Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
June 20, 2018
Present: Bob Brookfield, Sarah Brookfield, Anna Crissman, Rex Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Sam Fouse, Buddy Matthews, Heather Powers, Mark Senior, James Shanks, and via conference call, Heather Clark, Blair Deffenbaugh, Ben Tyler, and Kit Williams. Morgan Mehler did not attend.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Sam Fouse at 7:33 PM, on Wednesday, June 20th 2018, at Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC.
- Ben Tyler attended as a guest via telephone. Bob and Sara Brookfield attended as guests in person.
- Motion to approve the May minutes, as posted on the Google drive (Senior / Crissman). Passed.
Order of items below reflects the order of discussion; not necessarily as they appeared on the published agenda.
Treasurer Heather Powers had produced a Profit-and-Loss Statement for the Region through June 20th, though there was some question as to whether all the SARRC / MARRS expenses were accounted for. Basically, it showed that we generated revenues of nearly $100K due to racing activities and had incurred expenses of approximately $23K, giving us a current balance of about $85K to see us through until Goblins Go. We are still a long way from our stated goal, which is to finish each year with all of the coming year’s track rental in the bank. Track rental is approximately $135K but combining all our accounts, including savings, we have only about $105K currently, so we still have to watch our expenses closely. Sam noted that our biggest money maker continues to be the Sprint Sprints Majors, which netted us about $50K all by itself. He also said that he and Heather would be going over the P-and-L statement together before presenting it in detail to the Board. One issue that bothered them both was the way that we handle worker credits. Our reimbursement system means that we really don’t know how much we spend on worker credits for each event until the end of the year when most people claim them. In the meantime, they have to be estimated and a cash reserve built up to cover the almost $40K we will be asked to pay in late November. Sam asked how we stand vis-à-vis other Regions on this, and Flag Chief Ben Tyler responded that we are the only Region in the Southeast that does not pay its volunteers in cash or gift cards at the event. Atlanta, he said, paid $30 per day, Buccaneer paid $25 per day, except for the February drivers school at $50 per day, and CCR had a complicated formula of $25 per day, but $75 for two days if one worked a Friday as well. South Carolina paid an unusual $44 per day, he said. It was noted that initially the reimbursement policy was instituted to avoid any entanglements with the IRS, either for the Region paying for services or for the volunteers receiving the money, but that seems moot now, since no one receives more than $600 from any one source. Sam stated that we should consider moving to a straight cash pay-as-you-go system for next season; something to be discussed after this one ends.
- Spring Sprints and SARRC/MARRS Observer’s Reports. Sam had circulated the Spring Sprints and SARRC / MARRS Observer’s Reports to Board members for discussion. The Spring Sprints one has a survey sent to all participants conducted by the National Office. Sam noted that we continue to get serious complaints about the ease and speed of the registration process on-site that we need to address. Also, the competitors complained that we did not have Express Tech, even though the National Office no longer requires it. Another thing that they disliked was being forced into impound to witness the trophy presentations following each race. Sam said this was one of several things, like VIR’s fees for pit vehicles, that are imposed upon us, over which we have no control, but for which we are still blamed. And last year, the competitors complained about being herded into spaces by the paddock marshal. This year they complained that they were left to their own devices about where to park, so it is difficult to know what we should do. Sam floated the idea of assigning spaces at time of registration on MSR and then enlisting VIR’s help in enforcing that even on the test day, since test day drivers seem to be the worst offenders at taking up too much room in the paddock. Mark will bring this up to Kerrigan for discussion. It was noted that this would undoubtedly be viewed as unfriendly by some people, no matter how well-intentioned it is. Another recurring complaint was the fact that we had a three-day Super Tour event rather than a two-day Conference event, which is more expensive. That is a local option which perhaps we should explore, but it is doubtful that National would be happy if we tried to have a non-Super-Tour event in advance of the Runoffs. It seems that many competitors don’t seem to know what the Super Tour is, and of course don’t understand that the fees are higher as well. With regard to the SARRC / MARRS, the Observer’s Report shows that we are still getting blamed for things which are not our fault, such as how long it takes EV to do cleanup after a major incident. Also, many of the stewards, including the out-of-division steward who wrote the reports, and probably many of his colleagues in the Southeast Division, clearly do not understand how overtime works at VIR. The normal rental day is 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, so moving up the start time to 8:15 or worse, 8:00 AM, automatically costs us more money before we even launch the first session. And shortening races to avoid overtime charges is counter-productive. Drivers complain that they are not getting their money’s worth. When we do incur overtime charges, they are at the normal rental rate, not time-and-half, so having a hour or so of overtime occur by the end of the day is not hyper-expensive and it serves the purpose of giving the drivers the seat time they paid for. That is why we always budget for a least an hour of overtime when we set the entry fee. Several Board members urged Sam to let the unfavorable comments by the SARRC / MARRS observer, and by the drivers in the Spring Sprints survey, go. It was observed that given the opportunity to complain, people will pick something to complain about, even when nothing can be done about it (like the weather). And no one is telling us we cannot have another event because we had complaints about the ones we just had. We should address what we can and move on, secure in the knowledge that we have done the best job we could and that probably no one else could have done it better. Anna added that she was trying to take many of the scheduling complaints into her proposed timeline for October. She was even proposing to split the formula cars into fast and slow groups so that we might attract more of them. Several people said this had been tried in the past without success, but everyone agreed that we could try it one more time. In the interest of finishing at a reasonable hour, Anna said, the Goblins Go would have a full ECR on Saturday, but only a 45-minute race for TCPS and Atlantic Pro Cup on Sunday. She added that she hopes to have a timeline and a copy of the proposed Supps sent out before the next Board meeting.
- Speed Suite Work Days. Sam indicated that, due to the extremely hot weather expected, and some personal commitments, he was going to have to cancel the proposed work day at the Speed Suite this coming Saturday, June 23rd. Instead he asked everyone to find weekends they might be available in July and August. One thing that was a scheduling problem, he said, was the need for a forklift to move the large storage racks around. Bruce pointed out that VIR has a very big forklift and that we should check into its availability as well as asking to borrow one from Jim Tolman at Wisko. Mark agreed to ask Kerrigan Smith about that soon.
- Bylaws Committee Update. James reported that the Bylaws Committee, consisting of Heather Clark, Mark Senior, and himself, had met and adopted a plan of action. They were hoping to have draft proposal of changes, to permit electronic voting, and to clarify who can vote, to present to the Board by the next meeting. The goal, he said, was to have electronic voting in place before the next election cycle in December of this year.
- Material Contributions to the SCCA National Archives. James reported that he had inventoried 250 unique dash plaques, mostly from E. Gordon Warren’s collection, and had sent them along to the SCCA National Archives housed at the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) at Watkins Glen. He also sent along a heavy chrome car badge from the WDC Region, one of two in E. Gordon’s Collection, that the head archivist was thrilled to receive. A few very unique dash plaques from the early days at VIR and Rockingham remain in our hands, he said.
- 2019 Schedule. In response to inquiries made since the last meeting, VIR says it has no dates available to give us for a test day weekend in advance of the Runoffs. Sam wants Mark to schedule a meeting with Kerrigan in the hope of finding a Monday or a Friday that might be open. He reminded everyone that there is a 30-day blackout period before the Runoffs which would prelude us doing anything in September. Sam also wants VIR to consider letting us run the test day in advance of one of our other events and keep the revenue from that. Some members present were unsure that we truly need to be worried about losing the revenue from the Goblins go, but Sam pointed out that many of our expenses continue whether race or not, and only racing adds significantly to the bottom line. In his conversations with Lee Hill and Deanna Flanagan, Sam learned that our situation appears to be unique. Apparently, no one can remember another case where the host Region lost a race date because of the Runoffs. That’s why he has asked them to share one of the test days with us. He also pointed out to Deanna that they have to rent the scales from us, a fact of which she was unaware. Ben Tyler reported that Don Drennon had asked whether the Speed Suite might be rented for use as the F&C offices during the Runoffs, but Sam pointed out that this would require us to empty it and we have no place else to store what’s in there now. That’s why we bought it in the first place.
- SEDIV Mid-Year meeting. The SEDIV Mid-Year meeting is July 14th in Atlanta. Sam already told the folks in charge that he will not be attending in person but will conference in with Melanie Murray, the RE of South Carolina Region, whom he has asked to be our proxy for any votes that might be required. It is ridiculous, Sam said, for us to spend hundreds of dollars on travel, meals, and an overnight stay in Atlanta for business that could be conducted via a conference call.
Chapter and Committee Reports: As of this writing there were no Chapter or Committee reports for June 2018 posted on the Google drive.
Motion to adjourn at 8:52 PM (Senior / Crissman). Passed.
Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks