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Author Topic: ARRL Censures Dick Norton, N6AA  (Read 2393 times)

Posts: 5

« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2017, 12:28:06 PM »

Emailed 12/7/2017

To: The ARRL Board of Directors

To say that I'm am disappointed with the censure of Dick Norton, N6AA, is not strong enough language. 

I don't have an issue with the board having the authority to censure for illegal or immoral conduct in general; or malicious conduct that is directly and immediately harmful to the Amateur Radio Service.  But the best information available by reputable hams in attendance at the scene of the crime clearly show that Mr. Norton only reported on adoption of a code of conduct by the board and in fact even made statements in support of it; and the negative feedback came from the audience.  Feed back that in my opinion was correct and appropriate.   

Even if Mr. Norton voiced a personal opinion in opposition to aspects of the code of conduct, it should not be a violation of that code.  And if the code is written in such a way that it is a violation to speak your mind, it must be amended so that it is not.  Use of the code in such a way can only be interpreted as a means to control the speech and opinions of the board members through fear of retaliation.  I don't believe the board is in possession of the formula for Coca Cola or the Colonel's secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices which would be proprietary and require protection.  Adopting and attempting to enforce a code of conduct that would be applicable in "commercial" corporate world is not necessarily best for a non-commercial corporation that is supposed to function in the best interests of the membership.

Based on the reaction to the censure and certain provisions of the code it appears members in general (even the ones who are not aware or don't have the time to dig out the background information on this matter) believe that they are the ones who have the right to try to influence the opinions of their representative through open and frank discussion of all issues, which include actions of the board. 

This was clearly a misuse of the code which falls far short of ethical conduct in my book.  Any harm Mr. Norton's actions may have caused to the League seems to pale in comparison to the harm caused by the board's censure.  The board members who voted to censure should look in the mirror and see how they measure up.  In the interest of fairness many will be listening to make sure the most restrictive interpretation code of silence and "necessary" public humiliation you impose on others will be equally applied to you.

Many of our most capable hams have abandoned the League.  The League should highly value their membership, participation and involvement and should put as much effort into bringing back the highly capable they have lost, as is put into licensing new hams.  Attempts to silence discussion of unpopular actions of the board will only result in further alienation of many of the most capable among us.

I have not yet reached the point of giving up on the League.  But a failure to correct this wrong has the potential to move me closer to the edge. 

Lt. Steve Wuelfing, K8BZ
Gladwin Co MI Sheriffs Dept, Retired
Gladwin/Arenac 911 Director, Retired
MI 911 Dispatcher Training Subcommittee, Retired
CTR3 US Navy, NTS Guam, 1972-1976
ARRL Life member since 1977
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