Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tulsa Amateur Radio Repeater Club Organization?

I have received several emails the past couple of days concerning rumors of a merger between the two major ham radio clubs in Tulsa - the Tulsa Amateur Radio Club, and the Tulsa Repeater Organization. No official talks are going on, yet, but some of the responses seem to favor the idea.

I have seen and heard people express a desire for a merger before. I can see why people would like to see it happen. When I became a ham back in 1997, a lot of friction and competition existed between the clubs, despite a large number of people belonging to both. Over the years, the clubs have cooperated more and more. It started with the clubs combining efforts on the Skywarn program. The response to Hurricane Katrina also brought increased cooperation between the clubs. The last few years have seen combined Field Day operations. With clubs struggling all across the country to keep members, they can't afford to waste their efforts. I believe Abraham Lincoln said that you can't build yourself up by tearing someone else down. Combined efforts accomplish more.

I too, would like to see a merger. But I have my doubts.

The clubs have different structures and attitudes, for starters. Then they would face issues of what to do with club repeaters and other equipment, callsigns, websites, newsletters, how much for club dues, etc. Working out all these details will take time to come to a solution everyone will be satisfied with, that is, if the clubs are to do a merger of their structures. Alternative approaches would be to hammer out a new structure, or for one club to fold and donate all its resources to the other. Hmmm, lots to think about... (chin-rubbing emoticon would go here if I could post one)

I do have one suggestion for now. Base the structure on the principles of the Incident Command System. The ICS is a proven organizational tool. We don't have to have the same structure as ICS, just use the same principles the ICS is based on.

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