Questions from a concerned member

Some readers find the President’s Newsletters are concerning and one of them has sent in some questions about the most recent one concerning the ongoing (and unsurprising) losses made by the Club. He says:

Given the President has asked for comments and suggestions, mine are set out below. I am forwarding them to you as the President does not reply to my correspondence.

  1. the letter is, typically, opaque – no details, nothing quantitative, no timelines;
  2. how big are the ongoing losses? (we now know from the Club financials that the losses already made are over a million dollars, Ed.)
  3. were these foreseen – if not why not?
  4. did the CoM formally adopt a budget for the current year?
  5. has the CoM formally adopted an amended budget?
  6. why has the Guardian’s role been completed – was the decision made by a resolution of the CoM
  7. what is meant by “improved accounting systems”?
  8. has the CoM adopted a Strategic Plan?
  9. has the CoM adopted a Business Plan?
  10. how can a Club with $19m invested be in a position where, apparently, it cannot afford to operate?
  11. negotiations with Creative Victoria- what is the aim – reduced rent, shorter lease term – why expect a better deal from CV when the Club has $19m in the bank – what happens if the negotiations are unsuccessful – what is the timetable for the negotiations? (Creative Victoria are the Club’s landlord at the hotel. Ed.)
  12. website upgrade – the CoM could start by (a) indicating who is on the CoM – at present its shows seven names, including Jenny O’Brien who has resigned – the CoM is supposed to have nine members, so why are there only six?  (b) showing photographs of all CoM members (are some among Victoria’s 10 most wanted?) (c) stop advertising functions that have concluded (d) delete the reference to Helen Brazil (Helen was packaged out some weeks ago). How much will this cost in this climate of ongoing loss?
  13. why the reference to “no debt” when there is capital gains tax due shortly?
  14. capital gains – why is the amount owed referred to as “as yet undetermined” when I understand the figure is approx $3m and is set aside in a specific term deposit?
  15. why have the independent members of the new Audit Committee resigned before the sub-committee had its first meeting? (The old Audit Committee resigned as a group because the President would not respond to their questions on governance, Ed.)
  16. when does the CoM intend to comply fully with the Club’s Rules?
  17. has the CoM considered seeking volunteers from members to (a) get them involved and (b) reduce costs – after all, there may even be some talented people among the members
  18. has the CoM considered resigning?

Of course the last question is the most important. In most organisations, faced with a loss of this magnitude and frequent resignations of executive officers, the ruling board or Committee would consider resigning.