Sunday, August 5, 2007

The USCF Delegates' Meeting

After watching to most of the Delegates’ Meeting (thanks to Terry Vibbert), here are my impressions.

The Delegate’s meeting was even less than I had expected. They do not meet two days as I had been led to believe; they meet for only a day and a half. On Saturday, they met from 9 to a little past 5 with a 2 hour (!) lunch. Much of the first morning was taken up with just signing the delegates in.

Then there were the committee reports. Lord, does the USCF have a lot of committees! Apparently, they had only met just a few days before because most of the reports dealt with a meeting they had just completed. Some reports just served as platforms for Chairs to campaign for or against motions on the list. (Myron Lieberman.)

Then it was on to the motions themselves. Most of them were referred to committee! The committees that meet in secret if at all.

Previously, I had posted about what committees do and how we can learn about them. People in charge responded that we ought to look at their reports at the Delegates’ Meeting. So, what do they do? They refer motions to the Delegates. What do the Delegates do? They refer motions to the committee. The whole process struck me as dysfunctional.

The other thing that got me, was watching the lame-duck Executive Board at the head table. Officers who whose terms (as officers) were due to end that very day, were hardly in a position to give the Delegates much sense of purpose or direction. So, the Delegates’ Meeting’s highlights were mainly informational rather than decision making.

I missed Donna’s promised fireworks. It was just as well. It seemed to me that many of the comments on various issues showed that Delegates knew little or nothing about the matters before them. Many people were quite active/experienced in Tournaments and so on; they had little interest in USCF political issues and it showed.

The whole system clearly needs changing.

The meeting ended on an interesting note. The old Executive Board had to get up off the table and leave. Sam Sloan managed to get up and exit with some dignity. Then the new Board sat down. Paul Truong sat down on one side of Bill Goichberg; Susan Polgar sat on his other side. Interesting tableau.