Minutes of the 1996 NSS Vertical Section Meeting

August 5, 1996

The 1996 NSS Vertical Section meeting and papers session was held Monday, August 5, 1996 at the Salida High School in Salida, Colorado. Executive Committee (EC) members present were Chairman Bruce Smith, Contest Coordinator Bill Cuddington, Vertical Techniques Workshop Coordinator David McClurg, Training Coordinator Gary Bush, Secretary/Treasurer Gary Taylor, Bill Boehle, and Miriam Cuddington. Approximately 70 Vertical Section members were in attendance.

Chairman Bruce Smith called the meeting to order at 9:10 AM.

Symbolic Devices Chair Report: Tray Murphy reported we had a total of five mail order sales this year. With the printing of new issues of Nylon Highway we hope to see more sales. He is looking for a bandanna supplier. Many members are interested in a nice porcelain coffee mug. We'll try to have by the next year.

Secretary's Report: Gary Taylor announced we have approximately 2100 members and former members in the database. Out of that, 621 were members before 1994. A total of 359 did not renew their membership after 1994. A total of 373 are paid through 1995; 325 through 1996; 157 through 1997; 111 through 1998; and 60 through 1999. A total of 26 are paid through 2000 and beyond, up to 2011.

Gary summarized the minutes of last year noting that On Rope had generated $230,000 for the NSS as of summer of 1995. Motions were read and seconded for creation of Education Chair and for 2 year terms for Executive Committee members. Defeated was a motion for rental of the Contest clock. The minutes were approved as published.

Treasurer's Report: As of July 1, 1995 the GMAC "high interest earning" account had a balance of $7945.11 . In regular Checking account there was $2883.71, for a total of $10,828.82. Since then we made 373.97 in interest. There were withdrawals from the GMAC account of $2200 for the Jeff Power Nylon Highway, and $2000 to our regular checking account. Nylon Highways 39 and 40 cost $2652 and $1131 to print respectively, with an additional $84.28 in setup fees. Postage for the two issues will be included in next year's expenses. There were an additional small amount for sending items back and forth between the Editor and Secretary/Treasurer. Also there was a membership approved $614.11 reimbursement to Allen Padgett and Bruce Smith for On Rope II cost overruns.

As of August 1, 1996 the GMAC account contained $4119.08. Our Regular Checking account had $3385.47. Thus, total cash on hand is $7504.55.

The Treasurer's Report was approved as read.

Editor's Report: Bruce Smith thanked Wm Shrewsbury for working to get Nylon Highway back in print. He spearheaded getting Maureen Handler to finish Nylon Highway 39, and Geary Schindel to publish Nylon Highway 40. He was responsible for both printing and the mailing of the issues. He received a round of applause from the members.

Bruce explained that former editor Gary Power has disappeared with $2200. We have tried in vain to contact him. His last known address was Ellensburg, Washington. Any suggestions on how to locate him would be appreciated.

Contest Chair Report: Bill Cuddington thanked the Colorado Grotto for the gym and facilities. There is no smoking anywhere on the school grounds. He thanked Bill Boehle for helping him set up the contest. He gave several guidelines for competing in and running the contest. He thanked PMI for two 500 foot pieces of rope. The group discussed the new Vertical Medley, in which four people climb 30 meters, each using a separate system, for a total of 120 meters. Contestants must be members of the same grotto to compete.

Miriam Cuddington noted the Vertical contest is starting later in the week due to the altitude. Awards will be presented Friday at 1PM in the auditorium along with the Speleo Olympics and Survey Contest.

Vertical Techniques Workshop Report: Dave McClurg thanked the 1996 Convention staff for their cooperation in facilitating facilities. Again, we are full, but we still need more instructors.

Rebelay Workshop Report: Gary Bush reported that the Rebelay Workshop will start at 2PM Tuesday in the bleacher area at the football stadium. We'll be using 9mm rope as the Europeans do. This will be good practice for those attending the International Congress next year.

Basic Vertical Training Course Outline: Gary Bush presented the Basic Vertical Training Course Outline to membership. It will be sold for $20 for the basic set of five 52 page instructors manuals which covers the basic course, a forms set for copying including a class schedule with suggested times for each, student forms, waiver of liability, written checklist, a written exam for which 70 is the minimum score, and a certificate of completion. Additional instructor manuals are $3. This gives each grotto a standard Vertical Section approved course for basic single rope techniques instruction. Gary added that this course is available at this convention for a one time special of $15.

Gary asked the membership for permission to print an additional 32 page student manual so instructors wouldn't have to copy to give to students. An additional $15 would provide 12 Student sets consisting of a student manual, exam form, and other materials. Gary proposed spending $900 for 1500 student sets. This would cost the Section 68 cents a set, and sell for $1.50 per set. Bruce noted that the Executive Committee approved this at their meeting Sunday night.

It was moved and seconded that:   The Section spend $900 for 1500 student sets.

The motion was approved unanimously. These will be distributed by Gary, and should be available within a month after convention.

On Rope II Update: Bruce reported that the book had been written, and the illustrations completed. They have been turned over to the layout committee. Barb Ritts proofread the book and was able to do some fine tuning of the final galley proofs. David McClurg, as chair of the NSS Special Publications Committee, noted that it is good for a book to sell 10,000 copies. On Rope has sold 40,000 plus. The book is expected out in October and will sell for $35. There are 650 illustrations by Ron Buffington. For computer types, the old book had 750,000 bytes of information, the new one has 1.5 million.

Old Business

Education and Training Director: There was a second and final reading of the motion:

The Vertical Section will have an appointed position of Education and Training Director.
The position is currently being done by Gary Bush. The motion was approved unanimously.

Two Year Terms for Executive Committee Members: There was a second and final reading of the motion:

Elected Executive Committee members of the Section will have two year terms of office. Half of these elected positions will be up for re-election each year.

After discussion the motion passed unanimously.

Appointed Editor and Secretary Treasurer: There was a second and final reading of the motion:

In the event of a nonperformance by either an Editor or Secretary/Treasurer, the Executive Committee shall have the latitude to dismiss either person from their position and appoint a replacement to fill the term.

In discussion it was noted the actual motion from last year was that the two offices be appointed. It would be a second motion to give the Executive Committee the power to replace or fire someone in a position.

Gary Bush amended:   The Executive Committee of the Vertical Section shall have the authority to appoint the Editor and Secretary/Treasurer.

The amendment passed.

In discussion on the amended motion, it was observed that four EC members would be elected and five would be appointed. There was some concern about this. It was revealed that the Vertical Contest and Vertical Techniques Workshop Chair were made appointed members of the Executive Committee to provide for continuity and to recognize the work they are doing. These two positions should have voice in Section matters.

In voting, there were 28 yes votes and 16 no votes. The motion failed by one vote.

Gary Storrick moved:   The Vertical Section reconsider the original motion prior to the amendment. The move to reconsider passed unanimously.

The reconsidered motion:

In the event of a nonperformance by either an Editor or Secretary/Treasurer, the Executive Committee shall have the latitude to dismiss either person from their position and appoint a replacement to fill the term.

In voting, this passed with only one vote against.

The fourth motion from last year was withdrawn.

New Business

Dale Lofland moved:   The Vertical Section increase the student charge of the Vertical Techniques Workshop from $15 to $25 in 1997.

In discussion, it was disclosed that each year the contest turns people away. We have 30+ volunteers who work enthusiastically for 1/2 day each year. That is a lot of hours. The Section could use the compensation. One suggested that we decrease the cost of the course so more could take it. This was considered not feasible due to lack of facilities, time, and people. One member noted that people taking the course always ask the instructors why aren't we charging more.

In voting, the motion passed unanimously.

In elections, Gary Taylor was reelected Secretary/Treasurer. Wm Shrewsbury was elected Editor. In Executive Committee elections By virtue of being the two top vote getters, Bruce Smith and Bill Bussey will serve two year terms, while Miriam Cuddington and Tray Murphy will serve one year terms.

Respectfully Submitted,
  Bill Bussey, for Gary Taylor


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