Elections: Again in this issue, we address the the important matter of Board of
Directors candidates for the upcoming election. Like the last election, we will
definitely have at least one new member on the Board, as Sonny Thompson’s seat
has expired and he has chosen not to run for another term.
The membership has endured repeated urging in this publication that each member should take the time to cast their ballot. Unfortunately, it appears that many still do not do so, as the last election saw the lowest percentage of returned ballots in many years. This is a puzzling matter - perhaps the influx of newer members in a growing organization means that some do not feel they know the candidates or Tripoli well enough to participate in the election. Perhaps there’s some apathy among the members. We could speculate endlessly, but really, we should be committing ourselves to very careful decisions concerning our leadership in difficult times. I think it is fair to say that the very existence of our organization and the future of progressive rocketry is being tested right now. We are certainly going through a set of challenges unlike anythng we have faced before, except perhaps in the very early pre-incorporation days of Tripoli when certain "accepted governing bodies" of rocketry disliked our progressive approach and endeavored to make our continued existence very problematical (at best!).
So please, I am again making my pitch to carefully read the candidates’ resumes, make your choices, and send in your ballot. The gentlemen who have pledged their time and effort - whether they are current Board members or not - to try to support our organization by taking on a tough, and often thankless and misunderstood job, deserve at the very least your time in considering their qualifications and casting your vote. No Tripolitan is too new, and none should be so apathetic, that he or she should fail to vote.
TMT Motor Issues: This issue of the Tripoli Report was particularly tough to keep on track, since the Board had to face a couple decisions regarding TMT, including an increasingly problematical situation with Kosdon motors, which involved some late-breaking developments. Please read carefully the minutes of the Board vote which has changed the timetable for the use of Kosdon motors in the next four months.
While communicating with some members about Kosdon motors, how many they had, when they were obtained, etc. (I was doing this to assess the member impact of curtailing the use of these motors), I learned that some members do not fully understand the TMT certified motor list versus the expired motor list.
Members should be advised that motors on the "TMT Expired Motors" list are, first and foremost, no longer currently certified motors. Since it is acknowledged that motors which were manufactured while that motor was currently certified may be in the hands of vendors and users for some time after the certification has expired, TRA currently grants a three-year consumer use period following the date certification expired. The expired motors list shows all such motors which may be used. The list is meant to convey to users the date the motors’ certification expired, and the final date these motors may used. A most important point to note is that only motors that were made prior to the date of certification expiration may be used for the period specified on the list. From the TRA website:
EXPIRED MOTORS Dated: 31 May 2000
These motors are no longer Tripoli Rocketry Association Certified motors. They may be flown at regular TRA launches until 31 May 2003 only if the manufacturing date of the motor falls during the certification period as verified by the RSO. This Three Year Consumer Protection Policy was adopted by TRA in 1997.
Clearly, the policy directs the RSO at TRA-sanctioned launches to ensure that the use of any expired motor is consistent with the guidelines that: a) the motor’s date of manufacture must be confirmed as within the date the motor was a TRA- certified motor (in the example above, it must have been manufactured no later than May 31, 2000), and b) it is within the extended-use date range - in this case, May 31, 2003. What if the RSO cannot establish date of manufacture? Use of the motor must not be not be permitted.
Board Meeting Minutes: It will be seen when reviewing the resumes of the Board candidates, that one candidate has expressed some concern over the way the vote tallies of the various recent Board motions were reported in the last issue of the Tripoli Report. The criticism was that the reader could not tell how each individual Board member voted, thus masking the voting record of the Board members. Having examined this assertion, I sent a message to the candidate, as his concerns deserved attention. A portion of my message is as follows:
I have reviewed all published minutes of the Board actions in the last TR, and it is clear that of the 19 motions voted upon, one can tell on all but two how each Director voted. In fact, most of these were passed unanimously, with only a few cases where a member, who was named, abstained. It is true that on 2 of the 19 motions (the last two motions of 2000), I gave the number of yes-no votes, rather than listing by name, who voted which way (although even on these two, one can at least tell how two of these members voted - the members making and seconding the motions are obviously in favor of them). This was, frankly, a short-hand way of reporting the results, and was not a deliberate attempt to shield anyone from revealing how they voted.
I will take your observance to heart, however, as I do not want anyone to misunderstand or mistrust the Board voting record. I will ensure that no motions are reported in that manner in future minutes, and will enter revised minutes at the next Board meeting to include an explicit roll of who voted ‘yes-no’ on the two motions in question.
Accordingly, revised minutes for the two motions in question are published in this issue. My apologies to any who felt these motions had not been properly documented.