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VCA Drama: what are the known facts?

Discussion in 'General Viper Discussion' started by Free2go, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. ROCKET62

    ROCKET62 Has Left the Room!

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    An election is a great idea - except that as I understand it - you can only run if you have been a regional officer or above - so you limit the pool of potentially talented individuals (and outside influence) that could turn this around.

    Also, the timing of said election is going to be very interesting. Do you hold the election before the end of this year or wait until next year? If you wait until next year, I would assume that you need to be a paid member to vote - so you are in effect forcing people to join a club, not knowing who will be running it, what direction the club is heading, what bylaw changes are going to put into place, and what the actual regions are/or look like. If I was to re-join as a member next year, I would also want a full disclosure of the clubs assets, liabilities, and POTENTIAL LIABILITIES so that I could make an informed decision. Why not make immediate changes and hold an immediate vote as 1/3 of the director level or above positions are currently open? Those are 5 votes/opinions that could help to save the club.

    Odd as this may sound - I was in favor of trying to save the VCA - and after reading my second paragraph and having a feeling of how difficult the current bylaws make an immediate change almost impossible, now know why an entirely new club makes more sense.


     
  2. chorps

    chorps Enthusiast

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    So this new club has no infrastructure or track record, but you're then claiming they are all past VCA Board members...are you saying they were all do nothings when they were at the VCA and that others planned and did everything?

    Why did the game have to get 'a bit tough and rough' anyhow? You claim their leaving is out of spite? I think that a whole lot of other people have read the same material and decided otherwise.
     
  3. Bobpantax

    Bobpantax Enthusiast

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    They are not do nothings. But the infrastructure still has to be stood up. That takes funding and worker bees. Worker bees get paid. They are not volunteers. The VCA is now on a month to month with its worker bee provider until a new worker bee provider is located and brought on Board. That change is being done to address the conflict part of the Chrysler letter.

    Also, I said that an unrelated, third party could view the new club founders as leaving out of spite. Why? Keep in mind that the Jerry Colpits post showed that Maurice was invited back as National VP ( a promotion from being National Secretary) once Dan became the acting President.

    I tend to agree with Trackaire that there may end up being two clubs. If that is the case, the one that provides the most opportunities and member benefits will attract the most members after the emotions calm down and people make a decision purely on what is the best buy for their hard earned buck.

    Thanks again for the advice regarding paragraphs.
    :)
     
  4. Coloviper

    Coloviper Viper Owner

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    Bob;

    Despite the "get paid" for every minute and then some mentality of your profession, this may be hard to understand. Every company in the world that has ever started up from scratch had to start from somewhere. That is usually out of vision, love, passion or principle to do so and not always because they were being paid. It only costs money to start something if those are greedy to demand it. Now I know nothing about what is to come here or there, BUT the VCA started out of passion and good-will of many die hard fans back in 1993. Lots of volunteerism and helping out to be a part of something great, not because they got paid. Did Maurice get paid to start the club back in 1993? I highly doubt it. Did any of the worker bees get paid, I can guarantee they did not and most probably would have refused payment if it meant a better chance and life-start for the club.

    I think it is time to drop the twisting and wordsmithing and just let people talk and form their own opinions without you telling them what you think they should know or interpret it only your way. It is getting a little old and not helping this situation. Maybe if the VCA was more transparent and open, they could get the help they need on a volunteer basis but that requires chances in structure and most of all, transfer of some power.

    I say, the VCA needs to stop worrying so much about what this club or that club is doing and take care of this (own) house. There is plenty here to keep everyone busy. It is a forgone conclusion that there will be two, maybe multiple Viper clubs out of this. SRT could start it's own Viper club, you just never know given the events of the past few months here. Nobody can change those directions so stop worring about those. Fix what you can and stop making excuses! The VCA can however work to be the most attractive one but not seeing anything. Talk, yes but actions, no!. I am not seeing anything from anyone on anything yet so get going on it already.
     
  5. Bobpantax

    Bobpantax Enthusiast

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    It is not 1993. The new club will be competing for member dollars with the VCA which has established member opportunities and benefits. A website requires a webmaster. A magazine requires people to put it together; get it published and distribute it. Someone has to collect and process dues. Someone has to manage advertising; collect advertising fees; edit and proof ads, etc. Someone has to determine and process the amount sent to the Regions. Someone has to spend the enormous amount of time and effort that plannning and implementing a VOI involves. A bank account and check book need to be reconciled and balanced. There is alot of back room work involved in what the VCA has evolved into since 1993. The new club will require some paid worker bees to compete regardless of what romantic, idealistic notion is currently being bandied about.


     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  6. Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt Enthusiast

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    Best post I've read on this topic in the last month on any of the forums. I wonder how many members simply don't renew in 2014 and wait to see what becomes of this morass that folks on both sides have created? Not too much different than watching our federal government implode over the last month.

     
  7. Coloviper

    Coloviper Viper Owner

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    Bob;

    I think you misread what I was driving at. From my understanding and again I have no inside info beyond the mass e-mails I have seen for this other club. My point is all the things you mention are big company, big club business which "yes" the VCA offers. How many of those things are really important to the basic car lover owners of Vipers? Some people want it and some could care less about a lot of that stuff. However since this other club has nothing and doesn't even exist, it is 1993 for them all over right now. My point is this other club as I read in those letters is not about money, but about relationships, passion and the car. A sense of community and that includes everyone pitching in to help it get going, and keep it going regradless of compensation. My point is that despite all the offerings, the VCA should NOT take that aspect lightly for a second. There are a lot of retired and financially stable Viper owners who may just want to be involved and help for nothing. I know many clubs who do well on volunteer basis considering their price of admission was buying the car in the first place.

    I read into those other letters that it will be about the Viper and a more intimate and open experience, whatever that ends up being. Just an old fashion car club so while that may or may not have benefits to match the VCA, it will be what it is and should not be discredited for simplicity sake. That does not mean volunteers and sponsors will not each be digging in to provide that support because they will see for themselves, with their very own eyes in a very open and transparent manner exactly how that sponsorship or donated efforts (hours or money) will benefit that club. Yes, it is to be expected that there will eventually be paid services and so be it. My point is do not under estimate the power of a positive environment and what that does to good human nature to get things done. I think the VCA took that for granted and if they do not make the changes membership is asking for now, it will not be a good thing here.

    Finally, I am glad you donate time, etc. and should be commented for the action but you need to check into reality on where lawyers stand in society. It is hardly at the "pollyann" level you described as a general statement. I have a lot of good lawyer friends but even they will tell you, nothing in life is free. You may be one of the good ones, I don't know but the very high percentage are certainly not.
     
  8. Bobpantax

    Bobpantax Enthusiast

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    Discrimination against clowns is unacceptable, I move that a third club be formed based on the inspiration for the Gen II design.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Bobpantax

    Bobpantax Enthusiast

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    Fair enough. But just to be clear, I do not think that Dan and the new Board members take the relationship issue lightly. I think they understand the value of friendship, volunteerism and passion for the car. Why else would they be spending all of the many hours that they have been spending trying to fix the problems raised and move the VCA forward?

     
  10. ipetrov

    ipetrov Enthusiast

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    Bobpantax said: "The new club will be competing for member dollars with the VCA which has established member opportunities and benefits."

    An aggressive platform for competing for member dollars was VCA "leadership" 's undoing. A website can be supported entirely by ad revenue and voluntary donations. The last time I wanted to check a major car magazine a hundred times larger and more expensive to run than Viper Mag, I didn't need to make a subscription to get the damn paper versions delivered to me next month - I just typed in some letters in a browser and didn't even pay a cent to get the latest microsecond update. All thanks to ad revenue.

    VOI? Isn't that supposed to be an Owners event, not a Club member event? So if I gave $150 to the VCA I get as one of the "perks of being a club member" the privilege of being charged $750 to attend? And that $750 per person more than covers the organizational expenses and then some?

    Raffle? Members get charged more than twice for tickets than what it costs to buy the prizes? Where's the benefit?

    Local clubs get part of the $150? Well, local clubs get their own sponsors, plus they charge fees for the events, in addition to not covering the biggest event expenses - gas and hotels. I'm pretty sure local chapters can figure out a way of funding their own events.

    Manufacturer's support? That's one of those best things about a genuine car club that's supposed to be free. It's either free or completely unavailable.

    Take members' money out of the equation and soon enough you'll have a fantastic national club. Greed works, but greed can work in reverse just as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  11. Bobpantax

    Bobpantax Enthusiast

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    A little internally inconsistent. Russian or Bulgarian?
     
  12. ipetrov

    ipetrov Enthusiast

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    The latter. What's internally inconsistent?
     
  13. FrankBarba

    FrankBarba Viper Owner

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    No you do not need to be a member of any car club to attend a VOI. It's another ploy by the VCA
    to get your Entry Fee into the VOI ($$$for club membership).

    FACT: Chris Marshall is a bully. When i caught wind of this awhile back i was informed that i would be banned if i continued
    to ask questions.,
    Even the Regional Rep or the Local Club Rep was not willing to speak about the suspension of JONB and also the VPA.
    I was under the impression that a document of secrecy was signed.
     
  14. JohnnyLightning

    JohnnyLightning Viper Owner

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    The #1 fact is you took advantage of the club with a conflict of interest for your financial gain. I feel bad for Ralph and see VPA/VCA being non existant in the future. There is no way anyone will buy a raffle ticket next year with what has happend with last raffle and info. I would rather spend 2x somewhere else on viper parts than shop at VPA.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  15. Nsane1

    Nsane1 Viper Owner

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    Wowee, I must say, someone gets some credit for allowing this kind of debate to exist (admittedly without some of the particpants being present, but hey its a step in the right direction!) I love the clown/tent analogy, and feel like we're living that every day.

    A few facts aren't here, and I won't fault anyone for not posting them, but it is a fact that we have all decided to talk with JonB on ending the suspension. There was an action taken by Jon (don't care what it was, at this point), the board made a reaction to that activity (they all voted, no one was coerced). The extension of that suspension was perhaps a different matter. I wasn't there, and again, don't care.

    As to the Marshall's it upsets me greatly that the great things that Mary does for us (as a regional President I get emails from her at 2AM Sunday mornings) gets overshadowed by a lot of this. But it is what it is, we had a vendor RFP call today to move in the right direction on that front, as requested by Chrysler, and by many of you. I think some of the personal shelling of the Marshall's is overblown, (and I have the financials, it is unwarranted) but I don't want to seem insensitive to the demands of the members. JRT costed MUCH more than what we are paying today, and guess what, a new management company will cost MUCH more than we are paying today. But again, it's clear what we must do...

    Another fact that I don't see here is the literally countless of hours that JonB has spent making all of us knowledgable about our beloved snakes. This site has a TON of IP, and I bet JonB has a hand in a very decent sized percentage of that IP.

    Lastly, I think we need to be consistent; it is not a crime to make money either supporting the Viper, or the VCA. In these instances, whether it be Maurice, JonB, Marshalls, or anyone else who sells a calendar or T-shirt, provides us a service, each of these items, as far as I am aware of, was disclosed, and approved of by a sanctioning body. I hold no of fault the Marhsalls nor Maurice, nor JonB, they all provide us a service, spend countless hours helping us, and deserve compensation for it (again, it was disclosed and approved). By shelling the Marshall's you are critiquing those that you seem to be embracing (the new club, as those guys approved all this, and no "I didn't know" doesn't wash on a board of directors, sorry).

    But having said ALL that, we are talking to JonB, we are getting new management, and hey we get to have a free(er) open(er) debate, so flame on enthusiasts with 1 post!!
     
  16. eucharistos

    eucharistos Viper Owner

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    ok, i've remained quiet, but this is just wrong :nono:
     
  17. knuk

    knuk Viper Owner

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    Really....Your 2 cents are insulting to all who care, on both sides... Or tents as you call it.
     
  18. FOViper

    FOViper Enthusiast

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    Are you talking to him or trying to get him to sign a document?
     
  19. ViperCarol

    ViperCarol Enthusiast

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    Deleted this post for now.
     
  20. ViperGeorge

    ViperGeorge Enthusiast

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    When the Bylaws were being updated I posted a question in the thread we were told to post questions in. These posts were to be answered by the National Officers and the question and answer was to be reposted for all members to see. My question had to do with the potential for a conflict of interest with Chris Marshall being both National VP and in charge of VPA. Bob Carroll answered my question in a PM to me telling me that there was no conflict. I had not accused Chris of anything I simply stated that I believed there was a perceived conflict of interest. My question was never reposted for the members to see. I subsequently called Marv to ask him the same thing. He told me it would be fixed shortly, it wasn't. Chris served his term as VP.

    I am a senior officer of a public company and a member of our ethics committee. The issue is not whether there was a conflict but rather that there was the perception of a possible conflict. The Board should have recognized this and insisted that Chris could not be both the national VP and the person getting paid to run VPA, the magazine, and the national office (I include Mary here). I work for an investment company and my wife cannot trade in her IRA account unless she receive pre-clearance from my company as there can be no question that she is trading on insider information. Her IRA statement must be sent to our Compliance department every month so they can validate this. That is how serious we take perceived conflicts.

    As far as some of the Board votes you refer to, several Board members were coerced into voting to suspend JonB. See Janni's previous post. I wish they would have had stronger backbones quite honestly and it does worry me some as to whether they should be trusted in future leadership positions here or elsewhere. They screwed up by caving in. Jim Johnson was not allowed to vote because Marv trumped up an accusation that Jim's Zone Director's paperwork was not received. This is BS it was sent months before and for Marv to only mention it at that meeting was disingenous or worse. The Presidents' meeting at the last VOI was also a disgrace. Marv pontificating, saying that New Mexico and I think Florida were not eligible to vote because of some trumped up bylaw violation was bothersome. The transparency document was bad, really bad. The pictures of JonB that they circulated were totally inappropriate.

    Re Ralph getting involved on JonB's behalf, I don't think that was inappropriate. SRT has a great relationship with JonB. They asked him to create T-shirts for the Ring record run. He did and apparently National VCA leadership got their knickers in a knot over his use of the Viper logos. Really? SRT authorized him to create the shirts. In terms of the current leadership talking to JonB. That is a load of you know what. You've asked him to sign a document saying he won't critisize the club. Why? What is this over the top censorship all about? Why can't members in good standing ask legitimate questions of leadership? Why has every post asking tough questions been deleted? Ok, yes, it is currently a bit more open but then it was for 2 weeks following the release of the Chrysler letter until the Mods went bonkers and moderated or banned damn near everyone. Can a Leopard really change its spots so quickly? I have doubts that this new freedom will be long lived.

    In any case if you read the Chrysler letter it isn't about JonB, it is about VPA and the National Office bad mouthing Chrysler management. How can anyone have thought that was acceptable?

    So everything was not as some in leadership would have us believe. Shame its come to this but it isn't like many, many members weren't asking for change. Yes I know, not everyone did but we all know that many folks don't pay attention until it is too late.
     
  21. steve911

    steve911 Viper Owner

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    To piggyback off of George's comments above, When the bylaw changes were "introduced", There was a seperate forum category for it.

    The most asinine thing about it was you could post your question to the board and MAYBE GET A RESPONSE. It was closed from the standpoint of no one knew the questions or the answers if you werent the original poster or the board itself.

    It was and is so wrong in so many ways....

    On another note, does anyone want to wager on whether the elections will actually occur prior to the end of 2013 like the current board has stated? Why would they have them before when those who plan on going to the other club after the first of the year and are Current VCA members would have a vote now?

    With the often talked about mass exodus (or proposed mass exodus) I see the board waiting until after the first of the year to actually have the elections with the remnants thus assuring themselves a victory.
     
  22. ACELLR8

    ACELLR8 Enthusiast

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    Oh my, what a headache trying to read all this. Glad I kept my $115 and did not support this drama. Who needs this crap in a car club ?????
     
  23. FOViper

    FOViper Enthusiast

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    You are still attacking and blaming Ralph.....FACT

    Dan has issued a public apology to Ralph on behalf of the VCA. It sounds like you don't think an apology was deserved or should have been given.
     
  24. Bobpantax

    Bobpantax Enthusiast

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    JonB contacted me and wanted two corrections made with respect to what is stated in post 219 and post 222. First, Jon states that Partsrack,Inc has been a vendor to Chrysler on numerous occasions. Second, Jon wanted it made clear that the memo that was submitted to the Board was not a Board memo and was just part of what the Board reviewed when the action to continue the suspension was taken. Jon also believes that the memo is not an accurate depiction of his conduct. I thought that was clear by the intro wording which stated: "Attached is what I believe was the memorandum that the Board reviewed to continue the suspension. Note that it is in PDF format. I did not in any way alter it. It is not presented here for the truth of any matter asserted within it. It is only presented so that those who wish to can look under the tent a bit and see, in part, what went on regarding the then Board's decision to continue the suspension. Each person reading the memo can make up their own minds as to whether that made sense or not." But in hind sight it should have said "a memorandum" instead of "the memorandum". As I have posted previously, Jon and Partsrack have helped many people over the years with Viper related issues and parts and I am sure that he will continue to do so in the future regardless of the current issues. I still consider Partsrack a valuable resource along with other vendors who advertise on this site.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  25. TrackAire

    TrackAire Viper Owner

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    Bob,

    Be aware that PDF's can be changed using simple online PDF converters/editors. We use them all the time to make updates to instructions, part number revisions, etc. I always thought that a PDF was a secure document, but our IT people have proved me wrong.

    I'm not saying that the document was altered any way, but in today's computer world a PDF is no longer gospel.

    George
     
  26. Bobpantax

    Bobpantax Enthusiast

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    Thanks George. I did not know that. I rely on Chorps now for IT advice since he brought me up to speed on the paragraph issue but I will add you to my resource list. LOL.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  27. sun diego

    sun diego Enthusiast

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    Some of the VCA's on going problems: The raffle. It was not licenced. Investigation in at least Michigan is proceeding. It is possible refunds of all tickets could be required. A potentially huge liability. Conflict of interest with Mopar and the dealers with VPA and Chris Marshall. It may continue to drive a wedge between Chrysler and the club. Restrictive elections. Members haven't been allowed to vote, and only a small amount of candidates qualify. Both are more restrictive than the U.S. presidential election. The VCA presidents make take themselves more seriously than the U.S. president. :) Non disclosure of financials. I don't think anyone has stolen anything. Disclosure is required to put people at ease. It still hasn't happened. From a loud clown. :)
     
  28. chorps

    chorps Enthusiast

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    Nothing is secure, Bob. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, especially not PDFs now. PDFs could always be forged or possibly altered even with the security credentials enabled.

    http://krebsonsecurity.com/2013/10/adobe-to-announce-source-code-customer-data-breach/

    http://www.elcomsoft.com/apdfpr.html

    Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you.

    Best bit of IT advice: Don't re-use your passwords on different web sites. Use long passwords. Don't use guessable combinations of words for passwords.
     
  29. Bobpantax

    Bobpantax Enthusiast

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    Thanks again. Good to know and it adds to what Trackaire posted. This might sound like a bit of an unusual suggestion based on what has gone on but with your IT knowledge and the fact that you seem to like the Forums, why don't you consider being a moderator.

     
  30. Free2go

    Free2go Viper Owner

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    This was without a doubt the most informative thread I have read here at the VCA. Although a lot of the replies appear to be factual, a lot appear to be tainted with subjectivity. I still don't think I have enough info to denounce the VCA altogether. Got a sneaky suspicion there are quite a few people that have been plotting the demise of the VCA for a long...long time. Tinkering little gremlins disseminating false information. On a mission they are. Oh how I have encountered a plethora of them!
     

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