Jim Plante became a registered member 4 years, 8 months ago
Thank Jim. Yes I think we understand what a republic is. I appreciate your views about AI and leaving the TAF. As a residential appraiser TAF might be more of a concern at least that seems to be the feedback. But if your not at the table you can’t influence policy and therefore irrelevant. The problem was the disingenuous video explaining how they left. That’s not what happened.
My problem with your point is that it you are confusing a Republic with a blind trust. It seems as though the executive committee and bod are accountable only to themselves. The TAF cost is laughable when you consider what was probably spent on international recruitment this year and the approx $72k they lost in investments. In politics you get voted out if you don’t serve your constituents. That doesn’t appear to be the case. There is literally no reason for a repeat president in an organization this size and no reason to have executives running the show in such an isolated way. Yes give AI membership a real republic and these problems will be solved.
I appreciate your response, Johathan. However (you knew that was coming, I’ll bet), we’re still at the table. What’s the problem? I counted five AI members of the Board of Trustees last time I looked. ASA has several, as does NAIFA. Just because we don’t pay $40K a year any more, that doesn’t mean we are unable to influence policy. Now, we don’t hold a majority, but even if we paid $40K a year, we wouldn’t then, either.
I don’t see how you conclude that I’m confusing a republic with a blind trust. I’m recommending a republic.
I pointed out AI’s $40K annual dues to illustrate that such a picayune contribution would hold no threat to TAF if we were to withdraw. And our withdrawal hasn’t affected their budget. AI’s annual dues are a drop in the bucket compared to ASC’s contribution.
I think you’re chasing too many rabbits at once. I advise you to focus on one single thing at a time. Fix that, and then move on to something else.
WRT the board being unresponsive, or acting arbitrarily, it was said that “the auditors” made them do it. If you run a non-profit and your auditor says to change the way you’re doing things, you’d better listen to him. IRS is fussy about non-profits because they cannot collect tax on them. And they are ruthless about revoking that non-profit tax status whenever the opportunity arises. So, when National says “We’ll handle the cash and bookkeeping,” there’s a reason for it. For one thing, QuickBooks isn’t easy to keep up with. Having the books taken care of in one place will reduce the risk of IRS action. And if you think that your reserve funds aren’t already the property of National, think again.
There are problems to be worked out, to be sure. But we can resolve them. For one thing, the Chapters need to have more of the dues money allocated to them. For another obvious problem, we need a way to take care if immediate-need expenses. Maybe that can be solved with a National credit card with a $5K credit limit. But it needs to be solved.
Again, I urge you to skin only one rabbit at a time.
Thanks for the thoughtful response Jim and I very much appreciate your advice. You’d be great in a debate club. 😉 Unfortunately, in all due respect, you are missing the point of all the uproar nationwide, and I mean uproar. This is not about the exit of TAF or the threat of the IRS which seems to be a key basis of your rationale – TAF was only my tipping point a while back when I was angered with the way it was handled. I want AI to survive and be relevant again.
The IRS comment one of those things I call “fogging.” You frame of reference is the hastily cobbled together FAQ after the outrage on the taking announcement. The membership does not trust the leadership based on past actions. To share a warning letter by the IRS if it exists would be a no brainer. And so would working with the chapters on this in advance rather than calling it a “bookkeeping” change. To a smart membership and their chapters, it was highly insulting and a clear sign of leadership incompetence. No credible announcement has been shared to this effect after 80 years in the current structure. It is clearly a power grab to prevent further dissent.
More importantly, the SRA brand has little value anymore because of AI National’s neglect. The MAI brand has deteriorated and is next to fall within a decade at the current rate. Sadly controlling chapter funds or defending the stealth culture of AI National will not rebuild that. Giving speeches on engagement letters from Romania will not fix that. Spinning tales of bookkeeping will not fix that.
So the rabbit skinning (yuck) approach is to change the culture of AI National, so they can focus on one thing as you emphasize – making the organization relevant again by leaving their silo and looking at the new world around them.
Thanks again for taking the time to share your views.