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440Mandatory Dues Versus Oprtional Dues RPCV Groups

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  • Ed Hromatka
    Aug 7, 2005
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      There has a been lengthy blogs on the NTPCA leaders email line lately about Returned Peace Corps Associations groups that have mandatory dues and those that optional dues. 
       
      On a related topic, we reflected on the low number pf paid members at our last Steering Committee meeting.  Let combine of those two items and let me hear your reactions and thoughts.
       
      Although I had been the President of the RPCV group in 1980-1981 (that subsequently died in 1985), Gary Zimny told me in the early 90s to come to some of the new RPCV group's activities and I could decide to pay dues at a later date if I wanted to do so.  Thus, I got involved again and eventually became a dues paying member.
       
      When in the mid-90s I agreed to do the NTPCA's data base, there were about 450 RPCVs on the North Texas mailing list, but only about 110 or 120 were actually dues paying members of NTPCA.  However, eventually North Texas Peace Corps Association decided to become a "mandatory dues" paying group (when I was not routinely involved in what evolved into the Steering Committee). 
       
      Moreover, when I became "Facilitator" of the NTPCA last February, our North Texas RPCV group had fallen down in 40 some odd paying members.
       
      In short, the argument for mandatory dues membership is that "free loaders" are taking advantage of those who are financially supporting the group; that is not fair and equitable.
       
      The argument for optional dues is that  the group is giving a service to the betterment of the Peace Corps ideals,  the non-payers frequently support the group in others ways, like come to International Fund Raiser or help on Service projects, and the non-dues payers frequently eventually decide to pay dues.
       
      I am basically a pragmatist,  not an ideologue.   I am observing that current basic policy of semi-requiring RPCVs to pay dues to come to North Texas Peace Corps Association events has not work very well.  We are losing members and our people are burning out and are losing interest.
       
      Personally I believe that it is time to go back to being an optional dues group.  I think it is best to reach out and find the 600 -1000 RPCVS in North Texas again.  I think it is in the best interest of NTPCA to again invite non-dues payers to all NTPCA events.  But I may be all alone on this topic.  Do you agree or disagree?  That is,  I want to start a dialogue on this topic and want some input from others.  
       
      Further,  I am not sure how to relocate those RPCVs who have not pain and to which we have lost contact.  It is easy to switch from a optional dues group to a mandatory dues group, but it is hard to relocate those non-paying RPCVs after so many years.
       
      I also think that such a major change should be  voted by the membership at the annual meeting,
       
      Best wishes,
       
      Ed Hromatka
      972-722-5254  -  home
      214-767-2169 - work
      214-564-7201 - cell
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