January 2003 Grand Council Report Detail
1) CONTINUING DISCUSSION OF PROPOSALS FOR RESTRUCTURING THE SOCIETY.
The Grand Council will present its opinions in the next report, as discussion continues on each proposal in turn.
2) APPLICATION OF NON-MEMBER SURCHARGE OUTSIDE THE USA.
The non-USA-based members of the Grand Council raised a number of concerns about the NMS, ranging from its relationship to local income to the expense of obtaining conversion of funds to USA dollars and remitting same to the corporation in Milpitas. The only consideration that seems to have been made was to translate "three USA dollars" into local currency via exchange rates. The Grand Council believes that the Board did not consider the real financial effects and burdens of the Non-Member Surcharge on non-USA persons and groups, and that this should be investigated prior to imposition of the NMS outside of the USA.
A. Comparative costs of the US$3.00 NMS worldwide.
Master Bertrik produced the chart below to answer the question: how much would the $3 cost if you were living in the country, but then compared to the US spending power (and what would membership cost):
(For this chart, the number of hours worked to reach the amount needed for membership was calculated based upon a 40-hour workweek.)
He added that to make these figures somewhat more real:
A SCA membership would "cost" a typical South African in their spending power as much as $149.47 to an average US citizen.
Are you (typical American) willing to pay 552 USD for your kingdom newsletter?
Are you (typical American) willing to pay 150 USD per year for your newsletter?
Or. If you compare it in NMS:
Someone from Estonia would be setback $10.80 in their spending power to attend a SCA event (not being an SCA member) compared to typical American.
If you compare this to the event price (in the states), assuming 10 USD, NMS would double the event price for a typical event.
The truth is really very sad. In some countries playing SCA is only possible for the upper class.
B. VOTE: The Grand Council voted specifically on the following questions:
The weighted total = -43
Total number of votes = 29
Question 2: Should Canada also be excluded from the NMS?
The weighted total = -13
Total number of votes = 29
Question 3: Should Mexico also be excluded from the NMS?
The weighted total = +5
Total number of votes = 11
The smaller number is probably due to the fact that Mexico was in a later email, not with the above questions.
Under the weighting scheme, a negative number signifies a negative vote, while a positive number signifies a positive vote on the question.
Commentary: The Grand Council members were asked to give reasons for their votes on the above questions. For the non-North American branches, they are:
Commentary relative to the Canadian branches is:
Side discussion of whether the non-USA, non-Canadian members receive anything of substance in exchange for membership fees was funneled aside as being addressed in restructuring proposals.
3) FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SCA, INC.
The Grand Council remains concerned that the NMS is an inappropriate response to what appears to be ongoing financial troubles in the corporate office. Specific comments include:
In light of these concerns, the Grand Council has discussed the following proposal. Although it was developed from commentary by members of the Grand Council, a final vote was not possible before the holidays. It will be taken during the first week of January, and the results forwarded electronically to the Directors as a supplement to this report.
It is further proposed that the Board of Directors publish a full disclosure of the results (to the fullest extent allowed by law), that they open a discussion with the membership regarding implementation of the suggestions and recommendations produced, publicly responding to each recommendation, by either accepting or declining (giving reasons for declining if that is the option chosen), and providing a time table for implementation of suggestions.
The Board of Directors should thereafter make a detailed disclosure of fiscal information (in addition to the 990s and other reports currently required by law) on a regular basis in an annual report, and present their strategic plan for budgeting and cost reduction in the same publication along with benchmarks and progress reports.
4) INSURANCE FAQ
Because of the number of questions that arose during their discussion of insurance as an element of what the corporation does for the members and participants of the Society, the GC felt that a FAQ would be a useful thing for the Board to create. The GC has developed the following series of questions that it submits as the basis of such FAQ, which the GC recommends be posted on the sca.org website in some reasonably prominent or logically tagged location. Given the sometimes erratic conveyance of documents and information among the appropriate offices, a publicly-available FAQ seems the best way to keep the information available and consistent to the greatest extent.
Two Subcommittees were formed to take detailed discussions offline, and one older Subcommittee was asked to report:
A. NOMINATING COMMITTEE
The Nominating Committee restructured after the members had Big Cases of Life which stalled the NomCom's efforts. They are regrouping, and plan to launch a new-member drive in the first quarter of 2003. As the committee had gone late enough into the year without announcing Nominations, and while the GC still had well above its quota of members, it was felt that Nominations would be postponed until March, 2003, to conclude around June, 2003.
B. FRANCHISE AND VOTING
As a supplement to several of the proposals, the issue of how to determine who is entitled to vote in local, regional, Kingdom, and Society-wide elections (assuming any such exist) needs to be resolved. A subcommittee was formed to review and address this question. Cedric MacRory was appointed Chair, and a separate mailing list was formed. He reports that they are in the middle of voting on a proposal about voting, and will provide information shortly. This may not appear until the next quarter's Grand Council report.
C. GRAND COUNCIL CHARTER
Given that the GC has evolved since its formation in 1994 and reorganization in 1996-97, a subcommittee is being formed to review whether the charter should be revised for currency. Master Hrolf is the chair.
For more information on the SCA, see the SCA Home Page