Home Forums Events & Projects Separation of Board and Commercial Interest

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    Jerome Daoust
    General Member

    Since Linda (board member) wrote: “I do think anyone with a commercial interest or less than a set number of years in the CSS should be prevented from a seat on the BOD“. And the current BOD is one of the least involved with commercial activities at the site (a good thing) and likely most receptive, I warm up this topic.

    Without having any specific people in mind, I propose that…

    Current board members hold a membership vote to update the bylaws to disqualify board member applicants from having a significant commercial interest. The “significant commercial interest” will need to be defined, maybe: No school owner and family, no instructor and family, no driver, OK to be part of other club or USHPA leadership.

    Commercial sympathizers may still apply, and lobbying can occur, but this bylaw change would still be a good step towards neutral board members. Motivated individuals may be harder to find, but it will be worthwhile.

    Zero shame for being disqualified (I would be due to holding an instructor rating). It likely means that you are already busy helping the sport in a different way.

    As always, nothing prevents people with “significant commercial interest” who are not board members, to do good things for the club and be praised for it.


    The BOD has considered this issue in the past and discussed it again due to events that have occurred in the past 2 years.  I think anyone would agree that it makes complete sense to have that separation of function.  Unfortunately, however, there is a limited of pool of dedicated pilots who are willing to volunteer their time to both the work of the BOD and the physical work that the site requires to be maintained.  The policy in the past has not been to restrict BOD candidacy to those who operate flight instruction or other services, because of people like Rob Mackenzie who have been critical assets to both the club and the sport in their roles as club founders, BOD members, and Instructors for many, many years.

    As of now the BOD feels that changing this precedent would not necessarily be beneficial and could potentially sow more discontent in the membership.  The Club’s By-Laws already have rules & policy in-place regarding negative behaviors by any general member or even BOD positions, rules that no one has taken any pleasure in exercising recently .

    Also, noteworthy, the previous BOD attempted a last minute Ballot Measure near the very of their term in early 2023, an initiative that would have been very detrimental to the club if successful, which is a major contributing factor to why the current BOD was elected to the current term in the first place.  We feel that it would be in poor taste to press a controversial ballot measure prior to an election.

    I would hope that the membership is able to recognize which individuals who are running for a BOD seat do in fact have commercial interest in the club, and they consider the actions, behavior, and past performance of those candidates when voting.


    Luke, I understand and agree with a lot of what you wrote.  However, it seems that the overwhelming majority of conflict and issues that continue to arise at the flight park involve persons with commercial interests.  Give them power and the problems will only escalate.  I have always believed that while money may not be the source of all evil, it darn sure is the source of much evil.  If you want to really know what kind of person you are dealing with, just put some dollars at issue.  Then the “real” person will quickly show itself.

    Tim Ward
    General Member

    Meh.  I instruct at AJX.  That’s a “commercial interest”.  I don’t think anyone has had a problem with me serving on the board.

    Before he retired, Rob McKenzie had a “commercial interest”.  He’s been on the board many times.  I would be hard-pressed to find his participation to be anything but a benefit to the club.

    I’ll agree that, yeah, while there could be a conflict of interest, most of that would relate to other people with “commercial interests” in the club, since it isn’t going to be in anyone’s interest to lose AJX.

    In any case, members with “commercial interests” in the LZ are generally known quantities to the membership, because they’re local.  There’s no strangers with mysterious motivations moving in.

    I’m pretty sure members can figure out for themselves whether people can be trusted to make their decisions on the board with respect to what’s best for the club rather than what’s best for them personally.

    Honestly, *generally* what’s best for them personally would be to let someone else do the work.

    It’s not like we have such competition for board participation that we need to limit the field artificially.  And if the only people we can get to volunteer are those who have some sort of financial stake…  then that’s who we can get.



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