This morning, I wrote the letter at the bottom of this post to the ARRL Southeast Division director and the Georgia Section of the ARRL. I read an article on CQ Magazine‘s website and a post on KB6NU‘s blog about proposed changes to the ARRL’s bylaws and the powers that those changes would give the board of directors. Among the proposed changes are:
- A new provision allowing the board of directors, by majority vote, to revoke individual memberships “for cause … after affording the member an opportunity to respond in writing”
- Removing a specific dues rate from the By-Laws, instead stating that the dues shall be an amount set by the board of directors (effectively making it possible for the board to raise dues by a majority vote rather than the two-thirds to three-fourths vote required for changing the By-Laws)
- Removing the right of vice directors to attend board meetings, except by invitation of the directors
- Prohibiting initiating recall elections for directors during the first 6 months of a three-year term of office or after June 1 of the term’s final year
- Allowing the board to remove from office – by 2/3 vote – any officer, director or vice director “for cause” by revoking that person’s ARRL membership; after providing the subject of such action with an opportunity for a hearing prior to the board vote
- Allowing the board to reprimand or censure a member in lieu of removal; but in this case, “No advance notice or opportunity to be heard shall be applicable to the censure vote.”
It is with distress that I read on the CQ website and KB6NU’s blog about the proposed ARRL bylaw amendments which are reported to be voted on at the January board of directors meeting. The proposed changes are extreme and would give the board of directors autocratic powers. Effectively, the board of directors would become a ruling junta. Not only would ARRL members have little to no say over what the ARRL does or how it is done, the board would be given the power to easily remove any opposition to their policies and practices. These changes would not make the ARRL an organization that represents its members, it would make it an organization that represents its board of directors. I don’t see how these proposed changes would benefit amateur radio or the ARRL membership at large, they would only benefit the board of directors.
I am writing you to ask that the Georgia Section of the ARRL not support these proposed amendments.
I appreciate what the ARRL does to represent amateur radio operators in the United States and worldwide. I also appreciate what the ARRL does to support the amateur radio hobby both here at home and around the globe. That said, I could not in good conscience support an organization that would operate how these proposed changes would allow the ARRL board of directors to operate. If the board of directors approves these amendments, I will not renew my membership when it comes due.
If you are an ARRL member and also disagree with the powers that these proposed changes would give the ARRL board of directors, I urge you to do the same and express your feelings to your Division and Section. You can find that information here.