Proposed Constitutional will change Proposed Chang

Dear Fellow Association Members, The proposed content change to the FSSA Constitution Article II should be examined with significant concern. It is, and has been the diligent intent of the current leadership of our Assoc to establish “An Investment Fund to be utilized for outreach within the sailing community.” This intention has been a topic of consideration at the level of the Board of Governors for some time. I believe that now is the time that the general membership be made aware of this. It is my opinion that the purpose of the FSSA is clearly stated in Article II of the Constitution and any modification to Article II will change the Association at a fundamental level. Furthermore, the Statement about the 503.c.3 is a fabrication for the purpose of pushing thru the proposed change. You are being lied to. So I ask for all of you to consider very carefully: Should it be that the purpose of the FSSA will be to manage revenue in excess of its own operation expenses for the purpose of involvement in “Certain Charitable and Educational Projects”? In my opinion, No. FSSA is for the purpose of maintaining the stated parameters of Article II. Please read it as currently worded. This proposed change will turn the FSSA into a forum for social experimentation and over time will bankrupt the Association. Furthermore, Tom Lawton is being dismissed from the proposed Nominated Slate of Officers as First Vice President due to his long standing objection to the proposed “Play Money Fund”. Tom’s dedication to the class is second to none and he is the at the core of the next generation of FSSA leaders. Or said more directly, he is young and understands the purpose of the FSSA. Anyone who knows Tom and his involvement in the class will quickly conclude the unfounded nature of his dismissal. Stated as; “We the Nominating Committee here by agree that Tom Lawton does not have the time to devote to the Association due to other outside personal commitments.” Over the last 13 years Tom has been Fleet Captain of two different fleets, Carolina District Governor, Secretary / Treasurer and Second VP. I am sticking my neck out here. And I am going to piss off a lot of people. But I believe the facts stated above to be true and correct. And, that it is very import to me and to all of you that the FSSA remain pure to its established purpose. And, that the actions of the decision makers currently in power are going to radically modify the stated purpose of the FSSA. These will pass by Proxy vote. Both of these hidden agenda changes must be over turned in the interest of the longevity of the Association. Thank you for you Consideration, David Neff FS 5609 FSSA Member 30 years

Comments

I would have to agree with Dave on this.

I would have to agree with Dave on this. There are serious problems here on all fronts. I asked for and just received a copy of the Class's financial statements. I am outraged at the lack of fiscal management that is going on and would recommend to all that they request their own copy to review. In today's world you should be watching every penny.....but why is the class paying $1,500 bucks for someone's phone? Wouldn't that be rolled up into the Admin Company’s fee? There are numerous line items. Being a Class President of the Melges 24 Class in the US and Vice Chair of the International class we run at less than 30% of the revenue of the FSSA and frankly have way better management, promotion and PR than the Scot does. It's time for sweeping change. Now this is nothing against Barb, Charles, etc, this is "the way it’s been done for years", but that is the attitude that needs to evolve, if it doesn't bad things will happen. Travis Weisleder

1.

1. Would you oppose the trust if it were funded through donations and not fees? Do other One Class organizations have similar trusts? 2. Personnel matters are always difficult to discuss in public forums. Perhaps Tom should discuss this with the nominating committee privately. 3. Using perjorative phrases like "Play Money Fund" and "You are being lied to" are not unhelpful. Your presupposition substitutes your judgement for that of others. Do you have any information about the structure of the prosposed fund? Robert Vance Commodore Deep Creek Yacht Club, Inc.

I agree with Robert vance, It is in poor form to use such wordi

I agree with Robert vance, It is in poor form to use such wording. And distracting. There is information available about the Flying Scot Foundation under the FSSA. But at this point it apears that it is upon request. The proposed change to the constitution will allow for the insertion of this already exisitng entity, The Flying Scot Foundation. The process seems reverse. I want discussion to result. And I want intentions to be made clear and public. Who out there has heard of the The Flying Scot Foundation?

I just went to www.

I just went to www.irs.gov and this is a direct cut and paste from http://www.irs.gov/publications/p557/ch03.html#d0e4563 "There are two types of amateur athletic organizations that can qualify for tax-exempt status. The first type is an organization that fosters national or international amateur sports competition but only if none of its activities involve providing athletic facilities or equipment. The second type is aQualified amateur sports organization (discussed below). The difference is that a qualified amateur sports organization may provide athletic facilities and equipment. Donations to either amateur athletic organization are deductible as charitable contributions on the donor's federal income tax return. However, no deduction is allowed if there is a direct personal benefit to the donor or any other person other than the organization."

Dave Neff, I am trying to understand your post.

Dave Neff, I am trying to understand your post. You refer to a proposed change in Article II of the constitution, which you seem to argue would have the effect of establishing an investment fund for outreach. But when I go to http://www.fssa.com/documents/proxy%2009_constitutionchanges.pdf [link edited by Fssaeditor] and when I look at the proposed Constitution with the proposed changes marked, I don't see a material change to Article II. Is there a change somewhere else in the proposed Constitution which would establish the investment fund? If yes, can you point me to the Article and Section number? I'm not at this point in favor or against the investment fund, I'm just trying to figure out how the proposed change to the constution reads, with respect to this issue. Jay Lott FS 5698

Jay, I think Dave is talking about this: http://www.

Jay, I think Dave is talking about this: http://www.fssa.com/documents/proxy_nominations.pdf Top of page 3. Also what is the Flying Scot Fund and what is its mission? Why would this not be a seperate Company (or the like) that could be managed by the association?

Dan is clearly upset and greatly concerned about FSSA.

Dan is clearly upset and greatly concerned about FSSA. His passion for the Flying Scot and our class association is tremendous. It is in the interest of FSSA's membership to first get our house in order, then take on new endevours. Creating a new foundation this year is not appropriate. This year expenses far exceeded income and membership had been down. Let's first focus on: 1. Cutting membership services cost from $40,000.00 per year (plus expenses), to something more in line with other organizations similar to FSSA (on average $6,000.00 / yr, basic membership services). 2. Engage districts, fleets, and member sailors to build a more value add FSSA. This is a good discussion, but my recomendation is to say "no", and table the creation of a 501.c.3 foundation this year while we collectively get the FSSA house in order. Do ask your national FSSA leadership Executive Committee for more information if you have any questions. It is your association. If you can help, please offer assistance and ideas to the FSSA executive committee and copy your district governer. Respectfully, Greta Mittman [8D] Southwest District Governer - The greatest district land or sea! FS 5804, Fleet 23 See you at FS Nationals in Ephraim!

The 501.

The 501.c.3 designation is important for us as members of the FSSA in general. Dues paid to a 501.c.3 non-profit corporaton are deductable from personal taxes. I for one would like to feel legally secure in deducting my dues payments. It is true a foundation needs 501.c.3 coverage, but that's not the only reason for FSSA to be defined as a 501.c.3. corporation. FSSA Forum editor

FSSA is already established as a non profit by definition of the

FSSA is already established as a non profit by definition of the tax code. A change to Article II is not necessary and is not consistent with the original intent of the FSSA Constitution. I believe that it should be written into the constitution that 'Article II - Object' shall be exempt from edit by any means.

Folks seriously, what in the world are you quibling about! Someb

Folks seriously, what in the world are you quibling about! Somebody's desire to deduct the $45 FSSA dues from their taxable income? Heck, make it $100 FSSA dues deduction (roughly $30 post tax deduction cash equivilent). There are other serious issues at hand. With the issues at hand it is complete non-sense to discuss 501.c.3 for FSSA. Our budgeting priorities and expenses are completely out of order relative to the needs of the FSSA membership. Stay focused on what we must acheive to remain viable for the near term - spending $40,000.00 per year on membership services, mailouts, and secretarial services is completely excessive and uneccessary for the longevity of FSSA. Table the non-profit proposal for later. We must first focus on basics for survival of FSSA: 1. Engage a new basic membership services provider (maintain list of members, accept dues, primarily online - hard copy by exception). 2. Communications across FSSA to members and potential members. 3. Promote the class and membership. Volunteer to help by researching what membership services offerings are available and getting those options to the Executive Committee and Board of Governers as quickly as possible. Thus far I have not seen any options offered to our current membership services J.Eubanks and Associates, which charges approximately $40,000.00 per year plus expenses. While the folks at J.Eubanks are very fine people, it is no longer something we can or should afford. You, me, the members at large can help by offering options before the upcoming meetings at the FS NAC in Ephraim. Belong to an organization or club that leverages online membership capabilities, dues collection and event registration? Please find out who or what is used behind the scenes and forward that information. And PLEASE, do not flame why this has not been done before, or the executive committee sucks for not taking previous action. It's water under the bridge, tack on a shift to late, whatever. We need solutions and solid suggestions for the executive committee. Thank you in advance. Together we can help! -Michael Michael Mittman FS# 5804, Fleet 23 Corinthian Sailing Club White Rock Lake Dallas, TX

Michael Mittman

FS 5804, Fleet 23

Corinthian Sailing Club

White Rock Lake, Dallas, TX, USA

Travis, thank you for pointing me to the correct link.

Travis, thank you for pointing me to the correct link. I now see the language that Dave Neff is referring to. In fact, as Fleet 44 Captain I just received the whole proxy package, which includes the proposed changes to the constitution, and the suggestion that fleets require their active members to be FSSA members. I'm in the process of polling my fleet members on those issues. I probably will be Fleet 44's delegate to the Annual Meeting. I would like to see the following issues addressed at the annual meeting: 1. Transparency. Minutes of FSSA board meetings, FSSA annual meetings of the membership, and recent and historical FSSA financial statements should be available on-line to all FSSA members. This could be easily accomplished via a password-protected portion of the website. We should be able to see what our Association is up to, and how it's spending our money. 2. Clarification of reasons that the FSSA thinks it is important to have 501(c)(3) status. Unlike the FSSA forum editor, as a lawyer who has some familiarity with 501(c)(3) issues, I would not feel confident deducting my entire FSSA dues as a charitable contribution, without learning more. Among other things, money paid to a 501(c)(3) in return for services received is NOT deductible. While 501(c)(3) status can be granted to organizations which promote amateur athletic competition, that's not the FSSA's sole purpose. I would like additional information on how much of the FSSA's budget would be devoted to its proposed charitable arm. I would like to know why the FSSA as a whole is thought to need (and to be entitled to) 501(c)(3) status. I would like to know why, if a charitable arm is felt to be necessary, it cannot be a separate entity (a Foundation) which could get its own 501(c)(3) status and have a separate budget with a source of revenue separate from FSSA membership dues. I would like the FSSA to focus on its true mission of promoting the boat and the class, and not on charitable activities and the general promotion of the sport of sailing. [UPDATE: I have received additional info from the FSSA on this issue described in my later post below] 3. Expense structure. While I have not seen the FSSA's financial statements, my understanding is that a large portion of its expenses are management fees to Eubanks and Associates, and the cost of printing and mailing Scots 'n' Water. These two expenses probably can be drastically reduced, by the use of modern technology. By reducing expenses while at the same time improving communications (see below), we can make membership less expensive and at the same time more valuable -- thus increasing our membership numbers. 4. Governance. Are governance-related communications sent to everyone who needs to get them, in a timely fashion and in accordance with our Constitution and By-Laws? 5. Membership Initiative. The FSSA's proposed initiative, whereby fleets are encouraged to require active fleet members to be FSSA members, is wrongheaded and will be counterproductive. Instead of attempting to strong-arm people into the class (which would have the perverse effect of discouraging fleet participation and in the long run reducing the strength of the class), the FSSA should have asked itself "WHY is our membership declining even as the number of Flying Scots continues to grow?" The answer should be obvious: Flying Scot owners don't think FSSA membership is a good value. What are they really getting for their money? Let's improve the value, then the membership will follow. 6. Communications. Scots 'n' Water is pretty, but as a method of communications with FSSA members, totally outdated. Much of its content is regional in focus or otherwise irrelevant to most of the members. A four color glossy magazine for a dinghy class association? That is overkill. We can still -- and should still -- have a periodic printed newsletter. But if you want color, the Internet is published in color. Also, publishing on the Internet is cheap, instantaneous, and collaborative. The FSSA's current website is graphically crude and lacks content. Where are the back issues of Scots 'n' Water? Where are tuning guides, how-to articles, articles on recent regattas, ideas for fleet-building activities? If someone is thinking of buying a Scot, a look at the FSSA website isn't going to encourage them. Furthermore, as far as I know, the FSSA has taken little advantage at all of the various other ways to reach its members (and potential members) digitally. As of today, the last post on the Flying Scot blog was March 27 and the last regatta results posted are from April 19. From what I can tell, the FSSA doesn't even keep a quality e-mail mailing list of all its members. I have never received an e-mail from the FSSA, and I have been a member on and off for 25 years. Communications with and among its members -- creating a community of Flying Scot sailors -- should be the primary mission of the FSSA, and that mission has been allowed to stagnate. We need to bring FSSA communications into the 21st century. 7. Officers and Directors. Finally, while I don't personally know many of the people who are involved in the class on a national basis, I have been participating in the Midwest District for 25 years, and I am looking forward to meeting many of the other members, and FSSA officers and board members, for the first time at the NAC. I hope to be assured that the nominated group of directors and officers has the will and the energy to address the issues described above. For that reason I am recommending to the members of Fleet 44 that instead of giving anyone their proxy, they should appoint me as the fleet delegate to the annual meeting. (I just hope I am going to be able to stay awake for the meeting after racing in the NAC all day, and a fabulous dinner at Maxwelton Braes). Jay Lott FS 5698

Jay, Your latest posting is appropriate and on target with

Jay, Your latest posting is appropriate and on target with all points. To help in your fleets decision making process. I encourage you to quickly get in touch with Barb Griffin and Charles Buffington on the FSSA Executive Committee. Please do ask for specifics on your topics of interest or you will likely receive answers that are much less than precise. Request for example, the FSSA balance sheet / budget, a copy of the "RFP" (Request for Proposal) for membership services, and specific actions which are being taken to control and reduce costs. Regarding the membership services RFP, it has far to many line items which are out of scope for membership services. The most urgent action item needed is to make a change and refocus in membership services. Changing the way membership is managed (billing, list of members, renewals, etc) will have the greatest positive effect on FSSA's budget, with the smallest impact to the membership. A completely new approach for Scots-N-Water is in order. PLEASE do continue to share your thoughts, facts, and opinions. FSSA is in need of serious help to stop its decline. Only we can make a difference by volunteering to help! Jay's detailed posting contributing facts, including around 501.c.3, is just such an example. Please contact the FSSA Executive Committee for actionable contributions such as these. -Michael Michael Mittman FS# 5804, Fleet 23 Corinthian Sailing Club White Rock Lake Dallas, TX

Michael Mittman

FS 5804, Fleet 23

Corinthian Sailing Club

White Rock Lake, Dallas, TX, USA

Scots-N-Water Forum, blogs, twitter, youtube, etc .

Scots-N-Water Forum, blogs, twitter, youtube, etc ... is all free and won't promote people to get a membership. The printed color magazine is something that makes FSSA membership special. It's something you get, looks pretty, that you can read on the go (or on the loo),... I always look forward to the next edition. As to the content it's up to us. We all can contribute and see our story being published in a nice shiny magazine (pending on editor's approval). Without the Scots 'n Water magazine the only real benefit for me is that I can part take in some regattas, which is a big one for me. But if I were exclusively day sailing or living a bit further west the FSSA membership really doesn't have anything besides the magazine to offer. And as a non-racer I would totally disconnect with the association. Of course it may be that there aren't many people like that. I don't have the detailed business view of FSSA so I'm not in the best position to give advice. I only can tell my views as a fringe member.

Claus FS5074 Ames, IA

I've become interested in these issues because my colleagues and

I've become interested in these issues because my colleagues and I at the Ephraim Yacht Club have put in immense amounts of time to organize the 2009 NAC, and therefore we naturally are becoming more invested in the success of the FSSA and the Flying Scot class. After my post above listing issues I would like to see addressed at the annual meeting, I received cordial emails from Barb Griffin (President) and Charles Buffington (First VP). While they don't totally agree with all my points, they are certainly aware of the issues and it looks like they are attempting to address most of those issues. In particular, Charles provided some more information on my 501(c)(3) questions, which I will paraphrase here: * The FSSA already has 501(c)(3) status * As I thought, dues are not deductible; however, additional contributions to the FSSA above and beyond dues are considered charitable contributions deductible to the extent permitted by law. * The proposed Flying Scot Foundation will be part of the existing FSSA entity. Because the FSSA was already qualified as a 501(c)(3), it didn't make sense to undergo the large amount of work and time it would have taken to set up the Foundation as a separate 501(c)(3) entity. * Charles said the Foundation would not ever be funded by dues. This has now been addressed in paragraph 5 of the proposed Foundation charter, which can be viewed here: http://www.fssa.com/documents/2009CharterforFLYINGSCOTFoundation7-15-09.pdf After hearing from Charles, Barbara, and others, and reading the proposed charter of the Foundation, I do not believe the board intends to use dues money to fund the Foundation or its purposes. I don't have an opinion as to whether the proposed amendment to Article II (available at http://www.fssa.com/documents/proxy%2009_constitutionchanges.pdf) is necessary to bring the FSSA back into compliance with 501(c)(3) requirements, but given the assurances I have received from Charles, I would defer to the board's opinion that the change to Article II is necessary. I still think the mental energy and exertions of the FSSA board and officers should be directed at this time primarily towards basic blocking and tackling -- improving communications, streamlining member services, expense reduction -- and not towards the proposed Foundation and its activities. Jay Lott FS 5698 Fleet Captain, Fleet 44, Ephraim, WI

I am in agreement with Jay Lott on many of his comments on bring

I am in agreement with Jay Lott on many of his comments on bringing the FSSA into the 21st century with technology to better utilize our resources and provide better communication to the members. I am glad Charles Buffington has clarrified A few items of concern with the membership. However as a retired Corp Accounting Officer with 501.c.3 experience, the article II answer is simpe. If that statement was in the articles of organization that was originally filed with form 1023 to the IRS to get the 501.c.3 status, then it needs to be added back. If it was not part of the original articles of orgaization, then it needs to be rejected. Also, I cannot believe that with all I am hearing about the poor financial condition of the FSSA operation, that we have funds at this time to spend on drawing up a legal agreement for a foundation fund within the FSSA, I would like to know if the membership picked up the tab for establishing the fund. I am not opposed to having this fund for voluntary tax deductible contrbution and also useful for estste planning as contributions would also be deductible for estate tax purposes. However, I think the timing is poor for this type of endeaver until we get our financial house in order. In my opinion , that includes implementing many of the suggestions Jay Lott has proposed. If you want to see how a up to date class handles their information and communication to their members, you should visit the ILCA website(Lightning Class)and see all the info they have including the full minutes of their board meetings and not just a small summary that skips the important issues. I would hope that all of these issues get resolved at the annual meeting and we can move forward to better serve our entire membership and become an organization people want to belong to and not drop out of in the future. That is certainly not going to happen if we keep the status quo as an organization. Thanks for reading my comments Frank Meehan FS 5054 22yr member Deep Creek Yacht Club, Inc. Deep Creek MD fs5054 Frank Meehan

fmeehan, Thank you for your contribution.

fmeehan, Thank you for your contribution. This is good information that is needed around improving membership services, 501.c.3, and costs. Do please share information about the Memebership Services company that the Lightning class uses and any costs if you can get it. Send the info to your disctrict governer, Diane Kempf on the FSSA Executive Committee please. Send to me as well if you like. Please do not send the information the generic FSSA info email address at this time. Thank you for contributing! Michael Michael Mittman FS# 5804, Fleet 23 Corinthian Sailing Club White Rock Lake Dallas, TX

Michael Mittman

FS 5804, Fleet 23

Corinthian Sailing Club

White Rock Lake, Dallas, TX, USA

The following was send to my fleet captain today.

The following was send to my fleet captain today. Apparently the FSSA is continuing to solicit proxies from the fleets. ** "I do not support giving the current FSSA officers our fleet's proxy. "I do not think the FSSA has been good stewards of our dues and royalties over the years. If they had, they would not been asking for special support from the fleets. "If you read the exchanges on the FSSA forum, you will see there is significant controversy over the amount paid the management company. I do not know what they are paid. I do not know what they do for the money. "I have attended quite a few general meetings at the North American Championships; I read the Scots 'n Water carefully - but I have little idea of what is going on with the organization. The governance of FSSA should, in my opinion, be far more transparent before I would trust it with a proxy. I would rather trust the people (fleets) present at the meeting to hash out the issues. "I think giving the current leadership complete control of the General Meeting would be a mistake in this environment." John Luard FS 5563

quote:[i]Originally posted by jfluard[/i] "I do not support giv

quote:
[i]Originally posted by jfluard[/i] "I do not support giving the current FSSA officers our fleet's proxy."
You fleet does not have to give proxy to somebody (the proxy does not need to be an FSSA officer), the fleet has also the option of sending a delegate to the annual meeting to vote on behalf of the fleet or to fill out the ballot and mail it.

Claus FS5074 Ames, IA

Article IX.

Article IX.8 Change Why is the phrase about sanctioned junior events being rephrased instead of being dropped? The Article IX.8 deals with membership and not with the junior championship. For that we have Article B-X.5 which already deals with the age restriction. The proposal of Article IX.8 fixes the age discrepancy between it and article B-X.5 but it still has a discrepancy whether or not a Junior Championship participant may own the boat. Article IX.8 implies such a restriction while Article B-X.5 does not restrict by boat ownership.

Claus FS5074 Ames, IA