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President's Notes

State of the Club

David North


I've been elected again to the office of President of the SJAA, a fairly odd situation for someone who really isn't much of a joiner.

As is presidentially traditional, this seems like a good time to pass along a State Of The Club Address.

First, we're in very good shape. Membership is the highest I've seen since I first saw the member list (several years ago) and continues to grow. We have around 275 actual members, and well over 300 on the mailing list (we have co-op deals with clubs and other organizations).

Due to generous donations, a successful swapmeet/auction, good fiscal policy and the growing membership, we're financially in excellent shape.

We've made some modest additions to the loaner program, and fixed up quite a few of the older scopes. Further acquisitions are planned - I'll leave it to the returning Vice President Mike Koop to keep us appraised of the "blow by blow."

Meetings have been outstanding lately, with a very strong series of presentations by some fantastic speakers.

In other words, a lot of things are going very well.

Not, I might add, any doing of mine for the most part. Perhaps the old adage that "he who gets out of the way helps" best applies to my job...

Nevertheless, I'm left with some small dissatisfaction.

First, we haven't managed to involve too many club members in pushing things along. We sorely lack ATM programs, and this will only slide further with Ed Erbeck moving to Arizona and Jane Houston Jones being busy, married and happy up in Marin.

I'd love to see the ATM "wing" of the club get going again. Having Chabot nearby is terrific for mirror testing and figuring, but we can do just about everything else right here.

Some progress has been made in getting Fremont Peak back into shape as an observing site, but the process is slow and things aren't quite back up to their old standard. However, this has a good side: there has been a resurgence at Coe, and it may end up as an equivalent alternative (seeing and darkness are already similar. Perhaps with some small improvements to the lot, it will truly be six of one, half dozen of the other).

We could use a bit more oomph in our meeting schedule, but we have nobody specifically coordinating events.

The guy who runs the mailing list (me) doesn't do that good a job, and we could use some help there.

Mark Taylor suggested forming Interest Groups to pursue these ideas, and quite a few others, an idea I like quite a bit.

I think, overall, the biggest failure of my first term was not getting more people involved in the club - and finding ways to make that more fun.

I hope I won't make the same mistake this year.


Mail to: David North
Copyright © 2000 San Jose Astronomical Association
Last updated: July 19, 2007

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