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Allowing Towables Vote At Indianapolis In July

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On 7/29/2017 at 9:36 PM, wolfe10 said:

Of course, if you have to put your F (or S or D or L) number on the ballot, there would be no question. This AIN'T ROCKET SCIENCE. One vote per FMCA number!

So if I put F252125 on a ballot with your name on it would you mind if I voted for you;). Just sayin ;)

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At this point in time the important thing is to vote, and urge all members to do the same. Not all may agree but all can agree that not voting is letting someone else make the choice for you.

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The vast majority of FMCA members do not visit this site.  With the average age of an FMCA member being 71 may not even have any interest in computers.  That means that a paper ballot will be in the FMCA mag. likely just a printed page you have to tear out and put in the mail or a ballot that will fall out when the mag. is opened so it can easily be thrown out.

There's really no other way to do it these days but FMCA is not going to mail a ballot to everyone in hopes of getting the best possible response due to the cost involved.

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Bill,

You might be surprised that many of us older folks are very computer savvy. I do agree with you that paper ballots are a poor way to vote but it is what it is. Hopefully enough of us will say NO to kill this club focus change.

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11 minutes ago, rfsod48 said:

Bill,

You might be surprised that many of us older folks are very computer savvy. I do agree with you that paper ballots are a poor way to vote but it is what it is. Hopefully enough of us will say NO to kill this club focus change.

Agreed....my 88 year old Mother was computer literate.    Please avoid making sweeping generalizations.

I'm over 65 and have had a computer for almost 30 years.... Plenty of us "baby boomers" that are actively online... 

Finally, it's 2017... Voting should be an online exercise. Better auditing and ease of tabulation.. WHY would you want to saddle some poor souls to count ballots by hand.  Medieval. 

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On 7/28/2017 at 1:44 PM, smithy said:

Unfortunately our bylaws do not allow for on-line voting. We will make it very obvious on the front cover that an important vote is in that particular issue.

Mark,

Look at FMCA Executive Directors above statement.

It doesn't matter how old you are or your mother is. Until the Bylaws are changed we can not vote on line.

Till the Governing Board meet and decide to seek a change this is how it will stand. Also a change to the Bylaws, if I am not mistaken, has to be voted on by the membership. And guess what that vote would have to be done by paper ballots also.

Herman

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Herman:

Bylaw amendments are voted on by the Governing Board.  Constitution and Articles of Incorporation are voted on by the membership. The Indianapolis Governing Board voted to send the changes to the Articles and Constitution on to the membership.  The Bylaws were approved by the Governing Board as proviso changes pending the membership approval of the Articles and Constitution.

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Thanks Ross, I wasn't sure of where and what constitutes a membership vote. 

However I am not sure the method of voting would have any effect on the number of members that may or may not vote. 

Thanks again, 

Herman 

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What say we take a look at how many FMCA members there are and how many forum members we have.  Just because you can use a computer does not mean you are using a computer to access this forum.  The facts are that a large percentage of seniors can "use" a computer (as could my 88 YOA mother) but that does not mean they are accessing this site or have any idea what's going on with FMCA.  If you are age sensitive get over it.  It's a reality that not everyone keeps up with this stuff on the internet and there has not yet been any info released in the magazine.

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Possibly a generality, but I think more senior members will use the paper ballots and younger would use an electronic method if it were available. But in either case, I doubt that there will be more than 15-20% of the membership will vote. 

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Ross,

That may be the case, but let's throw this Forum into the mix. 

I am speculating, but suspect that Forum members are younger demographics than overall FMCA members. 

So, by spreading the word here, hopefully we will make Forum savvy members of FMCA  aware of the importance of the ballots AND return their print ballots in high numbers.

Not taking a side here, just looking forward to every member being able to vote for how THEY want FMCA to look going forward.

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Brett. So right, but I am 76 which is older than the average and try to keep up with technology.  I would like to have electronic voting added to the mix. If there is a Bylaw change made, it would take some time to create the procedure and method to count both electronic and paper to insure that only one one vote is counted if there is a duplication. 

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Received my magazine today, the way some articles are written, allowing towables is a done deal. The editor could respect the membership enough to wait for voting results.

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43 minutes ago, RAYIN said:

Received my magazine today, the way some articles are written, allowing towables is a done deal. The editor could respect the membership enough to wait for voting results.

I've been an FMCA member for quite a while. I agree Rayn, they should wait for the membership to vote. Personally, I feel that allowing towables will result in FMCA becoming just another Good Sam Club. I joined FMCA because I wanted an organization that catered to Motor Coaches. If towables are allowed I can't see paying dues to FMCA when I have a lifetime Good Sam membership

Al Willumitis, F134095

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My 2 cents.  Had this been presented to a ND prior to the FMCA Convention, it could have been voted on and all the above be a moot point !  We have said over and over again, if you have a concern, idea or question, then contact your Chapter ND.  If your not a member of a Chapter, then contact a Area VP...All information is on main FMCA.com...not rocket science !

As has been repeated over and over again, by Brett, Herman, Ross and Dons....VOTE !

Carl

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I thought that the question of opening membership up to owners of towables was to be voted on in July. Does anyone know if the board has authorized  the FMCA membership to vote for/against this proposal? If so, what were the results?  I haven't seen anything here regarding this as yet. 

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18 hours ago, RAYIN said:

Received my magazine today, the way some articles are written, allowing towables is a done deal. The editor could respect the membership enough to wait for voting results.

What issue/page?.  I'm on the road.  

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1 hour ago, Bradrm said:

I thought that the question of opening membership up to owners of towables was to be voted on in July. Does anyone know if the board has authorized  the FMCA membership to vote for/against this proposal? If so, what were the results?  I haven't seen anything here regarding this as yet. 

I wasn't in the room but from what I've heard there was a discussion amongst national directors (one for each chapter allowed no idea how many were represented) about what a recreational vehicle is not if this should proceed. It seemed apparent that allowing towables was a done deal for the national directors as it has been sold as do or die. 

I found out only about 30% of FMCA's 72,000 active members are in chapters and thus even represented in our governing board. That means over 50,000 members choose not to be in a chapter.

It looks like Into has only formed 3 new chapters since 2011. Many more have folded for INTO.  So how do we reach the other 50,000 members?

The Chapter/National Director structure of the governing board needs to be changed to be representative of the membership.  Not just the old guard that are in chapters as that would not be inclusive to those who are not.   Something for the Long Range Planning Commottee to tackle. 

I'm not in a chapter so to date I've had no vote.  I will vote no.  I think it's the wrong solution to increasing membership. It sacrifices our mission statement of our founders and I don't believe it's the only solution to increasing membership.  

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57 minutes ago, Bradrm said:

I thought that the question of opening membership up to owners of towables was to be voted on in July. Does anyone know if the board has authorized  the FMCA membership to vote for/against this proposal? If so, what were the results?  I haven't seen anything here regarding this as yet. 

The  Governing Board voted to send the question out to all FMCA  members. Ballot should be in the magazine.  Ballots to be mailed to independent auditing firm.

SO, IT IS UP TO ALL OF US TO VOTE!

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Wow.  I didn't have time to read all the comments...but it does look like this is a HOT topic!  I'll weigh in with what little I do know.

1.  ByLaws changes require the governing board so nothing can change till next year since that just happened.

2.  The governing board this year voted to allow the membership to vote on allowing towables in.  They aren't in...until the membership votes.

3.  I was a delegate this year just so I could learn more about FMCA and how it works and I was waiting to see how this towables thing was going to go.  I asked lots of questions before the meeting to get a feel for everything and this is what I came up with.

a.  There is definitely a small group of people who are completely opposed to allowing towables in.  I didn't find any of these people so I couldn't get their reason for being opposed.  I say it was a small group because out of all the chapters voting...the item passed by over 80% leaving those against in the minority.

b.  People think FMCA will change if they allow towables in.  Well, honestly, FMCA NEEDS to change.  It was a great thing..but as all things they either grow or they die and FMCA is dying...or rather its membership is dying.  If the "average" age is 72 that means that within 10 years or so most of the FMCA members will either hang up their keys for some reason for to put it delicately, move onto their big RV in the sky.  What I've learned consulting for many years is this...organizations MUST change or they become OBSOLETE.  FMCA needs to get younger people in PERIOD or they will not continue at all.  (This is my assessment and my personal opinions and observations).

c.  Will towables be a problem?  Yes and no.  Yes, parking them is different.  There will be some things that will change but from what I see big picture wise..your rallies aren't going to be that different at least not for a while.  WHY?  Because...towables are towables and they know what FMCA is and they don't want or need just another membership.  Even IF the membership passes allowing them in it's going to take a HUGE marketing effort to get the towables to join up and even after they join even more of a push to get them to rallies!  Why do I say this?  Because just look at your own membership.  I have been a member for maybe 3 years now and I just went to my first rally this year!  I talked to lots of people and I was surprised at how many people I met who had been in FMCA for "years" and they were at their FIRST rally!  SO...even adding towables...doesn't mean they are going to show up en mass and take over you rallies.  Not going to happen.

d.  KIDS.  This is also a hot button for some.  Many people reach their retirement years and they want peace and quiet and they see kids coming around as destroying their peace and quiet.  I totally GET THAT!  I have SIX of them!  I'm travelling full time with mine.  Started with all 6 now down to 4.  So I totally get the noisy kid thing.  Some days I want to get away from them.  BUT...and I asked a LOT of people about this one.  Are FMCA members opposed to having kids around?  The answer I found was surprisingly NO!  In fact, my kids attend seminars at the rallies as part of their "school".  I send them out and they have to learn things and act like adults.  I expect a lot of my kids.  While walking through the vendor area one day a gentleman came over to one of my daughters and started talking to her.  He was curious what she thought of things and then told her he was really glad to see her there.  Lots and I mean LOTS of the older folks enjoy seeing the kids there having fun.  I cannot explain it.  I've seen it in nursing homes when we've gone to visit and volunteer how when my kids enter the older folks light up and something inside them remembers childhood.  Yes, there are always going to be the few grumpy old folks who don't want kids around but I do think they are the minority and we can always park people in different sections so that those who don't want to be near kids won't be near kids.  I really thought kids would be a problem...but I don't believe they will.  And...we tried at Indy to get kids together and give them a place just to play and be kids and we had a lot of positive feedback on that.  We even had some adults WITHOUT KIDS come over just to check it out and many grandparents who wanted to bring their grandkids next time since there would be something for them to do.  And, honestly, without getting kids involved in things like FMCA when they ARE kids, then you aren't planting positive seeds in them for when they grow up to even consider FMCA.  So..I'd say kids are necessary and it can be done in a positive way for everyone.  In fact, I'd like to add on a personal note that my girls taught themselves to cook, sew, knit and are trying to crochet.  They would LOVE to have some of the more experienced folks share their crafts with them and teach them things.  Many kids these days have absolutely NO interest at all in learning things that aren't electronic.  I think having a place where we can get the older and younger together to interact over things, teaching and learning is good for all of them!  

e.  Will towables even WANT to join?  I'm going to recommend to all my towable friends that they join just for the benefits.  BUT...the benefits to them aren't as good as they are to the motorcoaches.  I LOVE the tire benefit.  That alone is well worth the cost of a membership. But towable tires aren't nearly as expensive as our tires are.  So...they might not see it as worth the cost of membership.  I do know a LOT of towable people because there is a new group of folks ditching suburbia and traveling fulltime with their children and they prefer fifth wheels because of the amazing bunk rooms.  I admit...some of those are pretty sweet!  Yes, their needs are different.  But...they too are living this nomadic lifestyle.  Some part time, some fulltime just as the motorcoach people are.  There is a lot that we share, many things we have in common, sewer issues, water, parking, etc.  There are some things that we differ on.  But...we all have a passion for traveling and seeing our country in our time, on our terms.  I'm not sure the towables people are going to see great value in joining FMCA. 

 

My bottom line on all this.  I think what has been done so far is that leadership has UNLOCKED the door.  Now it's up to membership to choose to actually OPEN the door.  But once it opens...it's going to take a huge marketing effort to push that door wide open enough to allow the mass of towables into the organization.  I expect it's going to be more like...IF it passes, one guy is holding the door open and there is a trickle of people coming in, looking around, kicking the tires and trying it out.  Depending on what they find INSIDE will determine whether or not the towables make any difference at all in the FMCA organizaiton.

 

I hope this helps give you some feedback from a different perspective so you can vote.  The MOST IMPORTANT thing is...EVERYONE should vote!  It would be a shame to let a handful of people vote and therefore make the decision for everyone.  Regardless of which side of this issue you are on....VOTE!  Then we'll let the majoirty decide.

 

Thanks to everyone in FMCA who has welcomed me AND my kids.  

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SMS Davis, I am one of the people that is opposed to allowing towables. We are the ONLY non brand motorhome organization open to all with something for all. I am not discounting what brang clubs offer, I belong to two, but towables only share a portion of our needs. I can see FMCA being changed in ways that leave us out in the cold. As for needing new blood, has every MH owner been approached? Do the manufacturers include an application in their packages? How about dealers? Do they do anything to promote us? When we have approached the vast majority of MH owners and they've told us thanks, but no thanks, then I might consider towables. Seriously we have engines, drive lines, transmissions, generators, inverters, hydronic heating, Leveling systems, Air systems, leveling and brakes, none apply to travel trailers. They have an entirely different set of needs and wants. How many of them need a Blue Ox towbar? or a brake system, or new air ride seats? What will happen is we will become marginalized. Since towables are about 4:1 over us, how long before the organization is foreign to us?

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You say that everyone should vote but, just like the voting that can change your life, most folks do not.  It gets much worse when you expect folks to vote about stuff they simply do not care about.  The majority of members will never know that a vote is taking place and the minority will not care that a vote is taking place.  That leaves a few people casting a vote which will be over-riden by the folks that put the vote up to the membership as they are all going to vote yes.

It's democracy at its finest whether you like it or not.  It's more like Animal Farm democracy, but it's democracy none the less.

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Ross has been around since dirt so maybe knows the answer to this question. Years ago there was a vote put to the membership where a stamped envelope along with the ballot was sent to every member. It was most likely a vote on the constitution as the articles haven't been messed with. All the members had to do was put their "X" in the box, sign their name along with their F#, put the ballot in the envelope and put it in the mail.

So, Ross, do you remember how many ballots were returned? Back in those days membership was over 100,000 and I think they received less than 1,000 ballots returned.

Kids> Well at entertainment one night. there were three aged around 4-5 sitting in the row head of us. They were up, down, crawling over the seats, talking and carrying on so much we moved. I really don't blame the kids but their parents. Yes, I know it is hard to keep kids that age in their seats for very long.

Towables> I don't understand why the recently past president actually ran a towable out of one of his rallies. Took the treasurer over to the trailer and told him he wasn't welcome and the treasurer refunded the rally fee. Now he is all for them.

At the recent Chandler convention and this Indy one, if you look at the registration form, if you came in a towable, it was mandatory that electric be purchased. Why was that?

The idea has been drummed into our heads that without the towable influx, FMCA will go down the tubes. This notion is like the Chicken Little theory that the sky is falling which is totally not true.

 

All I can say is that the GB did the right thing by passing it on to the membership to make the decision so it is up to you, the member.

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