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When Did BCA Fees go to $50 per year?


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Fees charged by car clubs is also a problem in the Land of Oz, I know of clubs with over $100 K in the bank who return very little back to members , such as free picnic days etc

My main Club, Berrima District has a system where old folks after 3 years have their fees halved,

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The dues were raised to $50 at the membership meeting in Colorado. When they went from $35 to $40 they gave the members a chance to pay ahead. This time ,I guess they felt that that was not nesccessary. my dues are paid through 2012 and then they will lose another another LOOONG time member

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I just joined this year and was looking forward to Ames.When I pulled up the cost of everything for me to attend I believe it is not going to happen. The fees went up a month after I joined. I went to get a membership for my brother when I found out that they had went up. I enjoy the Buick family but being retired on a fixed income I think this will be my one and only year for BCA.

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The increase wasn't so much directly a cost of the Bugle, although that plays a part. Part of the issue has been decreasing membership since the bankers messed up the world. The BoD heard long and loud not to cut the Bugle. For many BCA members, it is their lifeline and primary link to the BCA. If you just look at the Bugle, it works out to just over $4/issue. That's pretty reasonable for a decent magazine.

That being said, I understand that those on fixed incomes and / or diverse interests have a bit more of a struggle to make the decisions about what to keep or drop.

I pay extra for the luxury of living in Canada and I chose to pay more for the premium delivery - for quite some time that worked well, but in recent months I've been receiving my copy around the same time as others here who don't pay for the premium mail. Guess what I'll be changing on my renewal?

To each his own. I can't make a decision for anyone else. I can say that with the Bugle, the National Meet, and Gopher State Chapter, I consider it money well spent. It isn't just the magazines and newsletters, but the friendships I've made that I truly value.

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Good thoughts, Derek. I have only belonged for a year. Just renewed for three years. That reduced the yearly rate a mite.

I have only met two members, but hope to meet many more in Ames. I too am on a fixed income. It is called Social Security. Will give up eating out a couple times a year to maintain my membership.

Ben

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You can go to the BCA site and pull up the minutes of the Board. You will find a condensed version of the long discussion on the cost of running the club and the need to do something about the dues.

The economies of running a club involve balancing the cost with the income. I believe the BCA has done a very good job with the income and the club is solvent with a small reserve.

The problem, we cannot run the club like the goverment....giving the people everything and running in red ink every year. (are you aware that the club was broke around 1998?)

Bill Stoneberg gave a financial presentation at both the general membership meeting and the Board meeting. He was able to show where the BCA would be financially by changing various entries in the budget. The most interesting items are the membership numbers and dues.

We have very close to a $330,000 budget. Simple math indicates that 9,000 members divided into that number = $37 each. We no longer have 9,000 members, we have 8,500 and falling, that is a $20,000 income shortfall. At $40 membership we had a $17,000 cushion (5% of the budget). There was and is no indication that membership will stop sliding and the members that attended the general membership meeting and the Board meeting made it clear that they did not want the Bugle downgraded.

The Board had looked at several cost reductions to the Bugle (which represents 70% of the budget) the number of pages could be reduced, the number of color pages could be reduced, the paper could be changed, all of these came with a dollar figure and various combinations of these reductions could have put us on track.....at least for a while.

The Board also delayed printing and distrubution of the Roster to move funds to next year.

The Board looked at raising the dues to $45 per year......after much discussion (in an open meeting) there were a couple of facts that caused the dues to be increased to $50.

(1) There was/is no end in site for the decline in membership....both the Board members and the audience speculated why this is happening.

(2) We know from past history that when the dues are increased, more people feel they can no longer scrape up the extra change per month.........so we would loose people with any increase, that being a given, the decision was to make the increase from $40 to $50 and build in a cushion.

In the June 2009 issue of the Bugle (page 12) I wrote an open letter to the BCA membership telling everyone that read it that we were in a financial bind. I spelled out the information above and gave the membership the option to solve the problem. More members reduce the cost to everyone. If we had 10,000 member and the same budget, the per member cost would be $33. we could lower membership to $35/$40 dollars and everyone would be happy.

The BCA is not the exclusive property of the Board members or the BCA office. This club belongs to the membership and the Board is there to guide and listen to their input. Sometimes the two inputs get cloudy.......but remember, this is your club and throwing up your hands and saying it is out of control, cost too much is self defeating.........get out there and get more members and the cost to everyone goes down.

Buicks have been made for over 100 years, Buicks is the oldest American car brand. The BCA club should have 30,000 members, someone is not doing their job in recruting.

I have served on the Board for 5.5 years and will not rerun. I enjoyed serving and all the wonderful Buick owners. However it is a thankless job and raising the dues is a difficult decision. I want to spend my remaining years enjoying Buicks, the friends we have made within the BCA and I will continue to support the BCA. See you in Ames

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Barney is right about being in a leadership position being a thankless job. You listen to the data, reports, presentations and analysis and make a decision that will best serve and preserve the organization you are trying to promote......and then wait for the criticizms to come. And they come......

As for BCA membership, I guess $50 is relative to what you pay vs. what you get. For example, consider these average 2009 prices:

1. Movie ticket: $7.18 (6.93 movies for $50 for ONE PERSON, not a family of 4)

2. Restaurant meal: $10 each per person, with a range of $5-25, depending on which meal and area of the country. (5 meals out per year per person for $50)

3. Annual subscription to Newsweek: $40-50 (personally, I wouldn't pay 10 cents an issue for it), but just listing it for comparison)

4. Average fillup ($2.42 per gallon, 18 gallons) $43.56 (1.15 fillups for $50)

5. Average cup of coffee price: $1.38 (About 36 cups of coffee)

6. Average NFL ticket price: $74.99 for non-Cowboys tickets, $159.65 for a Cowboys game (guess who's paying for Jerry's new toy?)

7. Average cable service monthly cost: $71 (up 93% since '96)

8. Average cell phone bill per month: $60

9. Average landline phone bill: $49

So, if saving money is your ONLY goal, stay home, drink instant coffee, only watch TV off of rabbit ears, walk or take the bus, don't subscribe to any magazines or newspapers, don't call anyone on a cell phone or landline, and stay off the internet. Or spend some money on the things you like to do or enjoy.....

Personally, as for me, I just renenwed my membership.

Joe

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I too am a fixed income family no raises so security this year but a raise and everything else. The milk, the television, the mortgage, the rent everything goes up. Some of the complaints I hear are very good but why weren't they at the meeting to voice them. I know not everybody went to Colorado to those that did and there were many do not even stop in to see what's going on. The cost of the show and in ames is not too expensive compared to going to a ballgame in your home state. I'm sorry to hear that we will be losing some of our favorite members for a few bucks. It cost me 50 bucks for my BCA, 20 bucks for my minute Man club affiliation. But going to the the shows and spend the day at local shows, regionals, and of course nationals, priceless. This board has some tough decisions to make and can use your input to help. Just a little hint what I do this every day is to take all the change out of my pocket and put in a big jar and it adds up quick. Last year from the time I left flint to three day before I left to go to Colorado Springs I had saved over $800 and change. Free gas and more work for me that's guys and girls have a happy holiday.

Have a great Buick day

Frank

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Barney, I for one greatly appreciate y'alls decision based on the reasons you gave. Very well thought out and a lot taken into consideration. Especially taking into account the few dollars for a cushion. Thank you and the rest of the bod for your insight in making that decision.

And Joe, you put it all into pretty good perspective. I think I could do without one bottle of Johny Walker Black a year if I HAD to in order to remain a member of the Buick Club of America. It's not just about subscribing to an outstanding magazine, or helping the finances of the club but rather as Frank said "But going to the the shows and spend the day at local shows, regionals, and of course nationals, priceless" And another thing that comes with the $50 that is priceless.... the "friendships". THAT is truly priceless. I'll be a BCA member til the day they wheel me out in my 4 porthole casket.:)

I won't be at Ames this year nor Danvers Mass in '11 either but maybe if I start saving my coins as Franks suggests I can make Charlotte in '12. :D

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Why would anybody not renew their dues because of a paltry $15 increase? The dues might be $50 but that is in reality only $15 more a year. Suck it up and pay the dues, the magazine, friendship and being able to jerk everybody's chain here on the forum are worth it. I know you do not have to be a BCA member or AACA member to join the forum but remember, it costs the AACA and BCA along with the other Marque Clubs to keep this going.

If everybody that partakes of the BCA part of the forum joined the BCA, we would be home free.

Just my 2 cents worth. (there is no cents sign on this computer).

Stevo

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Mr. Earl,

Charlotte in '12??? Do you know something I don't (speaking as Carolina Chapter Director)????

In all seriousness, just so there is no confusion, the Carolina Chapter is going to bid on 2012, but it's still up to the BOD final decision. We sure hope we are the front runners after last year's bid, but we welcome competition from any other Chapters wanting to bid. Get your bids into the BOD and BCA Office and we'll see you in Ames for your presentation.

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Hemmings Classic Car is down to $1 per issue and is crammed full of articles in color. ($12 annually)

I don't want to get into a fight, but really? Going to the Hemmings site, I found it to be $18.95 per year (in the USA). I buy the occasional one off the stand.

MrEarl...never say never....

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Mr. Earl,

Charlotte in '12??? Do you know something I don't (speaking as Carolina Chapter Director)????

In all seriousness, just so there is no confusion, the Carolina Chapter is going to bid on 2012, but it's still up to the BOD final decision. We sure hope we are the front runners after last year's bid, but we welcome competition from any other Chapters wanting to bid. Get your bids into the BOD and BCA Office and we'll see you in Ames for your presentation.

Call it intuition, a perspective insight, or just a gut feeling, me thinks it's gonna happen. You just need to go ahead and reserve the zMax Dragway (the only 4 lane dragstrip in existence) and let Roberta know. I guarantee "they will come". Seriously, I hope it can be held in Charlotte, I think it would be great Buick National venue.

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It must not be forgotten that printers don't print magazines "by the piece", but "by the lot", just as silk screeners do event t-shirts. More you buy, the less the unit cost. If "The Bugle" had the circulation that a Hemmings magazine had, it'd be less expensive in total expense per unit.

I used to have subscriptions to many car magazines, but dealing with archiving them got to be an issue. It was great to get them early, but what happened after that caused some problems. I finally culled it down to one, then "none" when my finances cratered in 2005. I get them at the newsstand now, IF there's something interesting in them. Having complete years of them is no longer an attraction. Generally, though, I get MORE information out of the current Bugle than ALL of those other car magazines, especially about BUICKS.

If you want to get picky, Pete has elevated the quality and content of "The Bugle" to outstanding levels and IS WORTH THE EXTRA MONEY to have 12 ISSUES each year! Considering how much it would cost to get close to that same level of content AND quality in other publications, you'd spend LOTS more than $50.00 year. So without considering the price of flaky gasoline, escalating meal prices at nicer venues, improved motor oil, or printer ink cartridges, the current price of BCA membership (with a significant chunk going to the magazine) is still a BARGAIN even at $50.00/year. Quality . . . Content . . . Quantity.

When comparing the BCA's dues to that of other similar single-marque clubs (as I did when the dues went to $40.00, amid concerns about that being too much for people to pay), I discovered that few similar clubs offer the same level of membership benefits as the BCA, even at $40.00/year. Many had club magazines that were bi-monthly, for the same money, for example! So, look farther to see what those lower dues of other clubs actually gets you rather than just holding them up as "equal".

I fully understand "fixed-income" and all that it can entail . . . including planning for expenses in the future in the household budget (with "available funding" being dangerously close to "break-even"!). In that situation, "having it all" is not an option. I will advise that Banquet TV dinners, the ones that are normally $0.99, on sale for less sometimes, are pretty decent eating. So are the family pack of Monterey Burritos for $2.79 (at WalMart). When the tree limb took out the cable line going to the house, there went that $65.00/month expense--buying the $25.00 rabbit ears was an easy decision!

We all have priorities and available funding to deal with (at whatever level). Your money, your decisions, your life. For me, the BCA is the one national club I'm a member of any more. I don't look for that to change.

Respectfully,

NTX5467

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Time for my 2 cents

While I'm not happy about the BCA dues increase, the $10 increase is what it is! Decreasing membership has been sighted as the primary reason for the increase. Unfortunately, it is a fact of life. Our Members and membership are aging, getting older and passing on to the BCA in the sky. Yet everyone is expecting things to remain the same as when we once proudly boasted over 10,000 members worldwide. It was a different time & era and we can never return there. We all joined the BCA for our own individual assorted reasons. I realize some mebers are on fixed income, have families, other priorities- whatever. YOU have to figure your own priorities.

The cost of living is always on the increase- thank your government, Senators, Congress- whomever-- that always have their hands in your pockets finding ways to spend whatever little change you have left. We can't contol that or them--- yet-- maybe --- another issue/different place.

Pete is doing an exceptional job as Editor of the Bugle and as it has already been voiced--- no one want to see the Bugle revert back to what it once was--- not that it was all that bad during those older times-- given the time-- we all thought that the Bugle was a good product-- its' just now, its an exceptionally good product. Thanks, Pete!!

Kind of like remembering to judge the cars per the quality level standards in use durung the era they were built- but that is another subject and not related to this thread.

We all get out of the BCA what we want from it! As Thriller already stated and I will pen in the ROA (Riviera Owners Association) philosophy--- "The first time you come out is for the cars, you come back for the friends & people after that."

While some feel $50 dues is high-- and $50 is not chump change, how many of you don't think twice about dropping $5 for a cup of starbucks?? Dues was already at $40/year, so the actual increase was really only $10-- from $40 to $50. Now for some math--- 365 days in a year---- 10 divided by 365 =

$.0273972/per day increase--- max of $.03/day. It is relatively easy to make some adjustments here. McDonald's, 7/11 etc., sell a cup of coffee for alot less than $5 a cup. So if you eliminate a cup or two of Starbucks, for Mickey D's or whatever, or eliminate 1or 2 cups entirely for a year-- the cost of dues increase is made up very easily. It doesn't matter what your beverage preference is, the math come out the same. Or instead, just purchase a regular size value meal without spending the extra $.40 to $.75 to upsize just a few times over the year--- savings for dues is easily recovered. And the decrease in the extra caffiene and calories you don't consume help to improve your health.

That's the thing about and living in the "REAL" world--- one has to constantly adjust and make changes to afford the things one truely wants and desires in life. We all have to live somewhere--- some in Homes, Apartment, Condo's, whatever---- wherever we live there are continual changes-- home mortgage, property tax, rent, Condo association fees, these all increase from time to time -- with the times-- -yet we always find a way to adjust and make up the difference to make ends meet. Its' all a matter of priorities and what you find to be important in your life.

Myself, I find it very important and beneficial to have friends who share common, similar interests in life to socialize with. Some of these friends we may only get to see once or twice a year-- but does that make them any less important of a friend??? I think not. I find it extremely enjoyable & rewarding upon seeing a friendly face or the warm handshake of a friend, wherever the occasion presents itself. This is especially true when one is in unfamiliar & strange surroundings-- (ie; most Nationals). Its relaxing to see a friendly familiar face to spend some time with.

I'm not overly happy with the dues increase, but as stated earlier, "it is what is is". I will adjust and continue on with my BCA membership-- enjoying the friendships and commoraderie that my association with BCA have produced- and that I have benefitted from over the years. $10 is $10, but the friendships made within and because of the BCA are worth a he_ _ of a lot more to me than $10.

Edited by dkbuick75
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I have been offline for the past while so have not seen this thread till this morning. Ask me some time about moving and getting services transferred.

For those of you who DONT get the Bugle or just read the articles about cars, I am enclosing the open letter I wrote to the membership in May for the July issue. This was based on 9 months of actual numbers. At that time I could see where we were headed.

It talks about our financial issues and the options we had to help solve our looming financial crisis.

If you noticed your July and August magazine from the past year, we cut the color pages and we cut the number of wrapper pages. This was to reduce costs. We were prepared to cut the National Meet issue from 64 pages to 48 pages, which would have meant lots less coverage of the National Meet, to defray costs too.

We, as a BOD and as individuals, have heard, DONT cut the Bugle, we like it the way it is. Well, there has to be tradeoffs and raising dues had to be done. To be truthful, we should have gone to $ 45 when we raised them the first time but we hoped at that time we wouldn't need to. Hopefully this will be the last raise for a along time. As of November, we are still in the black and on budget for this year.

Here is what was printed in the Bugle and if any members have questions on the Budget, please contact me.

Treasurer’s Letter May 10, 2009

I am writing this to give you a report on the finances of the club. Unfortunately, it is not good. The main point is that we have and are continuing to lose members and we have not brought in as many new members. This is causing a major hit to the bottom line of the club.

The BCA has a budget last year of $ 370,000. This was based on a historical average of around 9100 members. As of the March we are down to 8700 members and it keeps falling. Our 2008 budget was $ 44,000 in new member revenue and $ 295,000 in renewals for total revenue of $ 340,000.

Our year end projected revenues, based on the numbers we have seen through April, are new members at $ 33,000 and renewal revenue at $ 275,000 for a total of

$ 308,000. This is a projected drop in revenue of $ 32,000. You notice I say “projected”, this is because I am writing this in May for the July issue and these are our best guesses based on what we have seen over the past 9 months.

The bottom line for this year, as we have projected, is that the club is going to lose somewhere between $ 18,000 and $ 20,000 this year.

Consequently we have had to cut our projected revenue to $329,000 for the 2009 - 2010 budget. This is based on $ 30,000 new members $ 270,000 renewal revenue.

We also have $ 5,000 interest income and $ 22,000 advertising in both years.

With a drop in revenue come hard choices. Just as in your checking account, if you don’t have as much money, you cant spend as much without going into savings. While we have money in the bank in our case is actually not savings, it is money we put away to pay for people who have multi year and lifetime memberships. We, as a club, collect your money for a yearly membership then pay it out month by month over the course of your membership for the Bugle and other expenses.

If we don’t make cuts in all expenses we will project to lose $ 46,000 in 2009-2010.

Looking at where the club spends the members money, we spend a majority of it on the Bugle. Rightfully so, as I believe we have the best car club magazine around. But we need to trim some of the money we spend on it.

We project to spend $ 260,550 on the Bugle this year. This includes printing, mailing, typesetting, layout and editing. This works out to $ 2.29 per issue per month based on printing 9500 magazines a month.

As you will notice in this months Bugle, the Board of Directors have made some decisions affecting the Bugle and lowering costs.We have cut the color pages in the Bugle from 32 pages to 16 pages and cut the outer wrapper from 6 pages back down to 4.

Making these changes will save the club $ 16,452 next year and bring the projected deficit to around $ 30,000.

The Board of Directors are continuing to look at ways of saving money without cutting services to you. I have to say there are no sacred cows at this time. Everything is open to discussion. We have to run with a balanced budget as deficit spending wont work for the club.

By the time you read this, we will already have had the National Meet in Colorado. At that meeting, we will be discussing more ways of balancing our budget. I plan on keeping the members informed on our financial situation. This is your club and you need to be kept informed.

If you want to help the club, get that person who has a Buick but doesn’t belong to join.

Take them to a local chapter meeting or show them the Bugle as it is an excellent sales tool. If we each could get 1 person to join, we would be out of this trouble pretty quickly.

Chapter Directors, you can help by ensuring that all your members belong to the BCA.

If you are a person who likes to look at numbers, I have posted our budget from this past year along with the actuals and the proposed budget for 2009 -2010 on our web site. Feel free to look and if you have suggestions, contact me or any board member.

You can find it at http://www.buickclub.org/budget

Bill Stoneberg

Buick Club of America Treasurer

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You can go to the BCA site and pull up the minutes of the Board. You will find a condensed version of the long discussion on the cost of running the club and the need to do something about the dues.

The economies of running a club involve balancing the cost with the income. I believe the BCA has done a very good job with the income and the club is solvent with a small reserve.

The problem, we cannot run the club like the goverment....giving the people everything and running in red ink every year. (are you aware that the club was broke around 1998?)

Bill Stoneberg gave a financial presentation at both the general membership meeting and the Board meeting. He was able to show where the BCA would be financially by changing various entries in the budget. The most interesting items are the membership numbers and dues.

We have very close to a $330,000 budget. Simple math indicates that 9,000 members divided into that number = $37 each. We no longer have 9,000 members, we have 8,500 and falling, that is a $20,000 income shortfall. At $40 membership we had a $17,000 cushion (5% of the budget). There was and is no indication that membership will stop sliding and the members that attended the general membership meeting and the Board meeting made it clear that they did not want the Bugle downgraded.

The Board had looked at several cost reductions to the Bugle (which represents 70% of the budget) the number of pages could be reduced, the number of color pages could be reduced, the paper could be changed, all of these came with a dollar figure and various combinations of these reductions could have put us on track.....at least for a while.

The Board also delayed printing and distrubution of the Roster to move funds to next year.

The Board looked at raising the dues to $45 per year......after much discussion (in an open meeting) there were a couple of facts that caused the dues to be increased to $50.

(1) There was/is no end in site for the decline in membership....both the Board members and the audience speculated why this is happening.

(2) We know from past history that when the dues are increased, more people feel they can no longer scrape up the extra change per month.........so we would loose people with any increase, that being a given, the decision was to make the increase from $40 to $50 and build in a cushion.

In the June 2009 issue of the Bugle (page 12) I wrote an open letter to the BCA membership telling everyone that read it that we were in a financial bind. I spelled out the information above and gave the membership the option to solve the problem. More members reduce the cost to everyone. If we had 10,000 member and the same budget, the per member cost would be $33. we could lower membership to $35/$40 dollars and everyone would be happy.

The BCA is not the exclusive property of the Board members or the BCA office. This club belongs to the membership and the Board is there to guide and listen to their input. Sometimes the two inputs get cloudy.......but remember, this is your club and throwing up your hands and saying it is out of control, cost too much is self defeating.........get out there and get more members and the cost to everyone goes down.

Buicks have been made for over 100 years, Buicks is the oldest American car brand. The BCA club should have 30,000 members, someone is not doing their job in recruting.

I have served on the Board for 5.5 years and will not rerun. I enjoyed serving and all the wonderful Buick owners. However it is a thankless job and raising the dues is a difficult decision. I want to spend my remaining years enjoying Buicks, the friends we have made within the BCA and I will continue to support the BCA. See you in Ames

I feel the need to adress a few of the statemnets made here Barney, please dont take it personally ... its not meant that way. Its just a few things I need to get off of my chest after reading these words.

I atteneded a BCA meeting in Hershey a few years back to speak on an issue that was very important to my chapter. At that time finances were discussed and it sounded to me at the time like the BCA holdings were in pretty much recession proof holdings and at the time we were told at that meeting that the BCA was financially sound and would remain so for the conceivable future. If something has changed .... may I ask as to what exactly it is that has changed ?

Secondly and this is the one that really set my keyboard in motion. You made a comment as to someone "not doing their job" when it comes to recruiting new BCA members. Without getting into great detail and or opening old wounds the BOD that day made a ruling that for all intents and purposes damn near killed our chapter. If it wasnt for current members at the time and a lot of dedication and hard work the PGH Tri-Shields would simply not be here today. We were handed a death sentence by the BOD that day, and I guarnatee you that to a member nobody in what was then known as the National Pike chapter felt like they could recommend the BCA to anyone. But we still tried. In the 3 years of hard work , bruised egos , sometimes open confrontation , endless phone calls and hurt feelings it took to get ourselves back on to what we felt was at least a level playing field ( and Im still not sure about that) , we held a regional, we got our chapter on a local TV car show, we held various activities aimed towards recruitment and we recruited maybe 3 new members. If it wouldnt have been for the direct actions of the BOD the number probably would have been closer to 20 members and we would today be a thriving chapter instead of the small one we still are.

What do I do to recruit ?????

Scan the new members part of the bugle for local names and locations . Then I type a personal letter to each new member inviting them to join our chapter. Maybe that doesnt get a new BCA member but if they enjoy our activities enough ... maybe it retains that member.

In all 6 of my vehicles I carry tri-fold pamphlets that invite a Buick owner to join both the BCA and our chapter and if I see a Buick I put one on the windshield. That has gotten at least 2 new members this year. I go to cruises and shows armed with these invitations and place them on ANY Buick I see. Our chapter has gone twice to the Pittsburgh world of wheels and placed applications for both the BCA and our chapter within easy reach of anyone who wanted one, plus there was ALWAYS somebody with the cars to talk to prospective members.

Now here in lies the problem. After what I feel was a screwing by the BCA board (sorry I try not to feel that way but I just cant help it ) and nine years of chasing people and cars and going thru thousands of these pamphlets,and holding positions on my chapters BOD...... Im tired . I just want to be a member ,I want to enjoy our chapters activities instead of organizing them I dont want to be a mover and shaker anymore I want to be just a member ... but even now I cant do that because there arent enough people for us to lose anybody.

So Barney I guess what Im trying to say is I have done and I am doing my part. And I feel the $50 fee is just a bit much to ask.Ill pay it begrudgingly. However if membership is declining the way to stop the tide is not to financially punish those of us who have stayed .

Dan

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I meant to answer your second question too,

We have checked other clubs and we are in line as far as printing cost go for what you get. I believe if you compare any of the other Club magazines versus the Bugle you will find a big difference. Some publish 6 times a year, some 8 - 10 times a year and some every month. Compare the number of pages / number of color pages / percentage of advertisement versus content. I think you will find you get your money's worth.

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What do I do to recruit ?????

Scan the new members part of the bugle for local names and locations . Then I type a personal letter to each new member inviting them to join our chapter. Maybe that doesnt get a new BCA member but if they enjoy our activities enough ... maybe it retains that member.

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I would like to thank you for doing this.,..............

back when i joined the bca

i never recieved my membership card or window sticker (and really thats why i joined)

i did not know if there was a local chapter in the nashville area(i had never heard of one)

and was not invited to join any local clubs

i did recieve the bugle magazine (nice mag but in real life ...nothing in it helped me in any way)

I know they cant make a magizine just for me and i dont expect them to.

i did not rejoin because i (personaly)got NOTHING in return for my money

i was not in a local chapter etc...and the cost went up to 40.00

now as to the cost cutting from another post

1. Movie ticket: $7.18 (6.93 movies for $50 for ONE PERSON, not a family of 4)

I dont do movies i wait till they are on dvd

2. Restaurant meal: $10 each per person, with a range of $5-25, depending on which meal and area of the country. (5 meals out per year per person for $50)

I only eat out once a week as it is (cost 9.00)

3. Annual subscription to Newsweek: $40-50 (personally, I wouldn't pay 10 cents an issue for it), but just listing it for comparison)

cool

4. Average fillup ($2.42 per gallon, 18 gallons) $43.56 (1.15 fillups for $50)

I fill up once a month as i work 11 miles round trip

5. Average cup of coffee price: $1.38 (About 36 cups of coffee)

i make it at home and carry it with me

6. Average NFL ticket price: $74.99 for non-Cowboys tickets, $159.65 for a Cowboys game (guess who's paying for Jerry's new toy?)

I dont care about the NFL

7. Average cable service monthly cost: $71 (up 93% since '96)

I have dish network $14.95 plan with a dvr 22.00 month total cost

8. Average cell phone bill per month: $60

I have T-mobile prepaid plan total of 45.00 in the last 6 months( i dont talk a lot

9. Average landline phone bill: $49

mine is 25.00 dont pay for caller id call waiting no long distance carrier(long distance is free on mobile)

so you see i have allready cut as deep as i can go so it aint as easy as some might think

just my 2 cents worth

scott

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Scott....... it appears you are even more frugel than I am..... maybe you could work with one of the other posters here and share the cost of membership.... after you receive the Bugle, send it to the other person, you could sell them on Ebay after both of you have read them. You could probably get you annual cost down to around $20.

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)
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"So, if saving money is your ONLY goal, stay home, drink instant coffee, only watch TV off of rabbit ears, walk or take the bus, don't subscribe to any magazines or newspapers, don't call anyone on a cell phone or landline, and stay off the internet. Or spend some money on the things you like to do or enjoy..."

Joe (Reatta Man)--I find your comment to be flippant and insensitive. So, just because the cost of everything else is creeping up, I should 'suck it up' on the BCA dues? Maybe you're okay with the escalating costs of virtually everything, but many of us are not and have to fight back where we can. In case you haven't noticed, the economy ain't so great. Some of us are having to trim back and justify each and every expense. BCA membership is a luxury, not a necessity, as is any involvement in the hobby. Each month, when the bills come in, it's things like club memberships and magazine subscriptions that come under closer and closer scrutiny in a family budget. I'm fortunate enough to still be working, but after several years of no pay increases (and a pay cut last year), my wife's reduction in hours, and higher health care costs, I'm finding it tougher and tougher to make ends meet with the escalating prices of (as you pointed out) nearly "everything".

What's the answer? I'm not sure. Certainly the BCA considered many options before the dues increase was enacted. But, simply raising fees in bad economic times is irresponsible and sounds like the way our government usually handles finances. Especially so quickly after the recent increase to $40. I feel that the dues increase decision was steam-rollered through by those in attendence at the Colorado board meeting. Stands to reason that those able to attend a national meet are probably in better financial shape than most of the rank and file members. Faced with a possible cut-back of The Bugle, they apparently felt an extra $10 was no big deal. Perhaps dues increases should be put to the vote of the ENTIRE club? That way, the options can be spelled out, and we can ALL have a say in it. Sort of like voting for a tax millage.

If declining membership is the problem, raising dues sure won't help with that. Potential members that are on the fence about joining will be thinking extra hard before they join one of the most expensive single-marque car clubs! As BJM pointed out, many clubs (excellent ones at that) are able to survive at $35 year. I'm not sure how they do it, but they seem to manage. I have enjoyed the Bugle as much as anyone, and would hate to see it compromised. But it's simply not worth $50 per year to me. Yes, I know membership includes more than just a magazine, but I haven't been able to attend a National Meet in years, due to time and cost considerations, so LIKE MOST MEMBERS, the Bugle is the extent of my benefit from BCA.

Networking? Camaraderie? Parts and cars for sale? The Bugle is fine for this, but frankly, I find this forum is the best way to communicate and share information with the Buick community. For this reason, I don't feel that the loss of my membership will interfere with my communication and contact with all the fine Buick enthusiasts I've met over the past ten years. Merry Christmas to all of you, and Happy New Year!!

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I belong to the Corvair club........remember Corvairs were made for 10 model years and CORSA has 6500 members. Their present one year membership is $45. The monthly magazine CORSA COMMUNIQUE has 2 color pages (front and back covers outside only) it is down to 22 pages not counting the mailing cover. At $45 per year CORSA is struggling.

By comparison and by popular demand from BCA members, the Bugle has 48 pages. There are 32 pages of color. Comparing the two, the Bugle is more than twice the publication at $5 more per year.

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Hi Greg. Sorry to say I take exception to what you said that you feel that the dues increase decision was steamrolled through by those of attendance. I've said this before and I'll say it again you don't have to be rich to attend one of the nationals. It's just a matter of planning and if you really would love to go. Another thing Frank and his gang did a beautiful job to make everybody welcome and I don't remember being pushed into anything that I want to do. I voted to raise the dues and there were a few that voted no. Like I said before if more people would come to the meetings when they have the chance and not everybody has a chance but there was quite a few BCA members in the attendance at the meet in fact every day the hospitality room was packed with BCA members if just half of them came to the meeting that was seen that it was not steamrolled through as you say but thoroughly looked at at all angles. Nancy and Mike Brook told us the work they did to keep the price of publishing a bugle at a minimum and I'm sure that wasn't done in 10 minutes our editor Pete Phillips does a great job with the bugle and as you can see at these meets and other meats i he attends he's always working and gives us great stories. I personally think that the bugle is one of our greatest assets but the things we all don't see is how hard the board works. So as not to push your buttons actually I truly regret losing the people that can't find $10 in one year to keep our club runing in a professional manner. And I am very sorry to see it again not to hurt our push anybody's buttons that nonmembers have so much to say about our club. Have a great Buick day Frank

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1. "...you don't have to be rich to attend one of the nationals. It's just a matter of planning..."

2. "... people that can't find $10 in one year to keep our club runing..."

Frank,

Thanks for your thoughts on this. I'd like to make a rebuttal:

First, I disagree with your generalization about the Nationals. A trip across country--with or without an old car--is both a time consuming, and costly issue to many of us. Unlike a lot of retired, empty nester BCA members, I have a demanding day job, limited vacation, even more limited finances, and a wife and two teenage kids that don't feel the big vacation of the year should be a car show across half way across the country. (Four plane tickets? A week to drive there and back?)

Secondly, on the dues issue, if you think this is about "just ten bucks" then you're either missing my point or I didn't explain myself clearly. It's like death by a thousand cuts....hard to say which one was fatal!

Lastly, and most importantly, I meant in NO WAY to slam the BCA board members, meet organizers, Nancy & Mike at the BCA office, or Pete and the Bugle. All these folks give 150% with their time and effort in order to make the club better and I have a high degree of respect and appreciation for that. However, having said this, it does not mean that I agree with the decisions they make or the priorities they set. I also stand by my statement that major decisions should be put before the rank and file membership and not be decided at board meetings attended by only a few percent of the membership.

Time will tell if raising the dues to "keep the club running in a professional manner" was a good decision.

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Greg

I can tell that you and I have a LOT in common. I have been a member of the BCA for 40+ years and have tried to promote the organization , but when push comes to shove , I have finally thrown in the towel.

I have no doubt that the BOD has the best interests of the BCA at heart, but they have different priorities then I do.

The BCA was originally a group of people that enjoyed old cars. It has evolved into a group of people that feel that ( in my opinion ) cars are not to drive and enjoy, but works of art !

I will continue to drive my Buicks and enjoy them and I hope the BCA eventually finds its way.

I helped start the BDE, and will enjoy this group as long as this old body will let me.

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To the old guy and 70 electra I also think we are a lot alike. I have a whole lot more to say,but Its christmas so Ill just say as a NON MEMBER scacasm and fleppant remarks will not make me a member. I much prefare to be a member of a org. willing to work with each outher for the good of all. Have a nice day.

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BJM, with all due respect, I highly doubt that any ROA member would really consider the ROA becoming a division of the BCA. Your proposal also sounds like it's more weighted toward being beneficial to the BCA rather than the ROA. We know what "Merger of Equals" meant several years ago and I seriously doubt we need for anything of that nature to be replayed in the BCA and ROA.

My perception of how the ROA first came into being might well be due to the "12 Year Rule", which meant that when the then-new Rivieras were still reasonably new and the BCA was founded, they were too new for the proud Riv members to show their new Buicks in the BCA shows, so they went off and did their own thing, which resulted in the ROA. Probably similar with the GS Club and earlier Reatta groups? Just my gut suspicion.

Therefore, with the proud history that the ROA has, putting that all aside and the ROA becoming a division of the BCA seems like it will not happen. Also, by observation, many Riviera owners might not really "gee-haw" with many BCA members and their orientations (read the Riviera forum in here and you might notice that, as I did). For example, I have noticed that many Riviera owners seem to have less qualms about modifying their vehicles from stock (including street-rod-style air conditioning units, for example) than many BCA members appear to. Therefore, those two sub-sets of Buick enthusiasts are "not the same people" and most probably are being best-served in their respective Buick enthusiast organizations, just as there are many GS Club members that are not BCA members.

Another observation is that such a "combination orientation" is not unlike current business models that seek to combine rather than recoginze the strengths of being separate operating entities and then use those strengths to each entity's ultimate advantage. By observation, all the combination and consolidation of dealership brand channels at GM (or Chrysler!) has done is mask decreasing number of purchase choices for consumers, although such things have been billed as necessary to "save the company", to have a stronger combined entity in the future--they claim.

Although Chrysler LLC builds Chrysler brand, Dodge brand, Jeep brand, and (now) Ram brand vehicles, a Chrysler customer is not usually a Jeep customer or Dodge customer, although they are a Chrysler LLC customer. Similar at Ford and GM, even at the SAME price points.

What might sound good on the surface might fail when the dynanics of the situation are fully considered. There is no one "universal Buick enthusiast" that will desire to join "a universal Buick enthusiast group", just as there is not a "universal GM vehicle customer".

From our own chapter's experiences over the past decades, we've had GS club members who were in both clubs for several years, but they eventually gravitated to just the GS club (as that group better fit their desires and orientations for racing and turbos, by observation). We've also had some Riviera owners over the years, but they, too, tended to be somewhat temporary in our chapter, choosing instead to participate in the local Riviera group's activities. I understand "Why" that happened and consider it a normal situation--with any car club group. And that was when BCA dues were less than $40.00/year!

With all due respect, BJM, your "combination" orientation, from my reference point in the vehicle hobby, has much more "blue sky" than "ground-based reality". My other observation is that rarely do combined corporate entities result in better companies as a result as there typically always is a "winner" and "loser" in which of the original areas of the combined entity is dominant in the new entity.

Respectfully,

NTX5467

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Also, BJM, "benchmarking" of "best practices" has been done with respect to the BCA and other similar vehicle hobby groups. I did some of that myself a few years ago, as I mentioned earlier, and discovered that at $40.00/year (at that time) the BCA was at the "high-value" end of the scale for what the membership received for their money (at the national level).

It's one thing to "benchmark" and then aspire to attain such levels of execution, but even with that orientation, "continuous improvement" is also necessary in a "feed-back loop" mode of operations evaluations. The other side issue is which similar groups/organizations are used as "the benchmark", just as how bid specs are written can reflect ultimate corporate purchase decisions (and possibly hidden agendas of purchasing operatives or end-users' perferences) of large corporations or even local governments.

Knowing what we get in the BCA for our membership money, even at $50.00/year membership dues, do you reckon that some of the other clubs previously mentioned might feel short-changed by THEIR club operations with fewer club magazines/year, lesser quality magazines at that, for similar yearly membership dues? Might there be complaints to their national organizations? Do they "know or care"? "Benchmarking" can work both ways! That "point of reference" thing again!

Respectfully,

NTX5467

Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)
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I didn't mean to be insensitive or flippant. But there is one thing to remember when complaining about rising prices:

Pick Your Battles Carefully

Anything else is little more than tilting at windmills. And, no, I don't like rising prices more than anyone else.

A few examples:

When Wal-Mart raises the price on an item I've bought many times from 99 cents to $1.25 almost overnight, it doesn't do any good to complain, either to them or to others in a forum like this one. I may go a little more out of my way to buy that item at another store that has it on sale, or find another way to avoid the overnight 25% price increase. End result--lower sales for Wal-Mart, which may actually bring the price back down.

When Buick keeps raising prices year after year while doing nothing to restore or preserve the value of the brand and thereby reduce the ridiculouos depreciation, I just buy a nearly-new one or two year old model, often from a non-Buick or a non-GM dealer. And, I don't mind being totally transparent about what I am doing and why, especially in a forum like this, because I don't want any of you to be ripped off, either.

End result, I buy a nearly new car with a $38K window sticker for just under $19K, about half of the window sticker, and add a 5-year extended warranty for less than $1500. And, if even more of you do that, we all save a ton of money, avoid being upside down on a 5, 6 or 7-year car note, and possibly drive the price of the next model down.

When the price of BCA membership goes up, after a public and open meeting inwhich all members are encouraged to watch the discussion, view the data for themselves and question the board members, there is little point to complain further, threaten to or actually drop a membership. The end result of enough members quitting is, at least, even MORE dues increases, or worst, the association failing to exist.

Add to that the fact that newsprint (paper) is going up dramatically, printing overhead (taxes, rent, payroll) are at best going up only slightly, and virtually every printed media is suffering with these costs, and the reality of increased dues is further proven to be legitimate and necessary.

So, do I trust a group of volunteer board members to judiciously use my extra $15? Yep, but I must confess, a lot of that is from knowing Barney Eaton for more than a decade, and knowing he is a man of integrity and character. So, if he (they) need an extra $15, I would give it to them far, far more willingly than I would Wal-Mart, Exxon, or the jokers in DC.

Respectfully,

Joe

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I joined the BCA in 2001 and really enjoy the club and the Bugle. I was very disappointed when they cut back on the color photography and content for a couple of issues earlier this year (which they have since restored). I told myself then that if that was the way the Bugle was going to be, I was not going to renew my membership so was glad when the Bugle was restored to it's former glory. I think $50 is a lot, but if it keeps things going, then I'll pay it. More than $50 though and I'd have to think really hard about renewing.

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Thanks to Bill Stoneberg for posting links to his 2009-2010 budget projections. I tried finding that document a few times since the Bugle article was printed but I could not seem to bring it up. It is an interesting document. I, for one, would love to see an update to this document showing "projected" vs. "actual" revenues and expenses for the June 08 through June 09 year, as well as the "approved budget" for the June 09- June 2010 year vs "actual up to date expenses".

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I have little to add to some of the excellent comments that have already been posted, except to say that the increased dues have no impact on my willingness to renew.

Why? I can assure you that I have no more discretionary income than most of you here, but the BCA and the Bugle have brought decades of pleasure and lasting friendships to me.

My parents provided my first BCA membership and Bugle subscription when I was a poor graduate student way back in 1975, and, for most of the last thirty-four years, I have eagerly awaited every issue as if it were the very first.

In the first issue of the Bugle I received, there was an owner-written article about the Buick Centurions. I sent a letter to the author, who lives on the opposite side of the USA, and we have remained in continuous contact ever since!

Beyond that, I learned of the big Buick 75th anniversary in Flint scheduled for the summer of 1978. I made plans to fly out, and had the time of my life. The memory of that first BCA National that I attended is forever etched in my mind, and I've had the very great pleasure of participating in several of the Nationals during the decades since -- including the unforgettable Centennial meet in 2003.

I belong to two chapters here in the Pacific Northwest and am now concluding my term as director of the BCA's '59 Division. Over the years, I have met some of the finest people you could ever hope to meet, and it has been a complete privilege. I'm grateful to have connected with many other individuals who share my delight in driving older Buicks on multi-day tours, and my wife and I have created lasting memories of the days and nights on America's wonderful highways with our Buick friends.

Have I mentioned the BCA roster? As my wife and I drove home from the Centennial meet in 2003, we experienced difficulties with a tire and a front wheel bearing. We were about to load onto the Lake Michigan car ferry, so reviewed the list of members to locate anyone in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. I telephoned ahead, and we were greeted at the ferry dock by a wonderful BCA member named Fred Jacobi, who devoted the greater part of two days to help us obtain the parts and service we needed. Fred extended extraordinary hospitality to us, providing rides everywhere for us in his fine '48 Buick Super while our '59 was in the shop.

To allow my BCA membership to lapse would be "unthinkable" for me. I'm one of the original subscribers to "Collectible Automobile" and a long-time subscriber to "Hemmings Classic Car". While I enjoy these greatly, if I were forced to eliminate every expense from my vintage car hobby --- except for one -- you can be certain that the BCA membership would be the last membership/subscription left in my budget.

I share the sentiments that some have expressed in this and other topics regarding the formal judging. I realized twenty years ago that the judging would never be the facet of BCA membership that makes the club significant for me. I last judged at the 1991 National in Sacramento. That's okay; each of us have different interests in this hobby, and there's plenty of room and like-minded people for all of us.

My point is this: In any pursuit or endeavor, you gain whatever you put into it. It's no surprise that this applies to the BCA as well. There are all sorts of ways to become involved, and participation in this forum is just a small piece of what's available. To those who are on the fence about their BCA memberships, please jump in with both feet and work at connecting with folks in this great organization. The dividends that the BCA pays to those who are committed and involved are a big part of what keeps life fun for car guys like me.

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I'm aware a discussion was here in the past already: having the Bugle digitally available for everyone.

Outcome of the discussion here was more or less that people would rather have a paper magazine in their hands... Isn't it possible to have 2 different types of memberships: a paper and a (cheaper) digital one??

A digital Bugle would cost less for membership than the paper version.

I belong to the group of people who like to turn paper pages, so I will renew my (paper) membership. Of course I'm aware of the fact that maybe the price for the paper Bugle might go up if more members renew their membership to a digital one.

Just a thought

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I agree with Brian and have found this forum and the BCA members a source of parts and advice that would be hard to do without. I am paid up through 2012 and will renew again. Many people spend $50 a week on cigarettes and beer and think nothing of it, $50 a year is a small price to pay for everything this club has to offer.

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