Election of Board
Plan to Rewrite and Adopt New Bylaws
Keys, IDs, and Guests
COVID has essentially disrupted Club and Board functions all of last year and this year as well. It’s been frustrating and disappointing. Members have been tense and anxious and understandably disappointed. Our expectation is that this website can and should help us to begin to catch up with everything that needs to be done. This includes rebuilding our neglected Club from the ground up.
In that regard, given the many issues and concerns facing the Club, including the outdated Bylaws, the Club will schedule elections for Officers and Directors at the end of 2021.
Upon building this website it has become abundantly clear that the Bylaws need to be rewritten and modernized. In many instances they are no longer applicable, if not completely dysfunctional and counterproductive. Many approved amendments were not preserved due to a volunteer’s sudden illness. For example, the process of voting at a limited membership meeting was abandoned because it deprived the full membership of a legitimate opportunity to be heard and vote.
In fact, the Bylaws are so confusing, unclear, and inapplicable the easiest and preferred solution to this ongoing problem is to rewrite the entire Bylaws from the ground up. That’s is exactly what we are going to do. The plan is to put our new improved Bylaws, once completed, to a vote of the membership within the next few months. This website will greatly facilitate that process. In fact, construction of the new Bylaws is already well underway.
This new website will eventually have a page dedicated to the new Bylaws so that each member will be able to read and refer to them when necessary. Amendments will be added and preserved online. It is clearly the way to go and will assist in making our Club more transparent.
The new Bylaws will include a more accurate and complete description of the duties of each Officer so that anyone who wanted to get more involved and run for a position would have a better understanding of the obligations of each office. These Administrative positions are completely volunteer. No one is paid. The only compensation, if any, is at best reduced or eliminated dues. If you’ve never held one of these positions than you would not know that the elimination of dues does not come close to reimbursing these volunteers for the innumerable hours spent doing the job and the endless grief that comes with dealing with disgruntled members. The new Bylaws will not only increase accountability for the specific office held but it will reduce excessive burdens on any volunteer. Right now, Officers and Directors are doing double duty and handling functions that have proved frustrating and aggravating. Having explicit duties spelled-out would relieve our administrative volunteers of unnecessary burdens and conflicts.
KEYS & IDS
Your membership expired as of March, 2021.
Currently there are 35 members who have completed the online application, signed the Joining Agreement, were approved and paid full dues, or pending payment.
The tentative plan is to change the locks and distribute new keys to all active dues paying members on or about the end of May 30 or beginning of June.
That will give all expired members until the middle of May to apply for membership, obtain approval and pay dues before the locks change and they are denied access to the range.
The Club will then have a reasonable estimate of those who desire to continue to participate in the Club. With that estimate the Club will purchase sufficient keys and produce sufficient membership IDs. We will then confirm and post the date on our new website when active dues paying members can pick up their keys and membership IDs.
Joining after May 21st may result in a delay in providing you with keys and ID cards without which you will be denied access to the range.
DISPLAYING MEMBERSHIP IDS IS MANDATORY!
As soon as gate Keys and membership IDs are distributed no one will be permitted on the range without wearing/displaying their new IDs. Anyone not wearing/displaying a new membership ID will be asked to leave. If they do not leave, the police will be summoned. This is a policy that is necessary to ensure compliance with our liability insurance and the City!
If someone not wearing an ID is in the presence or vicinity of an active member or members, it is the duty and obligation of the active member or members to ask the person to display their ID. If they do not display their ID, the member or members should ask the person to leave, and if they do not leave, call the police and report the person to Officers or Directors of the Club. Those persons present on the range without displaying IDs are either (1) not approved members and are trespassing, or (2) are members in violation of the rules of our Club and place their membership privileges in jeopardy.
Active Members who fail to wear their ID can be suspended or terminated. Active Members who bring guests may be suspended or terminated. Active Members who fail to report the unauthorized person may be suspended or terminated.
There is a definitive reason for these rules. If you are not aware of the reason, it may seem like a harsh rule to you, but the reasons for these rules are sensible and obvious once they are explained.
The Verdugo Hills Archers range is not open to the public. Access to the range requires membership which requires electronically signing the Joining Agreement and paying dues for the maintenance of the range and the purchase of liability insurance. That Joining Agreement sets forth the rules, regulations, policies and waivers that are necessary for this Club to purchase liability insurance which is required by the City for our access to this land. That Joining Agreement also sets forth the City’s mandatory prerequisites for the continued use of the land as well as the basic rules under which our Club must operate.
The electronically signed Joining Agreement provides the Club with documentary evidence that those who participate understand and agree to these rules, regulations, policies and waivers. Guests have not signed this Joining Agreement nor agreed to all rules, regulations, policies and waivers.
Because archery involves the use of a potentially dangerous instrumentality, guests, past expired members, or unauthorized visitors are clearly not in compliance with the fundamental and mandatory obligations we have to preserve our insurance and satisfy those few demands that the City imposes upon us. Guests have not signed waivers or formally agreed to abide by the rules of the Club. The Club, like it or not, must have zero tolerance for the presence of guests or unauthorized persons on the range or risk termination of insurance and our privilege of access to the land.
On occasion, under the supervision of Officers, Directors, Chairpersons, or their designees, the Club is open to the public, but on those occasions all visitors (non-active Members) must sign waivers. Typically, the Club occasionally opens its gates to those seeking instruction or to the general public for 3D Shoots, Field Shoots, Invitational tournaments, and similar events, for the limited time and duration of the event. On those occasions guests are required to sign waivers. This is pursuant to the terms and conditions issued by our insurance provider and the City. It is a decision relegated to the Officers and Directors of the Club. Other than these events, no guests or unauthorized persons are permitted on our range.
Club Membership Dues Increase
Working to maintain the range is essential to preserving our continued access to this beautiful piece of land. Our fire safety obligations to the City cannot be achieved without continuous range maintenance, primarily the removal of dead wood and shrub debris.
Members agreeing to work as a part of their membership to maintain the range has been an essential key to both the enjoyment of reduced Club membership fees and the fulfillment of our obligations to the City.
In general, there are two membership rates. One for those who work the range, and a substantially greater amount for those who prefer not to or cannot work the range.
For Individual Membership, which included an agreement to work the range, dues have been $85.00 for quite awhile with no increase, yet costs to maintain the equipment and perform range maintenance have steadily increased. Most would agree that a membership fee increase is long overdue.
Consequently, after due consideration, your Board has decided to increase dues an additional $15.00 per year, from $85.00 to $100.00.
[Note: This past year if you paid the discounted worker's rate, then you were already granted the discount from the outset, whether you worked or did not work. Either way, if you signed up to work the past year you have already paid the lower dues for the past year. For this upcoming year's membership, if you agree to work you will pay the full dues upfront. You must then work the range. At the end of the year, if your work is verified you will receive a discounted rate for the following year's membership renewal. Consequently, as far as the “worker's discount,” nothing has fundamentally changed accept when the discount occurs, that is, from the outset with a mere promise to work, or after verification that work has been completed at the end of the year. At the end of this year if you haven’t done the required work, you will have appropriately paid the full membership dues and you will not be entitled to or receive the discount.]
Furthermore, ensuring that members have earned the discounted rate for working the range has not always been easy to determine or verify. It can prove contentious. Several members paid the worker's discounted rate up front, yet they did not work the required hours or did not work at all.
One solution to this “failure to do the work” problem was to charge, upon membership renewal: 1. the full non-working dues with no work discount and 2. collect, on top of that, the difference that was saved by the initial agreement to work (but thereafter was not earned during the previous year). Also considered was the option of completely denying the “work discount” for the future membership of those who agreed to work, but did not show up for any of the work parties. (Some have pondered the advantage of eliminating the discount all together, and with the additional funds hiring a crew to attend to the Range.)
The creation of our new web-based membership site has made possible an alternative solution that the Club believes is worth trying.
In order to ensure that the work discount is earned and deserved a new system will be implemented. Full dues at the non-working rate will be paid up front, and assuming work is performed during the year, the site will then issue each working member a code that will reduce the cost of membership renewal for the following year. If the required hours are fully worked, the costs of renewal will be reduced $150.00.
New ideas for completing the required work hours are also being discussed. One idea, for example, is that a member would communicate to the Board through this website. The member would propose a certain cleanup task. When approved, the member, at his/her convenience, would take a before and after photo of the area to be improved and download it onto this site with the date, who did the work, and the hours spent. The Board would later approve the time and, upon completion of the required hours, issue a discount code for membership renewal.
The net and gross membership rates for Individuals, Families, and Seniors are set forth below.
In this regard, it is important for our members to understand that our new dues structure is still comparatively not unreasonable. For example, at Conejo, working membership is $130.00 per year with 24 hours of work required. If the member doesn’t do the required hours, they are billed $300.00, making their total dues $430.00 a year. A Family Membership there is $160.00 per year, with a requirement that they put in 48 hours worth of work. Failure to do so means they will be billed an additional $600.00 making dues a total of $760 per family. See https://www.cvarchers.com/membership
Oranco charges $180.00 for Individual membership and $240.00 for family membership. However, they also charge for late fees and members of Oranco are required to maintain a membership in CBH/SAA ($50.00 to $80.00). Also, the $180.00 does NOT include the Association Membership or Initiation Fees. They do not give their work discount up front. Instead, each work party that a member attends equals $30 off the member’s next year’s dues. https://www.orancobowmen.org/Membership
Your Board recognizes that the initial upfront payment may seem substantial. It also provides a sizable increase in revenue for the Club during this coming year. This revenue will enable your Board to fund some needed improvements that are long overdue.
Because some members assume there is a pool of money waiting to be spent, it is important to know that, as a general rule, the Board seeks to maintain an emergency fund in the case there is a fire, regularly pays for liability insurance, maintains a fund to pay the deductible if necessary, handles the non-profit tax obligations, pays to purchase new and maintain equipment, etcetera. In the event we forfeit our privilege to access the range, the Club also maintains a fund to clear the bins and other structures we would be obligated to remove.
The Board has several hopes for the future: to make operational one of the tractors, or to purchase a new tractor; to buy new range maintenance equipment; to replace or repair the targets; to add more targets; and much more.
Finally, it may be necessary to hire a crew to finish the massive work of clearing the dead wood and debris.
The goal is to maintain, improve and build a better range! The dues increase will certainly help!
Thank you for your understanding!