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User avatar
By AlC
#403783
Ok, so now that I have your attention, time is running short to comment on the draft proposal to restructure the USHPA Board (yes, the draft really does suggest going to 7 spots). Read why and comment here: https://www.ushpa.org/member/governance-proposal-2018

Great idea? Lousy idea? Tell us by June 30.

It's a draft that received a ton of discussion at the Spring board meeting and will likely do the same in the fall.

Love it? Hate it? Ideas to improve it? We want to hear from you!

Thank you,

Alan
#403792
I’d like to share my personal opinion on this subject, simply as a member of USHPA, and NOT representing the organization in any official way.

My main objection to this idea is the elimination of the 26 Regional Directors who for the most part run the organization, replacing them with a 7 member board of directors. This move would eliminate regional representation, and when a local issue did arise, it would be handled by a committee appointed by the new board. A major change like this would require rewriting the USHPA Bylaws and approval by the membership, so every one of us has a say!

The proposal does have some good ideas, like adding a Communications Director to the USHPA staff to improve communication between the organization and its members and Chapters (This position has actually just been filled!). Also things like webcasting the BOD meetings, holding special meetings for Chapter support, and creating Brand Ambassadors. But none of these good ideas require changing the bylaws or eliminating RD’s, we can implement them without turning USHPA upside down!

I personally believe eliminating RD’s and regional representation is a bad idea, as did half of the RD’s who voted against recommending this proposal to the membership. If you too believe this is a bad idea, it is important that you tell your RD’s because half of them need convincing and they should be obligated to represent the pilots in their region! It would also be useful to give your feedback to the USHPA Governance Committee using the link in Alan's post, above.

The Comment Period ends in just 5 days, at Midnight on June 30, so if you want your voice to be heard, don’t procrastinate, do it now!

Thanks for helping make USHPA what *you* want it to be.
#403793
Alan,

I've submitted my comments, but I fully expect your thread title has given away the end to this little story. USHPA has a history of requesting "input" from membership - and then going on as if our opinions didn't matter.

For the record, I think it's a terrible idea. Sure, you may be able to get more things done with a tiny Board, but are they things we HG pilots would want? I suspect not. We're in the minority now, and organizational reshaping to further marginalize us is to be expected.

That doesn't mean it will have my support.

RM
#403794
Robert,
I understand your skepticism so I want to emphasize that any change to the bylaws requires approval by the members, so this absolutely can't happen if people get off their arses and vote against it!
#403795
srskypuppy wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:58 pm
Robert,
I understand your skepticism so I want to emphasize that any change to the bylaws requires approval by the members, so this absolutely can't happen if people get off their arses and vote against it!
srskypuppy,

Hey, don't stop there! :thumbsup:

Tell everybody how and where to vote!
.
:thumbsup:
.
#403798
It might sound different, as in 7 people vs 26 all chanting Dilly-Dilly but the results are the same. Face it, they threw
foot launch hang gliding under the bus over a decade ago. WE had No say in this crappy RRG. Only a new HG org separate
from all the other junk will bring about positive change.
#403803
red wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:01 pm
srskypuppy wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:58 pm
Robert,
I understand your skepticism so I want to emphasize that any change to the bylaws requires approval by the members, so this absolutely can't happen if people get off their arses and vote against it!
srskypuppy,

Hey, don't stop there! :thumbsup:

Tell everybody how and where to vote!
.
:thumbsup:
.
Hi Red,

It's too early to actually vote but it's not too early to start letting your RD's know how you feel.

Right now: You can give your feedback to the Governance Committee. After signing into www.ushpa.org, use this link (also found in the very first post of this topic): https://www.ushpa.org/member/governance ... l-feedback
This feedback period ends at midnight on June 30 (like in 4 days).

Spring 2019: After the Governance Committee reviews all the feedback they will revise the proposal accordingly and present it to the BOD to take another vote on whether or not to put this to the membership for a vote to change the bylaws. The is where our RD's should vote the way of the members in their region. IF the majority of Regional Directors get enough negative feedback, the BOD will not even propose the plan and it will die in committee, so to speak.

Summer 2019: If the majority of BOD members did approve the proposal, then it will go to the membership for a vote. I'm assuming this will work similar to how we elect RD's where every member receives a link to cast their ballot online.

Remember this re-org can't happen unless the membership votes for a bylaws change.

Hope that answers your question!
User avatar
By red
#403811
Campers,

I did read the proposal. It's written long enough to make anybody lose interest and miss some important stuff, so please consider that fact, in your decision.

Everything good in the proposal does not require a re-write of the by-laws. We can just do that good stuff, anytime we want to start doing that.

Everything bad in the proposal is irrevocable. You won't get to change anything later, if you do not like the results.

No term limits. Without some serious opposition, one person can stay at their USHPA position forever. We need term limits. We also need a way to have a recall vote, spelled out plainly, if needed.

I think everybody should start a pot of coffee, and read this thing through. If you do not vote, do not complain later. Contact your local RD now, while you still have one.

My $.02 worth . . .
#403812
Hello, I'm a new (headed into 3rd year) H2 pilot. I started learning and joined just before and during the changes to the insurance situation. I have tried to read the proposal, have asked local pilots, have checked in with these forums, read the USHPA magazine articles ... but I still do not have good grasp on pros/cons other than immediately getting a personal, usually emotional opinion one way or the other. So from a totally baffled point of view I'd say a smaller board is good only in that "things" have the potential to get done faster. Someone earlier in this thread said there would be less localized representation which would also be important to me but ... as someone who flies in an area with few and far between sites and pilots .. I'm not even sure what this means or if it would make a difference to my area. How would you all suggest I learn more? Is there a handy flow chart?? :) Thanks very much all! - Katy
(this is my brave first post, be gentle!)
#403813
Katy, The only guy who knows what's going on is Mark Forbes. He is probably exhausted from talking to me. One
subject was the lack of communication with members. The finances and RRG are somewhat of a mystery. We no longer
have accident/incident reports due to legal harassment. I think that information is critical and needs to be shared. Of
course the lawsuits are confidential but an outline could be available. I also live in an area with few pilots and don't like
being dragged into all the problems of crowded sites. We will see if anything positive comes out of the next BOD meeting.
#403814
Katy wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:33 am
Hello, I'm a new (headed into 3rd year) H2 pilot. . . . I have tried to read the proposal, have asked local pilots, have checked in with these forums, read the USHPA magazine articles ... but I still do not have good grasp on pros/cons other than immediately getting a personal, usually emotional opinion one way or the other. ... as someone who flies in an area with few and far between sites and pilots .. I'm not even sure what this means or if it would make a difference to my area. How would you all suggest I learn more? Is there a handy flow chart?? :) Thanks very much all! - Katy
(this is my brave first post, be gentle!)
Katy,

Welcome to the pilot's evening campfire. Pull up a seat, and be among friends. We are mostly an easy-going flock.

It might be worthwhile to look at who is getting "emotional" and in which direction, on this issue. For some time now, USHPA has not been known for clarity, or listening to its' members. Some say we need to fix this mess, and some say we need to let it die and just start over. Now that the insurance issue has put real money into the operation, there are those who will want a piece of the action. Things will probably get messy, and flowcharts won't help. Transparency would probably help at the organizational level, but USHPA has not been good at that, lately.

As one example, they do not record who votes for what now, when any changes are made. They say it would slow down the meetings. I said (right here! 8) ) to record the votes on video; that would not slow down anything. USHPA immediately outlawed the use of video recordings at the meetings.

I would like to know who came up with this proposed change of the bylaws, and why. Wish me luck.
#403815
red wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:51 am
Katy wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:33 am
Hello, I'm a new (headed into 3rd year) H2 pilot. . . . I have tried to read the proposal, have asked local pilots, have checked in with these forums, read the USHPA magazine articles ... but I still do not have good grasp on pros/cons other than immediately getting a personal, usually emotional opinion one way or the other. ... as someone who flies in an area with few and far between sites and pilots .. I'm not even sure what this means or if it would make a difference to my area. How would you all suggest I learn more? Is there a handy flow chart?? :) Thanks very much all! - Katy
(this is my brave first post, be gentle!)
Katy,

Welcome to the pilot's evening campfire. Pull up a seat, and be among friends. We are mostly an easy-going flock.

It might be worthwhile to look at who is getting "emotional" and in which direction, on this issue. For some time now, USHPA has not been known for clarity, or listening to its' members. Some say we need to fix this mess, and some say we need to let it die and just start over. Now that the insurance issue has put real money into the operation, there are those who will want a piece of the action. Things will probably get messy, and flowcharts won't help. Transparency would probably help at the organizational level, but USHPA has not been good at that, lately.

As one example, they do not record who votes for what now, when any changes are made. They say it would slow down the meetings. I said (right here! 8) ) to record the votes on video; that would not slow down anything. USHPA immediately outlawed the use of video recordings at the meetings.

I would like to know who came up with this proposed change of the bylaws, and why. Wish me luck.
Hi Red, welcome Katy!

I’d like to help you understand how and why this proposal came up (and why I oppose it): For many years, even decades, our BOD meetings would get bogged down trying to re-write revisions to the SOP's. What would happen is that an SOP revision would be proposed by a committee, Safety & Training for instance, but when the draft SOP came up for approval during General Session, someone would have an idea how to improve the revision or have an issue with one element of the draft, and the entire BOD would then participate in debating the changes and trying to word-craft the entire thing! With 26 people each wanting to voice their own opinion, you can imagine what an inefficient and chaotic waste of time it would become.

Everyone agreed that this needed to change so we tried a few different solutions, eventually settling on our current policy that has IMHO fixed it! Our current process requires a 30-day public review and comment period for any SOP revisions. This means that a draft SOP cannot be revised at the last minute or during the BOD meeting; it is either approved, killed, or sent back to committee. It also has the benefit of increasing transparency as members can more easily review proposed SOP changes and have an influence on the final product.

This still leaves the issue of a 26 member BOD being overly cumbersome when an emergency issue needs to be dealt with, like when Lloyds declined to renew our insurance and all our Chapter flying sites were facing shut down.
Because our old policy had an expiration date, some decisions required an immediate response to beat the deadline. It is not realistic to get 26 people working together on a conference call so the 4 member Executive Committee wound up making some very important decisions. This is exactly the type of situation where a smaller BOD would have been better, and is what the proponents of this proposed bylaws revision point to. My argument against this proposal is that these emergency situations happen so rarely, it's not worth screwing up the entire organization.

Red, in regard to recording how Directors vote, you wrote “USHPA immediately outlawed the use of video recordings at the meetings.” . I am not aware of any USHPA action that outlawed the use of video recordings at BOD meetings. Would you please point to where you believe this took place or is codified? Thanks.

In any case, I am in full support of live webcasting the BOD meetings so our fellow members can see in real time what goes on and who votes for what. I for one was quite surprised when I attended my first BOD meeting and saw who/what USHPA actually is: HG and PG pilots just like myself, doing their personal best to keep flying happening in the U.S. The BOD looked just like one of my local club meetings, only bigger, the same guys and gals that I’d see on the hill and later sit around the campfire with BS’ing about our flights. My sincere wish is that everyone will get a chance to see for themselves who/what the infamous USHPA really is, perhaps debunk some conspiracy theories and maybe even choose to take part in the organization.

I hope this helps, please (Everyone!) let me know what else is on your mind.
Cheers!
User avatar
By red
#403817
srskypuppy wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:43 pm
Red, in regard to recording how Directors vote, you wrote “USHPA immediately outlawed the use of video recordings at the meetings.” . I am not aware of any USHPA action that outlawed the use of video recordings at BOD meetings. Would you please point to where you believe this took place or is codified? Thanks.
srskypuppy,

Really? BTW, can you find the SOPs posted anywhere now? USHPA took down all the links for SOPs that I have. (WHY?)
Please post that good link here.

For anybody who wants to read fourteen pages of posts from pilots who probably don't really much care about secret ballots either way, you can start here:
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=14413#p152101
Seems to me like this is a really serious topic to these posters, huh? It certainly is, to me.

Codified? You want codified? Do you really think I made that up? Did the USHPA officials who told me about this just LIE to me? Well, okay, I guess that would not be new, either.
Here is what I do have:
Organization and Bylaws Committee wrote:
02-10.06 Audio Recording, Video Recording and Broadcast of Meetings

A. Audio recording, video recording and broadcast of meetings are not allowed without the permission of every person in attendance at the meeting. Broadcast includes traditional broadcasting methods such as television, as well as new media broadcast methods such as telephones, internet connections, and any other methods of transmission.
Now obviously, anybody voting a personal agenda (instead of voting the regional stance on some issue as they should) will object to any recording of the meeting. Even if you do find out who blanked the entire meeting, you will not find out who voted for what.

This is NOT what I call TRANSPARENCY.

As I have suggested before, you could give each member of the meeting a sheet of paper listing all of the issues that need a vote, for each meeting. Pencil in any last minute issues, at the table. Everybody can sign their paper and record their votes on that paper, for each issue they vote. Collect up the sheets at the end of the meeting, done deal. Anybody without a sheet to turn in at the end of the meeting did not vote on any issues, and this lack would be recorded for that official in the minutes. This simple process will not slow anything down, and the accurate results of each vote can be tallied later. The minutes can then report clearly on who voted for what. Canada HG/PG can publish their votes for their meetings, but the USA can not?
.
#403821
I hope we don't get too far off-topic. While I have reservations regarding the motives of USHPA, I've known Steve for many years, and I trust that he is honest when he gives his opinions or answers he feels are true. Could he be misinformed on particular details? Sure, like most of us.

The biggest thing I've gotten from this thread is that our opinions on the proposed Board may actually matter. Like I stated before, I've given my input to USHPA, and hope everyone else does, too.

RM
#403822
red wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:01 pm
srskypuppy wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:43 pm
Red, in regard to recording how Directors vote, you wrote “USHPA immediately outlawed the use of video recordings at the meetings.” . I am not aware of any USHPA action that outlawed the use of video recordings at BOD meetings. Would you please point to where you believe this took place or is codified? Thanks.
srskypuppy,

Really? BTW, can you find the SOPs posted anywhere now? USHPA took down all the links for SOPs that I have. (WHY?)
Please post that good link here.

For anybody who wants to read fourteen pages of posts from pilots who probably don't really much care about secret ballots either way, you can start here:
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=14413#p152101
Seems to me like this is a really serious topic to these posters, huh? It certainly is, to me.

Codified? You want codified? Do you really think I made that up? Did the USHPA officials who told me about this just LIE to me? Well, okay, I guess that would not be new, either.
Here is what I do have:
Organization and Bylaws Committee wrote:
02-10.06 Audio Recording, Video Recording and Broadcast of Meetings

A. Audio recording, video recording and broadcast of meetings are not allowed without the permission of every person in attendance at the meeting. Broadcast includes traditional broadcasting methods such as television, as well as new media broadcast methods such as telephones, internet connections, and any other methods of transmission.
Now obviously, anybody voting a personal agenda (instead of voting the regional stance on some issue as they should) will object to any recording of the meeting. Even if you do find out who blanked the entire meeting, you will not find out who voted for what.

This is NOT what I call TRANSPARENCY.

As I have suggested before, you could give each member of the meeting a sheet of paper listing all of the issues that need a vote, for each meeting. Pencil in any last minute issues, at the table. Everybody can sign their paper and record their votes on that paper, for each issue they vote. Collect up the sheets at the end of the meeting, done deal. Anybody without a sheet to turn in at the end of the meeting did not vote on any issues, and this lack would be recorded for that official in the minutes. This simple process will not slow anything down, and the accurate results of each vote can be tallied later. The minutes can then report clearly on who voted for what. Canada HG/PG can publish their votes for their meetings, but the USA can not?
.
Hey Red,

I did not mean anything insulting, sorry if it came across as such, I really was just asking where you got the info, so thanks for pointing that out.

The SOP's *are* available to members and in fact have a direct link on the website. I would have copied the link here for your convenience but evidently Comcast is having trouble with it's servers right now and our website is down. I'll come back and post the link for you soon as the site is back online.

Cheers!
#403823
It just doesn't matter who votes or how many board members. If you fly hang gliders, you are already out voted. If
you live somewhere besides an over crowded metropolis you are already out voted. If you do not have a commercial
interest in this (stuff) you are already out voted. Like most people I only care about what I need not what you (think)
you need.
#403825
mtpilot wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:24 pm
It just doesn't matter who votes or how many board members. If you fly hang gliders, you are already out voted. If
you live somewhere besides an over crowded metropolis you are already out voted. If you do not have a commercial
interest in this (stuff) you are already out voted. Like most people I only care about what I need not what you (think)
you need.

A lot is being made over knowing how directors vote, and I agree, that does have merit when there is something critical or controversial being voted on. But voting on these kinds of topics happens so rarely that all this debate is hardly worth the energy. I also want to point out that when something IS critical or controversial we DO take a Roll Call Vote, which is recorded in the BOD meeting minutes.

99.9% of all BOD voting is simply to accept the recommendations of a committee, like when Safety & Training makes an adjustment to the Towing SOP (which BTW just got emailed to everyone involved). Take a look at the minutes and you will see what I mean. In truth, most votes are so benign and non-controversial that they are approved unanimously, so knowing which way someone voted is a no-brainer; they voted yes!

Given that almost every vote is unanimous, doing a Roll Call Vote on every single thing really is a waste of time. *But*, when votes are not unanimous there are usually just one or two abstaining or voting against, so it wouldn't be much trouble to record those names. Question to all: Would the recording of votes against or abstaining be an acceptable compromise?
#403826
srskypuppy wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:15 pm
red wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:01 pm
srskypuppy wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:43 pm
Red, in regard to recording how Directors vote, you wrote “USHPA immediately outlawed the use of video recordings at the meetings.” . I am not aware of any USHPA action that outlawed the use of video recordings at BOD meetings. Would you please point to where you believe this took place or is codified? Thanks.
srskypuppy,

Really? BTW, can you find the SOPs posted anywhere now? USHPA took down all the links for SOPs that I have. (WHY?)
Please post that good link here.

For anybody who wants to read fourteen pages of posts from pilots who probably don't really much care about secret ballots either way, you can start here:
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=14413#p152101
Seems to me like this is a really serious topic to these posters, huh? It certainly is, to me.

Codified? You want codified? Do you really think I made that up? Did the USHPA officials who told me about this just LIE to me? Well, okay, I guess that would not be new, either.
Here is what I do have:
Organization and Bylaws Committee wrote:
02-10.06 Audio Recording, Video Recording and Broadcast of Meetings

A. Audio recording, video recording and broadcast of meetings are not allowed without the permission of every person in attendance at the meeting. Broadcast includes traditional broadcasting methods such as television, as well as new media broadcast methods such as telephones, internet connections, and any other methods of transmission.
Now obviously, anybody voting a personal agenda (instead of voting the regional stance on some issue as they should) will object to any recording of the meeting. Even if you do find out who blanked the entire meeting, you will not find out who voted for what.

This is NOT what I call TRANSPARENCY.

As I have suggested before, you could give each member of the meeting a sheet of paper listing all of the issues that need a vote, for each meeting. Pencil in any last minute issues, at the table. Everybody can sign their paper and record their votes on that paper, for each issue they vote. Collect up the sheets at the end of the meeting, done deal. Anybody without a sheet to turn in at the end of the meeting did not vote on any issues, and this lack would be recorded for that official in the minutes. This simple process will not slow anything down, and the accurate results of each vote can be tallied later. The minutes can then report clearly on who voted for what. Canada HG/PG can publish their votes for their meetings, but the USA can not?
.
Hey Red,

I did not mean anything insulting, sorry if it came across as such, I really was just asking where you got the info, so thanks for pointing that out.

The SOP's *are* available to members and in fact have a direct link on the website. I would have copied the link here for your convenience but evidently Comcast is having trouble with it's servers right now and our website is down. I'll come back and post the link for you soon as the site is back online.

Cheers!
As promised, here is the link to the USHPA SOP's: https://www.ushpa.org/member/policy-manual

If you can't get there directly, just go to ushpa.org, sign in, and under the Membership tab, look at the bottom entry of the left column "General Information".

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