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RE: Slate of Officers Issue BOD

I think a lot of people leave AMSAT because of the same reason I left
TAPR.  I paid my dues to TAPR and realized six months later that I
hadn't gotten anything that I hadn't already gotten without being a
member.  All their listservs, files, online journals, etc, are
available to everyone, paying or not.  Another thing is that I felt
like there wasn't anything going on and I never got involved in
anything that was going on (if there was anything going on).  The
latter is probably more my fault, but those are my reasons for not
renewing the next time around.

Yeah, yeah...  I know I'm a schmuck but when you are on a fixed and
tight budget if your money isn't giving you a return on your
investment, then I'm pulling my money.  AMSAT at least gives me the
Journal (which is the best technical journal that I have ever read)
and access to some experts out there that help me when I need it and
keep my interest up.  That, to me, is worth the funds every year but
I would like to make some more members-only things that AMSAT is
paying for.  I'm all for creating an area that non-members can ask
questions and get information.  But they should be encouraged to
become members to get MORE information and resources.

Just my 2 cents worth...


-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Rahn [mailto:brahn@woh.rr.com] 
Sent: Monday, June 27, 2005 01:00
To: Eric Christensen
Cc: amsat-bb@amsat.org
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Slate of Officers Issue BOD

Eric Christensen wrote:

>While I agree with your statement that board members and officers 
>should be on the list to hear the voices of the membership, 
>unfortunately this is not the list in which this can be done.
Agree, but we don't have a members only list.....so where do we do
We have to do the best with what we have in place.....and this list,
as poor as it may be for the purposes stated, is the only venue we
have right now.

>too often we have non-members that feel it is their right to make
>voice heard to our BOD and officers and this just isn't right.
We disagree slightly here Eric.  The input of non-members should be
as welcomed as those of members, but weighted
appropriately....meaning the members' comments should be acted upon
before those of non-members.  But every satellite user should be able
to freely express an opinion.

One huge issue which has bothered me for years is why does AMSAT have
such a huge loss of members?  It seems we loose about 80 to 90
percent of all the members who joined.  Why?  We should actively
solicit the input of former members as to why they left the
organization.  A lot can be learned.  Sure, some left because the
kind of satellite they enjoy isn't on-orbit.  Some died.  Some found
satellite operations were not their cup of tea.  But that doesn't
explain the HUGE churn rate AMSAT has.  Something else is wrong! 

>They should step up to the plate and at LEAST pay their dues if not
>more involved in the organization and help it become a success.
I agree, but you have to give the members something in return.  Many
times that is just knowing that 'management' is listening to them.  
Listening doesn't cost a dime!

>I'll support the candidate that brings more benefits to being a
>so that when big decisions need to happen we are better represented.

>We need a members-only list and resources on the website and mail 
I agree with you if we add one clause.....more benefits without and
increase in operating costs....

I'm afraid AMSAT may be gone, as we know it, sooner than later unless
the organization does some very serious work on member retention.
Take a look at your membership number....think what the organization
could do if it could increase member retention to the 50 percent
level.  More 
money for satellites, more volunteers, etc.   Raising dues to
for the lack of membership is not the answer.  Asking each member to
give more is not the answer.

>I think that instead of just a bio, we should get a fact sheet
>us what each candidate plans to do during their term and what they 
>support and...  We shouldn't be voting based on name recognition,
>we need to have the facts.
I couldn't agree with you more.

>Right now the only way
>to give these facts out to the entire membership is by mailing 
>everything out with the ballot.
And that can still be done if the candidates address the 'calls for
what your position is' which have been addressed by the voices
speaking here. 

Regards -- Bruce
AMSAT-NA 3411 (for those who insist we include membership numbers :)

Bruce Rahn

Wisdom has two parts:
1.  having a lot to say; and
2.  not saying it!
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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