Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

RE: SEAOC $10.00 dues increases objection

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
I received a phone call this morning from Pat Buscovich who is the Northern
California Chapter president and member of the state board for SEAOC. Pat
was concerned about my comments as well as those that others have voiced
opinions on.
I asked Pat to write a submittal to this list with his arguments for
justifying the need to maintain a state office.
Pat's argument is based upon the need for SEAOC to have sufficient
representation as the country moves to an international (one-code) building
code and beyond. He explains that the $10.00 increase will be used to send
representation to NCSEA meetings in Washinton D.C. to provide reprentation
for SEAOC.
He will be contacting Ken Luttrell to draft a post for this list. I asked
him to provide information that relates to accountability for the funds
spent by SEAOC (his figures were closer to $350,000.00 per year based upon
4,000 members @ $70.00 per member and additional funds secured from SAC). At
this time, it appears that SEAOC has been operating in the red which has
been supplimented from SAC contributions.
I hope that Pat is reading this since I am trying to recall from memory our
conversation and do not want to improperly report the facts. Please correct
my accounts as needed.
Here is my position:
1. I am in favor of a SEAOC as representation of each of the four chapters.
I am not in favor of maintaining a physical office as such. I believe that
it can be done using better technical tools.

2. Although the state is operating in the red (at a loss), Pat reports that
each chapter is "making money" - a term which you must be careful of for a
non-profit organization. If this is true, then why can't the state office be
supported by chapter dues rather than tax the members as a separate item.
Pat uses the CAC (Computer Applications Committee) as an example. He states
(as I had in prior posts) that at some point in the near future, the CAC
will need to hire full time help to maintain the server and information
storage. My argument on this point is that the CAC intends to be
self-sufficient by generating income from the server to pay for the
maintaince - not try to raise dues to accomplish this.
Pat argues that if the state tries to raise money from seminars they would
be in direct competition with the chapters and therefore take money away
from the chapters. I counter that the chapters should, therefore, support
the state through profits rather than by increasing dues to the members.

3. At the very least, SEAOC should be utilizing the Computer Applications
Committee to help establish new protocol to reduce travel and communications
expenses. We have talked about this in the past, and it is time to start
experimenting with Listservices for the committees in order to condense the
time needed for face to face meetings and the travel costs incured.

4. Pat guesstimated that approximatly 40% of the total income to state is
used to maintain the office and staff. Personally, I feel that the work
needed to be done by state level should be absorbed by each chapter rather
than pay to maintain executive offices (here is where some of the profit to
the chapters can be used if needed). Publications and distribution can be
done electronically in most cases, which reduces the cost and distribution
fee's considerably.

5. We, as members, need to question the travel expenses and the need to hold
physical meetings on a monthly or quarterly basis to discuss and debate
issues best left (as homework) to the listservices. The only necessity to
have a physical meeting is for final organization of work that is ready for
publication. Remember, there is more than travel expense, these meetings
include meals (during the course of the meeting) and the cost for the
conference room when one is not donated.

With this in mind, I await for the state's justification for maintaing a
physical office and continued expenditures. I'm sure as a technically linked
community, we should be able to help SEAOC and any other SEA or professional
organization learn more productive and less costly skills to accomplish the
same ends. It only takes a little education and creative ability to see how
this can be made to work.

Dennis Wish PE