October 1997

BY-LAWS CHANGE - COORDINATION BOARD VACANT POSITION REPLACEMENT - The scheduled vote on changing the By-Laws provisions regarding filling of vacant Coordination Board positions was delayed again in July because of concerns that the wording was still unclear. A committee headed by Walt Diem has redrafted the proposal and it will be discussed again at our next General Meeting. Provisions requiring Board candidates to declare system and club affiliations, and any potential conflicts of interest have been added. (There are no other significant changes to the way we have been operating, just clarification of the process.)

NATIONAL FREQUENCY COORDINATORS' COUNCIL (NFCC) - The NFCC is still suffering birthing pains and having a very difficult time getting organized. Despite the grand plans for an organization that would serve as a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) between the Amateur Coordination Community and the FCC, that goal appears to yet be some distance away. Two years after the ARRL sponsored meeting in St. Charles, MO, the Nation's established coordination entities are still trying to determine how they are going to accomplish the task. Although the potential NFCC members have adopted a set of By-Laws, and elected a Board of Directors that established a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the ARRL Board for administrative and office support, criteria for acceptance as a member entity is still being debated. As I indicated last quarter, the prospective membership demonstrated that the overly restrictive Coordination Entity Standards offered by the Board were unacceptable. Despite my position on the Board, I led the fight to defeat those provisions because they did not in any way support the goals we all agreed upon in St. Charles. There is no question that I have been the minority member of the NFCC Board from the beginning, but I have felt justified in being in that position because I was fighting for the concept of local control of the coordination process while endorsing the establishment of procedures and accountability. My Board seat is currently up for election and it is not clear that I can again draw the support of enough of the other coordination entities to be re-elected, but I feel that we have had a significant impact on making the NFCC an organization which will serve the needs of the coordination community. In the same way that a strong and respected Amateur Auxiliary benefits the Amateur/FCC relationship, I believe that a respected NFCC will facilitate Amateur Coordination Entity interface with the Commission.

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP APPEAL HEARING - A possibly precedent setting General Membership Appeal Hearing was conducted in July. The membership upheld the de-coordination of a long-standing system what was not being operated within the parameters of its coordination, and which was not properly occupying its coordinated frequency. See the minutes of the Hearing published in the Bulletin. Systems not operating within the constraints of their coordination are strongly urged to rectify any issues or stand liable for de-coordination. There are others out there that are looking for coordination and are willing to cooperate with their neighbor.

SPREAD SPECTRUM PROPOSAL - FCC action on the Proposal for Rule Making is still pending. It is not clear at this time if the 220 MHz. Bands will be included in any SS authorization.

PARTICIPATION AND 220SMA OPERATION - To many of you I may sound like a broken record as I encourage you to become active in the Association and to work toward bringing in new members, but I have to say it again. I'm sorry if you are bored by my pleas, but if more in our ranks don't decide to get involved soon, we will not be able to accomplish our objectives. Every quarter we need interested individuals to offer to run for our Coordination Boards. Next quarter we will hold our annual elections for those who will serve as officers. Committee people are always needed to perform Band Plan review activities and to make sure we serve all of the modes on the Band. All too often lately, we have been filling these seats with the lone volunteer who doesn't really want the job. The result shows. Symptoms like slow coordination request processing, delayed meeting dates, late minutes, and unpublished Coordination Board reports illustrate that we need some new blood. You are not being asked to handle the whole load by yourself, if enough of you volunteer, the load will be lighter all around.

Jim Fortney K6IYK@K6IYK P.O. Box 3419, Camarillo, CA 93011-3419