As usual, even the online discussions are beginning to make me feel like the
Annual meetings. I would rather be stripped naked, smeared with peanut
butter and thrown into a pit of writhing weasels, because people constantly
manage to get off on tangents (valid though they may be) while discussing a
Byron: I've already e-mailed you privately. Everyone has pretty much said
what I would, so I'm not going to go into much of a "please don't go"
speech. The bottom line is, you've actually done a lot better than you
think you have, and you're taking this "taking responsibility" a little too
far. Things appear to be finally turning around, with some solid proposals.
What we need to do is organize effectively. NOW. No waiting for the Annual
meeting. It's quite clear that things have got to be changed, and we, as
the BOD, need to discuss them in a logical fashion, not willy-nilly.
This whole thing snowballed out of control after I made my proposal because
Carl apparently interpreted my proposal as one to have the Annual replace
the CQ. That was NEVER OUR INTENTION, but because Carl brought it to the
ICG-D list BEFORE THE PROPOSAL HAD EVEN BEEN PROPERLY DISCUSSED ON THIS
LIST, the whole thing spun out of control. Granted, there was a good
discussion about the CQ, memberships, etc. -- this should have been brought
The central problem here is communication. Chris Ballis and others have it
right, as I've intimated: The ICG cannot continue as an effective
organization as it now stands. Right now, we as participants have to decide
that more work is going to have to be done to get things back on course, and
chiefly among that is communication. E-mail is going a long way toward
that. Part of that problem is solved by this, but there has to be much more
interaction than there has been in the past. Finally having membership
records straightened out would be another.
Here's a novel question from Nora: What exactly does the Corresponding
Secretary do? It sounds like not enough >correspondence< is going on, and
Byron winds up doing a lot of it. I'm guilty of going to him as much as
anyone. I think more responsiblity needs to be given to the CS in future
duties (I'll talk about that on the ICG-D list).
> Just over a week ago, I sent the Board an e-mail message about
> next steps. In it, I asked for a motion to increase the members'
> subscription fee for The Costumer's Quarterly to $15 a year,
> effective January 1, 2001, in order to cover the cost of printing
> and mailing it. I also asked for a second to Bruce Mai's motion to
> increase ICG dues to $10 a year and to make the ICG Annual a
> benefit of membership. A week later, there has been neither a
> motion to increase the CQ subscription nor a second to Bruce's
> motion. The former proposal is not on the floor. The latter has
> failed for lack of a second. The Board and I seem to be differing
> markedly, since it apparently wants not even to discuss either
> increase formally, and I do not know what direction it wants to
Okay. Let's take this one step at a time, people. No more tangents. We
need formal proposals and solutions regarding the idea of raising membership
dues. What do the chapters get for it, considering their reluctance (the
SLCG's in the past, as well?).
1. Raise membership dues. There is justified reluctance to this because
of the CQ's history in the past. The problem is now effectively behind us.
Carl will produce a publication on time, no matter what (unlike some editors
in the past who waited until they got content). Since Carl is saying he
wants this to be more text intensive, I say change the format and make the
CQ more of a newsletter -- no heavier stock cover. This will bring down
costs and be easier to produce. If the content justifies it, he can always
go back to the original format. Every member will receive it. It's the
only way to give the ICG members any kind of value. Also, some mechanism
must be put into place to make sure members are actually getting their
publication -- the Editor/Distributor cannot just send them out and depend
on the US Snail to deliver them. As part of the process of winning back the
confidence of the ICG general members, there's going to have to be follow
In addition, make membership cards and certificate cards, whatever. Maybe a
list of members with volunteered bios -- I recall getting one of those when
we first became a Guild chapter (I think). If we can get value added
discounts like John O proposed, fine, although that'd be hard to work. The
SLCG now has a discount at a fabric store in town that Nora works for -- if
that was/could be extended for ICG members, then a whole network could
spring up whenever someone is in town -- perhaps something could be worked
through the listings of the Whole Costumers Catalogue. The final value
added leads to our original proposal:
2. Make the Annual part of the membership packet. It's pretty inexpensive
to produce, really, especially if we can distribute them through Guild
chapters. Everyone got off on a damn tangent so that there was never any
real discussion, as Byron said.
3. While I thought Lisa H's example was a bit bizarre at first, after
reading her latest post on the ICG-D list, it's sounding more logical. The
ICG must reorganize itself. We need discussion of how to set up lines of
2-way communication between the Guild and its chapters as soon as we've
decided the issues of how much to raise membership dues and what it will
On the issue of the Portland Guild -- they want out -- fine. They may have
been a model chapter in some respects, Nora and my experience with them was
that they were not co-operative in other ways, merely being critical of
others efforts without constructive suggestions for change. Their exit,
while regrettable, will not have much effect on the Guild, unless we allow
it to erode morale. This cannot happen.
We need a plan NOW. We need concrete proposals on the table. Once we have
recommendations, ONLY THEN do we take it to the ICG-D list and our chapter
members to discuss. We then take feedback and come up with some final
decisions. By acting decisively, and quickly, we can re-assure the general
membership. By getting the CQ out and obvious, it will show that things are
finally in hand.
On the subject of the Guild's finances: Sharon, while your report was
concise, my eyes still glazed over. At this point, how much money does the
ICG still need to have to not only get everything paid off, but have a
little operating money until membership dues and the other issues have been
The SLCG has yet to even meet yet -- we will do so in about a month's time.
The biggest thing on my agenda will be what kinds of things the SLUTS or the
ICG membership can do to quickly raise some money. It may be as simple as
kicking in a few bucks on a one-time basis on the assurance that things are
finally changing, to doing fundraisers, etc. Any and all ideas will be
discussed. And I will report them here after that meeting.
The time is NOW. Let's get this done. Byron's threatened resignation
aside, these issues have to be acted upon, whether he's gone or not.
Otherwise, we might as well just go our seperate ways.
Let us begin by discussion of issue #1.
Co-Editor, ICG Annual