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January Monthly Meeting--2014

Meet at 6:30 - 7:30 for food, drink and social time in the Lower Lane Room at the back of the restaurant.
Meeting to start at 7:30.
We will open the floor for discussion on going forward for 2014--the club structure, proposed bylaws etc. A link to the message board is posted below to the bylaws being proposed.

All paying members are strongly encouraged to attend and voice their opinions on these important issues. No vote will be taken at this meeting on these important issues, and will be continued to the February meeting to give all members a chance to speak and decide.

Member Andrew Found, Vice Commodore of the North East Trailer Sailors http://www.ne-ts.com/ has generously offered to give a short demo on nautical knot tying following the discussions.

Bylaws http://files.meetup.com/1568788/VYCBylaws_v1.pdf

One Member's Bylaw Edits    http://files.meetup.com/1568788/VYC%20Policies.pdf

Comments solicited on this message board  Looking ahead in 2014 for Virtual Yacht Club--OPEN FORUM - Virtual Yacht Club (Portsmouth, NH) - Meetup

Preamble to Bylaws Posted by Claudia O, Secretary: Members are encouraged to post answers, questions, comments to this following important discussion

Roughly one year ago the active members agreed as a group to make Virtual Yacht Club a "Club" with elections for leadership positions as most clubs are organized. This was to ensure a more efficient organization of boat owners and crew, to promote more education, activities and also to ensure the leadership and handling of funds was accountable and transparent to the membership. Membership also was given a voice and choice of leadership through opportunity to vote with this set-up. Since then some have complained this was too "formal" and there has been some disparity as to whether members want to have VYC run as a "Club" or go back to a "Meetup" format. We wanted to open this up for discussion in this forum and it can be an open discussion for January's Meeting if membership wishes to as well.

We also have new bylaws written up to review customized for VYC, that will be posted soonest.

It is important that members are clear on the differences of “Club” format and “Meetup” format along with regard to the way VYC is run. Basic differences between “Club” and “Meetup” format:  

Club format: You are able to vote in or out the leadership---Organizer respects decisions of the leadership as it represents the membership -- the Membership rules

Meetup format: You are not able to vote in or out the leadership – Organizer makes all decisions -- the Organizer and Co-Organizers rule yet are hopefully open to suggestions (but no guarantee) Member participation and dues collection is to the discretion of the Organizer.

Club format: Members have a say at the meetings and we then decide as a group to “Yes” or “No”

Meetup format: All decisions are optional and made by the Organizer and Co-Organizers

Club format: Has a Treasurer to manage the dues collected and reports to the Membership

Meetup format: No requirement to have a Treasurer to report to the Membership on the kitty balance to the discretion of the Organizer.

Club format: Has a Secretary who reports to the Membership on the meetings and decisions

Meetup format: No requirement to have a Secretary or to report to the Membership on the meetings and decisions -- to the discretion of the Organizer.

Club format: Bylaws are in place

Meetup format: No bylaws or rules need be in place to the discretion of the Organizer.

Club format: Has Board of Directors made up of leadership team

Meetup format: No Board of Directors necessarily to the discretion of the Organizer.

*every “meetup” group is run differently and these basic comparisons by no means represent any other “meetup”. 

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  • Peter B.

    Nicely phrased Maureen! My sentiments exactly.

    1 · January 20, 2014

  • MaureenTolman

    There is expressed appetite for a yacht club IF kept light. Simple. Free of corporate-style mngt & over engineered governance.


    The Founder has always wanted a Board to: Work in service of members; Develop the site as a networking tool; Deliver tangible Member Benefits, as set forth in Charter

    Concluding people need to EITHER reject meet-up format OR reject the yacht club format draws an unneeded divide. Its EASY for small team of vested members to DESIGN a reasoned & common sense meld that will serve Members Interests

    Board seems too invested in past concepts, & controls that do nothing to forward Action. Want to vitalize club?Attract lively sailors? Then its time, now, for Mngt to step back

    Put member-team in chrg of defining options. Do this w/out Board oversight

    VYC is a Brilliant Concept, Totally Undeveloped
    Make it Grow Up to Fulfill Promises & Potential

    ReBuild around Doing
    Focus on Productive Action
    Remove top-down controls
    Engage & Empower Grassroots

    Results will Dazzle

    January 20, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was nice to meet, chat, and be part of the conversation at this Meetup. As to the business at hand, I came away from this meeting with the impression that a less is more approach is preferred. Just as the 'About us' statement of this group says; "Law of the Sea: Boats are not democracies." Nor shall this group be, in my opinion.

    Make it simple and let the Organizer(s) of this Meetup group run it as they desire: format, schedule, finances,...

    January 20, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    If a group wanted to fly somewhere in a commercial airplane...

    One plane has a pilot, co-pilot, and flight crew so the group can relax and enjoy the flight knowing that everything is taken care of to get to where they have decided to go. One plane has a pilot, no crew, and the pilot will decide where to go.

    One plane has no pilot, no crew, and it is up to the passengers to figure out how to fly the plane and make their destination.

    Which plane do you want to be on???

    1 · January 15, 2014

    • Peter B.

      The crux of the issue is the "form of leadership." Some is no doubt beneficial. The question of how much and the depth of it is debatable.

      January 16, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Agreed. I think the middle example is appropriate for this kind of group.

      January 20, 2014

  • Jeanette C.

    This was my first meeting. I was just happy to be there. I had a very nice evening. I joined this group to meet new people who love to sail or any boating on a body of water. I have a passion for the ocean. I haven't been able to attend any meetings or do any sailing due to a move and a car accident. I am sorry I didn't get to meet everyone. I look forward to meeting the other club members in the future. I would have stayed longer if I could. I have met some very nice people and had good conversations. I am excited for the future Meetups and hopefully some sailing. I am to new to get involved in the differences some people have about how to run the club. For me it was a fun night.
    Jeanette

    January 16, 2014

  • MaureenTolman

    .
    Andrew Schilling-Payne: VYC's Latest Discovery. Ranked #1, among the club's hidden assets (can we say "hidden assets" in same sentence with Treasurer's name?)

    Thank you for superior job ~ herding cats. You gave 'em cats enuf room to enjoy themselves, & enough containment to not shred the drapes, or pee on the rug

    Rachael, whether Andrew volunteered, or you nudged him, it was good of you to match the resource to the job at hand

    And if you didn't get to hear it all, the exit report: Prolonged milling around, all the way out to the parking lot ~ So many people buoyant, smiling, talking, & saying how great the energy was

    And how much they'd enjoy more of the same. Thnx!
    Maureen

    1 · January 16, 2014

  • Ted

    We made progress. People got their point across.

    1 · January 16, 2014

  • Claudia O

    Good exchange of ideas, well executed by Andrew

    January 16, 2014

  • Peter B.

    Wow. Judging from the comments there appears to be polarizing elements within the group. Not a good sign for a new member. I get the distinct impression that the boat owners set themselves apart from the rest of the members. Commodore? Vice-Commodore? Seriously? By-laws? Waaay over the top of formality. Why the italics when comparing a meet up group and a club? Their use presents the meet up group as a less favorable organizational structure. I get that there is a distinction trying to be made but, why not put the club wording in italics??? I can't make the January meeting (I'm sure some of you are relieved to read that) however, will be interested in the outcome to determine whether this meet up group is interested in having fun or more concerned with its image as a club. If a club I suggest removing itself from meet-up.com and find a different source for adding to it's membership. Perhaps referrals only......or sponserships.

    1 · January 15, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Peter- "old boys club" might say it, but certainly doesn't feel that way in the other club I belong to.

      January 15, 2014

    • leah c.

      Wrong. Old girls club.

      1 · January 15, 2014

  • Claudia O

    Peter, To clarify since it's origin VYC has always been a "club". The "meetup" site is simply a useful tool or format to use for communication and posting events instead of a website. There are other clubs that do this as well...and why not? (Seacoast Ski Club for example) They also have a President, Vice President etc. in place and it works quite well. (from what I have heard)

    VYC only became organized a year ago and since then we have been growing at a fast rate thus experiencing some "growing pains" in the form of differences in opinion. That is why we maintain the opportunity for members to attend the meetings to talk things out in person. The use of italics was not intended to make Meetup look negative, but simply to highlight the main differences.

    You are entitled to your opinion as all are and we certainly welcome you to come to the meetings and get to know the others . I think we all need more time on the water to have fun, and enjoy what we are all about.

    January 15, 2014

  • MaureenTolman

    Claudia~

    A concise Charter Statement with Operating Agreements giving Officers & Members desired guidelines~ Sounds good. Define a board, its duties. Draft it all in simple English, 1-page. Perfect!

    Lets be a casual association of people w/shared interest & some common recreational goals. I'm all for that. In spades. I'm hoping members & board might slow down to consume a good faith concerned warning that benefits all here

    Example Point: Write a Will in your own hand & its a type of legal doc. Its the same w/the "type of legal document" named Bylaws, which can setup a cascade of complications no one wants. Just drop the document name of Bylaws & the legal language

    Be simple, state our Agreements. Stay w/in our depth. Doesn't matter what other clubs do. We're unique & they may well be wrong. Officious trappings can be a trap

    And lets cool this all down a bit. Your Leadership in that could be a Great Service to Team. Get us unmuddled. You're the best one to do it & could do it well

    January 14, 2014

  • MaureenTolman

    The abundant "us & them" commentary is sad. Who suggested rejecting those who like to go to mtgs, be audience to presentations, have social gatherings, be casual/informal, have fun, build a community network, sail, learn sailing, hang out around boats, eat & laugh together?

    I very much enjoy each of these things (well, not so much the stuffy mtg's). I host all of these things too (even stuffy mtg 1ce) & actively work to expand these very activities into off-season to build our network & keep community vital, meet new people

    It is Inaccurate & Unnecessary to Reframe every input as being about only 1-thing & suggest an interest in 1-thing implies excluding those who don't share that 1-specific interest

    What do people want? & offer? Read profiles: All join seeking these same things & subsets of them. Who ever suggested that VYC doesn't have room to embrace it all?

    The "either/or" polarizing & need to ID people to exclude sadly crops our combined rich potential as a club. Why do that?

    January 14, 2014

  • Claudia O

    Given all of the differences of opinion we will open discussion at tomorrow night's meeting in an attempt to begin to reach a resolution. What's important is what the membership as a whole wants.

    January 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking at the responses and attitudes of responders in this and the other thread, I would conclude that the majority of those who RSVP'd that they will attend the Jan. meeting are not favorable to a Board / issues meeting interfering with the desired social event. Tho no formal agenda has been posted, it is ultimately up to the club Leadership Team how this gathering will be conducted. I'm going to reverse my earlier opinion of discussion topics and say that Board business can be conducted in at another meeting. I'm good for meeting & mixing with everyone as a social gathering.

    Andrew

    January 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I offer my opinion of a board of directors & bylaws based club because I belong to another sailing club that has existed for twenty years with such a structure. Efficiencies AND inefficiencies, I accept it for what it is.

    That said, I do not feel that it is the only or best way to operate a club...

    1 · January 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    "This is a meetup. So why all the process?"

    It is apparent that this group has more 'wanna go sailing members' than 'sailboat owning members.' If you want a Meetup without all the process, then everybody show up to the next outing with their own boat!

    "...to ensure a more efficient organization of boat owners and crew, to promote more education, activities and also to ensure the leadership and handling of funds was accountable and transparent to the membership. Membership also was given a voice and choice of leadership..."

    1 · January 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    "...trying to understand why we want by laws."

    Loosely defined, bylaws are rules established by an organization to regulate itself.

    This organization (VYC) has moved in a direction that has elected some of it's members to serve specific duties to govern the club. The bylaws spell out the what, why, who & how to guide the governing body in its duties.
    Without the bylaws, the structure you depend on to facilitate the "get together for a little while... sail... socialize...", the 'behind the curtain stuff', may not happen to give you that sail / social experience. The bylaws are just part of the package of how the club is currently setup to operate.

    1 · January 14, 2014

  • Terri

    I am still trying to understand why we want by laws. Tim- your exact point "people just want to get together for a little while... sail.. socialize.. forget about their jobs". Exactly. This is a meetup. So why all the process? I have been following the conversations in the Discussions forum. I'm interested in finding out more at the meeting. I think one of the points brought up below (and in the forum). No raining on parades here. Just questions. And No need for insults.

    January 13, 2014

  • Tim W.

    Maureen.....you need to get a freekin life. What in the world are you talking about? People just want to get together for a little while and sail....socialize.....forget about their jobs for just a few hours ..etc etc. You are a classic "rain on the parade" person. Wake up !!

    January 13, 2014

  • Rachael S.

    As yet there is notthing formal organized. What would people attending like to discuss, ideas?

    1 · January 12, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Discussion items should include what needs to be worked on between now and April regarding club structure / mission.

      January 13, 2014

    • Claudia O

      Thanks for the helpful suggestions Andrew. I think that would make a good "theme" for the meeting. Hopefully we will get a good turnout.

      January 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Land Ho!
    All intelligent ideas and questions rolling in.
    I will be in USVI during the next meeting. I would have gone to the mixer and not the meeting..I think. I like to schmoze and move around a room, get to know everyone. :) Why not move the meeting to Hagen's as a future experiment.

    1 · December 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Since I am able to attend only occasional monthly meetings it would be important for me to know if there was any club business to be voted on during this meeting?

    Hagen's grill is a great place to grab a drink and sometimes even a dance : )

    As to meetings, my strong preference is to get to know people while jointly involved in some activity. It doesn't even necessarily need to be boating related. Mixers and cocktail hour pre/post dinner is not something that interests me very much. So, now I have critiqued without proposing an alternative, but I will do so when I find something that tickles my fancy.

    1 · December 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    cool :)

    December 28, 2013

  • Terri

    Just an idea... There's a great pub across the street- Hagan's Grill. It's got nice stuff on tap. We could meet there at 5:30 or so, then make our way over to the Old Salt. Not a must. just throwing it out there for the "mixer" aspect

    2 · December 28, 2013

  • Stephanie H.

    I would attend the gathering that Maureen has proposed provided the weather isn't really bad. The Old Salt will always be there so we could use January for something more interactive, i.e. different than the long table-type seating. I am very flexible as to the location except whatever locale we decide on that the noise level is low/moderate as opposed to a noisy bar/restaurant during happy hour. A place w/ easy parking is always a plus too-- Thanks, and warm cheer, Steph

    2 · December 28, 2013

    • Lynn H.

      I agree with Stephanie.. If the weather and roads are bad or if we are near a noisy bar at happy hour it probably wouldn't work for me.

      December 28, 2013

  • Bob J.

    I won't be able to make January's meeting, I'm sure someone else can fill in for me. Practice what you learn.

    December 26, 2013

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