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Thread: A Question for Members

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Orrington, Maine
    Posts
    629

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    Thanks, Gary.....you're absolutely correct. My question was: How do the members think this works? Because right now I'm not of the opinion that it's always a majority vote on an issue that prevails. Right now there is an issue that boiled over, one member has dug in his heels, resulting in the resignation of one of the other board members. This will all come out soon. Brdad was nice enough to send me a string of emails which helped clarify how this all came down and I feel a little bit better (just a little bit) about it. But I'm siding with the person who has resigned from the board. This really didn't have to happen and it's a shame.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    So. China Maine
    Posts
    1,588

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    Here's the story for anybody that's interested. When I agreed to be a Board member I did so with the promise that I would help the organization grow. As soon as I was "sworn in" I started proposing new ideas. Many of these were adopted as were ideas of some of the other board members. The site has over 2000 "members" and once the new newsletter was up and going I suggested that in order to create enthusiasm and "get the word out about what's going on in the Maine caching world" that we simply mail it to everybody that has come to this site and signed on to be a member. Make sense, of course it does. But that's when the problem started. Brdad indicated that this couldn't be done because the invalid email addresses would result in hundreds of bouncebacks of the invalid or inactive email accounts. Delete them? Yeah, that can be done but compiling a list of the bouncebacks isn't going to be easy. OK, send them to me and I'll compile the list. You all received the mass email and 3 days later and several hours on the computer the bounceback list was forwarded to Rick and brdad. At that point, brdad started a theme that sending out the newsletter like this was a bad idea....spam he called it. We noted that there would be an unsubscribe option so folks who didn't want to receive it could sign off. That seemed to make him dig in his heals more. (Remember, those of you that get the newsletter had to "subscribe" so only 74 of our 2000 members have any idea what's going on here). As some of you know, a few members here have actively participated in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. I suggested why not send a mass email to everybody about this effort by your fellow cachers and amazingly brdad dug in his emails even deeper!! With all of the folks in this group that have been touched by cancer, this to me was the final straw and an indication that if I was going to have to pound my head on the wall and meet resistance on this type of issue, that I was not going to be an effective board member. I look to the future for my life goals, look to the past for things I could have done better. Looking to the future it was clear to me that my efforts to make something new and fresh with this site were going to stiffled by one member with a very different view of this organization then myself. Under these circumstances I have chosen to move forward. I have no regrets other then a bunch of other ideas I had wished to bring to the table. I wish the board well and hope ALL the members look for the good of the whole group and not just their personal preferences on the way things ought to be.
    Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Bangor, ME
    Posts
    6,059

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    I am not going to defend my position in this thread. If any member wishes to discuss my position with me, I'll be glad to do that via PM. I will, however, defend my role as a board member to vote for what I think is right and express my reasons with other board members. There are 4 other board members, if three or more choose to vote a certain way I would honor that decision, and I would not drag those that disagree with me through the mud.
    DNFTT! DNFTT! DNFTT!

    "The funniest thing about this particular signature is that by the time you realize it doesn't say anything it's to late to stop reading it..."

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Solon, Maine
    Posts
    5,940

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    I don't think GCM.org should be sending out emails promoting specific charities or organizations, even respected efforts like "Relay for life". Individual GCM.org members advocating for their causes in the forums is one thing - and perfectly OK with me - but inappropriate in the GCM.org newsleter.

    IMHO...

  5. #15

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    Personally, I'd have no problem if gcm.org promoted reputable, charitable organizations.

    As for the newsletter, I don't think gcm.org should send out the newsletter unsolicited. Heck, I didn't even know the test email was sent since GMail automatically sent it to the spam folder.

    Currently when people register it shows this:
    Receive Email...
    [ ] Receive Email from Administrators
    [ ] Receive Email from Other Members
    From time to time, the administrators and/or other members may want to send you email notifications or messages. If you do not want to receive email from certain people then you may disable the options her
    Maybe something like "[ ] Receive Informative Monthly Newsletter" should be an added option at registration.

    I think the newsletter should be featured prominently on the website/forum and it might be ok to occasionally (like every 6 months-ish) send out an email encouraging users to subscribe. That email should only be sent from an admin (ie rick) and should only be sent to the people who selected the "[x] Receive Email from Administrators" option.

    There's my 2 cents.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Solon, Maine
    Posts
    5,940

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    Quote Originally Posted by inhUMaine View Post
    Personally, I'd have no problem if gcm.org promoted reputable, charitable organizations.
    IMHO, once you open the door, you start having to decide what are "reputable, charitable organizations", and what are not. Being former military, I've always had a "warm spot" for the American Red Cross, but have had the experience that a lot of people have no use for the ARC. As I said earlier, I have no problem with members advocating their favorite charity in the forums, even asking for specific support (donations, participation, etc.) but I don't think that GeocachingMaine.org should take a public position.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Princeton, Maine
    Posts
    20

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    It sounds like you all are saying there are only 4 board members making the decisions for everyone? I've seen Gary, Rick, brdad, Dan is out. So who is the other person if Dan is out? Perhaps you need more input, a larger board with representatives from different areas/regions of Maine?? I think the politics of geocaching can sometimes kill the fun of the game. Not to mention the spirit of giving back to community. Isn't that what Geocachers are known for? I think that people should be allowed to advertise for charitable events. We are members, donating members, so shouldn't we be allowed to ask others who care if they are interested in being on our team, for whatever cause we support?
    I for one am never offended to receive email or a post about ANY charitable event. I pay to be here on this board, and I want to know what other geocachers are doing for community and man kind. Perhaps the board needs to reevaluate its mission and see if it really is serving the agenda for which it is intended.
    I think you've all done an excellent job, but I think change is good and we should embrace what our geocaching community can do for others.
    This is a sport, we don't get paid to play it, it is voluntary, there are no million dollar contracts. It's supposed to be safe, fun, earth friendly and healthy. Too bad for politics spoiling it...
    Dan, I respect the honesty and candor of your post.
    MARTES
    I smell cache...

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    ME
    Posts
    3,517

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    An interesting discussion here. Clearly, GCM is growing and these are growing pains! BUT, let's not loose sight of the BIG picture. A lot of issues are in this thread. Blast mails (for the newsletter - already posted on line - and other things), the size of the board, the resignation of a board member, the comment of another board member, "paying to be on this board", and probably a lot more.

    I am a Board Member of a Non-profit established in 1928. Needless to say. there have been many changes in all those years. We have a website which no one pays to view (lacking forums - where members can post), publish a monthy newsletter, raise money (to pay our bills and give away many scholarships) and work/lobby for our special intersts at the State Legislative level.

    Our newsletter for years has been mailed. We will be discontinuing this soon (unless folks sign up to receive it by mail). Our Newletter is available for all to read on line at our website (much like GCM). You can get an email notification, the news has been posted for the month, by subscription on our website (you do not have to be a member). It's a simple process - sign up on line - we shoot you an email the newsletter issue is posted for the month. I like the system - post it, and if you want an email notice - sign up.

    As for "email blasts" as we call them - anyone who signs up for our newsletter through our website (member or not) may receive an email with what we consider important information, mid-newsletter news or other information. We realize there may be non-club/non-paid members who may receive these but we use our email newsletter notification list for blasts. These may include anything from an up coming supper to an appeal for folks to attend a legislative hearing about something of interest to the group.

    Our membership is about 250 paid members and about 70 - 80 Life Members (they no longer pay dues). Our Board is over 15 members who meet face to face usually monthly and often we take in between meeting polls on various issues. Our board is not all computer connected or literate, but, we make it work.

    It would never be practical to mail the GCM newsletter, however, it is posted on our website - that should be fine and in addition - remind folks to sign up for an email notification ~ if they need or want it.
    Continue the email blasts for a month or so and then beyond that just include the subscription information in the newsletter post. Use these initial attempts to weed
    out the 2000+ (really - wow) members and get it down to working numbers. IMHO

    Since I am the Newsletter Editor the my group - and must work with the webmaster, I know, there are many technical issues of websites which others don't know. Guess I am just fortunate ~ the worst I have encountered was having to nudge the person to get something up and posted in a timely manner, rather than it perhaps being told it couldn't/shouldn't or wouldn't be done. Give our webmaster an email and he will do it - in his own time - but it gts done. And in all fairness I must post, I have not conversed with BRDad about the specifics of what appear to be issues here.

    It is sad Dubord is leaving the Board. He, I believe, has done a lot. He had a lot to offer (in many playing fields) and will be missed. Perhaps the Board is to small? Could a poll be done on this?

    Although this year, I am not on the Relay Team (for personal reaons) - I will do a donation. I was there from the first year. I remember the struggle, the first year, in naming the team. We came up with Maine Geocachers..........it was to welcome and represent everyone (not just folks from this website).

    Just as my Group will not say no to paying for a camp scholarship to a camp we have never supported. If the child wants camp and it embraces our principles - we will give them a scholarship. I suggest ~ GCM should openly communicate any opportunity for their membership to become aware of and support any non-profit charitable event, which one of our members holds dear and is participating in.

    Embracing and supporting the mission of other charitable organizations and their events is a way to showcase GCM as a participative part of our communities and World. Just go to the GC.com forums if you don't think Relay for Life Events, and other non-profits, are not part of the Geocaching community. As for others, I know for a fact, Autism has been embraced as well as Cystic Fibrosis........and I am sure the list goes on.

    To bring this back to EMSDanels' question - I believe the current Board information to the membership is to sparse. If you post a query to them you get an answer ~ but ~ lacking that it comes when someone questions.

    It should be made available - openly and freely to the "membership" after it happens. I don't care to hear specifically who voted what, but, more that xyz was motioned, seconded, brought up, etc and the vote was yea = 3 and nay = 2. Just let us know what is there, discussed, happening and decided.

    Someone should be taking notes and/or printing out the on-line dialogue of the Board. Gary Team2hunt said it - no secrets.........why should folks have to suppose or ask? Just publish it - it is business of the website/group/organization. Just let them know. Most groups somehow publish, make available, etc. the notes of their secretaries of business groups.

    Growing pains but I am sure will be worth it in the end. Thanks to everyone who has or is serving us all.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    So. China Maine
    Posts
    1,588

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    To clarify, I agree completely that this organization should not become a location where just any charitable cause should be promoted. But for those who don't know the history, let me explain why the American Cancer Society Relay for Life figures differently in the discussion.

    First, Dan Bahr, emsdanel and a very respected member here, has been the chair of the event for several years. He is a cancer survivor as many know. Second, the board members, current and past have been active participants and members of a team called "Maine Geocachers." We have carried a banner as such. Brdad's beautiful wood carving TB "Geocaching Maine" was prominently displayed and even carried around the track last year for the opening ceremonies. In short, to me this group's involvment in this particular cause has been considerable. My suggestion to promote it via the capacity to reach out to over 2000 potential supporters with one keystroke seemed like a sound decision and not one that would eventually generate the controversy that it did.
    Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Hampden, ME
    Posts
    891

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    I have to agree with Hollora and Dan. In my opinion, a single monthly newsletter hasn't included a lot regarding the board....not sure that is the intent of the newsletter....a sparsely postings about changes and new initiatives. Frankly, send me an email. I then can choose to block it in the future or read it. And since I've become a member and donated, that certainly signifies my willingness to receive information. I do not need to know what led to Dan's decision or the details other than to say he is a valued member in that he brought experience, reason and a "blind eye" to the process and the advisory board. And certainly, the entire board consists of a well rounded, experienced and geographically located members. What's not to like?
    Quote Originally Posted by dubord207 View Post
    To clarify, I agree completely that this organization should not become a location where just any charitable cause should be promoted. But for those who don't know the history, let me explain why the American Cancer Society Relay for Life figures differently in the discussion.

    First, Dan Bahr, emsdanel and a very respected member here, has been the chair of the event for several years. He is a cancer survivor as many know. Second, the board members, current and past have been active participants and members of a team called "Maine Geocachers." We have carried a banner as such. Brdad's beautiful wood carving TB "Geocaching Maine" was prominently displayed and even carried around the track last year for the opening ceremonies. In short, to me this group's involvment in this particular cause has been considerable. My suggestion to promote it via the capacity to reach out to over 2000 potential supporters with one keystroke seemed like a sound decision and not one that would eventually generate the controversy that it did.
    Everyone has the right to be an idiot at times. Just don't abuse the privilege.

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