a MAAC membership.
The old news in the magazine does very little for me. The MAAC web site should be the source of news in this modern world. It can be near real-time vs 2 or 3 month old news.
$4 million suit with $5 million actual policy...coincidence..hardly....If the policy had been $2 million the suit would have been for something in that neighbourhood. Why would a lawyer sue for dollars that would be difficult to collect,but the insurance policy may pay off easily so it's worth the try.
Old 04-05-2005, 02:06 PM
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britbrat
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

I don't think that $75 is really too much --- provided that the extra money really does cover current and projected shortfalls. I fear that it may not, particularly in view of the possibility of significantly more expensive insurance in the future -- another accident & it will really take off.

$75 for insurance & a magazine -- not bad if it holds there for 5 yrs.
Old 04-05-2005, 03:02 PM
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kevin mcgrath
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

There is nothing new in your comments but I will answer them again.
I wont get involved in argument for the sake of argument or mud slinging.
"The budget needs work"
A thirteen person board and a five person executive just spent a total of three days paring,massaging,and forcing the budget to balance for 05.
These groups are made up of some of the hardest nosed business people in Canada,many small business owners.I can assure you they missed nothing.
The reality is the contingency fund is depleted after too many years of not raising dues,this years insurance is costing in the vicinity of $140000.,and we are being sued for $4,000,000.00 due to last summer,s accident.If you know some better way to address these problems ,please let us know.
Is $75 per year worth it to you? Only you can answer that .......its all a matter of priorities.
I do find it amusing that our yearly dues amounts to one round of golf at a good course,or one payment on a snow machine,but if thats a persons passion ,hey ,so be it.
Perhaps you should compare the dues with the AMA which gives you the same benefits except that their liability insurance only kicks in after a members personal coverage is exhausted.

"The magazine should be optional or twice a year"

This is a non starter.The first issue of the mag is the one that costs the money.Copies are pennies.Not everyone is on the Net.

"The MAAC web site should be the source of news"

I agree totally.The site is being re designed to be much more reactive and informative.
Zone directors and committee heads for example will have direct access to update their areas of responsibility so if you find the news stale,yell at them.
Do you know how many hours of design work go into a site like this? See the budget remarks above.

"four million law suit"

Dont blame MAAC.Like it or not this is the legal system that you and I have allowed to develop in our country.
Its the same one that keeps rotating a maniac through the system until he kills four mounties,or cant find anyone at blame after 20 years when an airliner is blown up killing hundreds.

These are my opinions based on five years as a member of MAAC,s board and starting into my second term on the executive.I hope they address your concerns.
Old 04-05-2005, 03:07 PM
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reo
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

Ultimately the fellow writing the check for his annual membership will decide if there is value for the $ or not when it comes to MAAC membership. If we see the membership numbers decline (likely so) we'll have our answer. The number of folks out there today that are refusing to pay MAAC, local club dues and initiation fees is increasing every year and the MAAC increase will only help this along. These same folks are flying wherever they can find a spot without any regard to nearby registered club fields thereby jeopardizing these club fields due to frequency congestion and uncertainty. As mentioned in a previous post, it may be high time that a critical eye be cast on the whole MAAC budgeting process, maybe it's time to admit that we cannot afford everything we have been able to do in the past.
Old 04-05-2005, 05:43 PM
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Hughes500E
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

I can't help but think how much other hobbies cost. This is reasonably inexpensive compared to Golfing, Skiing, going south LOL
I'll gladly pay the difference, it has been a long time coming.
Old 04-05-2005, 05:49 PM
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

I agree with most of your points and don't wish to argue either.

My comments are that true, not everyone is on the 'net, but perhaps magazines and their inefficiencies for communication and their use of trees and energy for delivery don't make sense for every organization. We'll leave that because there are strong reasons either way.


Yes, I do know how many hours it takes to design and manage a site. That's why I didn't bid this time on the site contract.

At 140,000 for insurance, that is about $14/member which actually isn't too bad, in my opinion, but don't let the insurance industry read this.

The "contingecy fund" issue is very real and should be a given with everyone, but perhaps there were expenditures in the past that could have been controlled. What's done is done and we now face that situation. True enough!

Thanks for the comments.


Old 04-05-2005, 06:39 PM
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kenair
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

Is it good value to pay $75.00 for $14 of insurance.

MAAC says it will build a contingency but wait until MAAC decides to host another FAI scale event and another lose $62, 400.00, the anotehr dues hike.

Keep in mind if $$ had been put in a contingency fund instead of the FAI travel fun for the last 10 or 20 years, we could have had a contingency fund of a 1/2 million bucks, but i suppose the personal glory of flying in a salt mine is more important to MAAC.
Old 04-05-2005, 09:56 PM
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

At this point, the organization (MAAC) is very fortunate that membership is forced onto everyone that wishes to fly at a MAAC sanctioned club field in Canada. Imagine what would happen, if tomorrow, a national insurance company advertised that they were selling insurance policies to Canadian modelers direct for $25 per year! No one here is arguing that the insurance at $12 or $15 per person is STILL the bargain of the century, what is being questioned here is the money losing ventures that bleed the coffers of the other $700,000 or $800,000 per year.

Just to clarify, I have always been a supporter of this organization. I purchased 2 and 3 page ads in the magazine for 15 years give or take to the tune of thousands of $'s per year. I hope it has not come to the point where if some of the membership begins to question the MAAC budget they automatically become ill informed troublesome members.

I sincerely hope that the organization survives and flourishes. For this to happen expenditures will need to be kept under control and this may mean making some painful choices, not unlike any other business operating in Canada today.

Ron Oscar
Old 04-05-2005, 10:02 PM
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pilotkelowna
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

Dead is dead is dead. C'mon Kenair, why do some guys have to dig up the scale meet business over and over and over. The Scale Meet is well behind us, and the 2004 World event in Red Deer is proof that major events properly planned don't lose money.

I was one of the few MAAC members who came to sit and observe the board meetings and the budget review which was discussed and adjusted line by line, with considerable gut-wrenching by all the board members - most notably when member services had to be cut back again this year to meet our expense target. You will be getting a hell of a lot more than insurance for your $75 next year and your ZD can provide the details.
If insurance is all some want their national association to provide for them, I suppose they could skip renewing their MAAC and easily buy a million bucks liability insurance somewhere else for $14. each.
Old 04-05-2005, 10:05 PM
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

Obviously, I would prefer not to have the dues reach $75, but on the other hand it is not unreasonable as membership dues for many other activities and hobbies go. I am willing to pay this if that is indeed necessary.

I am not going to get involved in bashing past, present or future executives for decisions made or not made. I will only ask the following question:

Aside from insurance, what do members of MAAC WANT to get for their money? Do past and current activities reflect what members want their organization to be doing?

Personally, (and please, I'm not saying you are wrong if you disagree) I don't want anything aside from insurance as a MAAC member. I am not interested in competition, I don't have the resources to travel across the continent for events, and I get all the news and RC info I need and more from the web. I fly with a great bunch of guys in my local club, and that's fine by me. I would rather put my money into improving our local flying field, but the bottom line for me is insurance.

Now, if the majority or even a significant plurality of members want MAAC to have a newsletter, or sponsor major events or whatever, then that's what MAAC should do, and the question becomes "How much must dues be in order to balance the budget?" But even in this case, MAAC (that is, US, the members) will have to make choices because we are not a huge organization and our budget will always have to put insurance first. We probably can't do everything that other RC organizations do. But, let's decide first what we want out of MAAC today and then we can discuss how much membership needs to cost.

And, let's not bicker about it. What the membership may or may not have wanted, or what the executive did or didn't do in the past are both irrelevant. The issue is what we want MAAC to be today, and how we are going to pay for it. That should be enough to work on.
Old 04-05-2005, 11:58 PM
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

I think you guys have a pretty good deal, here in the US we pay
$58.00 a year and the insuarance is not primary if you have other forms
of insurance such as homeowners .

I think everyone should get the same coverage if you pay the same
also we have more restrictions than you do.

the one thing i see in comon with both organizations is they monopolize
the hobby that is you have no other choises.
Old 04-06-2005, 12:17 AM
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

Personally, I'm ok with the 75$ as a yearly fee. I am also a magazine junkie and don't think we're at the cyber-stage yet where we can eliminate it..................(it's just not practical to take a computer into the crapper)..... [:'(]

I am a firm believer that MAAC's main priorities are Frequencies, Fields and Insurance and each of those three is dependant on the other. Next, maintaining a headquarters and experienced staff to keep the organization glued together is also an necessary cost. All other non-essentials should always be up for review.

The main reason I'm ok with the 75 bucks is that I realize how important the need is reestablish a very large nest egg in place as quick as we can...................hoping that nothing "bad" happens over the next few years.

I was glad to see expendable items like FAI travel fund and zone promo funds were cut in half, but feel the "political need" to not suspend all such funds showed a lack of courage. Those two funds are the largest non-essential budget items and IMO, should have suspended 100% in favour of dumping everything we can into contingency funds ASAP.

I don't know how many, if any items have been added or removed from the budget since these were posted in 2002, but it gives you an idea where the money goes.

http://mbz.portage.net/national/2002...ojections.html

I know one item added was MAAC membership in the Radio Advisory Board, which is the actual governing body of frequencies used in Canada with membership being one of President Bransfield's legacies. As I recal, it's around a $5000.00 anual cost.

75 bucks is not a big price to pay, but by the same token, the board has a responsibility to ensure that every last dime is being used for the benefit of ALL members and to do their best to ensure it is not wasted.

Marc Sharpe
Former Manitoba/Notherwestern Ont. Zone Director


Old 04-07-2005, 01:13 PM
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Donovan Dow
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

From:
can773

To:
Donovan Dow (Online)

Posted:
Tue 29 Mar, 2005 15:22

Subject:
stuff


Quote:
Morning All

I recommend that all FAI competition financing efforts be terminated.

I recommend that Zone Director grants to clubs be terminated.

I recommend that we get back to our hobby ground roots.

Forget the Olympics and FAI. Pay as you go.

Donovan does pay very big bucks to support his hobby and has no grimes about the pitting Maac due.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Currently, about $3 of your now $75 dues goes towards any FAI activities....$1 is for travel funding, the other $2 is for membership in the FAI...its no free ride for those of us who go. The money from MAAC doesnt even cover the entry fees, let alone any travel costs.

FAI accounts for maybe 5-6% of the total expenditures within MAAC, while office expenses are up near 60%.

Why people focus on one of the lowest expenditures within MAAC is beyond me, when we have an office "manager" with no formal education who refuses to take training, takes 4-5 months to forward letters to committees yet earns close to $60K/yr.

Anyways, MAAC was founded by competitors for competitors, your comments are off the mark and offensive...good thing a majority of members and zone directors dont share your views.

_________________
Chad Northeast

2005 Canadian F3A Team
Old 04-07-2005, 04:18 PM
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

ORIGINAL: Donovan Dow


[in part] Why people focus on one of the lowest expenditures within MAAC is beyond me, when we have an office "manager" with no formal education who refuses to take training, takes 4-5 months to forward letters to committees yet earns close to $60K/yr.


_________________
Chad Northeast

2005 Canadian F3A Team
Aye carumba. That is one whopper of an expense.[:@]
Old 04-07-2005, 05:34 PM
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smoknrv4
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

In my opinion the only reason any ins. company raises rates, is because they can! Nobody can do a damn thing about it and they know that, they feast off you guys that say, " 75$ is cheap compared to other activities" I agree that is true, but thats is not the point.
The thing is, all ins. is a big scam, they raise rates because they can, just like our wonderful gov't does, by raping our pay cheques!
The magazine should also be an option, not just for jr. members, but for everyone.
Old 04-07-2005, 05:48 PM
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Sharpy01
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

ORIGINAL: Chad Northeast


Currently, about $3 of your now $75 dues goes towards any FAI activities....$1 is for travel funding, the other $2 is for membership in the FAI...its no free ride for those of us who go. The money from MAAC doesnt even cover the entry fees, let alone any travel costs.

FAI accounts for maybe 5-6% of the total expenditures within MAAC, while office expenses are up near 60%.

Why people focus on one of the lowest expenditures within MAAC is beyond me, when we have an office "manager" with no formal education who refuses to take training, takes 4-5 months to forward letters to committees yet earns close to $60K/yr.

Anyways, MAAC was founded by competitors for competitors, your comments are off the mark and offensive...good thing a majority of members and zone directors dont share your views.

_________________
Chad Northeast

2005 Canadian F3A Team


In the past, Chad has gone on and on about allowing the learned directors, (I'll exclude myself) and the executive to do the right thing, which is all good as long as we are talking about maintaining everything as is, as it directly affects your ability to compete. However, on this issue, he suggests that something is terribly amuck? Who do you think controls paid staff wages son?

Furthermore, perhaps you would like to suggest what the chief administrative officer of a 12000+ member association with a budget that will soon push 1 million annually, is worth?

Remember, you must set aside the toy airplane thing because they don't mean anything to paid staff. What provincially legislated rules apply to our paid staff as they stand now? Benefits? Regional wage levels etc, etc? Guess what folks, MAAC paid (pretty big bucks)for an independant review of office staff wages a year or two before I was on the board which determined that they were underpaid when considering ALL appropriate factors. I guess they never factored CHadd's limited experienced personal opinion. The study was pushed for by folks who thought like Chadd and then it was tossed aside for a number of years because it didn't support their beliefs.

What value do you place on 25years of service/experience? What do you know about the job? Likely little more than that person would know about engineering or policing? Will you expect to receive fair negotiated incriments as your junior years begin reaching a level where you would be considered to have some real time experience. In other words, wages of folks has not been determined by flitting personal opinion over the years, it's been hammered out over 25 years at each and every AGM. Allow me to also suggest that very few know of some of the abuse that was endured and not actioned by our paid staff because of a sense of loyalty to the association after 25years. Lucky for us, because worrying about airplane accidents may have been only one of the legal issues facing us. For some reason, some have felt that because this is a hobby association, they have the right to treat paid employees with less respect. Make sure you thank our staff when you have the chance.........trust me, they've earned it. I've made a habit of defending our staff since day one, which was another issue that lost me favour with a core group whom I disagreed with. The Anti-comp, anti-FAI junk has just been the flashpoint to motivate others and discredit..............much more beneath the surface. Politics, be they federal, or airplane can be nasty stuff. It's too bad it can't all be like a nice Sunny Day at the field with good friends. []

Dirty laundry you say that shouldn't be out here? Too bad, but uninformed dribble like Chad message, which goes unchallenged, quickly becomes fact and causes more damage than the truth. Get informed before you jump to the mantra, "...wow, that's a lot of money for a secretary...." because the truth is far from that.

Regardless, some pretty mean-spirited stuff to spread for someone who has received more benefit of this association than most.

For those who don't know, Chad is perennial member of Canada's FAI pattern team.
Old 04-07-2005, 08:35 PM
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kenair
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

Anyways, MAAC was founded by competitors for competitors
Well doesn't a statement like that all make us feel like proud MAAC members. Once can only ask what has the 1/2 million of dollars of handouts that MAAC spent on FAI stuff got us.

Chad had be really good to beat the hundreds of other cdn competitors at the trials or was that a dozen or was it a 1/2 dozen that maybe showed up.

No problem paying the $75, but why the handouts to a few when hundreds of other maac members spend much more on their hobby and donate much more in time and resources to their club and are not at the MAAC table with cap in hand asking for money.


Old 04-07-2005, 09:14 PM
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

this is nothing more than to bring to your attention, that Chad didnt even reply here on RCU... Don Dow's original post was on RCC. Chad must have seen the post and replied by emailing or PM'ing Don. Don then posted his original post and Chad's response (which was never posted publically) here in this thread.

you guys should have realised that since it is Don's posting and Chad has not even posted in this MAAC forum... so you can chastise him all you want he probably doesnt even know this is taking place.

Old 04-07-2005, 10:36 PM
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Sharpy01
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

........as a matter of fact, I didn't notice. I've seen him post this identical message on other sites previously, thus I wrongly seen red and jumped to the conclusion. [:@] Thanks Andrew, I have adjusted my original post accordingly.

However, the message is still the same regardless of how it got here and he's still spreading it or it wouldn't have gotten here and my response is essentially the same.

Doesn't matter who posted it, I won't let it go unchallenged.

ORIGINAL: ajcoholic

Chad has not even posted in this MAAC forum... so you can chastise him all you want he probably doesnt even know this is taking place.
.......at least he has the opporunity to come here and defend his opinion. Heck, there is a whole thread at RCC bashing some poor guy named "Marc Sharpe" who doesn't even have the opportunity to respond there. I also noticed the same thread wasn't closed till some other guy posted something supporting Sharpe's literary ethics? ....chuckle.......go figure.
Old 04-08-2005, 04:16 AM
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

It is rather confusing who posted the post from who? We should try to avoid that. I have no idea if can.... is chad... or whatever.

I personally feel that every national sporting body should be a member of the FAI. I am not a competitor but the FAI membership gives people the chance to compete and also gives a national group, international standing.
When I was in Soaring, badges and record attempts, etc. were through the FAI documentation and requirements and I believe all people should have the chance to attempt new records, compete etc. should they so desire. I am the proud holder of a few badges including a gold and a partially completed diamond, but even the badge itself and the diamond was paid for by myself, let alone all expenses incurred during the attempts. Kind of funny. Congratulations! You have completed all badge requirements. Now You qualify to order a badge for a couple of hundred bucks and pin it on your lapel!


If someone can whip up a sponsor, great! I don't feel like supporting travel ,etc. etc. but the majority of an organization should determine if that is in their best interests.
Old 04-08-2005, 06:56 AM
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kenair
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

Gut wrenching budget decisions -

Well prior to a few years ago there was no gut wrenching on budgets, it was spend spend spend, then raise the fees, scale 2002 and the Brandon Nats and the fai travel fund are a few examples.

At the Brandon Nats in 1994, the fai maaacers threw a big stink that the team trials would have to held at the MAAC Canadian championships in Brandon, competitors and officals would boycott the event, money was given to some for hotel, meal and mileage expenses so that they would show up and the Brandon Nats would not fall flat due to the boycott.

After the Brandon Nats fiasco, some MAAC members who are not politically active but only want to fly took it upon themselves and attended their first zone meetings in the fall of 1994 and raised many questions - or bashing, what ever flavour you want to call it, they saw that more money was being spent on FAI then insurance and then started raising the awarness of MAAC members of where their money was going. All along the way these members have been labelled anti maac, anti competition, anti maac, anti fai.

Aero Club of Canada wanted to double the maac fee in 1995 Rick Reid said no, Rick Reid paid the price from the fai maaacers, Wayne Bransfeld & March Sharpe wanted financial accountablilty from Scale 2002, some call this bashing, Scale 2002 lost $62,400.00 MAAC dollars, Bransfeld and Sharpie paid the price.

Some wanted to see a budget and business plan for Nats 2005, none was presented yet the board is flowing money to them.

Businesses love the maac magazine, the membership subsidizes the magazine cost, if the cost of the magazine was paid for by the advertising, would those companies still pay the higher rates and support the mag - let's see and try it and remove the subsidy.

Some maac members have taken a lot of abuse by questioning the sacred cows of MAAC, to get to the gut wrenching process.

In some countries, like South Africa aeromodelling competitors purchase their FAI licnense directly from their aeroclub and pay for it themselves, and their national modeling organization does not contribute.

I've been around, I am a maaac member, I know how MAAC operates, there was a time when I would stay silent, some folks like to take the high ground and be lovy dovy, some like to take it to the personal level, I stay with the MAAC issues of money and accountability.



Old 04-08-2005, 07:15 AM
  #22  
Jim_McIntyre
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

ORIGINAL: kenair
In some countries, like South Africa aeromodelling competitors purchase their FAI licnense directly from their aeroclub and pay for it themselves....
In fact, that's exactly how it works here, we individually pay Aeroclub for our sport license. The money you're referring to is for MAAC to be a member of Aeroclub so that anyone wishing to compete at that level, can buy this license. Without MAAC's membership, no amount of money would permit me (or anyone else) to fly FAI representing Canada. This is because FAI governs aviation worldwide, and they will not feal with individual organizations from each country, they will only deal with theri counterpart (Aeroclub in Canada).

There is no free ticket. We've discussed this before and I know you are aware of this fact ... yet you continue to spin your yarn.[>:]
Old 04-08-2005, 07:51 AM
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kenair
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

the South Aferican aermodelling org does not pay any fee at all to their aero club like maac does in Canada - check it out.

One could easily say that JM is doing a spin of his own - no?
Old 04-08-2005, 08:01 AM
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Jim_McIntyre
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

Man, I don't get you Ken.... What's your point? Things are done differently in South Africa therefor I'm spinning something?

You can't excape facts, If you're unhappy with how Aeroclub is organized, take it up with them. It's not just MAAC that has to pay this fee, FAI will not recognize any organization that is not a member. No membership, you simply can't compete. Is this fair? is it right?
Probably not. But, this is not the most pressing inequality in our world.
Old 04-10-2005, 11:28 AM
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Default RE: MAAC membership reasonable?

ORIGINAL: kenair
Keep in mind if $$ had been put in a contingency fund instead of the FAI travel fun for the last 10 or 20 years, we could have had a contingency fund of a 1/2 million bucks ...
Also keep in mind that if the association had been keeping dues tied to the cost of inflation, (seeing as the costs of keeping the association afloat are tied to inflation) there would have been an extra $200,000 to put into the contingency in ONE YEAR alone (the last year that the dues were $44.50)

The real cause of the cash shortfall is that some directors pushed a 'no dues increase' position extremely aggressively, without understanding what it was doing to the association's financial position. Clearly, a $5 increase every couple of years would have gone down better than a sudden spoke to $75 (which is only slightly higher than the $44 dues adjusted for inflation from the time they were brought in)
Add to that the unexpected and unprecedented increase in insurance costs ... and the association is doing remarkably well to keep the dues at $75





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