USHPA Governance Vote NO!

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USHPA Governance Vote NO!

Postby Steve Rodrigues » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:20 pm

The members of USHPA will very soon have the opportunity to vote for or against a governance proposal that would radically reorganize the organization.

I am opposed to the governance proposal for a number of reasons:

- Elimination of regional representation: The governance proposal does have 5 regions, but these were only added in a thin attempt to counter the pushback of losing local representation. The idea that this new layout provides regional representation is preposterous. Even with our current 12 regions it is difficult for our RD’s to cover their area, but with only 5 regions it is in practical terms impossible. For instance; the proposed Region 4 includes 16 states and is 1,700 miles wide from west Texas to the east coast. Region 5 also has 16 states plus International members! Please look at the DRAFT SOP 13-01 and consider the odds of your being well represented by someone who lives over a thousand miles away.

- Too many BOD members to conduct a viable monthly phone meeting: While serving as USHPA’s Secretary, I called in to almost every monthly EC meeting for 4 years. With our 4 EC members (President, VP, Secretary and Treasurer), plus our Executive Director and Legal Counsel, and the occasional presentation from our Information Services Manager or Communications Manager, plus the one or two RD’s who might call in, I can honestly say that only the most simplistic of debates was possible. Bumping the EC up to 10 would add 6 additional voices to the call and would make it extremely difficult to manage a debate and get any serious work done. In regard to the proposition that our current BOD is not nimble enough when dealing with emergencies, and that smaller is better: By that argument, our current 4-member EC is smaller and therefore more agile than the proposed 10-member BOD, so accepting the governance proposal would make the organization less agile in a crisis.
If the current 4 member EC needs help with a particular issue they can easily appoint an ad-hoc committee to take care of it. And the “problem” that the rest of the BOD might feel uninformed while the EC deals with a fast moving crisis can be avoided simply by the other BOD members calling in to the EC meetings and listening in on the proceedings.

- The “Diversity Algorithm” to elect BOD members can artificially place a person into office, overriding the nominee who actually got the most votes. This is un-democratic! The problem with this artificial construct is compounded by the size of the ridiculously large regions, where a person almost 1,700 miles away (The extreme limits of Region 4) could theoretically be your elected representative. Again, look at the DRAFT SOP 13-01 and consider the odds of your being familiar with someone running for office who lives a thousand miles away. Let’s have confidence in the democratic system and let the voters decide on who takes office, mirroring our recent mid-term elections where women and minorities were in fact elected to office based on their own merits.

- The USHPA Committees that do the hands-on work of USHPA will not be reliably staffed: With our current 20 Regional Directors and 5 Directors at Large, we have a deep pool of talent and experience, and these directors easily serve and sit on the committees at BOD meetings because they are already on site. If we reduce the BOD to just 10, there will not be enough directors to staff all the committees and I have serious doubts that random pilots will volunteer to fill in the rest of the seats. Our members have been eligible to serve on committees since day one, but few have. Why not? It may be a simple a matter of inviting the membership to serve, but I honestly don’t believe that enough pilots (who are not an elected official) will commit the time and effort it takes to do the work, let alone travel across the US to attend face-to-face BOD / committee meetings. The work will not get done and USHPA will suffer.

In summary; The Governance Proposal has inherent problems like skewed elections and loss of regional representation. And the problems with our current system that the governance proposal proposes to “fix”, like the current BOD not being agile enough, or its members not feeling informed, can easily be resolved without tearing apart our current system.

I believe that working to improve our current system can yield good results, while on the other hand, it could be a disaster for our organization if the governance proposal fails. I urge you to vote “NO”.

Respectfully yours,
Steve Rodrigues, USHPA # 30605 since 1980
Current H5, P1. Former USHPA Secretary, Director at Large, Advanced Instructor, Tandem Instructor, Tandem Administrator.
USHPA # 30605
H-5, Mentor and Observer
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