When you take the time and the patience to contact your section management or his staff about something, and all they do is either acknowledge your query and say they'll get back to you--and never do, or they just ignore you entirely, then there is a definite problem. I have, more than once, been forced to contact Newington for questions and information that the section should have supplied--but didn't. I've been asked whether I had contacted the section management--and I've had to tell them that those people were unresponsive to the point of ignoring ARRL members in their section.
Face it. When you belong to an organization and are forced to jump through hoops because you can't get a decent answer from local representatives, why bother being a member at all? THAT is my complaint--my ONLY complaint--and has been from the start of my holding a ham license and joining the ARRL. I haven't been an ARRL member for the past two years now, and I really don't miss it either.
Hey Chris, don't take this wrong, I do understand your frustration. Noting is more frustrating than no response. As a matter of courtesy, you do deserve a response even if it is no. But lets face it, there are incompetent, lazy, ideological, busy people in every organization. I don't know all of the details of your situation, but I would advise you to just be persistent. Contact them again, and again, and again, until they either tell you to go away because your issue is not a priority in the big scheme of things or they give you an adequate response. Don't feel that they owe you something. If the issue is really that important to you, then take it by the horns and fight for it.
Borrowing some words from John F. Kenedy, "Ask not what your organization can do for you. Ask what you can do for your organization." It sounds like the situation you are in is a good opportunity to get involved and make some positive changes. That section manager is only the section manager because he/she garners enough votes to stay in that position. Apparently there are enough hams that approve of the priorities this section manager is setting...or at least are not unhappy enough to make a change. Or are at least involved enough to get enough votes for the guy/gal. More than likely it is because few people care enough to take the time to make a change. We see the same thing with local, state, and federal government, although I will say that I am encouraged to see so many people in the silent majority standing up to be heard.
So don't run away from the fire, run into it. Find a way to make the organization better.
I am not a big emcomm person myself, and personally I don't see that the value of ham emcomm is all that great. But apparently some do and it at least provides a reasonable rationalization for our existence as we fight to keep our band share. So if that is what it takes, I am OK with it. I just kind of accept it as the way it is and go on about my business looking for what the league has to offer that does interest me. Heck, if nothing else, they run a pretty good buro so that in itself should be worth supporting. Yes hams can use it without being members, but someone has to pay for it. And it isn't like they are asking for an arm and a leg. Just $40 a year. Heck, I spend more than that when we eat out or go to a movie. Even if you get absolutely nothing out of it, which I doubt would happen, support the league simply to support ham radio and to give us a united voice in legislative matters. If you look at it as expecting nothing in return, then you will surely come out ahead.
When we look for organizations to cater to our needs, we are sure to be disappointed. If we look to them as a vehicle through which our hard work and involvement can effect some of the changes we would like to see, then we will begin to understand how organizations work. Being a player at least allows you to influence the agenda. Being out of the game provides no opportunity to change anything.
Good luck to you! I hope you can find a club to which you can feel a belonging and can find a way to support the league and amateur radio as a whole in spite of the issues you are facing.