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RE: SEAOC $10.00 dues increases objection

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Let me respond to both Ernie and Bill Warren at the same time.
First to Ernie; When has it been considered wise to "go blindly into thy
good night"? I don't mean to be pessimistic but I do not invest my money and
efforts into blind trust.
Bill Allen stated: "Ah, one of my favorite topics. To date, I have not seen
any documents where SEAOC is actively working towards changing registration
laws to allow only qualified engineers to practice in the field of
structural engineering.
Again, I went to the SEAOC website and, under BORPELS Liaison, there are no
documents whatsoever. If SEAOC has produced some activity in this area,
this information should be available. This is one area where the membership
would be the beneficiary of such an effort."
Here is a perfect example of how the committee's and boards of each chapter
AND State has acted autonomously without informing it's "beneficiaries" of
their actions.
We are no longer isolated from information where we need to elect
representatives and place our entire trust in their judgment. Two hundred
years ago this was necessary since the movement of information could take
months or years. Today, we receive information instantly which provides the
members with the power to, at the very least, be part of the decision making
process. The representatives need to inform those members who elected them


and need to be responsive to the needs and demands of the community.
Up until three years ago, our state membership had been greatly apathetic to
the point that our representatives were justified (IMHO) to act on what they
felt was in the best interest of the community.
Since that time, new tools for immediate movement and access to important
information has been placed in the hands of the representatives and
committee chairs - all from the efforts and hard work of those of us that
had the insight to see how useful these tools can be.
I am passionate on this subject because six years ago we had no listservice,
we had no SEAOC Online, we had nothing but an archaic standard for
submittals of computer programs to building departments. Since that time -
and I will toot my own horn - Shafat and I (with the help of our committee
members at local and state chapters)have created new tools for our
professional community to use that would involve members, link our
profession internationally, educate engineers to create productive tools to
generate income. Most importantly, Shafat and I had the insight to see how
these tools could be used to reduce unnecessary expense to SEAOSC at a time
when our local chapter was deeply in the red (1993). We glimpsed into the
future and developed the technology to provide means for each and every
committee to make their work and accomplishments available to the entire
membership.
We provided examples of ways to package and sell seminars, ways to make the
wealth of information that SEAOSC had available to engineers who were not
able to attend seminars - the means to make design information available to
any engineer who needed it, ways to seek peer review online and most useful
to each chapter - the objects to reduce expense and increase income.

My frustration (and some anger) with our representatives is that they were
not technologically advanced enough to recognize the benifits and to promote
the use of these tools. They also placed little or no faith in our abilities
to do any more than create a safe benign toy to satisfy the one portion of
our profession that is not as important as the published code - the tools to
design with. Instead they ignored our efforts or gave us pats upon our
collective heads for our efforts for three years and left them as "hobbies"
and "toys" of interest to a small minority of members that were interested
in computers. The only real interest they had in our technical abilites to
evolve our profession is when it generated potential income above it's
overhead. Once profit was realized the State board wanted Online and the
Server. However, they cared very little for what it could do for the
community, they only wanted to share in the profits.
Now with new members comming on board who are computer literate and who
understand the potential of our efforts, we are starting to be considered a
substantial voice in the community. However, even these members have
discussed their frustration with the majority of the members who are
computer illiterates.

Now it comes time to ask me for money to support more possible glut. Why
wouldn't I be skeptical of their spending since they have chosen to ignore
methods that would have generated income, membership and international
recognition three years earlier. I am skeptical because we still preach the
tools but to deaf ears.
Even Ernie stated it in his post:
"Maybe they are too busy in their committee work that thay cannot find the
time to figure out cost saving options. Maybe they did check out other
options but they still believe that the current system is the way to go.
Let's hear from them."

Ernie, this is a terrible reason to allow more money to be wasted. I'm not
too busy to spend my time to create the tools and the procedures for them to
use to reduce spending. I know that they have not "checked out" the options
because as of yesterday when I was repremanded for voiceing my comments on
the list, I discovered that the board member who was upset with me had only
received copies of my comments via his employees and had not reviewed the
source of the post and more importantly, was not a subscriber to this list.
Not having the time to hear the voice of those you represent is a travisty.
Not utilizing the tools that we gave them to get in touch with their members
is insulting. Expecting others to provide you the information on a platter
is equally insulting to those of us who work, run our own businesses,
volunteer and still have time to be involved with our peers.

Before it sounds like I am condemning the entire board of directors of every
chapter I need to clairify that I am not. I have spoken with board members
who are computer literate enough to see the benifits we are offering, but
who do not have the individule power to change those on the board who do not
have the education or see the benifit. My hat goes off to Tom Harris and
Bill Warren for their efforts to link this list with their work on the board
(as well as the others whom I have forgotten to mention). I respect Rawn
Nelson and Rick Raneous for taking the plunge into this list inspite of the
adversity to our representatives that has developed over the last few years.
However, Rawn's comments are not those of a member who has spent much time
on the list or is even aware (until possibly today) of the efforts the
Computer Applications Committee has made to change the way SEAOC works. I
highly recommend that he spend some valuable time with our archives on the
Web site and follow some of the relevant threads.

Bill Allens thoughts are echoed throughouth the membership since we have
heard some great speeches but have seen very little progress in three
years - certainly not enough to make me vote for a dues increase. We have
debated many topics regarding the policies of SEAOC, Borpels and others, but
have not seen results. From my conversations with board members, there does
not seem to be a unified consensus on any topic - certainly not one on the
progress with BORPELS.
How adamently have we attacked issues, how many times have we reached
reasonable solutions or a unified consensus as to what goals should be
followed. How many times have we forwarded these posts to our
representatives or urged them to subscribe and participate. How many months
has SEAOSC published instructions for joining this list and how many actual
representatives are particpating. I have been told that it is much more than
I think, but why should these members lurk in the background when we
question the issues that they continue to address. I don't believe in
ghosts. If one is lurking on this list then participate in discussions that
you have personal knowledge - don't simply spy upon us. Let us know what you
feel is valid and debate that which you feel is not - the same as you would
to board members. However, debate with those who are more important, the
members whose dues allow you to do your work.
We are finally being recognized by our representatives and board members,
but are we being placated or taken seriously enough to be placed on our
board's meeting agenda's?

Personally, I will not place blind faith in anyone. I'm too old and too
convinced that maximum productivity has not been reached so why should I
invest more money foolishly.

I appologize to my representatives and board members for taking such a
strict position, but many of us have devoted a great deal of time and effort
and have tried to help our organization. We have accomplished very little
because those in power have, until this time, refused to exert effort to
recognize us. Now you ask for money, but still do not exert effort to
utilize productivity tools that we created.

Lastly, when has it been customary to increase dues without the consent of
the members? The members voted on the creation of the state board and the
need to increase our dues to cover this cost. This $10.00 increase was
ramrodded through without our knowledge or vote of approval - this is a
travisty in my opinion.

Respectfully,

Dennis Wish PE