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Mike Ewart

MYA Aquaint.

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In the light of the recent EGM of the MYA which decided in the absence of most of the membership,( due I am led to believe because the motions for the AGM were not listed in time) that we are not to have hard copy of the Aquaint delivered to our door, as set out in the terms of membership as listed when I paid over my money in 2015 for the current year.

I would ask the question, and I would encourage others to do the same, when can I expect the return of approximately 50% of my membership fees as the Association is not complying with the terms of membership that I signed up for.


Mike Ewart

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Mike,

You surprise me. The members of the four clubs I belong to understood that the EGM motions were a simple rearrangement of the MYA constitution and that nothing was going to change.



Are you telling me that by agreeing to delete the points (i) to (vi) from

Article 8.4 of the MYA constitution :-


(i) Three copies of the MYA Acquaint Magazine direct to their door

(ii) An occasional communication direct to their email address

(iii) MYA Yearbook for the current year

(iv) Access to the Members’ Area of the MYA website

(v) MYA third party liability Insurance

(vi) Entitlement to enter all MYA events


We have agreed to forgo any and all entitlement to the above and therefore will:-


(i) Not have three copies of the MYA Acquaint Magazine direct to their door

(ii) Not get an occasional communication direct to their email address

(iii) Not receive an MYA Yearbook for the current year

(iv) Not have access to the Members’ Area of the MYA website

(v) Not have MYA third party liability Insurance

(vi) Not be entitled to enter all MYA events


Oh how could I have misunderstood this!! Oh! silly me for voting Yes – well come to think of it I do not recall being asked to vote. – were you.



Will we only awaken once we have reached number (vi) and find that you cannot enter the MYA Nationals because it is an invitation event.


Mike, Mike, Mike, I am sure this is all a big misunderstanding

..

.21H

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I am not as confident as yourself in the good nature of bad resolutions just don't wait for your aquaint the only reasonable thing produced by the MYA for non IOM sailers


Mike Ewart

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Good to start a nice conspiracy theory Dave ;)


Why would the MYA Council who are members, sailors and volunteers themselves vote for something that they consider detrimental to what we are all passionate about?


The EGM was as you say, to tidy up a constitutional issue where items that were considered as members entitlements could be discussed and reviewed on an annual basis without the need to vote on amendments to the constitution every time. It is this regular voting and amending of constitutions that makes them soon mean something different to the original intention.


The membership entitlements should be a policy document that is separate to the constitution but covered within it. (Rules, 7.2) The content of this policy document may well be up for debate but at least now the members entitlements can be reviewed annually (and voted on) without the need to have a vote on the constitution.

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OK I like the official line but why shouldn't the members have a say in their entitlements, preferably before they pay their money over!


Mike Ewart

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Ok, Mike, I'll bite....


The council discussed at the last meeting various options re the Acquaint, unfortunately all of them required a volunteer to act as editor or coordinator. No one around the table volunteered and despite asking previously there were no volunteers from the membership. The council even discussed getting a professional writer involved but it was decided that they would need to have someone to guide them in the right direction and find the appropriate articles, again no volunteers.


You were at the AGM, Charles gave a passionate speech about what he had achieved and the need for a successor, the lack of an editor was mentioned, it was included in the chairmanship report and it was recorded in the minutes which were posted in the kb soon after the AGM but no one volunteered.


As a voluntary organisation the MYA relies on volunteers and cannot provide things if no one steps up to the plate.


I will at this point admit that I don't feel the Acquaint is worth it's cost. No slight on those who have contributed or put in the hours to produce it, just my view that it's time as a paper version is numbered.


I have to say though, that my voice was only one and many on the council were in favour of keeping it as a paper copy, the rationale being that it is the only way the MYA has of communicating with all its members. Something that was thought to be a major reason for keeping it, and one I couldn't deny. However......


Coming back to the start, the MYA cannot supply something it cannot provide.


The 2016 membership costs were agreed by council based on the intent to supply the Acquaint, if it receives a suitable offer to produce it, I am sure that it will provide it, but at this stage it has no one to do so.


As for the cost, I take it that you do not feel that providing:


Race documents

Race regulations

Race calendar

Race scoring

Website

Forum

Insurance

News


Is worth 27p per week?


Maybe, rather than criticising those who give hours to the running of the sport, it may be worth thinking what you would do at the weekends if no one did anything.


Rant over.

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Darin,

Before I go any further let me assure you that I have every respect and admiration for those who give up much time and effort in the furtherance of the MYA and Radio Sailing. AND let us not forget the Mike Ewart is one of them


This however should not be confused with a notion that this body of men and women are infallible, for they are not. None of us are infallible, including me.


Conversely this body of men and women should not consider themselves to be infallible and should not be offended if someone disagrees or questions a decision they might take and respond by slinging mud or accusing them of spreading a conspiracy theory.


Whilst you might strongly believe that that there was a necessity to make the amendments to the constitution you must accept that others might not. The explanations you set forth are, on the face of it, quite reasonable. But without repeating what I wrote in my E-mail of January, in my opinion, are totally valid, if not a little contrived.


I am reminded of something we both read emanating from the Midlands District a week or so ago.


…….as in my opinion the council appears to be moving further and further away from the majority of their membership, who ….


To be perfectly honest I care not if I receive an Acquaint Magazine or not. I do take issue with is the deletion of item (v) and (vi) for these are fundamental to the formation and existence of the MYA.


However I was not the one who opened this topic and if you actually read what I posted you will note that whist not supportive of the amendment I am not critical of it either. I have simply explained to Mike that the amendment had been agreed and accepted by a majority vote that the member wold no longer be entitled to the 6 items listed.


Did the members fully understand the consequence of the vote…. Clearly Mike did not and one wonders how many others did. Did the members actually vote on it.


All a bit late in the day - the people have spoken and to coin the phase you used a few month back ... they got what they voted for:-


No constitutional entitlement to anything. Not even access to the MYA Website.


I concluded in my posting that it was all a big misunderstanding and have not implied any conspiracy …… or is there … Did the US send men to the moon


..............

..............

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OK I like the official line but why shouldn't the members have a say in their entitlements, preferably before they pay their money over!

 

Mike may be you should take this up with your club rather than MYA. Voting as i understand it at AGM/EGM is by clubs not individuals. Certainly the secretary at my club asked all our members which way we wanted to vote on these amendments and then (I assume) voted accordingly, So if you did not know about this then as far as I can tell the blame does not lie with MYA Council.

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I did vote on it at my club but you miss the point this was over 2 months after I had paid out my money, and as per what would I do at the weekend or midweek I will continue to run race meetings as I already do, or is the post of Class Captain, and Senior district measurer of no account?


Mike Ewart

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Firstly let me take issue with you Darin,


At the outset of the discussion on the Acquaint the Chairman stated "nobody around this table has the necessary skills to act as editor", with the Chairman having so little confidence in the council members, I ask who was likely to put their name forward, my belief is that it had been pre-decided not to continue with the Acquaint and use the funds for other promotions to attract new members.


I did a little exercise on this, although it has to make a number of assumptions which I tried to do on the right side for promotional leafleting, "for every member the MYA that does not re-join because they no longer feel they are being valued by the MYA, the cost of keeping them on board per year with the Acquaint would be £7.00, to replace that member with a new member assuming a 2% leaflet drop success rate (which is high), by leafleting would require 50 leaflets, the cost of leafleting 50 potential members if we assume we buy leaflets at a 1000 leaflet rate the cost would be £7.49 for the 50 leaflets required, although this doesn't include the cost of distribution.


That having been said obviously the member who leaves is likely to be one of more senior years, who does not have access to the internet, sails only at his local club and has been sailing the same yachts for a number of years, whereas the planned target for the leaflet campaign is a 30 to 50 year old, who sails dinghies, has a couple of thousand quid to buy a commercial radio sailing yacht and is more likely to travel about the country to events, personally I think it is a very high risk strategy.


The rate of turn over of membership is already high with I believe the MYA losing and replenishing something like 30% of it's membership each year, wouldn't it pay to investigate how to hang on to some of these, just 5% of these would represent a net gain each year of 25 members, almost double the size of the average club!


With reference to Garry, Abington Park MYC, of which Mike is a member, did indeed give it's members to opportunity to vote one this issue which they did and the result of that vote were communicated to the MYA secretary, this does not change the fact that at the time of purchase of his membership, the constitution stated that three copies of the Acquaint were to be published and delivered to the door step of members which in my opinion is what the MYA is required to do for at least 2016.

Of course what form the "Acquaint" takes is an entirely different matter and it may just be a newsletter from the Chairman as the Acquaint was at it's inception.

I believe all the members are still waiting for Issue 1 from 2015, if you have a copy of this issue I would hang on to it, it will have rarity value in the future.


It would seem that David Alston was not asked by any of the four clubs he belongs to cast his vote on the issue, although I am sure he expressed his opinion anyway, presumably it was just a clerical error that he was missed from being given the chance to have his say at Manor Park RSC which is his MYA registered club?

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Peter


Im sorry if you felt i was making an attack on Abingdon Club (or any other for that matter). I asure you I was not, Mikes post gave me the impression that he had not had any say in this matter so i was pointing out the way he should have been involved. If that took place as both you and he has affirmed then Im pleased to hear so and I stand corrected.


As for David all I will say is I'm a member of Manor Park and saw all the emails involving our clubs discussion and who they were sent to and from.


And finally has the MYA Council actually said there will be no more Acquaints this year ?

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Garry


I didn't feel it was an attack on my club I was just putting the record straight.


This is the decision made at council the full minutes are available here http://mya-uk.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/MYA-February-6th-Council-Minutes.pdf


"To continue in the current format this would need a specific person to take on the

editorial role. A discussion then followed on the five options put forward by the

Chairman. However, the most practical option would be a Council Newsletter only; the

first edition is to be sent by post explaining the issue of no Editor with further versions

to be published via the web for download"


In view of this decision and the clauses present in the constitution when Mike paid to re-join I feel that he is very justified in asking for his money back.

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Last sentence from Peter

In view of this decision and the clauses present in the constitution when Mike paid to re-join I feel that he is very justified in asking for his money back.

I'll add my agreement to Peter's statement and Mike's original statement that Peter was answering.



When Council originally wanted to make the Acquaint available to all members, it put a resolution to the Members at the relevant AGM (quite a few years ago) to increase the subscription from £5 to £11 (think I've got the right figures if my memory serves my right) to cover the added production costs and postage of three issues per year to all members. So in my opinion if Council sees it can not fulfil the above then the percentage of the Acquaint should be removed from the affiliation fee.


If Council wishes to use large volumes of cash in other ways of publicity/promotion of our sport/hobby, then again these ways should be put to the current membership. A certain proportion of the current membership may feel that they will not benefit from a certain approach and wish not to vote for Council to follow this approach - all very hypothetical, but democratic.


Council desperately requires an editor of words to ensure the correct tone of voice is portrayed across all it channels. I suggested Council pays for these services if we had no volunteer - regardless if we were to produce a paper or digital communication. So if you know someone in or outside of model yachting who you think could help the Association, please contact our Chairman.


Damian Ackroyd

Northern District Councillor

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This a story I hear over and over again. Postal votes, either direct or via a club or NAtional body do well if 3 - 5% respond. Most grass roots and pleasure sailors simply cant be bothered and rely on the common sense of the voters at an AGM or the keen and active top sailors. The resulting changes may, or may not please them!

Years ago Chris Jackson published a sort of International Aquaint and it ran for several years. I asked him why he stopped and his reply was that no-one sent him any copy. If we want Aquaint to continue in its present form, the one thing you must get is news and articles, up to date and with pics. Do we know how many members use the internet and could it be continued in that form? I like receiving my Aquaint through the door but would be just as happy with a digital version. In my eyes its a valuable part of my membership.

Do we have a job description for an editor? Maybe if we did, someone might take a punt and carry on.

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An excellent idea Val a job description for an editor, with reference to articles it is the job of the editor to ensure a regular supply of articles through his contacts and it usually requires some arm twisting, I accept it is not an easy job and my main point as Damion noted was the cost implications and where our money is going, the money that was earmarked for the Aquaint is going somewhere else at present, that I am sure of and we did not vote for that to happen


Mike Ewart

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Good evening Mike


Is this what you are looking for?. Posted July 2015


Damian's main point was to ask for volunteers as an editor


No response to date after several requests. I have promised you in a personal email that the issue of costs will be considered at the next Council meeting


So please do not prejudge the issue


I also asked for your positive responses on how to deal with this problem, nothing so far


We genuinely are trying to do our best


I have offered to speak to you face to face as members of the same club but again no response


Regards


Keith

Chairman MYA





Acquaint Editor – The Roles and Responsibilities

The Editor is a member of the MYA Council and attends all meetings.

The Editor is responsible for delivering three magazines each year

The post has a close working relationship with the print and design support function

A journalistic background is not essential but good communication skills at all levels is required

The Editor should ideally have good experience of the sport with good contacts in most classes and around the Districts. However this will grow with time in the job.

Ideally the person will have sufficient time to attend national championships at least and be willing to travel.

Standard articles for most editions

Editors Column

Chairman’s Column

News in Brief

Development officer (when there is something new to say that cannot be covered in News in Brief)

Race Officer who will always provide material if asked but again may be covered by short announcements in NIB

Class reports. These are obtained from Class Captains. Usually will have to be written by the editor as the result of telephone ‘interviews’. They do not need to appear in every issue but should certainly be included in the autumn issue as a round-up of the year’s activities. International Officer. Updates from International and European events and any comment of IRSA or ISAF issues. Usually obtained via a telephone interview

National results. Probably already detailed on the MYA Website. However worth recording for those who have not viewed the web. Should include competent photography. Only the nationals. There is no space for more.

Classic column. Just a short piece so that we don’t forget our roots. Literally a column

Other material much of which can be ‘stocked’ ahead of time.

Include something practical – we still have a lot of builders in our community.

Class profiles. One per issue. Can be prepared in advance and stocked ready for publication Do something that promotes the MYA

Include updates on Vane Racing. Anthony Warren is CC

Always include a piece for beginners. It may not always be about sailing – Remember that not everyone is a national class skipper and the language may be baffling at times.

Provide links to the website whenever you can, extending articles and their related picture galleries by carrying them through to on-line supplements. (There is a logo for this purpose that appears in any article that has a supplement.

Sometimes we include a piece about the wider world where there is an interest amongst members – the America’s Cup for example.

Something unusual; if humorous even better.

The key to all of this is to have good contacts, an ear to the ground and report on the new whenever possible.

KC\CS July 2015

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Dear Keith


Nobody has said that you were not doing your utmost to fill the role of Acquaint editor, although I do wonder whether the shortlist produced by Charles Smith of possible candidates for the role was ever followed up on?


Perhaps your opinion differed from that of the ten year serving editor and is the same as your opinion of the members of the council in that "none of them was capable of doing the job"


The point of Mike's correspondence, if I understand it correctly is to question the legitimacy of not publishing a version of the Acquaint having collected the money for it in 2016 subscriptions at a time when it was written into the constitution, which was the original gist of this post.


I understand that you will consider this on April 30th at the next Council meeting, personally I believe it would be unwise to continue down a path of not producing three printed editions in 2016 even if it is by doing something that is manageable at present such as a newsletter format, and not the magazine the membership has got used to, at least this would show the membership a willingness to try keep the magazine going.


Given that some 40% of the membership were neither consulted in the membership survey, by not being electronically connected, and have not yet received the promised news letter in the post (see minutes of 5th February meeting), they must by this stage be wondering if the MYA as an organisation is even interested in retaining them as members.

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As a new member i was dissapointed to hear that the magazine may not continue- but at the same time with print costs and the changes in modern communication I am not surprised and the MYA is following most other clubs and associations down the same track. What would make this change better is some info on the plans for future communication to the membership by email and perhaps a simpler single page update by post to let members know?.


On a related point- i was surprised to see that no/few email contacts were given in the year book- surely this is essential nowadays?- if nothing else it makes the life of a MYA contact harder if taking calls at inconvenient times against the flexibility of replying by email

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With the website being updated regularly and looking good, a non Aqaint MYA seems to be working well. And we all have the option of printing off any pieces so that the few members without internet connection can read them. And would prefer that if there are any savings that they are plowed back into other areas. The current membership fees seem reasonable even without a printed magazine.

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This is not the point of the discussion at all, there are quite a number of MYA members who are not connected electronically and will not be, the money in the budget was voted in by the members with specific things in mind and a number of years ago the subs were increased quite substantialy for the Aquaint and as we don't have the aquaint where is this money being spent now?

If you want to see what can be done look at the magazine for the airplane modellers and compare that to some quite single minded articles on the website, there is no comparison, or look at the site for the Seatle model yacht club in the States.


Mike Ewart

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Hi Ian,


Not quite true re the subs; the fee used to be a two tier system. £6 for membership, £10 for enhanced membership which included the Acquaint. This changed circa 2009/10 to a single membership fee of £10.00 with everyone getting a copy of Acquaint. The Acquaint was always produced but not distributed to all. Unfortunately even if the MYA could find someone to write a magazine you would have to ask whether continuing in the existing format with all its costs and processes is the right approach in the modern era. Mike sights the model flying community, but the reality is that we have a membership of less than 10% of theirs, not only does this affect the finances but available volunteers.


I'm afraid that in today's society the MYA does not have the enthusiasts available for it to commit to doing all the things it has done or would love to continue doing.


Sad to say, but the truth I'm afraid.

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