US Chess Discussion

Welcome! This blog has no connection with the USCF. It's a blog where I provide chess fans with general information about US Chess as well as the USCF. It's also a site where everyone can productively discuss or ask questions about various USCF issues! Your contributions and comments are welcome! PLEASE KEEP IT CIVIL & RESPECT OTHERS! Enjoy! All posts that do not meet this guideline will be deleted -- WIN WITH GRACE, LOSE WITH DIGNITY!(TM) --- 2006 Susan Polgar©

Sunday, January 27, 2008

1.9 cents will save the USCF


President Goichberg just made a proposal that board members should pay for the conference calls in the next board meeting to save the USCF 1.9 cents per minute due to the severe financial crisis. Here was my response:

by SusanPolgar on Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:47 pm

Bill,

When Paul and I proposed the idea of having this type of meeting to SAVE the USCF money (because the USCF must be fiscally responsible no matter how well the federation is doing), you adamantly opposed. When the alternative suggestion came to have the meeting in Las Vegas where the cost would be minimal (according to Pat Knight) to save money, you also adamantly opposed.

Even after the vote for Las Vegas passed, you insisted on a re-vote the next morning to move the meeting to California. There was no concern on your part to save the USCF money at that time. Now, we are discussing 1.9 cents per minute when the board majority is willing spend just about any amount of money for legal fees for the next few years?

If it is OK with you, I would like to have all these expenses brought up in the next meeting. How much did the USCF pay for Internet insurance, deductibles, legal fees to our regular USCF attorney as well as Mr. Kronenberger, cost to redesign the website TWICE, and cost to maintain and update the website, etc.

In addition, did the USCF renew the Internet insurance and when will it be good until? Same goes with the deductibles. When will the next deductibles kick in? How much legal fees do you anticipate the USCF will spend in 2008? We can probably save at least $50,000 or more in these areas alone.

In a financial crisis like this, we must be fiscally responsible. We need to know where our money goes. I do not want to see the services for our members cut, especially scholastic and youth members (unless the scholastic council approves). All members should get what they paid for.

Susan Polgar

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President Goichberg stated that the financial questions I asked cannot be discussed without consulting the USCF attorney. Here are some of the responses by USCF President Bill Goichberg:

- These are legitimate subjects for discussion and I have no objection to you and Paul participating, so long as our attorneys say it is OK.

- We are facing financial problems because membership revenue is down, not because of "many past horrendous decisions."


Here are some of my statements:

- First of all, what does this have anything to do with the USCF attorney? These are not legal questions. Why are we continuing to waste money which this federation does not have for something so standard as this. These are standard USCF financial questions. Don't members have the right to know how much money the USCF spends and for what? Is this supposed to be a secret? I was under the impression that all expenses have to be accounted for and members are entitled to know.

- I am not asking to participate. I am asking for the numbers as any USCF member is entitled to know. We are facing financial problems because of many past horrendous decisions. I don't want to see the USCF fall apart. I am trying to protect the finances of the USCF. You can suggest ways to save 1.9 cents. I am suggesting for the USCF to save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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President Goichberg also suggested to cut services from the members. Here is my response:

Members get so little for the membership dues they pay right now anyway. I am against cutting services to the members. All members should get what they paid for. The USCF should not be in the business of bait and switch. To save money and raise additional much needed revenues:

- We should stop giving large contracts to political allies or friends without fair and open biddings. This is not the first time this kind of mistake was made.

- The USCF spent over $50,000 to redesign the USCF website TWICE because the first one did not work and the second one is still not working properly way after the deadlines. We need to know who authorized this and who should be held accountable for wasting USCF members’ money. I asked about this for 4-5 months and still no answer.

- We should stop wasting at least $25,000 (approx) a year for insurance and deductibles for the USCF political forums which only a dozen members or two utilize on a regular basis. Joel Channing, Paul Truong and I are on the record opposing this kind of waste. $25,000 a year can benefit many other important chess initiatives.

- We should stop wasting tens and thousands of dollars and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars for legal fees for political purposes. After all the facts come out, all members will clearly see the whole picture.

- Now the board cannot even answer simple questions about finances which all members are entitled to know without paying for attorney’s advice. The board majority does not want the members to know what they are doing with the members’ money.

- We should have quarterly reports to show what each board member does to improve the USCF. All members are entitled to know this.

- We should focus on promoting USCF memberships through sensible, inexpensive, and effective grass roots marketing campaign. This will substantially increase the revenues that we badly need. Having ads in Chess Life is not good enough. What the USCF is doing right now is not effective and it is costly.

- We should severely penalize board members who leak confidential information to their friends and political allies. This can potentially put the USCF in serious legal problems as we have clearly seen.

These are just some of the things we need to do instead of cutting services and trying to save 1.9 cents.
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