Why all the secrecy?
"Stiffler has refused requests by RanchoMurieta.com for a copy of the preliminary budget to share with members in advance of the workshop. After the committee meeting, Stiffler said the budget won't be made available to members until the workshop because it is "privileged information," adding, "We need to be fair to our board." When asked why that is considered fair, Stiffler said, "Never mind," turned and walked away."
Why the unprecedented secrecy? The Budget Workshop is an open meeting. The proposed budget to be considered there has in the past been available in advance to the members to review and comment upon, once the Finance Committee takes its final pass at tuning it, as they did tonight. It's unthinkable that the proposed budget is suddenly now regarded "privileged" from review by the members. Will it be kept a secret from us at the Budget Workshop, too? It's over a dozen pages of very confusing and complicated numbers, not something you can absorb in a couple of minutes in the midst of a budget workshop. That's why it's distributed for review in advance. Except this year it's suddenly a big secret?
Last year members and directors reviewed and criticized the outlandish projections of premium cable revenues which were presented in the proposed budget, and the Board wisely chose not to rely upon those pie-in-the-sky numbers (otherwise we would have been hit with a whopper of a surprise emergency assessment to cover its huge shortfall from those wild revenue predictions).
Now this year the GM is attempting to keep the proposed budget under wraps? One can only assume this is being done to impede the members' opportunity to scrutinize and criticize the projections again. Yet those criticisms helped avert a disaster the last time around.
RMA has made significant improvements in the past decade toward openness of its affairs to member scrutiny. Baby steps, but steps in the right direction. This is a whopper of a step backwards.
I like Dave. I believe he is a good man trying very hard to cope with a very difficult and ill-conceived inherited plan which despite his efforts is blowing up in his face. But to try to hide things from the members is a very serious tactical mistake, and an affront to our rights to participate and monitor the financial affairs of OUR association which eats out of OUR pockets.
I urge that this decision be reconsidered and the proposed budget released to the members forthwith, so that we can become prepared and informed for the very important budget workshop where it will be decided how much more we are required to invest in supporting the cable experiment and other operations of RMA.