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Old January 28th 05, 01:46 PM
Petrel
 
Posts: n/a
Default Reforming the Board of Delegates

According to the bylaws,

"The Board of Delegates is responsible for the management of the USCF. It
shall formulate general policy, adopt the annual budget, and write the
Bylaws."

and,

"The Executive Board shall manage the affairs of the Federation, including
employment and other contracts, between meetings of the Board of Delegates
and shall perform other duties as specified in these Bylaws. The Executive
Board shall be subject to the authority of the Board of Delegates, and none
of its acts shall conflict with actions taken by the Board of Delegates."

However, the reality is a bit different. Does anyone think that the Board
of Delegates has been functioning as if it is "responsible for the
management of the USCF"? So far as I can tell - of course I've never been a
delegate and those who have can immediately say I don't know what I'm
talking about, but this is how it looks from the outside - the Delegates are
sort of an annual hurdle which the EB has to jump over. For 364 days of the
year the Delegates don't exist as a body, have no power, and are not
managing everything. Then, on the Annual Meeting day, they come together
and have a welter of reports and motions thrown at them, and then they
disperse, leaving things much as they were.

Frankly, I think that this is one of the problems we have with the USCF. We
have a group of 7 people running the show pretty much completely; illness or
resignations can take this number even lower; add into this a partisan
split, and you end up with the USCF being run by a voting bloc of 5, or 4,
or 3, with pretty much supreme power. It would be good if the common sense
of the many could somehow be added into the mix, but this is hard for
several reasons.

First, there are way too many delegates. 125 is just too many.

Secondly, an unconscionable percentage of the delegates do not come to the
delegates' meeting! This is just unacceptable.

Thirdly, our system of alternate delegates is just crazy. 125 delegates and
125 alternates! It means that even if you lose the election at the state
level, you have a good chance of voting in the delegates' meeting, since so
many elected delegates don't come. The meeting thereupon becomes a grab bag
of winning and losing delegate candidates, with no real coherence and no
continuity.

Fourth, there is no way for the delegates to affect board policy between
delegates' meetings. There is a provision in the bylaws for special
delegates' meetings to be called by the EB - but not by the delegates
themselves.

Fifth, it is not that easy for the ordinary USCF member to find out who
his/her delegates are, much less how to get in touch with them. If you go
to this page at uschess.org,
http://www.uschess.org/org/govern/
you will find a section entitled "Information about the Delegates", but this
section omits to tell you WHO THEY ARE. After some Yahoo searching I
finally found this page
http://www.uschess.org/2004resultseb-del.php
with the UNOFFICIAL delegate results, but as for the official ones, I throw
up my hands; where are they? Anyone? As for the contact information for
the delegates, this used to exist - you can find the phone numbers of the
1998 delegates if you want - but if there is any organized presentation of
information for the 2004 delegates, I couldn't find it. Do the delegates
THEMSELVES have the phone numbers and e-mails of other delegates? Could
they contact each other if they wanted to? Some of the readers of this post
must be delegates; anyone?

Well, here is my Petrel pronouncement (TM) about how everything should be
fixed:

(a) All delegates should plan on coming to all delegate meetings. State
associations should be encouraged to provide some expenses to delegates who
cannot otherwise afford to attend. But, in any case, any elected delegate
who does not show up at a meeting should be required to show cause why
he/she should not be stripped of his/her position and barred from running
for delegate for a 5-year period.

(b) The names and valid contact information of all delegates should be
prominently displayed on the USCF website.

(c) The number of delegates should be reduced to a reasonable number, like
40, combining low-membership states into multistate units for the purposes
of the elections. Eliminate alternates altogether.

(d) Teleconference meetings of the delegates should be held in December and
April.

(e) The bylaws should be amended so that 50% of the serving delegates can
require the EB to schedule a meeting or teleconference delegates' meeting.

In this way the delegates would begin to function as a deliberative body
with some continuity to it. I believe it would relieve some of the
political atmosphere surrounding EB actions also. Much of the rgcp
politicking around the Crossville move, for example, has to do with the fact
that a decision gets made in October, and there is no way to do anything
about it until August, which means there is no way to do anything about it
at all.

Anyway, I'm trying to be brief, so

petrel


  #2   Report Post  
Old January 28th 05, 06:39 PM
Bruce Leverett
 
Posts: n/a
Default

As you probably know, this topic comes up fairly often on RGCP, usually
when there is some major governance screw-up.

A few months ago, I was thinking along some of the same lines: there
are too many Delegates, they only meet once a year, they don't have
time to consider things, etc. I thought, "what organization would be
crazy enough to have a two-level governance structure like this"? But
then it occurred to me, that public companies also have two levels.
They have a BOD, and above the BOD, they have stockholders. There are
way too many stockholders, they come together only once a year, they
don't know what's going on, and so on.

So how do public companies hold it together in spite of these
handicaps? As it happens, my employer was holding their annual
stockholders' meeting around then. I didn't go to it (it was on the
wrong side of the continent), but I glanced at the announcements, to
compare them with USCF. Here are some observations:

(1) Stockholders aren't expected to approve a budget. This makes sense
because:
(a) most of them don't know how to read a budget anyhow;
(b) those that know how to read a generic budget, don't know how
to read the budget for this particular company.
Nevertheless, the forecast and actual financial data for the past
few years appear in the annual report, which comes out in plenty
of time for the annual meeting. Stockholders can read them, they
just can't vote on them.

I gather that in 2003, the USCF Delegates approved a budget, but
they knew that it was largely fiction, so they passed some
resolution to the effect that the EB could tinker with it as
necessary. This abdication of their principal responsibility
looks bad, but what else could they do?

(2) On the other hand, the stockholders elected the BOD; by comparison,
in USCF the Delegates don't elect the EB. USCF governance has
changed in the last 10 years, but 10 years ago, the Delegates
didn't elect the PB either.

Again, the public company version makes sense. Stockholders may
not be able to tell good guys from bad guys, but the BOD has to be
accountable to somebody, and who else could it be?

(3) The agenda overall was pretty short. About four items: electing
BOD members, appointing auditors, authorizing stock to be used as
incentives and in an employee stock purchase plan. There was
expected to be actual disagreement over incentives, but presumably
most of those in attendance had already made up their minds. It
was also possible, in principle, for other agenda items to be
brought up at the meeting; I didn't hear anything about that
happening.

Overall, it looked as if an annual stockholders meeting was run a lot
differently from a USCF Delegates meeting, and the lines of
accountability and authority are a lot different, too. If the
Delegates' Meeting sometimes seems like a zoo, it's not necessarily the
fault of the Delegates, but may be partly due to the framework in which
they have to work.

Petrel wrote:
According to the bylaws,

"The Board of Delegates is responsible for the management of the

USCF. It
shall formulate general policy, adopt the annual budget, and write

the
Bylaws."

and,

"The Executive Board shall manage the affairs of the Federation,

including
employment and other contracts, between meetings of the Board of

Delegates
and shall perform other duties as specified in these Bylaws. The

Executive
Board shall be subject to the authority of the Board of Delegates,

and none
of its acts shall conflict with actions taken by the Board of

Delegates."

However, the reality is a bit different. Does anyone think that the

Board
of Delegates has been functioning as if it is "responsible for the
management of the USCF"? So far as I can tell - of course I've never

been a
delegate and those who have can immediately say I don't know what I'm


talking about, but this is how it looks from the outside - the

Delegates are
sort of an annual hurdle which the EB has to jump over. For 364 days

of the
year the Delegates don't exist as a body, have no power, and are not
managing everything. Then, on the Annual Meeting day, they come

together
and have a welter of reports and motions thrown at them, and then

they
disperse, leaving things much as they were.

Frankly, I think that this is one of the problems we have with the

USCF. We
have a group of 7 people running the show pretty much completely;

illness or
resignations can take this number even lower; add into this a

partisan
split, and you end up with the USCF being run by a voting bloc of 5,

or 4,
or 3, with pretty much supreme power. It would be good if the common

sense
of the many could somehow be added into the mix, but this is hard for


several reasons.

First, there are way too many delegates. 125 is just too many.

Secondly, an unconscionable percentage of the delegates do not come

to the
delegates' meeting! This is just unacceptable.

Thirdly, our system of alternate delegates is just crazy. 125

delegates and
125 alternates! It means that even if you lose the election at the

state
level, you have a good chance of voting in the delegates' meeting,

since so
many elected delegates don't come. The meeting thereupon becomes a

grab bag
of winning and losing delegate candidates, with no real coherence and

no
continuity.

Fourth, there is no way for the delegates to affect board policy

between
delegates' meetings. There is a provision in the bylaws for special
delegates' meetings to be called by the EB - but not by the delegates


themselves.

Fifth, it is not that easy for the ordinary USCF member to find out

who
his/her delegates are, much less how to get in touch with them. If

you go
to this page at uschess.org,
http://www.uschess.org/org/govern/
you will find a section entitled "Information about the Delegates",

but this
section omits to tell you WHO THEY ARE. After some Yahoo searching I


finally found this page
http://www.uschess.org/2004resultseb-del.php
with the UNOFFICIAL delegate results, but as for the official ones, I

throw
up my hands; where are they? Anyone? As for the contact information

for
the delegates, this used to exist - you can find the phone numbers of

the
1998 delegates if you want - but if there is any organized

presentation of
information for the 2004 delegates, I couldn't find it. Do the

delegates
THEMSELVES have the phone numbers and e-mails of other delegates?

Could
they contact each other if they wanted to? Some of the readers of

this post
must be delegates; anyone?

Well, here is my Petrel pronouncement (TM) about how everything

should be
fixed:

(a) All delegates should plan on coming to all delegate meetings.

State
associations should be encouraged to provide some expenses to

delegates who
cannot otherwise afford to attend. But, in any case, any elected

delegate
who does not show up at a meeting should be required to show cause

why
he/she should not be stripped of his/her position and barred from

running
for delegate for a 5-year period.

(b) The names and valid contact information of all delegates should

be
prominently displayed on the USCF website.

(c) The number of delegates should be reduced to a reasonable number,

like
40, combining low-membership states into multistate units for the

purposes
of the elections. Eliminate alternates altogether.

(d) Teleconference meetings of the delegates should be held in

December and
April.

(e) The bylaws should be amended so that 50% of the serving delegates

can
require the EB to schedule a meeting or teleconference delegates'

meeting.

In this way the delegates would begin to function as a deliberative

body
with some continuity to it. I believe it would relieve some of the
political atmosphere surrounding EB actions also. Much of the rgcp
politicking around the Crossville move, for example, has to do with

the fact
that a decision gets made in October, and there is no way to do

anything
about it until August, which means there is no way to do anything

about it
at all.

Anyway, I'm trying to be brief, so

petrel


  #3   Report Post  
Old January 28th 05, 07:04 PM
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Bruce Leverett wrote:

A few months ago, I was thinking along some of the same lines: there
are too many Delegates, they only meet once a year, they don't have
time to consider things, etc. I thought, "what organization would be
crazy enough to have a two-level governance structure like this"?

But
then it occurred to me, that public companies also have two levels.
They have a BOD, and above the BOD, they have stockholders. There

are
way too many stockholders, they come together only once a year, they
don't know what's going on, and so on.

[etc.]

Bruce, this is a thoughtful response, but I think there's a problem
with making the delegates analogous to stockholders. I would suggest
that the voting members are analogous to the stockholders. In reality,
we have a THREE-level structure, not a two-level structure. Note that
the bylaws also provide for an annual members' meeting, which is more
properly analogous to the stockholders' meeting. The Board of
Delegates is analogous to the Board of Directors of the corporation,
and the EB is analogous to the "Executive Committee of the Board of
Directors". Of course it's hard to see the Delegates of the USCF as
analogous to a corporate Board, because there are so many of them and
so on, which is why I would like to see a smaller and more committed
and more clueful Board of Delegates.

petrel

  #4   Report Post  
Old January 28th 05, 08:41 PM
George John
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Petrel wrote:

[SNIP]

Fifth, it is not that easy for the ordinary USCF member to find out

who
his/her delegates are, much less how to get in touch with them.


[SNIP]

This message is mostly for the benefit of Texas USCF members. The list
of Texas Delegates and Alternates can be found at:

http://www.georgejohn.bcentralhost.c...USCF_Delegates

Texas USCF members (as well as others) are welcomed to contact me.

Best regards,

George John
USCF Delegate, Texas
President, Texas Chess Association
http://www.texaschess.org

  #5   Report Post  
Old January 28th 05, 08:52 PM
Tom Martinak
 
Posts: n/a
Default

This message is mostly for the benefit of Texas USCF members. The list
of Texas Delegates and Alternates can be found at...


Similarly, the Pennsylvania Delegates and Aleternates are available at:
http://www.pscfchess.org/governance/

- Tom Martinak



  #6   Report Post  
Old January 29th 05, 11:11 PM
RMille9601
 
Posts: n/a
Default

The workshops held at the US Open before the delgates meeting are an important
part of the delgates meeting and should not be overlooked.

Russell Miller Chelan WA
former WA Delgate and has attended several US Opens staring in 1963.
  #7   Report Post  
Old January 30th 05, 06:05 AM
Angelo DePalma
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Corporations have de jure multi-leveled (federal) governance structures but
in essence one person (or a couple) runs the company 99% of the time. Either
the CEO or the chairman calls the shots for most of the year. These may be
removed by the BOD or even the stockholders under certain circumstances. But
it's always the key officer(s) who decide(s) how day to day operations go.
Depending on the company "important" decisions (like moving HQ to Outer
Slobovia) may be made by the board.

Contrast this with the USCF mess, where dozens and dozens of people nobody's
ever heard of (except for readers of this god-forsaken group) pop in and
out, do all sorts of mischief, then disappear and re-appear a decade later.

I'd like to buy all of you luxury berths on the Andrea D'oria.



"Bruce Leverett" wrote in message
oups.com...
As you probably know, this topic comes up fairly often on RGCP, usually
when there is some major governance screw-up.

A few months ago, I was thinking along some of the same lines: there
are too many Delegates, they only meet once a year, they don't have
time to consider things, etc. I thought, "what organization would be
crazy enough to have a two-level governance structure like this"? But
then it occurred to me, that public companies also have two levels.
They have a BOD, and above the BOD, they have stockholders. There are
way too many stockholders, they come together only once a year, they
don't know what's going on, and so on.

So how do public companies hold it together in spite of these
handicaps? As it happens, my employer was holding their annual
stockholders' meeting around then. I didn't go to it (it was on the
wrong side of the continent), but I glanced at the announcements, to
compare them with USCF. Here are some observations:

(1) Stockholders aren't expected to approve a budget. This makes sense
because:
(a) most of them don't know how to read a budget anyhow;
(b) those that know how to read a generic budget, don't know how
to read the budget for this particular company.
Nevertheless, the forecast and actual financial data for the past
few years appear in the annual report, which comes out in plenty
of time for the annual meeting. Stockholders can read them, they
just can't vote on them.

I gather that in 2003, the USCF Delegates approved a budget, but
they knew that it was largely fiction, so they passed some
resolution to the effect that the EB could tinker with it as
necessary. This abdication of their principal responsibility
looks bad, but what else could they do?

(2) On the other hand, the stockholders elected the BOD; by comparison,
in USCF the Delegates don't elect the EB. USCF governance has
changed in the last 10 years, but 10 years ago, the Delegates
didn't elect the PB either.

Again, the public company version makes sense. Stockholders may
not be able to tell good guys from bad guys, but the BOD has to be
accountable to somebody, and who else could it be?

(3) The agenda overall was pretty short. About four items: electing
BOD members, appointing auditors, authorizing stock to be used as
incentives and in an employee stock purchase plan. There was
expected to be actual disagreement over incentives, but presumably
most of those in attendance had already made up their minds. It
was also possible, in principle, for other agenda items to be
brought up at the meeting; I didn't hear anything about that
happening.

Overall, it looked as if an annual stockholders meeting was run a lot
differently from a USCF Delegates meeting, and the lines of
accountability and authority are a lot different, too. If the
Delegates' Meeting sometimes seems like a zoo, it's not necessarily the
fault of the Delegates, but may be partly due to the framework in which
they have to work.

Petrel wrote:
According to the bylaws,

"The Board of Delegates is responsible for the management of the

USCF. It
shall formulate general policy, adopt the annual budget, and write

the
Bylaws."

and,

"The Executive Board shall manage the affairs of the Federation,

including
employment and other contracts, between meetings of the Board of

Delegates
and shall perform other duties as specified in these Bylaws. The

Executive
Board shall be subject to the authority of the Board of Delegates,

and none
of its acts shall conflict with actions taken by the Board of

Delegates."

However, the reality is a bit different. Does anyone think that the

Board
of Delegates has been functioning as if it is "responsible for the
management of the USCF"? So far as I can tell - of course I've never

been a
delegate and those who have can immediately say I don't know what I'm


talking about, but this is how it looks from the outside - the

Delegates are
sort of an annual hurdle which the EB has to jump over. For 364 days

of the
year the Delegates don't exist as a body, have no power, and are not
managing everything. Then, on the Annual Meeting day, they come

together
and have a welter of reports and motions thrown at them, and then

they
disperse, leaving things much as they were.

Frankly, I think that this is one of the problems we have with the

USCF. We
have a group of 7 people running the show pretty much completely;

illness or
resignations can take this number even lower; add into this a

partisan
split, and you end up with the USCF being run by a voting bloc of 5,

or 4,
or 3, with pretty much supreme power. It would be good if the common

sense
of the many could somehow be added into the mix, but this is hard for


several reasons.

First, there are way too many delegates. 125 is just too many.

Secondly, an unconscionable percentage of the delegates do not come

to the
delegates' meeting! This is just unacceptable.

Thirdly, our system of alternate delegates is just crazy. 125

delegates and
125 alternates! It means that even if you lose the election at the

state
level, you have a good chance of voting in the delegates' meeting,

since so
many elected delegates don't come. The meeting thereupon becomes a

grab bag
of winning and losing delegate candidates, with no real coherence and

no
continuity.

Fourth, there is no way for the delegates to affect board policy

between
delegates' meetings. There is a provision in the bylaws for special
delegates' meetings to be called by the EB - but not by the delegates


themselves.

Fifth, it is not that easy for the ordinary USCF member to find out

who
his/her delegates are, much less how to get in touch with them. If

you go
to this page at uschess.org,
http://www.uschess.org/org/govern/
you will find a section entitled "Information about the Delegates",

but this
section omits to tell you WHO THEY ARE. After some Yahoo searching I


finally found this page
http://www.uschess.org/2004resultseb-del.php
with the UNOFFICIAL delegate results, but as for the official ones, I

throw
up my hands; where are they? Anyone? As for the contact information

for
the delegates, this used to exist - you can find the phone numbers of

the
1998 delegates if you want - but if there is any organized

presentation of
information for the 2004 delegates, I couldn't find it. Do the

delegates
THEMSELVES have the phone numbers and e-mails of other delegates?

Could
they contact each other if they wanted to? Some of the readers of

this post
must be delegates; anyone?

Well, here is my Petrel pronouncement (TM) about how everything

should be
fixed:

(a) All delegates should plan on coming to all delegate meetings.

State
associations should be encouraged to provide some expenses to

delegates who
cannot otherwise afford to attend. But, in any case, any elected

delegate
who does not show up at a meeting should be required to show cause

why
he/she should not be stripped of his/her position and barred from

running
for delegate for a 5-year period.

(b) The names and valid contact information of all delegates should

be
prominently displayed on the USCF website.

(c) The number of delegates should be reduced to a reasonable number,

like
40, combining low-membership states into multistate units for the

purposes
of the elections. Eliminate alternates altogether.

(d) Teleconference meetings of the delegates should be held in

December and
April.

(e) The bylaws should be amended so that 50% of the serving delegates

can
require the EB to schedule a meeting or teleconference delegates'

meeting.

In this way the delegates would begin to function as a deliberative

body
with some continuity to it. I believe it would relieve some of the
political atmosphere surrounding EB actions also. Much of the rgcp
politicking around the Crossville move, for example, has to do with

the fact
that a decision gets made in October, and there is no way to do

anything
about it until August, which means there is no way to do anything

about it
at all.

Anyway, I'm trying to be brief, so

petrel




  #8   Report Post  
Old January 30th 05, 06:11 AM
Angelo DePalma
 
Posts: n/a
Default

The whole idea of geographic delegates for an organ like USCF is
unfathomably asinine.

At least US Congressional delegates fight for pork. What on earth do the
Texas or Pennsylvania delegates fight for? What do they debate? What do they
seek? What are their stakes, and how do those differ from one state to
another?

Does the NY delegation argue for building a John Fernandez Building in lower
Manhattan?

Does the NJ delegation move to hold the US Championship in beautiful
downtown Parsippany in perpetuity?

Does the Kansas delegation fight for USCF funds to put out cow-**** fires?

WHAT???????????????????

Get rid of them. Put them all in a big burlap bag and drop them into the
ocean like a litter of two-headed kittens. Nobody will miss them but their
mothers (maybe).


"George John" wrote in message
oups.com...
Petrel wrote:

[SNIP]

Fifth, it is not that easy for the ordinary USCF member to find out

who
his/her delegates are, much less how to get in touch with them.


[SNIP]

This message is mostly for the benefit of Texas USCF members. The list
of Texas Delegates and Alternates can be found at:

http://www.georgejohn.bcentralhost.c...USCF_Delegates

Texas USCF members (as well as others) are welcomed to contact me.

Best regards,

George John
USCF Delegate, Texas
President, Texas Chess Association
http://www.texaschess.org



  #9   Report Post  
Old January 31st 05, 04:17 AM
sandirhodes
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Angelo DePalma" wrote
I'd like to buy all of you luxury berths on the Andrea D'oria.


My cousin Gloria married a guy named William D'Oria. She became Gloria D'Oria (but they pronounced it 'doh-REE-uh'). He had a
sister named Andrea. My neice is currently considering two names for her unborn girl: Karma and Heaven Lee.

Some parents ... sigh.


  #10   Report Post  
Old January 31st 05, 09:23 AM
Frisco Del Rosario
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article [email protected], "sandirhodes"
wrote:

My cousin Gloria married a guy named William D'Oria. She became Gloria

D'Oria (but they pronounced it 'doh-REE-uh').

Well, sure. She had to get a name as cool as your other family members
Dusty, Rocky, and Abby.

--
Frisco Del Rosario
A First Book of Morphy -- http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1412039061
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