Saturday, May 1, 2010

And we're back...

Back to the whole finance issue -

They struck the list of suggestions; they substituted: Refer to the Board of the Directors and Finance Committee, development of policies, procedures and/or rules as appropriate relating to fiscal planning and financial reporting.  President St. Peter informed the body that this was already being planned and launches at the board meeting tomorrow.

But we still had to vote to refer it. And we did and it was referred.

The final new business item was withdrawn because it was so similar to the previous one!

It's 3:52 p.m. and we're done with new business!

The president of PSA, Kelly Morris-Adair, then awarded the "Official of the Year" to Gale Tanger.  Kelly is finishing up her term this year, but will now be the PSA representative to the USFS board.

What's left? The budget! Susan Keogh presented by the budget and then Lucy Brennan got up and asked to have $100,000 from the operations budget, specifically staff salaries. Morry Stillwell called it unfair burden to the staff and asked to vote down the request. Voted down!! and Lucy, if your skating magazine is late in arrival, don't be surprised.

George Rossano wanted to know if they could defray some of the capital projects such as the new membership database for a couple of years. Another bad idea - USFS is decades behind in technology and developing a database isn't inexpensive. He moved to push the $$ for the membership database software out another year. ($500K) Voted down! and George, if your membership record is lost when the database finally dies, you shouldn't be surprised!

And after all that, we approved the budget!!

Nominating Report:
Dann got up and read the list of the board members being elected.
Athletes elected to the board: Lindsey Weber, Mark Ladwig, Brandon Forsyth and I missed one of the names. sorry....
Committee chairs were approved by the President.
USOC rep: Charlie Cyr & ISU rep: Gale Tanger

New nominating committee members:
Elliot Schwartz, Anne Cammet, Kim Moore, Kathleen Krieger, Larry Kriwanek  & Phil Deaver
Athletes: Kathleen Renzie, Lindsey Weber, Angela Nikodenov (I know I spelled that wrong)

Finally we got to see the Haydenettes World Performance - very cool! 

We adjourned at 4:48 pm! Yeah!

Is it time for the President's Reception?  Yep!

New Business

Time for new business!!

1) Presented by Gerald Miele to add subsection 11 to rule 3432 to read as follows:
B. Event Referee
  A. May bring an electronic format of the rulebook, but no other form of electronic communication system to the judges stand.
This will give the event referee the opportunity to have access to the rulebook during an event in an electronic so that he/she may make an informed decision prior to leaving the "field of play."

The debate was mostly against allowing it. One of the speakers was an individual who didn't even like the electronic version and that we should have printed copies. Voted down.

2. Presented by Mark Ladwig, Athlete Delegate
Requesting to adopt a fill-up rule for pairs and dance at Junior Championships. This would promote younger dance and pairs by having the maximum number of competitors at the U.S. Junior Nationals. Passed!

3. Wendy Enzmann proposed to amen rule 3432. IJS Duties of Event Officials - All Disciplines
Allowing a technical controller to to be an assistant technical specialist in discipline in which they are certified at a non-qualifying competition. This would expand the pool of technical panel members for non-qualifying competitions.  It was requested to be made urgent - then that was amended to have the date of June 1st.  Everyone wants to use it as soon as possible. 

4. Was a very confusing request about changes to MR 34.11- Basic Skills competitions We sent it to committee.

5. Request to create a competition rule that would withhold a sanction from any competition or event that limits photographing or video-taping by parents or legal guardians of their own skater. The guy asking for the rule seems to own professional level camera and wants to be able to use it at event - cuz the rest of the parents with smaller, easy to hide camera are doing it anyway. There are so many aspects of the organization that would be impacted by a decision/rule like this.
Referred to committee - where I hope it dies a fast death...

6. Request to require a formal business plan covering five years including a five-year LINE ITEM budget. Seriously?  That is just not realistic and cumbersome!  The individual who made the request then requested to refer her request, not to the finance committee, but to the board. The written proposal wasn't written as a rule, but more as an idea. Very general in its writing. Tom James, legal counsel suggested that the language be clarified and the maker of the motion agreed and we took a break while they worked on the words!

Break time!!!

And my mood was so good...

Lunch was great! My mood upbeat.

Then I returned to the meeting room and we were back to #302! 

We were tortured with a request to rescind and then a request by the same guy to take back his request to rescind so he could refer it back to committee. The adult skating committee has discussed the topic ad nauseum and there was no need to send it back to committee.

Next up was the Administrative/Legal group (Winston Burbank, group coordinator). Winston, as well as all other coordinators and chairs, praised the staff at headquarters. It is praise well deserved as the staff are wonderful to work with!

Time for the report from Terri Levine on the 2011-2014 Strategic Plan. And she brought a powerpoint! Oh joy!  We heard about the goals for five strategic area - Marketing & Communications, Leadership Development, Revenue Framework, Membership and Athlete Development. There are no tactical plans yet, but we have goals. The board approved the plan and now it is on to implementation.

And no items isolated in Administrative/Legal RFAs.

We had one item isolated by Dorothy in the board's new business regarding the rules for the new Introductory Membership category. Since we had amended the bylaw regarding the introductory membership, Dorothy wanted to make sure we had the language in the rule was not conflicting with the bylaw. Easy and done.

Time for new business!  Be back with that info

Last half of the morning...

 And we're back in the cold room... (I know there is sun somewhere!)

We've reconvened with a discussion around #302 - lowering the passing average of the adult and masters MIF test. An amendment was added about the coding of the tests and names of the tests. For instance, when an adult takes the Intermediate MIF test with the lower passing average, it will be coded at HQ, it would be the Adult Intermediate MIF (AIM)  not just Intermediate MIF (IM). There would also be a Master code: MIM. Seems to be sensible. And the it was easily approved to be amended. 

And you think we would move on from #302, but NO. Some guy stands up and asks to rescind #302 in its entirety. What? I was surprised that there was actually support for the rescission. 

Diminishing skill sets. Those words were in the request for action written by the Adult Committee. Every time they are used in the discussion about adults, the speaker mentions that "those are the words from the adult committee" to make sure everyone understands that we are not dissing the adult community.  Poor Lexi, I'm sure she regrets it.

And the discussion went it on and on until Janis Engel asked to postpone the item of business until after lunch. Agreed!

Rocky Mountain FSC guy isolates #308 - to rescind the decision eliminating qualifying rounds at U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships. Rick Kern, chair of the competitions committee spoke about the reason for the request and that it came from competitors and officials from the last year's championships. As a collegiate competitor, it would be a bummer to travel and be eliminated early in the week. Qualifying rounds make it more difficult for clubs to host the competition because of the amount of the ice needed.

The vote was overwhelmingly against rescission and we were able to move on. Finally Hal was able to leave the dais at 11:45 am.  Considering that the technical services group used to take hours and hours to get through their RFAs, it's impressive that it only took a couple of hours.

The morning ended with the remembrance of those we lost this year. 

Lunch time!!

Obviously the coffee kicked in

President St. Peter called the meeting to order promptly at 8:00 a.m. I'm pretty sure that the number of people in the room at the time was equal to the number of people still in line at the Starbuck stand trying to get their morning coffee.

We watched a video of Charlie & Meryl's original dance from the Olympics - one of my favorites! 

First up was the announcement about the 1961 World Team Tribute film, RISE. Twin sisters from "LookALike" productions are the producers for the movie. The two are very familiar with skating as having worked with ABC and NBC sports. They wan the film to be a story of humanity and how the dreams of those who perished in the crash have not gone unfulfilled.

An impressive group of skaters have stepped forward to be part of the film. The producers are gathering in one room (!) Peggy Flemming, Dorothy Hamill, Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano and Michelle Kwan, all of whom have benefited from the Memorial Fund.  Paul George, who was a student of Maribel Vinson-Owens and a friend to many of those who perished on the plane, spoke about Maribel.

The cost of the movie will be about $1.3 million and David Raith, USFS Executive Director, has been raising money and I know he will be successful. The movie will premiere on February 17, 2011 on the 50th Anniversary of the crash.  We were all given this magnet frame/promo.

The business meeting started with Membership Development group  (and their leader - Mike Meyers) doing their business. BL Wylie shared wonderful stories and pictures of basic skill skaters and how the program is wonderful success with so much more potential for growth.  Lots of "Aawww's" for the cuties!

The technical group led by Hal Marron was up next to talk about the majority of RFAs with only one isolation. #307 regarding international skaters wanting to compete in the U.S. qualifying competitions. The athletes were the ones who isolated it with concerns for dance teams and synchro teams.

Hal had worked with the athletes to create acceptable language for all.

With so few items isolated, there is much more relaxed atmosphere in the building.

Then that ended with a new isolated item - #346 - the Intermediate Triple Jump. The RFA was regarding having the option of a triple in the Intermediate short program.  One woman decided to share the story of her grand-daughter who was injured by while trying to learn a triple.   After a nice lengthy debate ensued.  Then the vote - too close to call.

Time to do tallies by HQ staff. Plus it gives a good chance to stretch.  The vote was 330 to rescind and 510 to not rescind and for the triple jump option to remain in the Intermediate short.

Ah, the old times of Governing Council are back... And those usual annoying people have woken up.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Short time!

We came back after the break at 4:15 p.m. The three isolated items from the Athletes Services Group were on the docket.

Heather Nemier, the individual who isolated the items, requested to amend and clarify the list of individuals who would serve on the each of the subcommittees of the newly restructured athlete development committee. It was so basic: Of the two additional members selected by the chair and the national subcommittee vice chair, one should be an athlete.  Easy. We passed it and Heather was able to withdraw the isolation of 102 & 103.

Then something happened that was even more shocking!! President St. Peter adjourned the meeting at 4:35 p.m. - a full hour ahead of time!

Susan Nymen (sorry if I spelled your name wrong) called it the Stepford Governing Council as there is hardly any dissension. Maybe it's the California air, who knows!

Now we have a nice long break before tonight's Athletes dinner. Won't be live blogging from that, but my goal is to take lots of pictures and post those both on Facebook and the blog.


Bylaw Joy!

Since the silence of the isolations have sped up the meeting, we dove into the Exhibits for all the bylaw changes.

Rules Chair Heather Nemier was up front presenting each of the exhibits with the help of Dorothy.  The flow of the meeting almost hit a wall when Dorothy started picking out problems with the first exhibit and explained to the group that some of the issues need to taken one at a time!  Groan!!! Fortunately we were able to vote to change the procedures.

Exhibit A passed, Exhibit B passed, Exhibit C passed, then D, E, F & G. Then we actually hit the wall with Exhibit H (the introductory membership).  A proviso to have Exhibit H take effect June 1st instead of September 1st. But then people were obviously waking up and started to nit-pick the proviso. Why June 1st instead of July 1st when the membership year starts? The idea was to make it easier for clubs with summer ice starting in June. Because of the fuss, it was switched to July 1st.  That proviso passed and you would think we could move on... BUT NO!!

The question was raised if introductory members could join as individual members and not with a club. We took a break to work out the language and added information that clearly states that it was only good with clubs. When it was brought forward with new language, all the editors had to word smith the language more. 

Finally Exhibit H passed and we now have introductory memberships!

Break time!!!