RMRA Board of Directors Meeting
2nd Floor Meeting Room, Weston Fire Department Building
21 February 2005
This was a joint meeting with the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Valley Radio Association.
Present for the RMRA Board:
Rich Maier KC9NW
Bill Bergs KC9UC
Rich Nesbitt N9MO
Paul Nelles K9DB
Mark Hoenecke WB9YZR who had a previous commitment to the Central Wisconsin Educational Theatre Alliance production of Les Miserables.
Present for the WVRA:
Paul Kraay KC9EQS
Jerry Graebel W9GLG
Ken Rupe K9VXX
Myron Oestreich KB9STB
Trenia Oestreich KC9ASL
Mike Martens KB9VBR
It was suggested that the meeting be chaired by someone other than one of the two presidents. N9MO and KB9VBR were suggested as chairs. KB9STB said this was unacceptable to the WVRA, and any other arrangement would result in the immediate termination of the meeting. The meeting was chaired by KB9STB and called to order at 7:12pm.
KB9STB presented a letter that was a request to the Walter J. Alexander Foundation for $40,000 in grant monies for the purposes of repeater renovation by both clubs. He said he had written the letter after soliciting input from KC9NW at a meeting of the two of them the previous Thursday.
KB9STB stated that the purpose of the meeting was to approve or disapprove of this letter. He further stated that a yes or no vote would be taken, and that the condition for acceptance of the letter would be a majority of yes votes by both boards. He stated that acceptance of the letter would result in his signing of the letter, that he would immediately seal it in an addressed envelope, upon adjournment he would proceed to the Schofield post office where he would deposit in the mailbox, and that anyone from the RMRA was welcome to follow him to verify that he would mail that specific letter. He further stated that rejection of the letter would result in the adjournment of the meeting and the termination of any cooperative effort between the WVRA and the RMRA regarding this request.
KB9STB stated that there was an agreement made at a meeting at Fred Prehn's office on February 3rd, among Prehn, KC9NW, K9DB, KB9STB, and W9GLG. That agreement was that in the event monies are awarded, the WVRA would receive the first $14,000, the RMRA would receive the next $21,000, and anything in excess of this $35,000 would be split evenly between the two clubs.
KC9UC said it was his understanding that purpose of the meeting was to draft a letter of request by consensus, not just an up or down vote on the letter presented by KB9STB. He said that this draft was to be considered a starting point, not the final document. This understanding was echoed by the other members of the RMRA board.
KB9STB said the text in the letter was agreed upon between KC9NW and himself.
KC9NW attempted to present an alternate draft of the letter that had been approved by the RMRA board. He claimed it projected a more unified image of Wausau area Amateur Radio and did not emphasize the differences between the organizations, as did the letter by KB9STB.
KB9STB said that he had a conversation earlier in the day with Fred, and that at that time Fred had not only approved the KB9STB draft of the letter, but had said he (Fred) would reject any other letter, or reject this one if any changes were made to it, and that both clubs would lose out on the grant. He further stated that Fred would not support either club's attempt at getting a grant by submitting its own grant proposal separately.
W9GLG said the RMRA letter was transparent in showing the RMRA's intent to take credit for the activities of the WVRA, and that it contained inaccuracies. He further stated that the only reason the RMRA knew about the WVRA's request to the Foundation was because K9DB had used his position on the WVRA fundraising committee to obtain internal and confidential information contained in an e-mail to that committee from KB9STB in January.
K9DB said that the drafting of the RMRA grant request had been underway for some time prior to that January memo, that the only information he could have garnered from it was the approximate date of the Alexander Foundation meeting, and that he regarded that information as public. He further stated that he did erroneously think the KB9STB memo was directed at the entire membership, and upon checking verified that it was primarily addressed to the committee and board members. He added that, if however he had realized this fact, he probably would not have done a lot differently.
K9DB said the instructions from the February 3rd Prehn meeting were for both clubs to get together to jointly draft a letter that presented a unified image to the Alexander Foundation (or one that was as unified an entity as possible), and that is what the revised letter from the RMRA does. He also said it was unimportant to draw distinctions between the clubs since the WVRA would get the first $14,000, which was its entire request, before the RMRA would see any money.
N9MO objected to the letterhead depicting only the WVRA logo. He said the letter should depict both club logos. He spoke in favor of leaving the text of the original letter that was written by KB9STB unchanged and just adding the RMRA logo to the letter. He also said the letter should be signed by both presidents.
KB9STB said he would not add the RMRA logo because he wrote the letter as a representative of the WVRA. He said his "…ass was on the line" for any comments in the letter and he alone would sign the letter at the bottom. He had already written in the letter "on behalf of KC9NW...", so a signature from KC9NW was not needed.
N9MO questioned KB9STB about the conversation earlier in the day with Fred, and asked him what Fred's exact words in regard to acceptance of the letter.
KB9STB said that Fred would reject any other letter, or this letter if any changes were made to it.
N9MO said based on the information that Myron provided regarding his conversation with Fred, for the good of Amateur Radio in the local area, and to insure that both clubs got the necessary funds to complete both improvement projects, he would vote to approve the letter written by Myron and encouraged the other RMRA board members to do the same.
KB9STB then polled the members of both boards. The result was the unanimous approval by those present. The only "no" vote was from WB9YZR, whose vote was counted in absentia. Therefore submission of the letter was approved.
KB9STB signed and sealed the letter in the envelope in the presence of both boards. No RMRA board member followed him to the post office.
The joint segment of the meeting adjourned circa 7:45pm.
The RMRA board meeting continued.
KC9UC said that the information that was supposedly obtained from the KB9STB e-mail by K9DB was in fact public information, because it had been sent to the entire WVRA membership and all the then RMRA board members on November 2nd, 2004. He said this e-mail had not only contained the fact the WVRA was planning on approaching the Alexander Foundation, but also the date of the meeting and the amount they planned to request.
K9DB said there were several other sources of grant money that he wanted to pursue, but was afraid an RMRA request might collide with a corresponding WVRA request and lead to the competitive situation a jointly authored letter was supposed to avoid.
KC9UC said the message that came through loud and clear was that the WVRA, at least the board of directors, was not willing to cooperate in a joint fundraising effort.
It was the consensus of the board that the RMRA should continue its fundraising efforts alone.
The meeting was adjourned circa 7:55pm.