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December 10 2016 Membership Meeting Highlights

posted Dec 13, 2016, 8:37 AM by James Cramton   [ updated Dec 13, 2016, 8:53 AM ]
The SARA end of year luncheon was a good opportunity to get together outside a launch to buy and sell gear at the swap meet, get to know each other a bit better over lunch, vote on our first set of bylaws changes in a decade, and vote on the 2017 SARA Board of Directors.  26 individuals were in attendance, with the 17 voting SARA members present required for a quorum. Here are some highlights:

Swap Meet

 SARA members at the 2016 Swap Meet  
  • We raised $330 for SARA in the Bob DeBerry auction. Thank you Bob!
  • Club members sold off motors, tubes, models, components, range boxes, launchers, and tools. Some of us were lucky enough to leave with less stuff than we brought to the swap meet.
  • A certain 9 year old learned a lesson in not bidding up auctions for items he doesn't understand. 
  • Plans are afoot to build a new SARA rocket that is easier to carry around than the SARA crayon rocket, using some 5.5 inch tubing of Art's.

Presentation from Membership Meeting

December 10 2016 Membership Meeting Discussion
 James Cramton led a discussion of various topics, including Thanks to our members, volunteers, and vendors (Friends of SARA), as well as a 2016 year in review, plus the 2017 launch schedule and priorities. We also presented (in absentia) a new award this year: the Volunteer of the Year Award for 2016 to Steve Fraser for his dedicated work sharing his launch photos with the public. Thank you Steve!

2016 December Membership Meeting Presentation
Discussion during the presentation included concerns from Terry and others about the cancellation of Desert Heat, and reduction of scope of public launches, particularly the night launches and the proposed requirements of night flights.  Steve, Ken, and James responded with a couple points:
  • Night launch restrictions had 3 safety related goals:
    • Ensure compliance with FAA requirements--redundant lighting system on high power rockets
    • Require LED lights to increase visibility on low power rockets by eliminating glow sticks;  model rockets without active lighting are more or less invisible on the way down
    • Increase visibility of individuals at launch pads so the LCO can see who is on the range better
  • Clubs across the country are canceling night launches, and we want to keep them going, but we must implement reasonable safety standards, and the Board did its best to keep restrictions to a minimum, while ensuring compliance with law, NAR and TRA safety guidelines, and practical experience.
  • While public interest in night launches is high, keeping our night launches limited to the subset of members who volunteer to help keep SARA running helps promote safety by limiting the crowd size to a group of participants and spectators more attune to the risks of night flight.
  • The number of people organizing and running recent night launches is less than a dozen. As we build a regular base of volunteers at SARA events, we hope to be able to return to higher profile events we can staff with more volunteers, but we need to establish the lines of communication and the work habits first.

Updated Bylaws Approved

By a vote of 17 - 0, SARA's first revision to its bylaws in a decade passed, subject to some amendments, which are published here for membership review. Barring objections, they will go into effect January 1, 2017. If you have questions or concerns about this revision, please discuss with the whole membership list at members@sararocketry.org. Here is a summary of the changes from our current 2005 version:
  • Grammatical, semantic, formatting, and other minor changes 
  • Expanded the number of potential Board members, but provided flexibility to fill Board positions with as few as 3 individuals. Changes to the Board membership include separation of the Secretary and Treasurer position (though they can be held by the same person), and more Members at Large.
  • Expanded the voting eligibility to permit SARA members 12 or older to vote in club business--future bylaws revisions, elections, or other open membership votes. 
  • Up to three of the four Member at Large position on the Board of Directors may be held by junior SARA members 12 years of age or older who are appointed by the Board. 
  • Specified that no more than 2 members of the same family may serve on the board simultaneously. Family extends from grandparent to grandchild, including siblings in between.
  • Explicitly permitted videoconference and teleconference participation in board meetings.
  • Clarified procedures for electing Board members, and for determining when an office is vacant. Also for filling Board vacancies and removing Board members from office. Specifically, a position on the board may be declared vacant by a majority vote of the Board, and the position may be filled by a majority vote of the membership at an election held no sooner than 30 days after the announcement of the vacancy. 
  • Specified that with the exception of parental consent for children, "written communications" can include either electronic or pen and paper formats. That is in line with modern practice.
  • Clarified core responsibilities of each role on the Board of Directors, and of expected participation commitments of Board members. 
The final bylaws revision, is posted here and is now open for member comments. The bylaws will take effect January 1, 2017, barring objection from SARA membership before then. Please email any objections for discussion to members@sararocketry.org.

2016 SARA Bylaws Approved Changes

2017 Board of Directors

All positions on the Board of Directors for 2017 were unopposed, and the slate was approved by a vote of 17-0. The Board of Directors for 2017 will be:
 Position    Office Holder
 President  James Cramton
 Vice President  Ken Weaver
 Secretary  Brett Rathi
 Treasurer  Randy Shanyfelt
 Member at Large  Miles Anderson
 Member at Large  Kevin Westfall
 Member at Large  Bill Temple
 Member at Large  [Not filled]
 Tripoli Prefect     Art Just 
 NAR Sr. Section Advisor  [Filled by appointment in 2017]

The first Board meeting of 2017 will be scheduled in the next week or two, expected to fall in the first half of January 2017. All members are welcome (and encouraged!) to attend board meetings, which will be announced as far ahead of time as possible. On the agenda for the first Board meeting include:
  • Appointment of NAR Sr. Section Advisor and Jr. Member at Large positions. Current nominees for these positions include Steve Lubliner and Zachary Cramton
  • End of year 2016 financial report 
  • Discussion of goals and priorities for 2017
  • Minimum cleared distance (of flammable material around pads) status