by David W. Small
Director of Communications
Despite a blizzard causing sparse attendance at this year’s convention, there were 32departments present who submitted a delegate list and the proper reports prior to convention allowing for a quorum to conduct business. Delegates discussed and voted on three Constitution and Bylaw issues.
First, delegates voted to indefinitely table an amendment that would have changed the elections from the current national convention process to a direct vote from the general membership. This issue will be readdressed during the 2011 constitutional convention.
A bylaws change regarding the calculation of withdrawals from the life member trust fund was passed that now sets a permanent cap to the formula. Had this motion not passed, any change in dues structure would automatically increase withdrawals from the life trust and would threaten to deplete the fund too quickly.
“The life member trust is on a glide slope to go bust if we don’t fix it,” said COL Ladd Pattillo, immediate past president.
The last two C&BL changes brought to the floor concerned changing the term and life dues schedules. Both of these proposals passed, establishing the following schedules, which went into effect April 1: One-year memberships are now $55; 2-year memberships are $100; 3-year memberships are $140; 5-year memberships are $200; 5-year virtual memberships are now $175.
Additionally, there are no longer special annual rates for the initial year of membership for officers under 31 years old.
“This is about getting back to the black and charging what we are worth,” LtCol Roger Gardner, a Department of Mississippi delegate said during debate.
The increase of officer candidate membership dues to $20/year drew localized opposition from departments who sponsor these Officer Candidates. The increase ultimately passed, challenging those departments fundraise and continue their practice of subsidizing these memberships.
For life memberships, the following new schedule was set. Life members under 31 years old will pay $600; those 31-40 will pay $580; those 41-50 will pay $530; those 51-55 will pay $480; those 56-60 will pay $440; and those 66-70 will pay $340. Any current life member will not be affected. Only those new life members joined after April 1 will be charged the new fees.
There will no longer be a 5-year flexible-pay installment plan for life memberships. No changes were made in the life dues schedule for those above age 71. Both term and life spousal member dues will be set at half the rate of the primary member.
“We are way below other organizations,” said COL Al Diaz, Department of California delegate, talking about ROA’s life dues during the discussion.
COL Diaz, as the chairman of the Resolutions committee, then transitioned the meeting to a discussion of resolutions. Details of the resolutions’ contents will be reported in the April OFFICER magazine and online at www.roa.org/resolutions.
The resolutions committee considered a total of 48 resolutions. They recommended 13 for expiration; 18 for renewal and 17 new resolutions. One resolution was withdrawn and one was returned to originator for a re-write.
The business meeting ended with a final report by COL Jim Rebholz from the Presidential Working Group 21, details of which can be found on page 2. l