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Old 02-14-2010, 06:00 PM   #61
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I do not see it as jumping ship - that analogy is used with the expectation that the ship is intact and seaworthy.
WBCCI is not seaworthy but there are some who are trying to patch that hole in the side and pump the bilges ( Jim Franklin's Quality over Quantity). Personally, I am sitting comfortably in a lifeboat with my vest on. At the end of the year, while I am watching that big old lumbering ironed hull relic go down. I will be floating away safely with my sanity intact waiting for that newer vessel to come and pick me up. I know I am not alone, this lifeboat is nearly full, but there is always room for one more.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:25 PM   #62
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Not a letter but an analysis

Analysis and opinions based on recent events and common sense

Part 1
It is obvious that the WBCCI is losing favor. Those in power are choosing to ignore or dismiss pragmatic reform advice while becoming distant and arrogant.

The bylaws are being perverted. It has turned away from its proper purpose and now follows contrary and destructive policies. Bylaws are intended to govern and protect the rights of all members and misused for other purposes. But they have become weapons and instead of maintaining order, they are used to punish.

If everyone has the right to protect and defend themselves, then it follows that a group has the right to organize and support a common cause to protect their rights and restore order as originally established. If this is true, we have a moral duty to inform others and work toward a restoration.
There is no dispute about their right to run the club. The dispute is their right to pervert the rules, sanction certain individuals for disobedience, and compel everyone to pay for them to continue. To continue is contrary to our best interests and our consciences. Is this meddling? Perhaps, but if the club disintegrates everyone shares the consequences.

Part 2
The administrators have exceeded the limits of their proper functions. Some have recently acted in direct opposition to the member’s welfare and the reasons for renewing for next year.

Due to mismanagement, defections will continue to exceed new member. Honest mistakes together with questionable stewardship have caused serious dissatisfaction. The recent reactionary acts against certain members are backfiring. These missteps not only increased the seriousness of their duty for corrective actions, but also their personal responsibility for the continued decline in membership and potential failure.

The grievance bylaws have been misused to destroy it’s own objectives. It limits the rights, which it was intended to respect. It is now applied to silence objections, opposing opinions and meaningful dialogue. A grievance enables the unscrupulous to harass certain people without risk to themselves. It also intends to intimidate others. That bylaw has converted this destructive act into a right, in order to protect the accuser. Asking for due process or a lawful defense hearing becomes another grievance, in order to discourage and punish a lawful defense. It has perverted the justice that it was supposed to maintain. How did this happen?

Influence and greed together with the false patronizing have been slowly destroying the club’s respect, enjoyment and harmony. However the many dedicated administrators and hard workers are not a party to these activities. They should be rewarded for the good they do and not labeled with collective accusations.

There is a common tendency, that when they can, some wish to benefit at the expense of others. It’s a natural human condition to try to satisfy ones wants over ones needs. But when done at the expense of others, it can be call plundering. One purpose of the bylaws is to prevent misuse of funds and privileges by officials while protecting the assets and the members. If unchecked, certain preferential policies become instruments of injustice. How is it stopped?

The words ‘perverted’ and ‘plundering’ might be offensive and irritating to some, but it is not intended to attack the actions or morality of any individual or group. The current system of policies, rules and bylaws allow for it and those are the targets because many see them as unjust.

Part 3
Years ago the club’s creators entrusted all future leaders with the responsibility of preserving, developing, and perfecting it. The club no longer has leaders, but middle managers and administrators.

Most members are unaware of the detailed bylaws and Blue Book. They trust those in charge to make the rules and to follow them for the general good. Over time more bylaws are made, changed, sanctioned and supported by and for the dominating group’s benefit, and in proportion to their power.

Rules get perverted when they try to satisfy one group over another. It’s erroneously to think all our bylaws are "just" because they were approved years ago. Rules can’t proclaim themselves fair and just.

Isn’t it natural for people to rebel against the perception of injustice? When a system is organized for the benefit of those who make the rules, many victims and concerned individuals either walk away or try to work for change. That is futile if the ruling group simply kicks out people working for change from within.

Honorable members seeking a radical change will be despised, considered dangerous subversives and a threat to the organization. They will never be allowed to advance into a higher office.


Part 4
Those in power have a monopoly. Can a club long endure when a large percentage cannot respect its policies? Members have choices, a) either quit or, b) play along to get along or, c) suspend their moral sense of fair play.

Current policies have to change, not only because they are hurting membership, but also because it causes more problems. Without corrective intervention, this spreading cancer will disembowel the membership. Knowledge of the conflicts within the WBCCI is well known in the Airstream and RV communities. Some have exaggerated the club’s politics at the expense of increasing membership and participation.

Where are the leaders setting goals for the future? Those in charge are just administering the rules. The bylaws justify their actions and spares them the personal shame such actions would normally involve. Those with a vested interest in the status quo will complain and defend their rights, saying that they are protecting the stability of the club. That is short sighted and a delusion. Perverted systems prevail as long as the rights of each member to vote and be heard are continually restricted.

When objections are voiced those in charge confuse the issue and assume they objected to them personally. Distinctions are lost due to bruised egos or supposed threats to usurp their authority. How did they come to believe the weird idea that terminating outspoken members could produce peace and quiet, and by the way, increase quality membership and a balanced budget?

Part 5
Fear of open and free association and dialogue was demonstrated when all Email addressed were eliminated from the 2010 Membership Directory. Was this information deleted to save us from ourselves? The official reason was that the Emails were mistaken omitted by a software error. That is plausible, but why have no errata sheets or updates been distributed?

Apparently members are not trusted to utilize this faster, cheaper, better technology to communicate. Forget the propaganda challenge, they lost that years ago. Prior to its fall almost two decades ago, the Moscow phonebook was classified as secret. Judge the lessons of history for yourself.

This begs the question: If member are not trusted to interact, as the administrators have indicated, then why should members trusted or defend the current system? The junta have place themselves above and beyond the intelligence of mere members. Like shepherds over their sheep? In this case there is no proof of their superior management or herding skills.

They maintain their momentum with our dues and run down the road with it. This will continue as long as members remain passive, accept top-down management vs. bottoms-up reform, or consider themselves incapable of a better club. Expect the same status quo as long at members pay to maintain the shepherd to sheep relationship.

Asking to be heard is considered an annoyance to be limited and silenced by established protocols. Dialogue, cooperation and compromise are hindered. The power of reason is a threat to the established order. Experience has shown that solutions are often found when member are able to openly discuss the issues and work together for everyone’s mutual benefit.

Most of us will continue to caravan, camp, travel well and socialize without formal club membership. Recent ad hoc gatherings have proved to function very well outside of the WBCCI. This in nothing new, and such activities existed long before people formalized a club and enacted detailed policies and bylaws.
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:57 PM   #63
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Excellent analysis

You nail the problem facing the club, and they are at the top within. Soooooooo sad.
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:11 PM   #64
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Email addresses

Jstanley,

A list of email addresses, actually three, one by email, one by number and one by name, is available on the WBCCI forum site, in the members only section.

No attempt has been made by the leadership, that I know of, to inform the mere members that these lists are available. One of the units I belong to has sent the lists to all members.

Bill
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:36 AM   #65
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WBCCI Lives On

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
I think keeping the unit strong is important - they are going to be what remains after the IBT are gone - send them a donation and let them know you are still interested in being a part of THEM - but don't send in your International dues.

Tim,

I am sorry to say I once thought that the club could not survive another year and that this would be true but the way the club is organized, no one who does not agree with the top 7 will ever make it to the top circle. I also thought that once the money was gone they would also leave. Not true! Because the money will always continue to flow!

The problem is that the WBCCI has members who are having a good time because they can turn a blind eye to the mess at the top. They don't attend international and they only attend events where they know the folks and know they are going to have a good time.

Now you have to admit, paying a fee to camp or travel with people you like is not a burden. Even $100 a year is less than a pair of tickets to a local sports or cultural event so this whole argument about money is not really an issue.

Its the principle of fairness and good intent which is sady lacking in the management of the club which drives some people away. I hate to throw water on the fire of discontent but as I told Leo long ago, why waste your energy on trying to move an immovable object either acquiesce to the status quo or be done with it, just as Rob and Frank have done most recently.

I could continue on in the club and I could continue to be the Region 1 Rep for the VAC, but I have decided to pursue other avenues to enjoy the company of friends who also enjoy Airstreaming.

It takes a great deal of energy to start a new enterprise. There may even be a market for it. Maybe there is one in our future.

Only time will tell!

WAM
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:09 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JStanley View Post
Part 5
Fear of open and free association and dialogue was demonstrated when all Email addressed were eliminated from the 2010 Membership Directory. Was this information deleted to save us from ourselves? The official reason was that the Emails were mistaken omitted by a software error. That is plausible, but why have no errata sheets or updates been distributed?
Not only plausible, but fact. Not all email addresses were omitted. Mine is in the directory as are some others. If it was an evil plan and not a computer glitch, they would all be missing.

Otherwise, you analysis is very interesting.
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:35 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dufferin View Post
thanks Carol...
anytime for a campfire...
and Dufferin, don't forget to have a campfire with us, you know where we are.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:50 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wam52 View Post
Tim,

I am sorry to say I once thought that the club could not survive another year and that this would be true but the way the club is organized, no one who does not agree with the top 7 will ever make it to the top circle. I also thought that once the money was gone they would also leave. Not true! Because the money will always continue to flow!
I agree 100%. I would rather take my $65 I would have spent for dues and give it as a donation to the 3 units we are registered with. WDCU does what it can with $1 for each member it has, so does 4CU, but the IBT just can't see their way to do the same. When the WBCCI fails, I would like to see that the WDCU as a group still exists and that I could camp with those folks.
WBCCI should be viewed as an association rather than a mothership. That association is not working for the unit in what it can provide TO the unit - the unit should find a better association who can service their needs. I believe that association will be coming before the WBCCI fails. And that association will have my support.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:32 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macofpei View Post
and Dufferin, don't forget to have a campfire with us, you know where we are.
Don't worry I won't forget you guys... have a good trip by the way!
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:33 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
I agree 100%. I would rather take my $65 I would have spent for dues and give it as a donation to the 3 units we are registered with. WDCU does what it can with $1 for each member it has, so does 4CU, but the IBT just can't see their way to do the same. When the WBCCI fails, I would like to see that the WDCU as a group still exists and that I could camp with those folks.
WBCCI should be viewed as an association rather than a mothership. That association is not working for the unit in what it can provide TO the unit - the unit should find a better association who can service their needs. I believe that association will be coming before the WBCCI fails. And that association will have my support.
mine as well.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:08 AM   #71
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A final word

I've just reread this thread from start to finish - I must first say that it's a privilege to know so many thoughtful, intelligent and caring individuals. I'm constantly impressed that so many people are trying to light a candle rather than curse the darkness. Seeing so much uncommon sense makes me hesitant to add my 2 cents. However, fools rush in so...

HOW EFFECTIVE is writing to the IBT - Call Al Capone a crook and a murderer: he'd smile and cave your head in with a baseball bat. The IBT (present and past) have had their snouts in the trough so long they feel entitled. The ones serving now really DID have to kiss a lot of butt for years to get their turn at the gravy train... now it's just their turn. I don't sympathize, but I can understand that they are outraged every time some snot nosed "youngster" tries to upset their cosy little world.

I GOT PHYSICALLY SICK when I found out how much money the IBT members get in subsidies and how much they pissed away in last year's International.

So...

Tell 34 members of the sacred circle something they already know and have successfully kept on the "down low" for years... Why bother?

OR

Get those e-mail addresses of the remaining 7000 members - send them Paul Waddell's post, and 62Overlander's, and Streamer23, and most succinctly DwightDI's immortal words:
We have 35% of our dues money going to feed the egos of 34 people. We have way too many "leaders" sucking off the members. We need to get them to resign. Cutting off their funding will accomplish both goals. The problem is, those same 34 people are also the same old people who establish and control all funding. They will continue running the club to stroke their own egos and do the same old things they are familiar with and like. If we got rid of $125K of their expenses, we would have a balanced budget and the club would be financially viable. Someone tell me how we can do it, they have control and have written the rules and procedures to protect themselves and their interests.

The recession is teaching each of us to more actively "vote with our pocketbooks". The membership at large - many won't care - but many will... and what's happening in the IBT is only happening because people just don't KNOW what's going on.

I really want to stay in the WDCU... I'm trying to remember how impressed I was meeting PeeWee and not savage his mother's club... But I just can't ignore that the IBT is being paid to set up an international that loses $100K while they get champagne and the membership gets the shaft?

Preaching to the IBT is worse than preaching to the choir - it's an exercise in futility. Getting the members to realize that the IBT is responsible for the treasury being lighter by almost a quarter of a million dollars? Sexy? Not so much, but still it's kinda like a case of the chiggers... it's a little itch.. that gets bigger and more and more and more inflamed... and after a while you just can't ignore it any longer.

Paula
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:11 PM   #72
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Good post Paula

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
I've just reread this thread from start to finish - I must first say that it's a privilege to know so many thoughtful, intelligent and caring individuals. I'm constantly impressed that so many people are trying to light a candle rather than curse the darkness. Seeing so much uncommon sense makes me hesitant to add my 2 cents. However, fools rush in so...

HOW EFFECTIVE is writing to the IBT - Call Al Capone a crook and a murderer: he'd smile and cave your head in with a baseball bat. The IBT (present and past) have had their snouts in the trough so long they feel entitled. The ones serving now really DID have to kiss a lot of butt for years to get their turn at the gravy train... now it's just their turn. I don't sympathize, but I can understand that they are outraged every time some snot nosed "youngster" tries to upset their cosy little world.

I GOT PHYSICALLY SICK when I found out how much money the IBT members get in subsidies and how much they pissed away in last year's International.

So...

Tell 34 members of the sacred circle something they already know and have successfully kept on the "down low" for years... Why bother?

OR

Get those e-mail addresses of the remaining 7000 members - send them Paul Waddell's post, and 62Overlander's, and Streamer23, and most succinctly DwightDI's immortal words:
We have 35% of our dues money going to feed the egos of 34 people. We have way too many "leaders" sucking off the members. We need to get them to resign. Cutting off their funding will accomplish both goals. The problem is, those same 34 people are also the same old people who establish and control all funding. They will continue running the club to stroke their own egos and do the same old things they are familiar with and like. If we got rid of $125K of their expenses, we would have a balanced budget and the club would be financially viable. Someone tell me how we can do it, they have control and have written the rules and procedures to protect themselves and their interests.

The recession is teaching each of us to more actively "vote with our pocketbooks". The membership at large - many won't care - but many will... and what's happening in the IBT is only happening because people just don't KNOW what's going on.

I really want to stay in the WDCU... I'm trying to remember how impressed I was meeting PeeWee and not sav
age his mother's club... But I just can't ignore that the IBT is being paid to set up an international that loses $100K while they get champagne and the membership gets the shaft?

Preaching to the IBT is worse than preaching to the choir - it's an exercise in futility. Getting the members to realize that the IBT is responsible for the treasury being lighter by almost a quarter of a million dollars? Sexy? Not so much, but still it's kinda like a case of the chiggers... it's a little itch.. that gets bigger and more and more and more inflamed... and after a while you just can't ignore it any longer.

Paula
Paula,

Thanks for the post, especially the part about the WDCU. It was a treat to get Pee Wee there... and that is why it was so difficult to do what I did back in December... but after studying the problem set, exactly like you point out, the $$$ is the only way ,in my educated brain, to affect change... it can't be done with reasons you stated from the inside.. unfortunately.. I once thought one could, more than Leo even, with my naivity, that it could be done from the inside. But no more...

One good thing, is that the WBCCI can not send a Cease and Desist letter on me going camping!!

Thanks for the post.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:02 PM   #73
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I set here and read about the spiraling out of control membership losses and the excomunicating of members whom over the yrs have worked their butts off to make the (club) ( i can bring myself to say the letters) and thier respective units to thrive and gain members, only to be undermined by the people at the top.Of all the great ideas that have been put forth here on AirForums ,DOES anyone from the IBT or Top leadership Ever read what is written here>???? Thats my question. It kinda looks to me like they dont and dont really care about the club,they just care for the benefits they get.
Its a shame to see what is happening. My wife and I have met and camped with a lot of CLUB members,finer people one would not want to meet. I just cannot bring myself to join something that takes advantage of these fine people.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:07 PM   #74
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I spent 5 hours reading past posts from 2008 to current concerning this and came to the conclusion it is best to stop before we had a true chance to get started.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:08 PM   #75
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To the Members of the IBT,

This letter comes to you to address my thoughts and feelings concerning the management and direction the current board has taken with regards to the membership and the WBCCI club at large. I would hope that you take the time to read this letter and take the necessary measures for the betterment of the club so that there will be a club in generations to come.

I would first like to tell you a little bit about myself and my family. My wife and I are in our early to mid thirties; our 3 dogs are our current children and we have only been members since April 2009. Our first travel trailer, an Airstream, was purchased in February 2009. I did not know anything about Airstream or the WBCCI until last winter when we delved head first into everything Airstream. It was at the WDCU Cherry Blossom Rally that we discovered the WDCU and everyone it had to offer.

I say everyone because it was the people and camaraderie of the WDCU that made us crave more rallies. Though we only went to three rallies last year, we made some great friends, so much so that we were considering becoming life members. It was at those rallies where we saw family values and beliefs similar to our own. It was there where we saw children playing as we’ve read about past generations of children playing; where kids can be kids without video games or TV, just outside playing and making friends. It was there where age did not matter - young families gathered with retired friends as if it were a much anticipated family function. It was there that every attendee was a family member watching over one another and helping at a moment’s notice. This is what we fell in love with.

It was not until the issue of the Blue Beret 2009 containing the financials arrived that I began to question the responsiveness of the club. How could any organization plan on staying alive if they work in the negative? How could such a club be willing to raise fees admittedly knowing they will lose more members? The membership have been in a dire decline since the 1990’s. How can you willingly cause a further decline and find that acceptable?

This fall a discussion of the gross mismanagement of the club lead to some very prominent members resigning their memberships. Most recently, I discovered the membership of Leo G had been revoked. This has continued the spiral of resignations of memberships and refusals to renew. I concede that I do not know all the information concerning his dismissal, nor do I know Mr. Garvey personally, with the exception of his posts on Airforums.com, savewally.org and the rallies he was planning. However, it is my perception that Mr. Garvey and the people that recently resigned the WDCU were your biggest advocates. These were the people drumming up membership, including ours, not discouraging it. It appeared that these were the very people who were most active in the club and creating and advertising for the club and its rallies, including International. If these people, who clearly loved the club and felt so passionate, are being thrown out and resigning, there must be something very wrong. Many of these members have been with the club for numerous years and wanted to see it flourish and not destroyed.

It is simply a fact that if membership is to increase, and it must if the WBCCI is to survive, there must be action. However, the direction in which you are taking the club is wrong and will certainly fail. Every member that has been lost due to absolute disgust will be your biggest opponent with regard to your goal of increased membership. These people will inevitably talk to 20+ potential members discouraging them. In the last 4 years there have been nearly 1,000 members lost. If 10% of them were adversarial, they could easily account for 2,000 future members lost. We, the members, can be the greatest ambassadors for the club. However, how can I with good conscience convince someone to join when the club is in the state that it is. You may disagree but the WBCCI does not offer much to its members: there are no camping discounts, trip planning programs, road side assistance or even a free hat. In fact most of the rallies are held at campgrounds which are open to the public where you don’t even need to pay a rally fee. What the WBCCI DOES offer is a history, a legacy and opportunities to meet some of the greatest people around. That is why I joined and was willing to pay a membership.

I have been very disappointed with all of the leadership to include Unit, Region and International levels. As many of these issues that have been around for several years now, I would have thought they would have been publically addressed via email, newsletter and/or the Blue Beret. You know there are problems and this ongoing failure to address them is clearly neglect of your responsibilities.

I recommend you address and rectify the foolish dismal of Leo G, suspend the reimbursement of travel (even if that means you will be unable to attend all events), change International to a biennial or triennial event. In addition, it should go without saying that it your duty to address these issues with the members.

In closing, I have paid my 2010 dues. Had I known all of this prior to making that decision I would have never done so. Even though it saddens me, I will not be renewing my membership for 2011 and vow to become the largest opponent of the club. I implore you, address these issues: rectify the deficit and reinstated Leo G’s membership.

Thank you for your time.

Nick Iverson
WBCCI#6930
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:00 PM   #76
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Very Nice, Nick....
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:14 AM   #77
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THE Purging of the WBCCI.Hey want "quality not quantity" .Quote from IBT official.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:21 AM   #78
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Let's give it to them

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Originally Posted by firedog View Post
THE Purging of the WBCCI.Hey want "quality not quantity" .Quote from IBT official.
Very nice letter Nick!

They want Quality over Quantity.. let's give them less Quantity... give em what they want I say!!!

Debating if I should waste my time with a letter or not... hmmmm.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:12 AM   #79
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Quality used in that sentence can be very subjective. Do you mean they want clones? Variety is the spice of life.

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Old 02-16-2010, 05:10 PM   #80
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I have been tracking both unit and total membership numbers since 1996 using the information provided in the annual WBCCI Directory.These are unofficial numbers but should give you a good idea.

1996-10300 members
1997- 9848 members
1998- 9547 members
1999- 9085 members
2000- 8750 members
2001- 8467 members
2002- 8073 members
2003- 7844 members
2004- 7540 members
2005- 7504 members
2006- 6913 members
2007- 6553 members
2008- 6394 members
2009- 6092 members
2010- 5947 members

There is a trend and it is consistently down.Despite the hard work of many I see nothing to suggest this trend will reverse at this point.
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