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Do we really want or need a new club?
In addition to the occasional posts to the Quattro mailing list on the topic
of starting a new club to supplement/replace the Quattro Club USA, there has
been a lot of private communication going on as well. As one of those who's
been pushing hard to convince the leadership of QCUSA to make full financial
disclosure to its members, I've given some thought to this myself and, with
everyone's indulgence, would like to share my thoughts on the subject.
1) There is a tremendous amount of work involved in starting a new club -- a
LOT more than most people realize -- and successfully pulling this off isn't
going to be easy without a dedicated group of like-minded people at the core
of the effort. Assembling this group of people (and telling them apart from
those who simply talk a good story but wander off halfway through) will be a
VERY difficult task for anyone who chooses to undertake it.
2) In addition to the amount of work involved, there is also a little matter
of money. Until the club has grown to the point where its income will cover
its expenses, arrangements will have to be made to finance the shortfall. I
suspect that finding people willing to front the club money will be AT LEAST
as difficult as finding people willing to donate their time to getting it up
and running. (And if you doubt this, ask Dan Simoes just how many checks he
actually received from Q-list subscribers, promises notwithstanding...)
3) Assuming you do find a group of dedicated people who are not only willing
to invest the time and money involved in starting a new club but actually do
so, how do we prevent the present situation from occuring all over again? I
would hate to see all this effort go to waste if all we get from it is a new
cast of characters playing the same old games. The "Golden Rule" being what
it is, this possiblilty is quite real and shouldn't be discounted...
4) Other than a new group of nuts at the wheel, what will the new club offer
that the old club didn't? Since only a small fraction of the members attend
any track events -- and these seem to be the same people who aren't happy at
the moment -- what is it the rest of the members want and/or expect from the
club and how do we keep them happily sending in their dues each year? There
has to be someone looking after their interests as well (personally, I don't
want anything to do with organizing concours events or car shows, etc., even
though a lot of car-club members traditionally enjoy this type of activity).
In case you haven't gotten my drift from the above comments, I personally am
NOT in favor of starting a new club at this time. While I believe QCUSA has
its share of problems, I think we should try to fix them before jumping ship
and starting another club. Elections are coming up and with a bit of effort
on our part, there is no reason why we can't "stack" the Board in our favor,
which will allow us to alter the club's direction as we see fit. In view of
the usual apathy members exhibit toward club elections (in other clubs, I've
seen less than 20% of the members even bother to cast a vote!), it shouldn't
be too difficult for us Q-listers to put together our own list of candidates
and get them voted them into office to do our bidding. Remember the "Trojan
Horse" and how well it worked way-back-when?
As a practical matter, it is often cheaper to rebuild something than replace
it. If I had the money, I'd buy myself an S4 or even one of those remaining
new S6s. But I don't, so I'm driving an '89 200q instead and trying to make
it better suit my needs by tinkering with it here-and-there. Why should the
Quattro Club USA be treated any differently?
/ l l o l \ l o Jeffrey Goggin
/__l l l / l l l l l l / l l * * * * * * *
/ l l_l \_l l l__/ l_l \_l l AudiDudi@delphi.com