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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2022 3:55 pm 
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Gentlemen of the ACWGC,

When the original rules concerning the Cabinet were written they were done so at a time where our Club's membership was more than twice the size it is presently. We are not nearly so large nor so active as we used to be. Both sides also suffer from a lack of volunteerism as well. Our Club no longer has the level of high participation from dozens of different members like we used to. Since I joined the Club in 2019, all but one of the elections for Cabinet Secretary have been by “acclimation” (e.g., uncontested).

I believe it is time to rightsize our cabinet with the level of members of who are interested in serving and relative to the “level” of business that it now faces. I really do not see any hazard or risk arising from downsizing the Cabinet given the multiple layers of veto power that presently exist which would not be changed by downsizing. In other words, the balance of power is preserved.

There are numerous advantages to this. The reduced number of positions puts less strain on the dozen or so volunteers around the Club who seem to be running numerous offices at once. It will make the Cabinet more responsive as business and votes can proceed more quickly at times with fewer people. It will cease the yearly conundrum of trying to plead for volunteers or hoping those that do come forward are competent and really interested in assuming the role. Lastly, it might make the biennial secretary elections competitive again as there is only one seat available for each side.

One rule change is necessary to implement this proposal.

Existing rule 3.3.2 reads:

3.3.3. Cabinet Members. There will be seven members of the Cabinet: Club President, CoA (USA), CoA (CSA), and four Cabinet Secretaries (two Cabinet Secretaries representing each military group). No club member may hold more than one seat on the Cabinet at any one time.

Proposed rule 3.3.2:

3.3.2. Cabinet Members. There will be five Cabinet members: Club President, CoA (USA), CoA (CSA), and two Cabinet Secretaries (one Cabinet Secretary representing each military group). No club member may hold more than one seat on the Cabinet at any one time.

Comments on this proposal may be made until May 22, 2022.

My best regards to you all!

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General Walter A. Dortch
PRESIDENT, ACWGC
Commander -/4/V AotP


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2022 4:37 pm 
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Although I have no objection to the intent of this proposal I think there needs to be something included to ensure that the desired "balance of power is preserved" at all times. I suggest the new rule be something more like:
3.3.2. Cabinet Members. There will be a maximum of five Cabinet members (two from each side plus the President elected in accordance with Rule 3.3.4.1). Normally this shall comprise: Club President, CoA (USA), CoA (CSA), and two Cabinet Secretaries (one Cabinet Secretary representing each military group) but may include interim members (determined by their respective side, to ensure that at all times each side has a minimum of two members of Cabinet. No club member may hold more than one seat on the Cabinet at any one time.

Given declining membership and the "lack of volunteerism" the suggested amendment should ensure that the balance of power is preserved at all times and not disrupted due to the unforeseen, or even planned, departure of any sitting Cabinet Member.

I think the proposed rule change sheds light on important issues that need to be addressed for the future of the Club and I'd be interested to know what will be done to address them. Specifically:
1. Recruitment seems to be sporadic at best. Why? It is known that large numbers of people own the games we play yet they are not a member of this Club [other similar Clubs also seem to lack members].
2. Why is there a "lack of volunteerism"? Has this been investigated?
3. What has been done to improve retention of existing members? I believe the tournaments has certainly aided in this but what else has been done. The departure rate of existing members seems to continue unabated and recruitment is insufficient to address such losses to the Club.

[In any club I've been a member of it has always been the case that a small proportion are willing to do the work needed to keep a club functioning. The majority, usually the vast majority, do not do that work for various reasons. The Club simply needs more people.]

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Paul Swanson
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Army of Northern Virginia


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2022 7:11 pm 
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General Swanson.

Thank you for your comments. My responses to them are shown in bold text.

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Reply to Swanson

Although I have no objection to the intent of this proposal I think there needs to be something included to ensure that the desired "balance of power is preserved" at all times. I suggest the new rule be something more like:
3.3.2. Cabinet Members. There will be a maximum of five Cabinet members (two from each side plus the President elected in accordance with Rule 3.3.4.1). Normally this shall comprise: Club President, CoA (USA), CoA (CSA), and two Cabinet Secretaries (one Cabinet Secretary representing each military group) but may include interim members (determined by their respective side, to ensure that at all times each side has a minimum of two members of Cabinet. No club member may hold more than one seat on the Cabinet at any one time.

Given declining membership and the "lack of volunteerism" the suggested amendment should ensure that the balance of power is preserved at all times and not disrupted due to the unforeseen, or even planned, departure of any sitting Cabinet Member. The existing rules provide ample means to maintain the balance of power (see for example, Rule 3.3.5.1). The proposed change does not change this balance, it simply reduces the size of the Cabinet.


I think the proposed rule change sheds light on important issues that need to be addressed for the future of the Club and I'd be interested to know what will be done to address them. Specifically:
1. Recruitment seems to be sporadic at best. Why? It is known that large numbers of people own the games we play yet they are not a member of this Club [other similar Clubs also seem to lack members]. A major effort has been made to increase recruitment involving General Strickler’s creation of a Club FB page and Recruiting Office website. Ongoing efforts include out reach to all manner of ACW related sites (FB pages, ACW roundtables, etc). If you have any other ideas, I would be happy to see them.

2. Why is there a "lack of volunteerism"? Has this been investigated? Yes. The original architecture of the Club required line commanders of all levels to maintain web sites (above DC level), produce detailed reports and more. Both sides have, over the last year taken action to reduce this “overhead” based on a presumption that if these requirements were reduced (in favor of more emphasis on mentoring) we would see in increase in interest to take on such positions. That has not happened.

3. What has been done to improve retention of existing members? I believe the tournaments has certainly aided in this but what else has been done. The departure rate of existing members seems to continue unabated and recruitment is insufficient to address such losses to the Club. Besides tournaments, the consolidation of many of the functions of the USA Academy CSA Institute was implemented. This now includes advanced training and other features aimed directly at retaining new members of the Club who may be new to the WDS games, etc. I previously replied to this and other ideas you had related to this topic here: ACWGC Forums • View topic - New Club-wide Medal Proposed. Comments due Jan 23, 2022 (wargame.ch)


[In any club I've been a member of it has always been the case that a small proportion are willing to do the work needed to keep a club functioning. The majority, usually the vast majority, do not do that work for various reasons. The Club simply needs more people.] Agree totally with both points and the rightsizing of the Cabinet proposal is simply aimed at addressing the first reality.

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Sincerely,

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General Walter A. Dortch
PRESIDENT, ACWGC
Commander -/4/V AotP


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2022 9:09 pm 
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My wording was my 'two cents worth' but I'm just a bit uneasy about the proposed wording. It may be a 'storm in a teacup' but Rule 3.3.5.1 is far from sufficient in ensuring the balance of power is preserved. It does not require that the interim replacement be from the same side.

1. I'm unfamiliar with Facebook or how many visits our page there gets but I searched for then visited our site today and it looks like there is little interest in it. There are few or no comments on the posts I viewed back to late April but then I got a 'popup' saying "Please log in to see this page" so even if I try and bring it up again I can not view that page anymore [perhaps lack of comments and shutting it down to non-Facebook members is the norm for Facebook].
Off the top of my head the only thing I can think of is that WDS should be asked to mention our Club and provide a link as the old JTS website used to do. Our members spend a fair bit of money on the games and new people who join the Club are likely to increase purchases above any games they currently own if they join us and enjoy the experience. Other than that I have a general feeling that we should aim for boardgamers (essentially the games we play are little more than boardgames on a computer) and to a lesser extent those who subscribe to ACW history sites. I suspect those experienced with boardgames are likely to be better players on average than those whose only experience is other computer games.

2. Hmmm, well I guess that didn't work. Perhaps people could be asked why they do not want to take on higher command or carry out Club functions.

3. I am strongly opposed to "the consolidation of many of the functions of the USA Academy CSA Institute" as it goes against the premise that this is a Club of two sides. To date it has essentially meant that the Union has been granted access to all the CSA information - I have not seen that we have received anything in return. Not a thing. I have protested this in strong terms within the CSA side of the Club.
I remember the 'new medal' forum topic and revisited it today. There was various back and forth between a few members and in my first post to that thread (Post #4) I provided several ideas that could be implemented to aid retention. [As for the new medal itself, my views on that were made clear at that time.]

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Paul Swanson
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Army of Northern Virginia


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2022 10:58 pm 
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General Swanson - Excellent questions and observations!

As for the "balance of power" issue, are you addressing the short time between implementation of these rule changes (assuming they are adopted) and the next two Cabinet elections? I had that same concern, as the terms of one side do not currently coincide with the terms of the other - meaning that one side would end up with extra Cabinet representation for several months.

This issue has been discussed within the Cabinet, with several options presented to alleviate the potential problem. One option would be to simply extend the term of the next Cabinet member due to roll off for a few months, until the term of the other member (from the opposing side) ends. No election would be conducted for these two positions, leaving the balance of power even. Another option would be for two Cabinet members (one from each side) to immediately resign (again, once the rule changes were adopted). A third option would be a compromise between these two: All Cabinet members retain their positions until the first term ends, at which point a Cabinet member from the other side would resign.

I've compressed many long Cabinet discussions into a few sentences, so this explanation may sound a bit messy. If you have more questions about this issue, please speak up - or feel free to address your questions privately to any or all of the Cabinet.

Please keep up the ideas and the inquiries - you could make a fine Cabinet member yourself, some day.

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General 'Dee Dubya' Mallory
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2022 11:43 pm 
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the rule as Walt has suggested should be implemented, with DW's (cabinets) suggestion of extending one secretary to coincide with other sides time frame and that would 2 members to make the 5 member cabinet.

Paul Swanson does have a point, but the new rule as presented works well without getting too lawyerish, which has been avoided.

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General Ernie Sands
President ACWGC -Sept 2015- Dec 2020
7th Brigade, 1st Division, XVI Corps, AoT
ACWGC Records Site Admin

"If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there."


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 5:05 am 
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The rightsizing seems like a good idea, and the interim secretaries makes sense. I like the idea as less is more. The competition for such positions, as mentioned, would make actual campaigning possible potentially. Overall, I can add nothing at this time but like the solutions presented.

As for Paul’s concern about club exposure, could we elect a recruiting officer? Someone willing to look for potential advertising opportunities?

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Army of Tennessee

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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 4:18 pm 
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Responses to Various comments:

1) We have options as to just when to implement the new rule and it will done in a manner that prevents any temporary imbalance of the Cabinet members.

2) The Club created a Recruiting Officer Position in 2001 which is presently held by Jason Campbell. He is actively posting Club Information in ACW sites of many kinds.

3) It was my understanding that WDS did have a link to the ACWGC on its website. Will follow up on this one.

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General Walter A. Dortch
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 4:32 pm 
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I'm unsure about the downsizing, mainly because I think there are intentionally two secretaries and "only" one CoA. CoA are usual elected from members with admin experience and by members with admin experience, while secretaries are voted by everyone and just need to be Colonel or higher. So this 1:2 ratio is maybe there for a good reason.

I see and understand that we had and still have problems filling these positions but wonder if all the new members from the recent years won't solve that in a few years once they get really deeply attached to the club.

So I wouldn't mind to delay any downsizing and rather actively monitor the development of the membership along with the amount of volunteers, if it doesn't get better a downsizing seems inevitable.

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Lieutenant General Christian Hecht
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 5:19 pm 
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Walt Dortch wrote:
3) It was my understanding that WDS did have a link to the ACWGC on its website. Will follow up on this one.


Hey Walt,

We are still listed on WDS' site. Just checked. 8)

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General Scott Ludwig
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 5:29 pm 
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Scott Ludwig wrote:
Walt Dortch wrote:
3) It was my understanding that WDS did have a link to the ACWGC on its website. Will follow up on this one.


Hey Walt,

We are still listed on WDS' site. Just checked. 8)


Can you provide a link to it? Yesterday, I looked for a referral to our Club in the 'Civil War Battles' and 'Support' sections and couldn't find one.

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Paul Swanson
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Army of Northern Virginia


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 5:36 pm 
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Sure Paul! You were close, if you go to the bottom of the Support Section, under General Resources and then Gaming Clubs: https://wargameds.com/pages/resources-clubs

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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 5:42 pm 
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Thanks Scott!

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General Walter A. Dortch
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 5:48 pm 
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C. Hecht wrote:
I'm unsure about the downsizing, mainly because I think there are intentionally two secretaries and "only" one CoA. CoA are usual elected from members with admin experience and by members with admin experience, while secretaries are voted by everyone and just need to be Colonel or higher. So this 1:2 ratio is maybe there for a good reason.

I see and understand that we had and still have problems filling these positions but wonder if all the new members from the recent years won't solve that in a few years once they get really deeply attached to the club.

So I wouldn't mind to delay any downsizing and rather actively monitor the development of the membership along with the amount of volunteers, if it doesn't get better a downsizing seems inevitable.


I'm in agreement to hold off on downsizing for now, in the near future if the volunteer situation does not improve than we can debate downsizing again.

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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 6:31 pm 
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Thank-you General Ludwig, got it. It's not very prominent so I don't think we can rely on that link too much.

I agree with Generals Hecht and Newell. Also, I had not thought of "this 1:2 ratio is maybe there for a good reason".

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Paul Swanson
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Army of Northern Virginia


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