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Old 08-26-2008, 03:53 PM   #99
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Since I'm a relatively new member of the forum, I really have a very limited basis for drawing any conclusions. What I can say is that I have participated in other Internet forums on other subjects of interest. The folks I have encountered here have been polite, helpful and friendly... moreso than other venues. I haven't noticed any of my posts disappearing so it has not been an issue... at least not for me.

For the sake of polite discussion, let us presume that because both the Air Forums and the WBCCI have leader (or moderators) that can (and apparently will) sanction some behaviors. A cardinal and a fire truck are both red... but I would suggest they are more different than alike. I would go into more detail, but it has been suggested by a hungry wife and daughter than bringing home pizza would greatly enhance my status... at least fleetingly.
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Old 08-26-2008, 04:59 PM   #100
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Jim Franklin, IPP, Arizona Unit. I think Mr. Carson has touched upon a problem this club has been struggling with for quite a while. People on the Airstream Forum, people on the blog, they seem to be unhappy being members. They have driven away more members than what many of our membership crew has been able to obtain. I think that one of the solutions that Region Presidents and Unit Members need to look at, we need to think about quality instead of quantity. Of course everyone has freedom of speech, and we respect that, but people that continually tear down the club, or attack the Executive Board and the membership. If they have something constructive to do, I think that the board will certainly listen to it. But people that are continually tearing down the club, and being destructive, and they're unhappy,I think we need to be selective in our memberships and start looking at a way of terminating their membership and let them go find a place that they are happy.

Does this mean that I am not good enough for WBCCI because I voice my concerns?
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Old 08-26-2008, 05:26 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by warbler5 View Post
Our WBCCI/4CU membership application is going in the mail today! The many posts from WBCCI members and the interaction between AirForums/WBCCI members and the current WBCCI President gives me hope for Bob's reinstatement and for evolution of the organization to meet the needs of all members.
Welcome.Your getting of the porch and running with us is going to be a wild ride.Good to have you with us.Looking forward to seeing you at one of the fine rallies.
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Old 08-26-2008, 05:53 PM   #102
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Throw the old guard for a loop. Sign up for the WBCCI and let them know you heard about it here on the Air Forums. Pick any of the more progressive groups and support them with your vote. Several accept votes via the mail.

Wouldn't that through a different light on Jim Franklin's remarks?

Think about it.

Matt
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:10 PM   #103
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This was in response to my original email

Don,

Thank you for your input, comments, and request.

You are asking questions that unfortunately with the current WBCCI Policy in
regards to confidentiality of grievances your request can not be granted. To
do so would be reason enough for any involved with this grievance to file
one against me for this violation.

Regards, Jerry

Jerome (Jerry) Larson
International President
WBCCI, the Airstream RV Association
803 E. Pike Street
P.O. Box 612
Jackson Center, OH 45334
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:15 PM   #104
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I then asked for direction....

Dear Mr. Larson,

Thank you for responding to my email so quickly. It is indeed
appreciated. If you could please direct me to the current WBCCI
Policy you refer to regarding confidentiality of grievances I would
appreciate it.

Sincerely,
Don Collimore, #5399

Cc: Airforums.com
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:19 PM   #105
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... and here was the response

Don,
Good question. The answer is: that it has been an unwritten
'standard operating procedure' and 'common respect for an
individual's privacy' since I can not find when. Cindy Reed, our
Corporate Manager is on vacation this week. I will ask her the same
question upon her return and let you know if she has any additional
information on this.

When asked the same question of the Ethics/Grievance Committee they
had the same response and that there is a move afoot to bring forth
some recommended administrative updates to the "Disciplinary
Procedures" Article V of the Bylaws.

Regards, Jerry

Jerome (Jerry) Larson
International President
WBCCI, the Airstream RV Association
803 E. Pike Street
P.O. Box 612
Jackson Center, OH 45334
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:21 PM   #106
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My response:

Dear Mr. Larson,

Here is the opportunity I was referring to.

I'm quite sure that when Mrs. Reed returns she will also say, "This how we've always done things." Unfortunately, this policy has the (intended or unintended) effect of being nothing more than a "gag" order. Such a policy in a case of such widespread concern to our club is simply unjustifiable without a hearing and without any findings of fact. No persuasive justification has been advanced that would prohibit laying out the facts to the membership.

Even if there can be articulated a compelling interest in keeping certain information confidential, either to assure a fair trial or to protect privacy, far more justification than 'standard operating procedure' and 'common respect for an individual's privacy' is necessary to show that such a categorical, permanent prohibition against publishing relevant and material information to the membership will serve that interest, if indeed ANY justification would suffice to sustain a permanent order.

Moreover, insofar as the interest was in shielding the parties from pressure during the course of Mr. Thompson's disciplinary hearing, so as to insure that he had a fair trial, that interest became attenuated after the Executive Committee declared its verdict suspending Mr. Thompson.

Justification must be adduced on a case-by-case basis, with ALL interested parties given an opportunity to participate, and less restrictive alternatives must be adopted if at all feasible. The membership's right to access to the information I requested is especially strong here due to the extraordinary member interest in knowing what acts may have the consequence of suspension or expulsion.

By your answer to my question President Larson, it is clear that no sections of the WBCCI Constitution, Bylaws, Policy or Code of Ethics even need to be disturbed to implement this experiment in openness that we all know will succeed. Administrative updates to the "Disciplinary Procedures" in Article V of the Bylaws are not important now. A courageous and visionary leadership should be able to make this happen relatively quickly. A bold administration that embraces accountability and transparency deserves high praise for putting the interests of the club and the membership above 'standard operating procedure.'

Sincerely,
Don Collimore, #5399

Cc: Airforums.com
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:31 PM   #107
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IP Jerry Larson has posted information on the Grievance Process on the WBCCI Forum. It makes interesting reading. He offers a couple of thoughts on the process of change and on constructive sharing of opinions. You may want to take a look.

He DID respond. He did not discuss any specifics. He does not appear to recognize the public nature of disciplinary action against club officers and the need for formal communication with club members (or at least impacted Region members).
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:45 PM   #108
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Mr. Larson's post:

August 26, 2008

INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT’S COMMENTS ON WBCCI & GRIEVANCES

The following information is provided in regards to recent internet and email activity and to point out some basic WBCCI principles.

1. The WBCCI “Club” was formed in 1955 when its original governing documents were drafted. The Club adopted a “Bottom-Up” principle, not the typical “Top-Down” commonly found in most companies and organizations. The long-term success (53 years) of the WBCCI is a tribute to this ‘unique’ principle. Several other RV groups have used the WBCCI organization and its success to try and duplicate in their own organizations. I have been pleasantly surprised at the leadership role WBCCI has played in the RV club organizations around the world. Yes, world!

2. The foundation and basis of the WBCCI is its Units and their Members. Members have, over time, developed the current WBCCI Constitution, Bylaws, Policies, Wally Byam Creed and Code of Ethics under which we operate. The Delegates of WBCCI Units meet only once a year, usually on June 30 which is the last day of the Club’s fiscal year. Because of meeting only once a year, the Units and their Members established two governing bodies subservient to the Unit Delegates, to run the club and act on items between Delegate Meetings. These two bodies are the International Board of Trustees (IBT): (19 members of the current 12 Region Presidents and 7 International Officers) who meet 3 times a year, and the International Executive Committee (the current 7 International Officers) who meet at least 3 times a year and are available to meet any time throughout the year.

3. These two governing bodies have been assigned specific responsibilities for the limited tasks they are required/permitted to perform. One of those tasks is to establish a Standing Committee to handle possible conflicts/disagreements called ‘grievances.’ The WBCCI grievance process and its requirements are documented in the WBCCI Constitution/Bylaws under Bylaw Article V, Disciplinary Procedures, which states: “Any member may file in the office of the President of the WBCCI a complaint against any member.” A member or officer of the Club cannot take this right away from another member through any process including defamatory remarks against a member filing a complaint.

4. The President upon receiving a complaint refers it directly to the Ethics and Grievance Committee to determine the facts of the situation and make a recommendation to the International Executive Committee (NOT just the President). After its investigation, the Ethics and Grievance Committee has several recommendation options, from finding without merit, up to expulsion from the Club. Most times this Committee solves the disagreement, or finds it without merit. This is the reason for grievance “Confidentiality” by both of these committees. It is unfortunate that some members feel that a WBCCI grievance is to be discussed openly on the internet by making unfounded or uninformed accusations that cause division within the Club which is discouraging new members from becoming a part of the WBCCI.

5. Normally the number of filed grievances in a year, even several years, is extremely small (maybe one). This is a tribute to our Members and their commitment to our ‘Code of Ethics.’ However, this year at the 2008 Bozeman International Rally, three (3) grievances were filed with the International President. The details of each grievance are still under the ‘Confidentiality’ umbrella by the Ethics and Grievance Committee and the International Executive Committee. In regards to these three grievances, each member needs to know and understand these following basic facts:

A. The Ethics/Grievance and Executive Committees have acted properly and ethically following all WBCCI requirements in their required duties as defined in the Constitution/Bylaws.
B. There was absolutely NO political motive or retaliation of any kind against any of those accused.
C. Both Committees DO take into account both the filer’s and accused’s past WBCCI service in addition to their assistance in resolving the situation in a timely manner.
D. One grievance is closed and settled to the satisfaction of all concerned. You probably do not know anything about this one because all parties involved respected the confidentiality of each other and the grievance process. The other two grievances are proceeding through the normal required process.
E. The WBCCI Constitution/Bylaws do not allow, authorize, or permit the International Board of Trustees (IBT) to overturn a decision of the Unit Delegates; the International Executive Committee to overturn a decision of the Unit Delegates, or the IBT; or the International President to overturn a decision of the Unit Delegates, the IBT, or the International Executive Committee. This emphasizes the importance of the Delegates and the Unit Membership being the foundation of WBCCI and the ultimate authority of this Club.

6. You or I may/may not like what happened, the facts above, or the decisions made, but, for the Ethics/Grievance or Executive Committees to do otherwise would in itself be a violation of the WBCCI Constitution/Bylaws. For any member to have issue with a grievance, its process, or act without the facts is irresponsible and contrary to the WBCCI Constitution/Bylaws. One approved option if you do not like this process, is to change the WBCCI Constitution/Bylaws through authorized procedures. Attacking members, who have done their duty, is not an acceptable option in the WBCCI.

7. Each WBCCI Member has a right to free speech and the right to express their opinions. In fact, differing opinions are encouraged as they result in various points of view on a subject, and when solutions develop from these different opinions, a better team solution results. In contrast, a solution with only one opinion has a higher risk of being flawed due to limited input. These rights and privileges are NOT an excuse to verbally, or in writing, threaten or attack any individual with comments which are defamatory and/or hateful. Not only is this morally unacceptable, it violates what WBCCI is all about, the WBCCI Code of Ethics, and has no place in our great Club.

8. My hope is that all our members willingly respect each other, honor our Club, and be willing to help resolve any issues or perceptions that prevent our Club from growing. We all need to “Be The Best We Can Be” and work together.

Jerry Larson
WBCCI International President
On behalf of the International Executive Committee
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:46 PM   #109
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Who is asserting the privilege of Confidentiality?

I agree with most of the sentiments expressed by President Larson.

However,

I respectfully disagree with the stated rationale for grievance confidentiality. The fact that the Ethics and Grievance Committee and/or the Executive Committee usually "solves" the disagreement or finds it without merit is hardly persuasive. Confidentiality is a privilege. Because privileges inhibit the truth seeking process they should be strictly construed. The important question here is: Who is asserting the privilege of confidentiality? Is Mr. Thompson objecting to disclosure? Does the very fact that WE know he was grieved and subsequently suspended give rise to a grievance against members of the Executive Committee and the Ethics and Grievance Committee by Mr. Thompson? What is confidential and what is not? Couldn't the accused/suspended Mr. Thompson give written authorization waiving confidentiality if he wanted to? What if Mr. Thompson failed to claim his privilege by objecting to disclosure when he had the opportunity to do so ... wouldn't this be a waiver of his privilege?
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:02 AM   #110
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I have been a member for the last 5 years basically because I love to caravan. If it were not for caravans, I would not be a member.

I think my dues that go to WBCCI are a complete waste. I have missed the last two international rallies and I simply do not get the right kind of feeling about this organization.

Good friends count for a lot but, in the end, they can't makeup for an organization that is so out of touch.
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Old 08-27-2008, 06:16 AM   #111
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I read Mr. Larsen's letter a couple of times. In structure and tone, it feels more like a letter from a federal agency than from the head of a social club. I'm not saying that to be critical, just making an observation. There is almost a mantra, "We followed our rules; we follow our rules; we will follow our rules."

Mr. Larsen says (a bit awkwardly), "...a solution with only one opinion has a higher risk of being flawed due to limited input." If this logic is sound and the WBCCI is a "bottom-up" organization, why is discipline handled by a small committee appointed by the president? If diversity of opinion creates better decisions, why not allow each unit (and the members at large) to appoint a representative to serve on this ad hoc group which apparently has a very light workload? Perhaps a better question, why is discipline handled by international leadership and not at the unit level? If WBCCI is a "bottom up" organization, shouldn't decision making occur as close to the membership as possible?

If diversity of opinion is valuable, why is the Air Forums seen as a negative? There's a huge diversity here. I joined before I even owned an Airstream. The simple fact of the matter is that a number of people (members and potential members) seem to be expressing concerns. Is the high water mark of the WBCCI leadership to say, "We followed our rules and if you don't like them, you can vote to change them"? What happens when the WBCCI faces issues where the answser is not in the rulebook... or where the rulebook is simply wrong?

It seems to me that the real issue here is much larger than one member's grievance.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:26 AM   #112
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That is EXACTLY what that means, and NO, this is not a personal dig. You guys got to see first hand what can happen to a Region 1 Past President for a 3 page email. Mere WORDS.

Since when does the lunatic fringe get to run the insane asylum? Oh, I temporarily forgot what One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest club this is.

I understand that 98% of everybody that was up there supported Bob Thompson. FANTASTIC!! I really wish that 98% had taken off their badges, handed in statements that they were withdrawing from the official WBCCI Rally at PEI, and then carried on as planned, only now in a renegade rally instead.

I'm sure the other 2% would have figured out what to do with themselves, like maybe pack up, and head home...

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Good morning Leo-
You and I have not always agreed on certain issues in the past and we will probably not agree on some in the future. What we both agree on at this moment in time is that the actions taken against Bob were unwarranted and out of tune with what our club is supposed to be all about. There are a lot of things happening around here, emails, insults, bad feelings, you name it, coming in from all directions. What you and I agree on is that WBCCI is worth saving. True, there was a time when I was ready to throw in the towel but over the past 10 months I have met more people, become familiar with some of the IBT Members and have spent hundreds of hours studying our "Blue Book". I am proud to be able to call Bob and his wife friends and was honored to be of help to him in the R1R. Currently I feel the focus should be at getting Bob back into the club with a letter of appology from those who suspended him. I also feel that the only way to do that is in an organized fashion which fits into the structure of what the IBT understands. We can change the process later when we are all in office. I encourage all WBCCI members to attend all rallies and functions and show their support of their unit and region officers. Remember Leo, we are the ones who want to help with the change and it doesn't happen overnight and it only happens with the support of the Local WBCCI Members. Just my thoughts. What this is becoming is a battle of words and interpretation and it should be a rally (pun intended) around the club and what we love about it, it's members and the love of our Airstreams, remember that is what brought us all together in the first place.
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