Second Vice Chairman
How do you view the Minimum Standard Bylaws for local groups? Are they appropriate for a social organization? Please explain.
Getting from: The way weve always done things to: A better way to do things, is neither simple, nor without its own challenges. It is just one of the issues I hope to address if our members decide to hire me for this office.
And, yes, they are appropriate to a social organization such as American Mensa because in the final analysis they address the management of the members funds, that part of the membership fee that comes back to the local groups. If we were not handling money, perhaps there would be no need for any minimums.
The minimum standards also assist local groups in designing in some organized fashion a hierarchy of responsible memberslocal secretary (or president, as some group leaders choose to be addressed), treasurer, secretary, and so forth. I see these guidelines as a roadmap, not a dictatorial edict.
Specific Question, Tony Jackowski:
While it might seem that at times I buck the powers that be and at other times vote with the establishment, what I am actually doing is voting logically. Its easy to vote on a motion based on how you, personally, feel about the subject at hand. This is itself not wrong. Its also easy to vote with a clique. What I do is try to look at the whole picture, not just what is written in the motion. (How will it affect American Mensa if I vote for this motion? What will the effect be if I should vote against it?) If I believe it is in the best interests of the organization as a whole to vote against the popular consensus, then I do. Im not saying that I dont vote the way I personally feel about a subject, as personal feelings do play a very important role on the AMC, but I weigh my feelings and instincts against reasoned considerations of whats best for the organization and try to find a good balance. When considering an issue before the AMC, I think you must carefully weigh the pros and cons of the motion, add a little of your history and personal feelings on the subject, factor in a good measure of member input, and always keep the members of American Mensa in mind as a primary determinant. Pleasing one faction or another, in my case, is not part of this process.
Specific Question, Scott Rainey:
I make strong statements because I have strong opinions. I think Mensa should be faster, cheaper, better... and 10 times bigger. My ideas for achieving this are posted on http://www.scottrainey.com.
I have strong opinions about what's best for Mensa, but the centralized printing idea was not one of them. Hmmm. That story may entertain.
Four years ago, I noticed that laserprinter/copiers with folding & stapling attachments were getting faster / cheaper / better. *Cool!* Units to cost-effectively produce our newsletters would soon be affordable. Would there be a market within Mensa? I asked our editors:
"If it were possible to subcontract your printing, binding, labeling, and mailing to the National Office (or another contractor) for the same or less than what you pay now, would you be interested?"
If there were local group interest, we could cost out machines and get bids. If that penciled out, a service could be offered to groups who wanted it. Repeat: "who wanted it."
Medium-size local groups were enthusiastic. However this simple question generated hostility from some old-timers.
Today, super-laserprinters pencil out... for local groups directly.
Another club I'm in uses one to print, fold, staple and address: 1,200 8-sheet, 11x17 full-color monthly newsletters. Their lease and supplies costs less than my 700-member Mensa group's printing.
Three hundred words can't address Local Group / SIG website issues. It's about balancing member privacy and member safety with keeping things open and interesting, while protecting Mensa from random liabilities.
What seems intuitive, takes intense work to create a coherent policy draft. Whatever balance one might strike on one's own computer, must then be sold to a sub-committee, that must then sell a derivative idea to the full committee, that must then sell...
Gentle readers: Please stay tuned. Please stay involved. Your voice does matter.
Specific Question, Elissa Rudolph:
Great question! I've asked myself this many times and the answer I get is, why not? The 2nd Vice Chair position is the "special projects" position. Any unusual item of business that comes up (think, ProxyQuest) falls into this chair's lap. Routine duities that the chairman cannot fulfill are taken on by the 1st Vice Chair. So the top position is well covered. Call in the 2nd vice chair for special, out-of-the-blue events, such as .drum roll, please .the World Gathering 2006! Having your event coordinator in this position helps that person be on top of everything that is going on that could possibly impact the event. Hey, if I don't win this position I hope Tony Jackowski does because he's my right hand man for the WG06. We need someone near the top.
I won't be doing WG06 alonethere is a cadre of volunteers for WG06 whose experience and dedication are unmatched. Just look at the names on WG06.us.mensa.org. Truly I have the best organization behind me to put on a fantastic event. So, yes, I can handle both sets of responsibilities, as long as my staff continues to be as dedicated as I know they are.
My eye won't be exclusively on WG06I realize there will be other projects that will grab my attention. That's why it is so necessary to have a dependable crew for this specific event. And I believe I do.