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Re: RC: Regional Director and LD Bylaw Vote

On Tue, 28 Sep 1999 01:00:10 GMT, (Joe Long) wrote:

>I know they didn't have any legal obligation to print my letter, but
>the least they should have done IMO was print a retraction or apology
>for using my post without permission, and using it in a way that
>harmed my own position.

To follow up on this, below is a copy of the letter that I sent that
was not published.


AERC Endurance News
11960 Heritage Oaks Place, Suite 9
Auburn, CA  95603-2401

 I just received my April copy of Endurance News and I am disturbed by
what I saw in the "Mailbag" column.

One paragraph out of a single message that I posted to Ridecamp on the
non-member fees issue was reprinted in EN, without my permission, and
without even the courtesy of telling me that it was being printed -
followed by a "refutation" of my comments.  Taken out of context, my
comments appear to be putting down the AERC.  In fact, I was merely
responding to the specific claim by another person that without the
AERC there would be no rides.  I have the highest regard, respect and
admiration for the AERC and have spent many years of hard work
supporting and promoting our organization.

On the subject of non-member fees, what Mr. Gardner says is true but
misses the point.  Membership dues pay for member services; ride
sanction fees pay for rider services.  Everyone who rides pays the
sanction fee, which pays for the services rendered to them by the
AERC.  The non-member fee is an extra fee over and above the services
rendered.  I believe that it is fundamentally unfair to force
non-members to pay extra when they are not getting extra.  It is not a
"bookkeeping fee" either - the bookkeeping is paid for by the sanction

To the 100 mile rider hauling 300 miles to get to the ride, ten bucks
more or less means little.  However, most new LD riders are trying out
a ride close to home, and the entry fees are lower for LD rides than
for the longer distances.  Yet the AERC charges the same ten dollar
fee for all rides, and that ten dollars can be significant to the new
LD rider.  I cancelled my plans to manage a Moonlight Madness ride in
Colorado this summer because I fear the non-member fees would cut my
LD attendance enough to cause an unacceptable financial loss on the
ride.  But again, my concern is not so much with the amount as with
the basic unfairness of the charge.

Yes, non-member fees are common in horse shows.  They are not common
in many other sports (I have never had to pay a non-member fee to
enter a 10K or a marathon).  I have never felt that the AERC should
copy horse shows.

At one time I was proud of our sport for the welcome that it extended
to newcomers.  We didn't say to them "OK, you can come and ride, but
since you're not a member of the club you have to pay extra."  We
welcomed one and all and were happy to have them.  The principle is
even enshrined in our bylaws in that all AERC rides must be open to
all breeds.

When we adopted the non-member fees and extended them to the LD rides,
we lost something special.  And that's sad.

Joe Long
Past President AERC



Joe Long     Business    Personal

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