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When Did BCA Fees go to $50 per year?

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2 hours ago, 1953mack said:

 

Brian DuPouli was just elected President and Kevin Kinney preceded him. I mention both names because I don't know who might have prompted publishing the statement in the BUGLE per the Club's by-laws. Maybe it was Bill Stoneberg or the CPA's idea. It would be nice to know which of the two Presidents was doing their job. Anybody have an answer?

 

Who is this DuPouli guy...never heard of him... DePouli...DePouli...😀 just a little humor Al, I actually don't care what you call me...

 

As for when I served my second term and the answer you are looking for it is very simple. BCA Member and BCA Accountant Joel Gauthier was still alive and did an excellent job as BCA accountant. I did absolutely nothing to ensure it was published during either my first or second term, but it was like clockwork as per By-law requirements, I assume because of Joel (and of course Pete, Bill Stoneberg, and The BCA office probably also had a hand in it.). I suspect Kevin would state the same. Sadly Joel passed and the BOD minutes reflect, a transition to the new accountant created the lapse. Why is this taken for anything but face value? I believe it should be published per the by-laws but I don't care that it was missed for a bit in light of the circumstances.

 

As for the money and all that stuff, I'm letting the elected BOD handle that in the best interest of the club...in the mean time I'm gonna enjoy my Buicks and the Bugle and the other members in the club who I visit with, hear from and help. In other words now that I have responded to my name being brought up I'm going back to my regularly scheduled program and suggest others do as well. It will be resolved and life will move on...

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5 hours ago, 1953mack said:

What's shocking in the minutes is to read that the current BCA President Alan Oldfield sent out an e-mail to the board that he didn't feel that it was necessary to publish the report in the Bugle because that would take up valuable pages that could be used for members car stories.

 

The italicized line above is a twist of words.  The exact conversation is found in the March 18 minutes, Addendum #1.  When:

On 3/18/18  Mr. Weigand asked:"  All, I have a question or two concerning the cash reserve that this club is setting on.  Mr. President, are you going to instruct the Bugle editor to publish the financial details that has been hashed over for the last week or so?"

 

And on 3/19 Mr. Oldfield responds: " NO. I will not instruct the Bugle editor to publish the financial details that have been hashed over the for the last week or so. The reason is that it will all be in the minutes that will be published to the website. Those minutes are available to the entire membership.   Also, our secretary writes a summary of BOD action for the Bugle, as we directed previously.  Our discussions would be in that summary. "

I would also note that the details of the subject "discussion"  did not comprise a complete financial report.  

 

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2 hours ago, 38Buick 80C said:

 

Who is this DuPouli guy...never heard of him... DePouli...DePouli...😀 just a little humor Al, I actually don't care what you call me...

 

As for when I served my second term and the answer you are looking for it is very simple. BCA Member and BCA Accountant Joel Gauthier was still alive and did an excellent job as BCA accountant. I did absolutely nothing to ensure it was published during either my first or second term, but it was like clockwork as per By-law requirements, I assume because of Joel (and of course Pete, Bill Stoneberg, and The BCA office probably also had a hand in it.). I suspect Kevin would state the same. Sadly Joel passed and the BOD minutes reflect, a transition to the new accountant created the lapse. Why is this taken for anything but face value? I believe it should be published per the by-laws but I don't care that it was missed for a bit in light of the circumstances.

 

As for the money and all that stuff, I'm letting the elected BOD handle that in the best interest of the club...in the mean time I'm gonna enjoy my Buicks and the Bugle and the other members in the club who I visit with, hear from and help. In other words now that I have responded to my name being brought up I'm going back to my regularly scheduled program and suggest others do as well. It will be resolved and life will move on...

Al,

I agree with Brian's statement above. I would love to take credit for this but it would be a lie. As for Brian's last paragraph, I give it two thumbs up.

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Rather than accounting documents I would like to see how much the average age has increased. That is usually the killer when it comes to spending money. Out of 7,000 members a few old fuss budgets (what an appropriate term) begin to worry about their money, someone else's money, and it is like trying to get a muskrat carcass away from the dog.

Look at your own Chapters. If there are hard feelings or the affects of them it is probably something related to money. My Chapter had an unexpected windfall a decade ago and I think things may be mostly healed up by now.

I can think of a number of times I spent my own money on something for the Club and wouldn't dare to mention it. Not for a reimbursement but to avoid the grumbling about whatever it was, it was too much or some such thing. I actually spend more time with the Cadillac Club Chapter and one reason is that there isn't the money bickering if someone sees a nickle. That is an observation I have made over many years and that is the action I have chosen to distance myself. It makes for a better time.

 

I had to laugh about the comment of sitting on reserves. If anyone comes across a deal on new rope, just let it pass.

Bernie

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On ‎6‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 6:10 PM, JohnD1956 said:

 

The italicized line above is a twist of words.  The exact conversation is found in the March 18 minutes, Addendum #1.  When:

On 3/18/18  Mr. Weigand asked:"  All, I have a question or two concerning the cash reserve that this club is setting on.  Mr. President, are you going to instruct the Bugle editor to publish the financial details that has been hashed over for the last week or so?"

 

And on 3/19 Mr. Oldfield responds: " NO. I will not instruct the Bugle editor to publish the financial details that have been hashed over the for the last week or so. The reason is that it will all be in the minutes that will be published to the website. Those minutes are available to the entire membership.   Also, our secretary writes a summary of BOD action for the Bugle, as we directed previously.  Our discussions would be in that summary. "

I would also note that the details of the subject "discussion"  did not comprise a complete financial report.  

 

I disagree with what you are saying. What are you referring to when you say a twist of words and why are you quoting only part of Mr. Oldfield's 3/19 response to Terry W.?  Terry W's italicized line in question is brief, to the point, and accurate . . . BCA President Alan Oldfield sent out an e-mail to the board that he didn't feel that it was necessary to publish the report in the BUGLE because that would take up valuable pages that could be used for members car stories. 

 

The following is the exact response that appears on my computer. Who wrote these Minutes?

Alan O writes: Terry Answers to your questions:

Mr. President, are you going to instruct the Bugle editor to publish the financial details that has been hashed over for the last week or so?

NO. I will not instruct the Bugle editor to publish the financial details that have been hashed over the for the last week or so. The reason is that it will all be in the minutes that will be published to the website. Those minutes are available to the entire membership. Also, our secretary writes a summary of BOD action for the Bugle, as we directed previously. Our discussions would be in that summary. I am not the dictator of content for the Bugle. I will not, on my own, direct the editor to replace articles and news in the Bugle with BOD minutes that are already available on the website. That would be a waste of our Bugle space, and a waste of Pete and Cindy's time. Like you, I support transparency. The BOD may vote to direct the Bugle editor to replace articles and news in the Bugle with BOD minutes, if it so wishes.

 

Last concern. In the FEBRUARY 2018 issue of the BUGLE, you posted some minutes of previous BOD Meeting discussions. Would you be willing to share with all the members what prompted you to publish those and do you consider that publishing detailed Minutes and the annual Financial Statement is wasting someone's time and taking up valuable BUGLE space? Answers would be appreciated. Thanks.

 

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

 

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I am leaving for Denver shortly so I will just answer your last question for now.  The financial statements should be published in the Bugle once annually.   The detailed minutes, however, would take up an entire Bugle.  I do not think that is the best use of space in the Bugle.  They are on the Clubs web site, without need of a password to see.  They are also available from the office for members in good standing.  All a member needs to do is ask for them. 

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52 minutes ago, JohnD1956 said:

  The financial statements should be published in the Bugle once annually.   

 

John,

Not trying to be argumentative, but I agree fully with that statement. How can the membership get the board to do that? That would have solved a lot of the problem with members being upset about their lack of knowledge on this subject.

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The membership does not have to do anything to get this done. No one on the board advocates for NOT doing this.  It is in the By Laws.  However it wasn't done, and we have acknowledged this.  The reason was for circumstances outside our control. 

The fact is that the Club's long term accountant passed unexpectedly just when the next installment of the reports were due.  This set off  series of events leading to replacement with a new accounting firm and CPA and time to get everyone on the same page with the details.   It was just an unfortunate set of circumstance that took a long time to be worked out. 

I understand the next installment will be published at the end of the Club's fiscal year.  The fiscal year ends June 30th, then the reports can be developed and sent for publishing.  As everybody knows if you make a deadline of the 24th of any given month, the information will be published two months later.  

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Thanks.

 

I am just surprised that those circumstances have taken over 3 years to overcome, since the last one was published in 2014. I am sure that a lot of folks are looking forward to seeing the 2015, 2016, and 2017 financial reports soon.

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Matt, and others who may be concerned:.  

 

Remember, this is a not-for-profit organization run by volunteers, and there are gremlins that get into the way from time to time, and the board is scattered all over the country and many have real jobs that cause them to not have an instant response  at all times.  I am convinced no one is planning to run off with money and we do need proper reserves.  

 

You want to hear about a real problem.  One town in CT had their volunteer fire department vote to disband AS OF JUNE 30 giving the town (who created a cat fight over who controlled the fire department budget) a short time to find a solution.  is not all that dissimilar situation.

 

The BCA does not have such a situation and I am sure this concern can be resolved.

 

If a vote comes up in any meeting, I would think the BOD  needs to be some ballot of all active members, not just those with the loudest voices in the room.

 

John

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John,

 

After reading all of the board minutes on the BCA website I do have some concerns about the operation of the organization. Since the bylaws call for publishing the report each year and the report has not been published since 2014, it is very difficult to have an informed opinion of what the real situation is. A large number of questions have been asked by board members that are difficult to evaluate without at least knowing what the real numbers are for all of those years. As a member of the organization, I am simply asking questions. For some reason, some members of the organization seem offended when a fellow member asks questions about financial issues. That was apparently the case back in 2009 when someone else started this discussion. It was apparent recently when someone bumped it up to the top, and it is apparent from a few of the responses, phone calls, and emails that I have received after adding my own questions to this old discussion.

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I'm very glad that the BCA has some very passionate members who are very interested in the running of the organization, but are sometimes recent-decade-era members, sometimes.  I mean that in NO disrespect, one bit!  And then we have other more vintage members who have a equal passion of seeming to desire to hang on to what They've helped build and make happen.  This is a totally normal orientation, too!  Not wanting to see something torn up by others!  Unfortunately, this clinging-on can be viewed as "not wanting to change", by "the opposition".  This is nothing new in the BCA, by observation!!!

 

When the "young bloods" were elected in the later 1990s, at the request of the more vintage group, it was not long before there were complaints of the things the young 'uns wanted to do.  Getting operations upgraded the least bit seemed to bring "no happy about it" actions from those who earlier-desired them, by observation.  Yet such changes would be needed in the future and the orientation was NOT to tear down, but to get ready for the uncertain future, from what I could see.

 

Also from my observations as a new BCA and chapter officer in those times, the BCA BOD and what they did might have been immediately obvious to BCA members, each chapter director received a type-written "Minutes" from the BCA Office after each quarterly meeting.  Over two pages long, typically.  This was very good, as it kept each chapter director abreast of what was going on.  Who had made what inquiries and what actions were or would be taken.  It was very good, I thought.  Not to be picky, but position that against the need to go to the BCA website to find out these same things in more recent times.  It's good that they are there, but not having them appear in the physical mailbox In a timely manner is not quite the same.  On the website, it allows many others to see them, which can be a variable situation, by observation.

 

On a much earlier discussion of a then-pending BCA dues increase (to about $35.00/year?), Ms. Vasilow indicated that each time a dues increase was suggested, it brought a good deal of "concern" from the membership.  So the BOD usually waited until it was absolutely necessary to do these things rather than doing them earlier and in a less "absolutely necessary" manner.  In one respect, this "waiting" orientation can be good, but it can also hinder upgrading operations and such, too.  It can also mean that planned upgrades have to be delayed or find some other manner of funding them.  So, these discussions of dues increases are nothing new!

 

She also  mentioned "reserves" which were the backstop for BCA's financial position at the time.  No mention of amount or size, just that they were there.  I felt they were probably sufficient and left it at that.

 

Now, some might ask why a dues increase might be needed if there's "money in the bank"?  A valid question.  But the similar question might be "Why should the BCA lose money just because it can?"  Would it be financially prudent to spend down reserves rather than keep them in our own personal financial situations?  Probably NOT, so why should we expect the BCA do not seek to maintain or build these reserves?

 

Being the Treasurer in another car club for many years, I noticed that we were basically spending what was in the Treasury in our annual car show event.  So, I sought to increase the Treasury for more of a cushion.  I set a target and in a few years, we were there.  I did not seek to hide my orientation from the membership OR what the bank account had in it, but it was not published in the monthly newsletter as some did.  If they asked, I'd tell them on an individual basis.  Here why I did it that way.  

 

I feel it's the paid member's right to seek this information, if they desire, for whatever reason.  But I had also observed (in our yearly car show planning meetings) that IF we all knew what could be spent, it would be . . . to make a better show rather than conservatively estimating the number of cars we'd have, the number of t-shirts we might sell, etc. so that we had a "break-even" level that would cover the costs and anything above that was profit for the club.  That worked well.  Then we decided to start selling "sponsorships" for the t-shirts.  The first year, that helped "float" the show.  The next year, in the planning session, those modest $200.00 sponsorships were desired to be spent several times over!  Why?  Because several suggestions were made "to make the show better" by several officers.  After watching that, I quickly saw that we were headed for a big "loss of funds", so I had to get this discussion under control.  Then the various officers understood what they'd been doing (each with their own way to make things better with the SAME money available), so some priorities were put into place.  A year of so later, such "amenities" had increased to where we HAD to sell t-shirt sponsorships to just break even.  Things had gotten that out of hand, but they needed to understand how that happened!

 

In those times, too, it was somewhat common for a "non-profit" car club to basically "zero" their Treasury at the end of the year with a big holiday party.  That seemed a little suspect to me, but many considered that to be part of "non-profit".  After becoming Treasurer, I went to meet with our bank people and specifically asked IF a club could accumulate money to operate on.  I was told "Yes, you can".  The only thing was that anything which could result in a "1099" additional income form DID.  So all expenses could be reimbursed, but not for more than the documented amount.  So I put in place "Expense Reimbursement Forms" and kept them on file, should anybody desire to look.  I did the same thing with our BCA chapter, too, when I became an officer.  So, "non-profits" can accumulate operating reserves, legally.  Just as a municipal entity can accumulate operating reserves to help with lean times (low tax revenue) and plan for future needs without having to vote bonds and such.  Why would the BCA operate any differently?

 

Many tax payers just seem to want their taxes to cover operating costs.  If there's anything left over, it should go into a tax decrease the next year, typically.  So they either slowly accumulate reserves or vote lots of bonds (with each election having it's own costs to make happen, which further increases expenses).  In a more personal situation, it would mean lots of trips to the banker to seek a loan.

 

In more recent times, it's been advocated that each citizen should have about three months worth of expenses in their personal bank accounts "as reserves" in case of job loss to fund their monthly costs until new work is found.  That might be a general rule, so the months'-supply can be variable.  Why should the BCA be any different?  

 

In short, the accumulation of reserves (however it might be happening) makes sound financial sense, to me.  And probably to many if they think about it!  Be that as it may.

 

As for "public disclosures", there are probably some regulations which might require it for a certain class of organization.  Be that at it may.  Nothing should be hidden, but it probably should be available upon request.  The only thing is that, from my earlier expenses, if some member-group has something they feel that NEEDS to be done, that Profit-Loss statement could be the "proof" that it can be done, if the powers that be might desire to do it.  Just because the money's apparently there.  Should that member-group be denied, if they feel strongly enough about that ONE thing, they'll typically find a way to force what they desire to happen, to happen.  Possibly to the detriment of other (unknown) desires of the BOD.  So, in that situation, "knowledge" can be a disruptor, of sorts.  Unless you've been there, many of the dynamics might be unknown to you, by observation.

 

It has nothing to do with "old vs. new", per se, just a full understanding of "Do we REALLY need to do this?" for the best long-term health of the club?  In many cases, such "needs" tend to be more "trendy" or "________ is doing this, why can't the BCA?" in nature.  What can work well for one group is not a universal situation that it'll work well for another group, by observation.  EACH group is different and has different operational dynamics.  So, no completely universal "way to do things".  This is not even considering the related costs involved, either.  If some things need to be done, there is a decision process, then finding the funding, and other aspects which need to be fully understood and discussed.  In some cases, it's quickly done.  In others, a more deliberate and time-consuming dynamic is present.

 

There is a "happy medium" of knowledge and "not-needing-to-know" (for some, that might be "not desiring to know", which typically can mean "confidence in the BOD to run the operations").  There might always be a bit of anxiety in answering member requests for information.  My hope is that all such requests would be respectfully answered in a timely manner.  I would also hope that sufficient justification for any decisions made would be there, with explanation of how the decision was made and by whom.

 

I feel that the membership needs to have these confidences in the BOD and their operations.  Even if there might be some differences in orientations between particular BOD members as to what their particular likes or disliked of particular types and orientations of vehicles, that they work for the BETTERMENT of the ENTIRE GROUP rather than just to push an agenda for their own orientations.  As I've stated previously.

 

The "betterment of the whole" orientation seems to be lost on some politicians who proudly state "the people of the _____ party elected me, so THEIR agenda is what I will operate under", as if their other inherited constituents don't matter.    "Winner takes all", it seems.  So more partisanship happens, with many getting left out as a result.

 

Personally, I really don't care whom's friends/associates with whom, just that the actual needs and operations of the BCA happen as well as they can, in an orientation of "Continuous Improvement".  Whether that means a dues increase of not.  As the BOD approves the operating budget and parts thereof, I'm going to presume that operations are pretty efficient and cost-effective.  There might be some areas where some upgrades might be considered, which takes FEEDBACK from the members to determine without other information.

 

Over the years, some things have been done in a more cost-efficient manner, but some of these things might have also seemed to make the BOD's actions more "otherwise".  Not having the quarterly meetings (as in prior times) with a published agenda of things to be considered at the next meeting seeming to have vanished,  Some of these "otherwise" conspiracy theories can develop.  On the "plus" side, the ability to quickly act upon various issues can be increased.  The question then might become "Does this additional time flexibility benefit the complete organization in a beneficial manner?"  Might these orientations have an affect upon the yearly BOD election turnout?  Might these orientations have an affect upon membership levels?  Many might desire to see how the BCA operates in comparison to other similar groups.  Do operations really need to change, just because they can be, or is a more focused approach to where the BCA might desire to end up need to happen?  There are many good things about the BCA, from what I've seen over the years. 

 

Hopefully, we can use that base to build into the future, in a positive manner, rather than being seemingly embroiled in individua/group controversies that really might not amount to much in the grand scheme of things.  That means, each BCA operative working to make things better, collectively, from the top to the bottom.  However that might be justified to happen.  From my experiences, it's MUCH better when activities happen in a deliberate and mutually-beneficial manner rather than a "group of private agendas".  The BCA might be a group of volunteers, but that does not mean that professionalism can't happen.  Perhaps things are better than what I'm seeing in these forums or hear about?  I hope they are!

 

Enjoy!

'Willis Bell  20811

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