CFC Executive Blows It....Again ( Grassroots Campaign )

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • CFC Executive Blows It....Again ( Grassroots Campaign )

    On Tuesday, June 24, the “ gang of 7 “ ( Governors Michael Barron, Barry Thorvardson, Cesary Posylek, Chris Mallon, Gary Gladstone, Mark Dutton and Nava Starr ) submitted to the CFC 7 restructuring motions:

    Motion # 1 – Moved – Barry Thorvardson; Seconded – Cesary Posylek : Item 1 set out below is acceptable.
    “ 1. Core Roles: CFC will continue its role re FIDE, international and national events, a national rating system, and a website with membership info, ratings, membership sales, tournament announcements, chess club lists, and news submitted by members (highlights of recent tournament, etc.). Maintenance of these functions will be the responsibility of the Executive Director.”
    Commentary: We did not try to put into the platform everything the CFC is doing now, or will continue to do. We wanted a clean minimalist platform, that fundamentally dealt with restructuring issues. Therefore, for example, there is nothing about CFC promoting chess here. Promoting chess, which includes renewing memberships and growing the membership, is a main goal of the CFC, and our platform does not affect that ( I can advise we had something in the platform in an earlier version, but in trying to trim it down, and reduce the targets, we deleted it - but this doesn't mean we don't still fully support it as a main goal of the CFC ). For the purposes of this motion, it is assumed the ED functions, website and rating system will stay in-house ( though outsourcing the website or rating system is not necessarily excluded ).

    Motion # 2 – Moved – Michael Barron; Seconded – Barry Thorvardson: Item 2 set out below is acceptable.
    “ 2. CFC Revenue: CFC revenues to come from memberships, rating fees, investments and donations. With the reduced scope of operation, costs for the organization should be less, and it may be possible to reduce annual membership fees and/or rating fees. “
    Commentary : We feel that reducing the annual membership in particular should be a priority, if financially feasible after restructuring, since the magazine will no longer be a membership benefit. But we could not definitely promise it until we see our surplus after restructuring. We have also left open the possibility of lowering the rating fee. But some have also suggested that a modest raising of the rating fee might allow a further reduction in the annual membership fee, and this is still possible under this motion.

    Motion # 3 – Moved – Barry Thorvardson; Seconded – Chris Mallon: Item 3 set out below is acceptable.
    “ 3. CFC Membership: CFC to eliminate tournament memberships – if you want to play in a CFC tournament, you must purchase an annual membership. To encourage individuals to become members, first time CFC members will be given a 40% fee reduction for their first year. “
    Commentary: We must support our organization by membership and annual membership fee, if we want it to exist. CFC must have sustainable revenue. Community input has asked for numbers of special case exemptions/partial exemptions for annual memberships. We wanted to make clear that tournament memberships must go, but this issue can be fine-tuned at the time of implementation if special cases seem warranted. Organizers have told us that the annual CFC membership is a hindrance to getting first time tournament players to sign up for tournaments, so our 40% reduction for first-time CFC’ers attempts to ameliorate this difficulty.

    Motion # 4 – Moved – Michael Barron; Seconded – Mark Dutton: Item 4 set out below is acceptable.
    “ 4. Chess Canada: CFC will terminate the magazine contract with TKS immediately (with the May 2008 issue being the last issue of the magazine). “
    Commentary: A 1000 annual adult member small non-profit organization cannot afford a members’ magazine like CFC has been producing ( see losses over last three years ), nor an online version. But this motion does not exclude the possibility of CFC starting an e-mail bulletin to keep in regular contact with the membership ( we simply didn’t want to add it into the platform at this time ). Such e-bulletins can be cheaply produced, and with CFC maintaining a good “ Canadian News “ website, content for the e-bulletin should be relatively easy to deal with.

    Motion # 5 – Moved – Michael Barron; Seconded – Gary Gladstone: Item 5 set out below is acceptable.
    “ 5. Retail Business: Sell off the inventory of the retail business; it will be closed entirely. An alternative but small source of revenue could be established through a commission arrangement with other retailers, such as CMA or Amazon.
    Commentary: Given today’s competition, and the resources required to carry on an efficient retail operation, we feel CFC should get out of the business. We can use the ED hours to promote chess, including growing membership. But we are amenable to some type of commission arrangement with someone like CMA or Amazon.

    Motion # 6 – Moved – Michael Barron; Seconded – Barry Thorvardson: Item 6 set out below is acceptable.
    “ 6. CFC Condominium Office: The current CFC office would be placed for sale. The office would then be run out of either a small rental space or a home office. “
    Commentary: Without the retail operation, the building is not needed, and it has significant costs to carry it and maintain it. The money invested can generate income for CFC. And if the ED operates out of a home office, no office rental either would be required.

    Motion # 7 – Moved – Michael Barron; Seconded – Nava Starr: Item 7 set out below is acceptable.
    “ 7. CFC Staffing: In light of the reduced business activities of the CFC office (no retail sales and no print magazine), the Executive Committee would undertake a review of the Executive Director and Assistant positions and would recommend appropriate staffing changes if required. This could be from going to part-time, up to complete eliminating of the paid staff, and performing all CFC activities by volunteers. “
    Commentary: This item is necessary because we must live within our financial means in future. If, which we don’t expect, after restructuring, there is still a deficit, then we wanted to be able to downsize staff to bring us on budget. If however, after restructuring, we have a surplus even with existing staff expenses, which we do expect, then the Executive would be free to determine whether to cut staff, or eliminate staff, to generate more of a surplus, or whether to keep staff hours in order to carry out new tasks with the freed up hours due to restructuring.

    On Thursday, June 26, the gang of 7 asked the CFC President, Hal Bond, to use his authority as President to direct an immediate e-mail discussion/vote BEFORE the AGM, being held in Montreal, in late July. This would have the effect of making the outgoing governors views known and available to themselves for the outgoing governors AGM , and for the new incoming governors AGM. This might have allowed some immediate decisions to then be made at the AGM ( these motions were only “ straw vote “ motions, and therefore not binding in themselves ).
    Unfortunately, Hal replied that same day that he was unwilling to take the individual and personal responsibility for calling for this vote. So the “ gang of 7 “ then, on that Thursday, asked that he let the full Executive decide whether to call an early vote. He never replied to the 7 governors on that point. ( I wrote to him also making the same request on the Thursday, and he didn’t reply to me either ). No vote of the Executive was asked for or taken to our knowledge.

    This means that the motions must now go the slow, ponderous Governors’ Letter route, which will take months, and it will have to be dealt with by the incoming new governors. They will delay decisions, needing to get up to speed on all the issues. And there will be a new Executive, and they will want to review everything.

    In the meantime, the CFC will have to borrow thousands of dollars again from the Chess Foundation to stay afloat until the new governors make the restructuring decisions. This may be fatal for the CFC. The 7 governors request was reasonable and should have been acceded to by Hal. Now there will be nothing for the AGM.

    Bob

  • #2
    Re: CFC Executive Blows It....Again ( Grassroots Campaign )

    "Now there will be nothing for the AGM"

    Sadly, this is no real surprise.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sad...A Lost Opportunity ( Grassroots Campaign )

      Governor Ken Craft, on the old ChessTalk, strongly supported CFC President Hal Bond's refusal to call an immediate e-mail discussion/vote. I answered as follows:

      " Hi Ken:

      I strongly disagree with the position you and Hal have taken on refusing an expedited vote:

      1. There is some urgency - CFC just borrowed $ 30,000 to stay afloat and I'm sure that is almost gone now. So they will have to go back to the trough to stay afloat while the new Executive comes in, the new governors come in, everybody reviews everything and gets up to speed, and then brings a motion or 2 through the GL's which will take a few further months to get to a vote, and then the decisions have to be implemented. How much more money will the CFC have to borrow to stay afloat that long. The motions of the grassroots group and the " gang of 7 " movers/seconders governors would have given immediate relief by clarifying a plan of action IMMEDIATELY, especially if all motions had been accepted ( and I believe they had a good chance, especially given the votes of the governors who prematurely voted in error ).

      2. These straw vote results would have gone to the outgoing Governors at their July AGM. They could have then and there IMMEDIATELY made some implementation motions based on the vote. We'd have had some actual decisions in the term of the current governors - God forbid. As it stands now, we have had not one restructuring decision passed in one full year of the current Executive and governors.

      3. If the outgoing governors had not wanted to act and leave it to the new incoming governors to decide, at least they would have given them the benefit of their experience through the straw vote. The new Executive and the new governors would have had something to chew on, and could have moved IMMEDIATELY to implementing the passed straw vote motions.

      4. We have had 3 consecutive years of losses and this last 2007-8 year will be no different. We'll see that when the GL # 9 comes out with the year end financials. Because of Hal's decision, we will be looking at the good part of another full year before any restructuring gets done, so that will mean another year of a deficit, since nothing will have changed re revenue ( except further decrease of the revenue of the retail business ) nor expenses. The CFC cannot afford further borrowings from the Chess Foundation and further annual deficits. We are spending the sale proceeds of our office building by doing this, since that is our only way of paying for all this delay.

      5. You yourself say the GL route is impossible. Well then, faced with the expedited e-mail vote as the only other option, Hal should have chosen it as the best of the two choices. It has been done twice recently, on the last 2 governor votes, and worked fine. Some governors even tried to vote on our motions prematurely, and they didn't have any trouble with the concept or the process.

      I am truly saddened at this lost opportunity, and the current executive must take responsibility for it.

      Bob "

      Ken responded with:

      " I know we disagree. We disagree on the efficacy of these straw votes. As an outgoing and incoming Governor, I want to make my decision based on the RFP process and a proposed business plan not based on the cherry-picking opinions of the current Governors devoid of the above information. The Governors are supposed to receive the results of the RFP process at the AGM. "


      I guess the future will show how fast things move, and whether this was indeed a " lost opportunity ".

      Bob

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: CFC Executive Blows It....Again ( Grassroots Campaign )

        submitted to the CFC 7 restructuring motions:
        vs
        These straw vote results
        Bob,
        So what was the plan: to get the straw voting or pass real motions?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The " Straw Vote " Option ( Grassroots Campaign )

          Hi Egis:

          I took the " straw vote " option on the advice of Jonathan Berry with whom I was corresponding early on, who is a very experienced CFC'er. He advised that there would be less opposition to the motions proceding if there was only a straw vote - it would be non-binding, and so those opposed to the motions going ahead would be less vehement ( I had originally planned for actual motions ). I thought, on reconsideration, that he was right.

          I think it was easier for me to get the support of the " gang of 7 " moving/seconding governors because it was only going to be a straw vote.

          I think the governors would have felt pressured if the outgoing governors had been asked to vote on binding motions ahead of the AGM in the dying days of their mandate, with the new Executive and Governors breathing down their necks. A " staw vote " decision would have been advice only, and would not have bound them.

          Easier to proceed overall - but I didn't reckon on Hal's opposition to the expedited vote - the 7 governors and I hit a brick wall, after doing a lot of hard work and organizing and lobbying to get the motions tabled quickly , more than 3 weeks before the AGM. Sad....

          Bob

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: CFC Executive Blows It....Again ( Grassroots Campaign )

            And just when I thought something was going to be accomplished by all this...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The 7 Motions Have a Future ( Grassroots Campaign )

              Hi Luke:

              Don't be discouraged. We may have lost this battle of getting the motions voted on before the AGM. But the " war " has yet to be won.

              The motions, as I understand it, are properly submitted by the " gang of 7 " moving/seconding governors, and went in on June 24 to the CFC Secretary. I assume they will now be entered into GL # 9, as Motions for First Discussion. This means that the grassroots program has been delayed, but not killed. These motions will eventually come to a vote, though likely before the new incoming governors. We will then see, I think, that the governors will approve of the platform and pass the restructuring motions.

              This is of course subject to some variables - there will be a new Executive, and it will depend on what their agenda is; there will be recommendations from the CFC Request for Proposals Committee, and it will depend whether some of their motions get fast-tracked and voted on before our motions; there is the financial distress of the organization, and what changes that may result in before our motions get to vote, etc..

              But I think we can still be optimistic that, though the grassroots campaign has been stonewalled at the moment by the current Executive, it will break through and get momentum again in future.

              Bob

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: CFC Executive Blows It....Again ( Grassroots Campaign )

                It's enough to make me want to show up to the AGM. Someone has to start asking hard-hitting questions. Things must be accomplished, and we need some go-getters in power to do this.

                To paraphrase Albert Einstein, the problems of the CFC cannot be solved on the same level on which they were created.

                In other words, the bureaucracy that lead the CFC into the the complacancy it's in now will not get us out.

                It's clear changes must be made, but whether or not it will be in time remains to be seen.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: CFC Executive Blows It....Again ( Grassroots Campaign )

                  If it wasn't for motion #3 you would have my support.

                  As far as I am concerned, I'm pretty happy that it was rejected by this 'gang of 7'.

                  Almost amusing how you describe opposition to your motions as a 'gang' yet when describing your 'movement' you call it 'grassroots'.

                  J.Lohner

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: CFC Executive Blows It....Again ( Grassroots Campaign )

                    The gang of 7 are the 7 governors who sponsored the motions aren't they?

                    I think you are reading way too much into this.

                    What I find amusing is that this board software abbreviates the thread title (in the tree view above) as "The CFC Executive blows" ;)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: CFC Executive Blows It....Again ( Grassroots Campaign )

                      Originally posted by Kerry Liles View Post

                      What I find amusing is that this board software abbreviates the thread title (in the tree view above) as "The CFC Executive blows" ;)

                      Heh, I also noted this. Gave me a chuckle. ;)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: CFC Executive Blows It....Again ( Grassroots Campaign )

                        Hi Jason:

                        It was the CFC President, Hal Bond, who stopped the 7 motions going to an immediate vote. As Kerry says, the " gang of 7 " is the 7 governors who are the movers/seconders of the 7 motions.

                        I'm glad you support 6 of the 7 motions. The tournament membership elimination has drawn the most flack. You are not alone in opposing eliminating it. But I think it must go - players have to support the organization by membership and $$ - CFC must be financially viable. But you will see that motion # 2 states that if there is a surplus, which we expect, then annual membership fees will be reduced. We hope that will help ease the pain somewhat.

                        Bob

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: CFC Executive Blows It....Again ( Grassroots Campaign )

                          I'm glad you support 6 of the 7 motions. The tournament membership elimination has drawn the most flack. You are not alone in opposing eliminating it. But I think it must go - players have to support the organization by membership and $$ - CFC must be financially viable. But you will see that motion # 2 states that if there is a surplus, which we expect, then annual membership fees will be reduced. We hope that will help ease the pain somewhat.

                          The big problem with this is that I've met many people at tournaments who would just stop playing in tournaments if you did this. There is alot of people who only play in one or two tournaments a year and for them it is just not worth it. This motion will definitely reduce the participation in tournaments.
                          This may not be a problem in onterio, but I know its a problem in BC.

                          I thought the CFC's job was to promote chess?? I'm sure that if a new player who hadn't ever played in a tournament (much like myself a couple of years ago) wanted to try and see how he/she liked it wouldn't bother if they had to join the CFC to play (even with the discount). The only reason I joined is that I flipped through the magazine and liked it so I joined the CFC for the magazine. I would have never tried tournaments if the proposed rules were put into place back then.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: CFC Executive Blows It....Again ( Grassroots Campaign )

                            Most of the people who suggested removing the tournament membership also seemed to be in favour of an additional idea: providing a first-time membership discount (which was the point of the tournament membership if I understand the history).

                            Seems like there will not be a magazine, so that issue is off the table (pardon the poor pun). Most likely the CFC will devolve/evolve to a pure service function (ratings, promotion, sponsorship, interface with FIDE) all supported by rating fees of some kind.

                            Then again, there is an upcoming AGM and all bets are off.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: CFC Executive Blows It....Again ( Grassroots Campaign )

                              Originally posted by Jason Lohner View Post
                              The big problem with this is that I've met many people at tournaments who would just stop playing in tournaments if you did this. There is alot of people who only play in one or two tournaments a year and for them it is just not worth it. This motion will definitely reduce the participation in tournaments.
                              This may not be a problem in onterio, but I know its a problem in BC.

                              I thought the CFC's job was to promote chess?? I'm sure that if a new player who hadn't ever played in a tournament (much like myself a couple of years ago) wanted to try and see how he/she liked it wouldn't bother if they had to join the CFC to play (even with the discount). The only reason I joined is that I flipped through the magazine and liked it so I joined the CFC for the magazine. I would have never tried tournaments if the proposed rules were put into place back then.
                              You have to take into consideration that Ontario has a 7 dollar per year provincial fee added. The membership here is only 43 dollars per year. In B.C., the provincial fee is a staggering 12 dollar per year so your membership is 48 dollars per year. The CFC membership without provincial fees is only 36 dollars a year. Not what I would consider a deterrent.

                              If you didn't have to pay any provincial fee, only the 36 dollar CFC fee, would you still feel the same way about joining to play?
                              Gary Ruben
                              CC - IA and SIM

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X