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Old 04-10-2007, 09:20 AM   #1
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WBCCI Constitutional Amendment

Thought this email I received might be of interest.


A good friend of mine sent this to me and covers the proposed amendment rather well. We
need to unite against other brands being allowed in WBCCI. Mart

If you have seen the latest issue of the Blue Beret you are probably aware that the IBT is pushing another amendment concerning motor homes. While not opposed to Airstream motor homes, I believe the issue of allowing non-Airstream motor homes into the WBCCI is questionable. I received the following via email and think it worthy of your attention and opinion.

1- Do you know that your WBCCI Unit delegate will vote on allowing owners of non-Airstream RVs to be members and even officers in the WBCCI, the Airstream Owners Club?
2- How do you feel about an amendment of the WBCCI constitution that would
change the very basis of the club?
3- Do you know how much (or little) thought and research went into this
proposed amendment?
If you want to be an informed voter at your Unit meeting to instruct your
delegate how to vote on this issue please begin by reading the following:

I am writing this as an individual WBCCI member and ask that you read this through before making any judgments. My views are my own and this is not official correspondence of any WBCCI Unit. I hope by now that your Unit has informed you of the WBCCI constitutional amendment proposed in January of this year; however, I cannot find any mention of this proposed constitutional amendment in the February issue of the Blue Beret so I don't think you will receive much notice in advance of your Unit meeting. Therefore I am taking this opportunity to help inform all WBCCI members of some of the facts. Your delegate will be voting on this at the International Rally in Perry , GA. I can't imagine a more important issue facing your delegate ever.

Fact: This amendment as currently proposed will allow owners of RVs manufactured by Thor's Four Winds motor coach division to be WBCCI members. How is this possible? Most of us were not aware that as early as 2005, even before Airstream made the public announcement that they would discontinue production of their class A motor homes, some members of the IBT proposed to Airstream Co. that they allow some other division of Thor to produce class A motor homes with the brand name "Airstream". Airstream executives wisely declined this offer for various reasons detrimental to Airstream Co. Ultimately our IBT settled on amending the WBCCI constitution to allow owners of Four Winds class A motor homes designated as "Airstream Edition" models to be eligible for membership. This is the amendment that was proposed at the Winter IBT meeting in Perry , GA. According to Larry Huttle speaking in February 2007 the proposal will be changed to badge the Four
Winds motor homes "WBCCI Editions", so an amendment apparently is already under consideration. This is even more evidence this proposal has not been well thought out beforehand.

No matter what label a Four Winds motor home bears, as Airstream representatives Larry Huttle and Dickie Reigel told the IBT numerous times, "These are not Airstreams and will never be Airstreams". Airstream will not service or warranty these class A motor homes since Airstream will not receive any income from the sales. In fact Airstream dealers will not even sell these units unless they just happen to also be Four Winds dealers (few, if any, are). Airstream did not initiate this proposal and as company policy remains neutral on this issue, they have nothing to gain. You might ask yourself what difference all this makes? The WBCCI has been around for 52 years as the longest existing single brand RV club for owners of Airstream products. This will no longer be the case if this amendment is allowed to pass. Why would the IBT propose such an amendment?

Some will tell you this means that current WBCCI class A motor home owners will have to leave the club, making this an emotional issue. Fact: Nothing could be further from the truth, they would only have to leave the club if they decide to upgrade to another brand of RV. Isn't this the choice we all knew we would face when we joined an Airstream owners club? This is all based upon a hastily put together poll of Units just before the Winter IBT meeting convened. In this poll it was reported that 860 WBCCI members are motor home owners. This is 10, 12 or 20% of the club depending on which version you choose to accept, more evidence of too hasty a decision to propose an amendment which goes to the very basis of the WBCCI. Given only the fact that Airstream will no longer manufacture class A motor homes and the number of current WBCCI motor home owners, the IBT drew the conclusion that the club has a crisis and is going to lose 860 members. No further information was gathered concerning the intentions of these members such as do they ever intend to purchase another class A motor home? How many of these members will take the less costly avenue of refurbishing their current motor home? How many of these members are classic Airstream motor home owners who may not ever want to upgrade to the newer style? How many of these current Airstream class A motor home owners even
want to buy another brand of motor home and would they expect to remain members of a club of Airstream owners? More importantly, do the 7,500+ members of WBCCI want to allow owners of other brands of RVs to be members of WBCCI? Fact: The only information gathered from the entire membership was the poll taken in 2004 in which the majority responded NO to a proposal to allow other brands of RVs in WBCCI, a fact conveniently disregarded by the maker of this amendment. Many of us have old friends who are Airstream class A motor home owners. This is not an indictment of any motor home owners. You may be one of the many WBCCI members are also members of Good Sam and other clubs that admit any brand of RV and currently you can enjoy these social
relationships as well as those with your WBCCI friends. The simple question is, do you want the WBCCI to become another Good Sam or FMCA type club or would you rather it remain a club for Airstream owners? You can still have both.

Let's step back and do what should have been done before this amendment was proposed. Before you vote to amend the constitution of the WBCCI that has for 52 years been a single brand (Airstream) owners club lets get the facts. There is no crisis here. Fact: For the very few Airstream class A motor home owners or other members who really must upgrade to a new class A motor home immediately, there are still NEW 2005 and 2006 Airstream class A motor homes on dealer lots. Their owners are still eligible for WBCCI membership.

As you may know WBCCI procedures allow for motions such as constitutional amendments to be initiated by a majority of the members of a Unit. Of course the International Board of Trustees is made up of the elected WBCCI Officers and each of the Region Presidents, all of whom were elected to represent you the member. What you may not realize is that motions can also be made by any member of the IBT without member input or even the knowledge of members of a Unit or the Region they represent. Were the members of any Unit or Region
asked for input concerning a proposal such as this? Most Unit members and even other Region Presidents were unaware this issue would be presented at the Winter IBT meeting. Ask your Region representatives how much advance knowledge they had of this issue? How much factual information was provided them? Did they have an opportunity to get input from the membership they represent? Then draw your own conclusions as to the thought process behind this proposal. Fact: Membership input was limited only to the 2004 poll cited above, this motion was not initiated by a Unit but rather a Region President. So who is to benefit from this amendment? This amendment will only benefit those members who desire to purchase a brand of class A motor home which is not an Airstream and would not currently qualify them for membership in the WBCCI. By my figures a number far less than 12% of the total WBCCI membership when you take into account all the factors. Most of those affected are the current leaders of the WBCCI, an Airstream owners club.

What can you do? I urge you pass this on to as many WBCCI members as you can and:

1- Get as many facts as possible before your Unit votes. This issue is very important to the existence of WBCCI as we know it.

2- Request your Unit allow written or absentee ballots so every member can vote. Many members may be traveling or sick at home.

3- If you want the WBCCI to remain an Airstream owners club, vote to instruct your delegate to vote NO on any proposal that allows owners of any other brand of RV to be WBCCI members, even though it may be amended on the floor to sound more palatable. A motion to amend the constitution requires much thought and study than our delegates will have time for on the floor.

To read more about this or to take part in discussions see the forums on the following websites: www.savewally.com and www.wbcci.org

Tom Simmons
WBCCI member 1436
Airstream owner
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:51 AM   #2
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It looks like you have put alot of thought into this post. I wonder how the membership would vote if Four Winds decided to make an "Airstream Edition trailer???? Where would we be then?
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:27 AM   #3
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wallybyam has provided a very thoughful post on this issue of allowing non-Airstream mohos into the WBCCI. I would like to thank you for your effort. It clears up some questions that I had about this issue.

I would also, at this time, express my extreme dissatisfaction with my not being able to have a say in this issue simply because I choose to be a member-at-large. I am a WBCCI member. I pay my dues. It infuriates me that I have no voice in this important issue. The IBT should be addressing the important issue of MAL votes, instead of stupid junk like this rediculous non-Airstream moho issue. How arrogant they appear to me.

"WBCCI, the club where the tail wags the dog"
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:49 AM   #4
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clarification

To clear up some confusion, I, Wallybyam, did not write the posted article. It was received by me via email. It was written by an Airstream owner, Mr. Simmons, whose name is at the bottom of the article. I too thought that the writer gave a lot of thought to the writing and I wanted to share it with others.

Thank you!
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:32 PM   #5
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Thank you Mr. Byam for bringing this to the Forum.



It is especially interesting that, yes, the IBT knew of the demise of the AS moho in 2005, yet they waited until the end of 2006 to act upon it with a knee-jerk reaction; then quantified the reaction by stating that 'it had just come to their attention.'

...

VOTE NO on the entire International slate when it comes to your unit in April (THIS MONTH). They're going to win anyway -- might as well make them sit through a 45 minute roll call and let them hear YOUR voice. Especially if you won't be in Perry! If they get in through another club-wide unanimous YES election they're just going to fumble around and find another disaster for '08. When is enough, enough?
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:14 PM   #6
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We are new to the WBCCI, and may be short lived in the WBCCI, so this will be our first opportunity to vote on any issues. We haven't received our unit news letter since before Christmas and have received no information on this issue except what I have read here on the forums, and of course the one sided editorial in the March and April issues of the Blue Beret. What is the procedure supposed to be? Are we supposed to get a ballot by mail and send it to our unit? What if we never get it? How do we get our voice heard?
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:28 PM   #7
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Your unit will vote on this issue at an upcoming rally to be held before the late June- early July Internatonal Rally. In our case, we will have that Rally May 3-6. Check with your unit leaders as to when your unit's election rally is to be held. A few units will allow you to vote by email, but most units require you to attend either the rally or at least be in attendance at the meeting when the voting takes place.
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:59 PM   #8
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Thanks. I haven't received anything that says when such a rally is to be held. Funny, there were all kinds of announcements about the Christmas luncheons and New Year's Luncheon and Fall Rally and a ton of other things in the fall news letters but nothing since Christmas.
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Old 04-10-2007, 02:04 PM   #9
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Excellent letter by Tom Simmons. Thanks for posting it. That is a very comprehensive statement about what has happened and the motion before the club.

In particular the motion's inclusion of membership for motorhome owners that have never even been in the Airstream club is of particular note, as is the evidence of this "crisis" being known well in advance of its showcased appearance but now finally given the "oportunity" to be proposed.

Not so fast IBT. Step away from the constitution, and members step up to the speakers' stand. If you like belonging to the all Airstream club, vote NO to open membership.
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Old 04-11-2007, 04:10 PM   #10
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You know, here is just another example of how this is being crammed down our throats. Last night I get home and our first unit newsletter since Christmas had arrived and on the first page is an update from our unit president on what happened at the Winter IBT meeting. In it he reports a short paragraph about the motor home issue. In that paragraph he states that this affects all motor home owners and that the motor home owners constitute approximately one third of all of the WBCCI members ...boy, if we don't watch it by the time this comes to vote at the end of this month, I'll be the only trailer owning member left in the WBCCI!!!

At least Jim Elmlinger keeps the number somewhat realistic with a 10-12% figure.
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Old 04-11-2007, 04:15 PM   #11
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Lone Trailer (AKA Minnie's Mate), how are you going to suggest he correct misinformation sent out to all your unit members?? This would need to be soon.
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Old 04-11-2007, 06:00 PM   #12
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You know, it seems to me the club has made this far more difficult than it needs to be. The VAC already figured it out. If you have a vintage AS, you can be a member. If you don't, you can be an associate member. So for the WB, if you have an AS you can be a member, and if you do not, but you are a former member, you can be an associate. That way the old folks who have to upgrade to something else can stay in the club and keep camping with their friends. However, associate members should not be able to hold high offices. How would that look at have an Airstream club run by people who don't even own Airstreams?
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65GT
... (snip) ... 860 motor homes / 6699 members = 12.8% of this club is made up of motor homes -- NOT 20%. The author of this article has inflated the real percentage by 12.8/20 = 64%!
...(snip) ....
Yes, and at least some of these motorhome owners are owners of older motorhomes, ones that they bought and restored to their original glory. These owners are not ones who are going to be "forced" to drop their membership in the WBCCI because of the change in direction that Airstream Inc announced. In other words, even the 12.8% figure is inflated when it comes to arguments concerning the constitutional amendment.


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Old 04-11-2007, 08:38 PM   #14
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Besides that, I know several old folks who have kept an Airstream trailer on hand just so they can stay in the club, even if they don't use it. Just check out Land Yacht Harbor sometime - the place is full of unused trailers that belong to folks too old to travel anymore, but they keep the trailer around so they can stay in teh club and live there in their mobile home community.

Just because folks need to upgrade isn't any sort of guarentee they are leaving the club.
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