Similar changes have been proposed in the past. In the 1950s, the Manuscript Manager and Second Vice President positions were removed. The experiment didn't work and the offices were reinstated a few years later.
In 1978 the Official Editor noted, ``Some members have proposed...leaving only those officers that are absolutely necessary. In their view, with fewer positions to fill it would be easier to find candidates for all offices. Although this may be an advantage, new members might shy away from taking on those important offices that would be left. Welcoming new members or placing manuscripts is a much easier way to start as an officer, compared to controlling the finances or getting the bundles out on a regular schedule.''
Mike's Rebuttal; Dave's Response
Mike O'Connor, who proposed the amendments, defends them in the June Spare Time. He notes the AAPA's demographics are changing and we will probably be a much smaller organization in twenty years. However, eliminating over half of AAPA's elective offices in anticipation of a shrunken membership is premature. Maybe we should reconsider when the roster drops below 200.
Mike points out that the Board of Directors usually has very little to do. But I remember the sheaf of correspondence Len Carrick brought to last year's convention, showing all the mail generated as the result of a contentious issue. Every now and again it's useful to have the Board available to decide issues.
People supporting the amendments dismiss the idea of a few power-hungry officers ruining the organization. Yes, there is almost no chance of ``naughty'' officers manipulating the AAPA, but in my 26 years of membership I have seen folks with odd ideas get elected. As long as other officers balance them out there is no problem, but we lose that balance with amendment number 2.
Mike believes yearly elections are a waste of time. That's a valid observation from the Secretary-Treasurer who has to prepare two ballots and three envelopes for each member. Besides, Mike notes, most officers serve for two or three years anyway. But let's look from a prospective candidate's point of view. I know that I would be more willing to run again for an AAPA office if it were a one-year commitment rather than two. Sometimes it's hard to predict whether circumstances will allow effective service for that long.
Mike certainly deserves credit for thinking through the issues and putting together a well crafted set of amendments to implement his proposals. Some of them are good ideas, but the need for amendments 1, 2, and 4 is not yet at hand.
How to Vote
Remember to return your ballots to both the Secretary-Treasurer and the Ballot Recorder before August 15. Here's how I plan on voting:
Of particular note was Mike O'Connor's Sparetype for May: 24 pages painstakingly handset and printed one page at a time (some in two colors) on his 6 by 9 Sigwalt. In addition to the visual joy of clean layout and crisp printing, there was solid content: Marge Adams Petrone's remembrance of Milt Grady is an important contribution to amateur journalism history, while George Hamilton and Jim Lamanna shed light on current ajay topics. Mike caps the issue with informed commentary of his own. Thanks for a labor of love!
Send 350 copies of your page. This is more than the Mailer requires, but the extras go to good use. I send early copies to folks who donate at least $2 and request an early peek. It's also nice to have samples for those who want to see an issue.
Any questions? Please write me at the address in the colophon.
When I first joined the association, several Swiftsetters recruited by Les Boyer in 1968 were still active. I believe the last Swiftset paper to appear in an AAPA bundle was Lenore Sobota's The Town Crier for May 1972.