Friday, March 18, 2005

SDMC Membership Fee Increase

OMG! People kill me.

Here's the background: The Miata club is having its (required) Annual meeting soon. This is where we elect officers and do all the other official club business that lets us keep our California non-profit status. Among the business on the table is a proposed increase in membership fees. The stated reasoning for the fees is increased cost of club operation, insurance, sending out newsletters to our 500+ members, etc.

After six years with no increase, the proposal is to raise the fee from $25 per family to $35 per family, per year. For reference, one of our club members stated that his local Porsche Club membership is $135/year and the BMW club is $75/year.

This group is pretty damn active, averaging like 2+ events a month, not to mention monthly meetings, etc., so for myself and Kimberley, its a no-brainer decision.

On the other hand, there's always gotta be one guy who needs to be a dissenter. This was posted to the club mailing list:

>Date: Thu Mar 17, 2005 5:05 pm
>Subject: Re: Increasing Dues?

>Not that it matters, since I'm sure it's going to happen. But I'd have to
>quit, if the dues got any more expensive. I can barely afford the $25.

I admit that some of our members are under tighter budgets than most people, but this sort of blows my mind. We're talking an increase of less than 3 cents a day. I started thinking: Give up 2 trips to Starbucks, and you're there. Pass on "Supersizing" your BigMac twice a month, and you're there.

Well, being the "natural born leader" that I am, I came up with an even better solution. Here's my response the club list. Enjoy:

>From: "Mike Herbst"
>Date: Fri Mar 18, 2005 11:13 am
>Subject: (NMC) Membership Fee Increase - (non)Run

I've come up with an idea to cover the potential increased membership
fees, assuming the measure passes at the Annual Meeting.

I propose to lead a (non)Run to help everyone in the club scrape
together the extra $10 to cover new membership fees:

The SDMC Membership Fee Increase (non)Run:

TIME/PLACE: Annual Meeting, Immediately after the Vote
WHERE: We will (not) be driving a scenic route through Julian and
Anza Borrego.
DISTANCE: Approximately 110 Miles (not) Driven.
WHY: On this (non)Run, we'll see (imagine) some of the most beautiful
areas of San Diego County while enjoying the comraderie of the SDMC.
Furthermore, by (not) driving this route we'll save approximately 4.2
gallons of regular unleaded fuel, which at today's prices should more
than make up for the $10 Membership Fee Increase. Members running
Higher Octane or with less efficient cars will of course save more
money. I heartily recommend these extra savings be used to purchase
regalia or be donated to the club.

I hope you'll all join me and Kimberley as we lead the (non)Run! It
should go by very quickly, as I drive very fast in my imagination.
(And apparently only in my imagination.)

See you at the Annual Meeting!


In all seriousness, I'll be voting "Yes" on the fee increase. The SDMC is a fantastic community and resource, and would be a "steal at twice the price", especially when compared to other (less active) clubs in the area. I'd like to think that I'll be able to remain a member (and keep paying whatever dues) even if I ever manage to wreck, sell, or otherwise lack, a Miata.

Mike "Herbie" Herbst

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