We have changed the meet so that it falls on the weekend. So many were skeptical that it would be a good change, but the first year immediately eased their worry. I hope that you can join the meet again. It has really grown in the last several years to include the field in the back. It just keeps filling up so fast now and what used to be baron is used now for camping and vending space.
I’m so glad that you brought some of this up. I never did touch base with the website very much other than here it is and didn’t really explain my plans for it, although most of it is self explanatory now.
Years ago before my presidency of the club we did indeed publish where our money was spent. As I recall we did away with publishing it because Joyce was called by many of our members and asked questions about the balance and different bills. She was spending a lot of time on the phone trying to explain reasons for certain charges and so on. Many of our members don’t understand that our fiscal year ends at July 1st. So when we showed a balance of $20,000 in our bank account in January, folks thought we had $20,000 and we are collecting again for membership, although the $20,000 was already allocated for two more magazines being the spring and summer issues. That’s when the questions would come. Also I think it was around that time the girls, Tonya and Denise, were about to take over the books. Well they wouldn’t have been able to answer any question at the time since they were just introduced to the job.
Another reason we didn’t want to publish our accounts was the space taken up from the magazine. When we spend $10,000+ for a single issue we wanted to get as many stories and such in as we could. With Kaitlyn having some experience now with how the bills are paid and what are the reasons for the bills we may revisit the situation and take a look at publishing a record of our accounts again in a simpler form.
With that said I can somewhat give you an account of your membership. Free entry onto the grounds is a benefit as you mentioned along with free advertising in the for sale or wanted ads. $20 of it goes towards just paying for the magazine. Years ago, again before my presidency, it cost about $4 an issue. The cost of publishing a single magazine is now closer to $5. If our club was a larger size we could probably get that number down. Of course the more you order the lower the cost applies. Another $3 per member pays Kaitlyn for her services. She is indeed the only one on the board that is paid for her services. A little over $1 goes to pay for the complimentary license plate that you receive for attending the VMBC meet. If you add that all together it comes up to a little over $24. Now the postage for the magazines , the envelopes they arrive in, your membership card, any office equipment, and office supplies is not figured into the $25 membership, and much more little things that I couldn’t list. This would be a book. That’s just a quick dissect of your membership. Actually the membership fee hasn’t covered the items listed for years. The only way that we have made ends meet is the profit from the swap meet and show at Portland. The problem is that in the past few years rental of the grounds has went up along with utilities. I’m sure you can relate to your gas, electric, sewage, and water bills going up. We also pay for porto potties, golf carts, trash collection, insurance, trophies, building rental, any damage that the grounds has sustained, such as when the motor home destroyed the grass during the great flood, and so on. It’s just now that the show profits are cutting to close to not having enough money to cover the many various bills from the show, not to mention any small reserve for an emergency.
Now for the reason for raising the dues. Aside from the $25 not covering the membership benefits, As stated in the past magazines, my dad, Garrett Chafin, is resigning from the editors position. He has continued to do this for free all throughout his term. The club has paid for half of his computer. That’s it! We have advertised in several past issues that his position will need to be filled. No one has come forward to do this in the last two years! One person did come forward two years ago, but she cannot do it now due to life changing events. If no one doesn’t come forward we may have to pay a person to assemble the magazine.
As for this website, so far no money has been paid by the VMBC club members. I have personally paid $3,060.00 out of my own pocket for this website to be a reality. Also 99% of the information on this website is my own time and in most cases, wording also. Because only a few board members understand the importance of a website, I feel I have to prove to them why it is important before asking for the funding. Now this website isn’t the grand website that the Antique Automobile Club of America or the Antique Motorcycle Club of America has built, but we don’t have $10,000 – $15,000 into it either. I believe the AMCA wishes you to be a member for the reasons of their online library. They have a lot of time and money wrapped up in all those old ads, catalogs, and owners manuals that are available for viewing. If you consider we spend $40,000+ a year for 4 issues compared to the $3,000 I have invested in this website it’s a much better deal because it should last 5 years and reach tons and tons more people. Of course it will need an update every so often, but still it will come nowhere near the cost of $200,000 in 5 years.
I feel this website is necessary for our club to grow in membership and stay the largest club of its kind. It really needs to be available to everyone that has access to a computer, including the forums. That’s why I pushed a forum to take top priority with my website designer. I think many folks including the younger generation needs a way to ask questions of the older generation for answers. If they have no way to reach us then why would they want to be a part of our club, or how would they learn how to fix a 60 year old scooter of whatever make? So far I am very happy with our website outcome, although I am still quite unsure how to do some tasks. Still lots of learning to do.
As for the online VMBC magazine, only two magazines have been uploaded. The first issue was for the website designer to set a place for it on the website. The second issue was for my training so to speak. You see the website had already been online for a few months, and I hadn’t tried to upload a magazine yet. I wanted to make sure I didn’t need any special programs to do this, and that I personally could do it before the warranty (if you will) was up on the website. So to answer your other question the VMBC magazine will not be uploaded every issue. Perhaps just one issue per year will be uploaded. I did get some great feedback that members did like the idea because they could read it wherever they were by bringing it up on their phone, I-pad, any computer, or whatever. It was just a process that has run its course to make a somewhat updated copy for sample. Another copy probably won’t be uploaded for some time.
Sorry it has taken me a while to answer back, but answers like this take me a while to type (chicken peck) out. I hope this has answered your questions.