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MAAC - Whats the Problem?

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MAAC - Whats the Problem?

Old 06-20-2005, 01:35 PM
  #1  
Doug Burt
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Default MAAC - Whats the Problem?

As a long time visitor to the RCU site I've been growing increasingly concerned over the bad rap that we're giving our national aeronautic association. Finally, in desperation I've actually registered in order to participate.

As a member of any organization you have the power to make reforms and changes, but in order to do so you have to bite the bullet and volunteer. There are many volunteers in our organization who work very hard and gain little consideration for our overall efforts.
These efforts are challenging enough as we all try and please everyone, to say nothing of the time and effort we and our families put into making the whole organization a working entity.

Its much easier to get on-line and complain about the status quo of MAAC in an international on-line forum dedicated to the organization, instead of making your voice heard where it counts. In your local club, at your local Annual General Zone meetings or if you're lucky enough at the MAAC Annual General Meeting.

I see many here who have worked for the organization both currently and in the past participating in these Forums, but also note that many of the preconceived biases still exist, both on an East vs. West and in the Competition vs. Non-Competition arena. I believe that we would all be better served if we exercise our voices where they can do the most good instead. The "I just want to fly" mentality that prevails at a good many clubs is alive and at work here too...

Doug Burt
MAAC Electric Com. Chairman
Asst. ZD (BC)

Old 06-20-2005, 05:18 PM
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Sharpy01
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

I see where you're coming from Doug and yes, we all have our personal areas of focus.

I have an idea of the amount of work you have put in and I'm glad you chose to participate.

Personally, I believe any open discussion is potentially more beneficial than silence. I understand the notion that you must get involved at your local club level and on up the ladder, but the fact of the matter is, unless you get the attention of a much larger swath of the national membership, you will not effect any change. That's the way the system is set up. Forums and internet are one of the best vehicles for getting information out and, maybe more importantly, ferret out the BS to correct misinformation. Folks on both sides of issues here are here for the same reason;

....to try and win wider support for change ...............or maintain the status quo.

Old 06-20-2005, 06:31 PM
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Hughes500E
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

I've been growing increasingly concerned over the bad rap that we're giving our national aeronautic association.

Amen to that!
I'm sure everyone knows my position here but, I am trying to approach the subject with more meaning.
Tough one, friends!
Old 06-20-2005, 07:36 PM
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britbrat
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?


ORIGINAL: Hughes500E

I'm sure everyone knows my position here but, I am trying to approach the subject with more meaning.

I, for one, don't know what your position is --- what is it?
Old 06-20-2005, 10:34 PM
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Sharpy01
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

Bad Rap?

Just curious, but where are we getting this "rap"? I have friends who fly on both sides of the border and around Canada and for the most part, aside what we may discuss, most are oblivious.

Most of those with interest from this side of the border have been pleased that at least some of the issues are being raised and getting out in the open. Aside from the few notables, that follow me around in the cyberworld, the VAST majority have been positive about open discussion.

Old 06-20-2005, 10:59 PM
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Doug Burt
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

When we start sniping at each other instead of being constructive leaves the whole organization with a position of being one that is disarray. By being open and having a positive discussion is a good thing...Trouble is I don't see that happening much after the first 5 or so posts. Because we're all passionate about our hobby/sport we take it personally and the sniping begins.

Don't try and kid yourself, I just re-read the past posts in this Forum and saw how long it took before it got personal. As for transparency as far as the organization sits I do believe that the information is there, its just a question of how deep you want to look to find it. Problem is most members don't want to have to do the work themselves and rely on the posts in Forums such as this, RCC and others including CEF for their information. Its easy to see how fast the issue can become clouded when no one actually has all the information at hand and personalities start to clash because one or the other doesn't see fit to accept another members point of view...

Doug
Old 06-20-2005, 11:37 PM
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Sharpy01
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?


ORIGINAL: Doug Burt

When we start sniping at each other instead of being constructive leaves the whole organization with a position of being one that is disarray. By being open and having a positive discussion is a good thing...Trouble is I don't see that happening much after the first 5 or so posts. Because we're all passionate about our hobby/sport we take it personally and the sniping begins.

Don't try and kid yourself, I just re-read the past posts in this Forum and saw how long it took before it got personal. As for transparency as far as the organization sits I do believe that the information is there, its just a question of how deep you want to look to find it. Problem is most members don't want to have to do the work themselves and rely on the posts in Forums such as this, RCC and others including CEF for their information. Its easy to see how fast the issue can become clouded when no one actually has all the information at hand and personalities start to clash because one or the other doesn't see fit to accept another members point of view...

Doug
I don't disagree with anything you said here Doug. The only difference may be that my experience is that the organization is somewhat in disarray. It was when I was in the thick of it and has obviously continued beyond my tenure.

"I do believe that the information is there, its just a question of how deep you want to look to find it. Problem is most members don't want to have to do the work themselves and rely on the posts in Forums such as this, RCC and others including CEF for their information"

....100%, and all the more reason not to allow one forum or site to provide a monopolized opinion on information that members decide to seek.
Old 06-21-2005, 08:56 AM
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

ORIGINAL: Sharpy01
... not to allow one forum or site to provide a monopolized opinion on information that members decide to seek.
Why seek information on an Internet forum?
What quality of information do you expect to see in an Internet forum?

Opinions, yes. Points of view, yes but, reliable information?

Your Zone director is there to answer your questions ... officially. That's one of their primary duties..... if they don;t have the answer, they are required to seek it form the board.

Any yahoo, including me can state their opinion here. They can even state their view of the world or how they feel it should be. Truth is, the content is reliable/useful for little else than entertainment. It's like asking for opinions at the field ... you often don't need to ask, you'll get a variety of quality, often from unqualified (but verbal) people, and many conflicting opinions that are often simply wrong....
Old 06-21-2005, 09:27 AM
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Doug Burt
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

Hey Sharpy01, Jim

You both bring valid points to the table and I agree with both points of view. I know that a number of past MAAC exec's have been vilified here and on other Forums because they had differing points of view. As a Committee Chair and Asst ZD I find I'm in the unenviable position of having to answer not only for past transgressions, but also the current ones. I find it increasingly difficult because members find out snippets of information from Forums such as this, which as Jim has nicely put it, "Truth is, the content is reliable/useful for little else than entertainment."

That being said it would be nice to see stuff posted on these and other boards about how to constructively help MAAC move into the 21st Century. I've watched as my committee grew astronomically over the past 5 years and watched how the "Park Flyer Syndrome" helped bring RC model flying back into urban centers. This has been a double-edged sword however as far as MAAC has been concerned as not many "parkies" want to join the organization, preferring instead to just go fly without the rules and reg's that are now being imposed on us at our fields and clubs.

As a Club President with over 300 registered members (of which some 170 are currently active) I find I spend too much time answering questions that shouldn't need answering because Sam or Joe read about it on the internet first and then decided that he/she needed clarification. When the contributors to these threads go way off topic, the members can't get the idea that these threads may or may not contain correct and accurate info and therefore the problems start...

Doug
Old 06-21-2005, 09:52 AM
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?


ORIGINAL: Doug Burt

------ "Truth is, the content is reliable/useful for little else than entertainment." ----- That being said it would be nice to see stuff posted on these and other boards about how to constructively help MAAC move into the 21st Century.

---- When the contributors to these threads go way off topic, the members can't get the idea that these threads may or may not contain correct and accurate info and therefore the problems start...

Doug
Finally

Thanks Doug. Maybe we are now getting somewhere.
Old 06-21-2005, 11:14 AM
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jhelps
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

The recommendation to "Ask your ZD, for that is what they are there for ..." comes up quite regularly on these forums. I cannot imagine that a ZD would want ~1000 or so members calling and asking questions. I for one find it wrong that I would have to seek information on serious issues ( a "PULL" situation) as opposed to having the info sent to me (a "PUSH" situation). I don't suggest that ZD's come on forums such as this to answer each and every question. I do however suggest that once a question is asked of a ZD or the board, that both the question and answer are posted on a website for all to see. Before anyone suggests that the magazine is for that, in the past the board has intevened to remove contentious issues form the mag. In the past letters to the editor and ZD reports have not made it into the magazine.

In this electronic age where news is in your hands "as it happens", when nothing is forth coming it smacks of cover-up, and rumour and inuendo rush in to fill the information vacuum. When it becomes apparent that the BOD is at odds with each other (the insurance or lack there-of, issue) it quickly becomes food for Internet fodder. When a ZD walks out of the AGM with 1400 or so votes without explaination - questions begin to circulate. When BOD meetings are held "in camera" then people begin to wonder how things are really run. When the a majority of motions at the AGM are ruled out of order by the constitution committee (I for one do not understand why they do not review the motion prior to the AGM and go back to the zone that raised the item with suggested clarification allowing it to be voted on) forcing a one or more year wait for change, then people get very cinical. When the "corporation" is run by a number of "representatives" elected by the members and carying only the amount of votes in their zone, you get the worst combination of parlimentary and corporate government rolled into one. It is actually worse than that - in some instances the ZD ha a single vote, for example when voting for the executive. This regularly results in the complaint that a minority are setting the rules for the majority.

So overall I do support change to improve the governance for the organization. Perhaps limiting the term of ZD and president is a good idea. The suggestion continues to be raised that if people are not happy then they should get involved, however there is a "back room" political side to the current situation that tends to force newcomers to toe the party line. It takes very strong ZD's and presidents to buck this pressure - luckily there are still folks with integrity out there.

I apologize if the above doe not make much sense as I have a killer cold right now ... will likely review it later , say OH MY God!! and delete the whole thing!!!

JH
Old 06-21-2005, 12:26 PM
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Jim_McIntyre
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

Interesting....

I submit that, as MAAC understands, all members do not have access to the Internet so, it is not the best vehicle for dissemination of this type of information to all members (although much is posted on the MAAC website).

Of course the magazine must maintain a certain politically correct presentation, as it is not only our communication "vehicle" but, a public relations publication as well.

Channels for discourse on "sensitive" issues are established. ZD's, committees, the exec etc. all publish contact information. I'll go so far as to say they go out of their way to accomodate my questions.

Your concern that thousands of people will contact ZDs is a known issue, that's why they have columns in the magazine to address the need to respond to issues of that volume.... in a politically correct format of course.

I can see where that answer might lead ... before asking, ask yourself when would it be appropriate to respond politically incorrectly?

But, lets get real (just for a moment ok?). Have you ever attended a zone meeting? I have, and collected proxies.... The membership involvement/concerns have certainly not been measured in triple digits nay of the times I've attended.

I can tell you than I have never had an issue with getting a prompt response from my ZD. On the occasion that he is unreachable, the MAAC office, or another ZD has been very responsive.

A word of advice if I may, before you criticise, be sure there really is a problem...
Old 06-21-2005, 03:11 PM
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jhelps
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

Thanks for the advice Jim re criticising ... I always carefully consider what I post (unless I have a cold!!!).

I was a ZD for a bit less than a year (medical emergency in the family caused me to drop the job), and I have seen first hand that of which I speak, the late night phone calls, the meetings in corners,etc

It is well understood that most members do not have Internet access, but that is no excuse for not using that venue as a prime forum for information passage.

"Be sure there really is a problem" ... Couldn't agree more which is why some have repeadidly called for a survey/referendum of the membership be conducted to see what they want. Want some fun? Suggest that course of action on the other forum and wait for the responses!! There will be everything from it is impossible to properly form the questions thereby skewing the answers ... to "have you any idea what that would cost?" to veiled responses which suggest that the membership at large does not know what is best for them!!!

Try suggesting these three questions (Word them anyway you want):

Do you wish MAAC to continue to be the organization representing models who wish to compete internationally by maintaining MAACs association with the aeroclub of Canada at an annual cost of $$$ ?

Do you want any club or other organization which requests funding assistance to present MAAC with a detailed business case before hosting a national or international event with no exceptions and with a complete accounting afterwards?

Do you want to limit the term of members of the the BOD to 3 consecutive terms with a 2 year break in between?

Before you jump on me about my position on any of the above, I have my personnel opinion on each which may or may not go with the mainstream, however if a clearly worded question was answered by the majority against my thoughts I would accept it. The problem is that immediatley after suggesting the above the spin doctoring will begin. Indeed your term "politically correct" usually means big brother deciding what others can say and do regardless of what they really think.

Proxies are a disaster in that they can be used to vote for items raised from the floor at the meeting, indeed proxies and preplanning have been used to push contentious recommendations through AZM's. This is why I suggest that a better corporate model for MAAC needs to be developed.

Calling the ZD and asking for clarification usually results in a response not worth the paper it is written on ("Wait a minute you told me that ... no I didn't ... Yes you did ..."). And then the phone calls would start (He told me this ... No!!! ... Yes!!!)

Anyway don't read fanatical ambition or radical call for change in any of the above. My position is simply MAAC can do better and should try to do so within the limitations of being a volunteer organization. I do however believe that there are some heavily entrenched positions and people that could do with a change. It is going to be really interesting to see what happens when the changes to our bylaws and other rules of procedure start being reviewed to come in line with Ontario law. There will be those who use the opportunity to try and push their own agenda's.

JH




Old 06-21-2005, 03:40 PM
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Jim_McIntyre
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

ORIGINAL: jhelps
It is well understood that most members do not have Internet access, but that is no excuse for not using that venue as a prime forum for information passage.
Huh? This seems rather contradictory.
Besides, MAAC does have a website, and a policy for Internet usage....
The problem I see with MAAC forum communications is anonymity. How can I trust someone who identifies themself merely as 'britbrat'. Are they even a MAAC member? Even though I identify myself by name, can you be sure it's the same Jim McIntyre you've met in person without calling me and asking if it's really me? Then why not just call me in the first place?


ORIGINAL: jhelps
... There will be everything from it is impossible to properly form the questions thereby skewing the answers ... to "have you any idea what that would cost?" to veiled responses which suggest that the membership at large does not know what is best for them!!!
Why do you think these rebuttals are any less valid than the suggestion? From what I've seen, these threads degrade to personal attacks rapidly and are locked as a result. Not as a result of any inferred "old boy club" policy....

ORIGINAL: jhelps
Try suggesting these three questions (Word them anyway you want):
Wording for questionaires, referendum votes etc. has proven to be an interesting filed of study for both psychology and philosophy fields. From what little I have read, it seems it is impossible to word any question precise enough to have meaning without evoking an emotional response that some spin is being attempted.

I will not respond to your hypothetical questions (for I comprehend them as such) but, I can certainly see how the wording could be interpreted to evoke a specific desired response....

What's worse, if history repeats itself (as it often does) the results will be interpreted out of context. A good example of this is the last survey done by MAAC with many involved in these discussions interpreting responses to a question worded something like "What type of activity do you participate in" as showing that these people did not support other interests.
Old 06-21-2005, 04:03 PM
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Sharpy01
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

Much of the misinformation could be eliminated simply by placing it on public display.

Most of the main problems swirl around finances and board/executive decisions on specific issues and what the association is actually doing for them.

Maintain current budget info with actual and projected numbers on the website in PDF format. This information is in electronic format so it is not a difficult task. I challenge anyone to find an organized club in the country that doesn't have at least one member that has access and can bring updated numbers to every club meeting. I made a habit of posting the numbers as ZD, which met with tremendous resistance? Why? Honesty and transparency are the best defense against false info.

Post the minutes of the AGM, yearly Zone meetings and all Executive meetings as well. Again, they are all electronic format already and available.

Post any issues that the board raises that requires a special vote. Include those that are passed and voted down!

For the most part, it's boring stuff, but at least it's available in an uneditable format that can be printed, referenced and distributed for those who have an interest and for those who stumble into a forum disscussion on so they can research and come to informed opinion.

I don't understand the resistance to getting facts to the membership. "Call your ZD if you want to find out" is lame and unesessary if it can be easliy accessed in these modern times.

As for my side of any argument I'm involved in, I have absolutely no reservation about facts being posted on the MAAC site, but it cannot be selective and it must be complete. I will always yeild to fact..............even if it proves me wrong.
Old 06-21-2005, 04:39 PM
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Doug Burt
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?


Sharpy01 brings a good point to the table here guys.

ORIGINAL: sharpy01
Why? Honesty and transparency are the best defense against false info.
If all the MAAC business was posted on the MAAC website a good deal of the misinformation, innuendo and outright falsehood could be completely avoided in these Forums. I don't believe that most members in this day and age don't have access to, or that someone in their club doesn't have access to the web somewhere's.

ORIGINAL: jhelps
It is well understood that most members do not have Internet access, but that is no excuse for not using that venue as a prime forum for information passage.
However, thats another thing that could be brought to the forefront in our MAC magazine as a way of addressing this issue and it wouldn't take much time to do properly...

Realize that by flaming others on-line in the Forums is the fastest way to get a thread locked or pulled and then the innuendo's start because the info that was once there is now gone... It does take careful consideration on part of the contributor's to these threads to avoid bringing their own personal opinions into the information thats presented. That way maybe, just maybe we can make up for lost time and changes that are long overdue instead of arguing amongst ourselves...

So far we're doing pretty good!

Doug
Old 06-22-2005, 07:23 AM
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Jim_McIntyre
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

But ...

All the information you mentioned, budget, minutes of AGM etc. are already sent to all members in the magazine.

MAAC appears to have chosen this as the communication vehicle for this information. This makes sense to me, as it reaches all members, not just those with high speed internet access and the skills to use it. It is the least common denominator and makes a lot of sense.
Old 06-22-2005, 08:12 AM
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

Not timely enough, and doesn't contain minutes of the quarterly executive meetings where the touchy stuff is dealt with. Also doesn't address current individual issues involving a board vote (for/against)Who voted for what. This should also be available because members should know what their ZD is voting for. Removes the cloak and forces ZD's to be immediately accountable for their positions on all issues while they are still hot topics.



Old 06-22-2005, 08:24 AM
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Jim_McIntyre
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

ORIGINAL: Sharpy01
Not timely enough, and doesn't contain minutes of the quarterly executive meetings where the touchy stuff is dealt with.
Last I checked, the magazine is published more often than quarterly... and you avoided issues of access. The earlier suggestion of someone printing and bringing to club meetings doesn't address the needs of members who don't belong to clubs, in many cases the same rural groups that would not be reached by the Internet.....

ORIGINAL: Sharpy01
Also doesn't address current individual issues involving a board vote (for/against)Who voted for what.
A website is not going solve this for you. I believe dissemination of this kind of information is under the control of the board, not a website director.
Old 06-22-2005, 10:00 AM
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

nothing to do with the website director. My opinion, is the board should simply release all such info to the webmaster for posting as it is available.

The mag is limited to a certain number of pages and there obviously needs to be some balance. You know as well as I do, that loading it up every issue with politics wouldn't be that smart. I haven't lost sight of the need to promote the flying portion of this hobby. Regardless, there is still at least a 2 month lag time to issues that could be up on the site the next day they are discussed or voted on. Isn't perfect, but it's reasonable.
Old 06-22-2005, 10:15 AM
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Jim_McIntyre
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

I'm not so certain it's reasonable.

You're suggesting that minutes of closed door meetings, strategic planning sessions etc. be posted. Often these meetings are 'closed door' for a valid reason as they may involve personal private issues or exchange of information of some other sensitive nature. For example, if a legal issue were being discussed that would result in MAAC's exposure if made available to a wider audience, or some discussion that, if made public, could be viewed as defamation of character.....

Basically, I would think MAAC would want legal opinion on content before publishing this type of material ... much cheaper to simply not publish these materials but, wait for a resolution to matters before publishing.
Old 06-22-2005, 12:09 PM
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Doug Burt
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

Which again brings us back to the topic of transparency and honesty. What types of information are so divisive as not to reach the membership, afterall it's our organization. Back door politics and closed door meetings have no place in an organization such as MAAC because it leaves us all open to imagining what's going on and worse, it lets those that have agendas of their own insert them because of the lack of information. This leads us right back to the issue at hand, that is complaining about our organization on-line, without all the facts.

Putting the quarterly meeting information in the MAAC magazine and on-line would be a good idea and help to stop the amount of disinformation we seem to be so good at. BTW the reason the MAAC magazine is published is that it is a more cost effective way of getting the three legal notices required by law (required for non-profit societies, charitable organizations etc) out to the members. Its funny but the amount of money that it would take to draft the information from your MAAC AGM, your local AZM and the meeting minutes of the AGM, publish the information and mail it out to our membership 3 times a year is about even with what we currently pay for the magazine now, because of the advertising subsidies that the publisher receives from advertisers. The other benefit is that we get to see our RC disciplines looked at, reported on and get notices of what going on in the Canadian RC sphere of things. For those that believe that the magazine is an unnecessary expense, I would have to argue strenuously against that belief. For most the magazine is welcomed when it arrives, for others such as myself the deadlines come much to quickly...Speaking of deadlines I've got to run...We've all been asked to get our articles in early for the next issue...For those that read the Electrics column, I'll see you there soon!

Doug
Old 06-22-2005, 12:10 PM
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

On both sides of the border and for the most part, the cause of the whole unsolvable RC aeromodeling problem in a nutshell.

CCR
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Old 06-22-2005, 12:15 PM
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

Hey fliers1,

Yes it's pretty much a grab bag of undeciferable nonsense at best but the downside is without the august organizations working for us and our needs we would lose bigtime. We need radio frequencies, safety and all the other amenities to enjoy our hobby, but because our organizations are so unweildy at best they tend to move slowly at getting things done.

Just witness your own AMA problem with sorting out the electric issues which are near and dear to my heart here in Canada to say nothing of the "Park Flyer" syndrome which is pervading all RC'ers worldwide...

Doug
Old 06-22-2005, 12:50 PM
  #25  
Jim_McIntyre
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Default RE: MAAC - Whats the Problem?

ORIGINAL: Doug Burt
Back door politics and closed door meetings have no place in an organization such as MAAC
No offence intended but, that is a somewhat naive opinion.

In any organization, there are meetings to deal with sensitive issues. Legal issues, personnel issues. Often even a seemingly simple conversation like 'whiteboarding' out new ideas can have unforseen ramifications including (but not limited to) exposing the organization to lawsuits....

____

Hi Clarence! Long time no see buddy, still fighting the good fight I hope.... My students and I are still reaping the benefits of your visit although, I'm not teaching nearly as much these days.[sm=disappointed.gif]

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