Previously, we wrote and encouraged you to learn about, and subsequently, to vote "no" on the referendum before you (that likely just arrived in your mailbox), as an ASMP member (and if you're NOT a member, click here to join) your voice should be heard.
I wrote extensively about this previously (read it here), so I won't rehash what I wrote then, but I WILL repost it today as the deadline is March 15th (meaning mail it today or tomorrow!). Let me make one thing clear about this referrendum - I am not on ASMP's board, I was not in the past, and I don't currently have any plans to be on the board. Further, ASMP has not asked me to take a position, I am doing so because I think that the referendum is ill-advised, and will be detrimental if passed.
A few weeks ago, in response to an ASMP seminar in New York, the leader of this referendum - Scott Highton - sent out a missive with criticisms of the messages that were put forth, and suggested that what the presenter said at that seminar was "flat out wrong" and that the presenter "should be ashamed of misleading members this way."
As Scott Highton suggested in his letter in criticism of the brief remarks that the presenter made, Highton reports that the presenter said "the current By-Law referendum, and claiming that if passed, it would prevent talks like this from being presented by ASMP in the future."
Actually, what the presenter said was, in point-of-fact, the truth.
That presenter, who is on the National board of ASMP, and is a leading expert on digital asset management for individual photographers, would not be in the financial position to be traveling the country away from his photography business giving those talks. Other national board members who are experts in fields like website search-engine-optimization, and so on, would have to choose between volunteering their time to serve the membership at a national level, and giving presentations. Thus, the cream that has risen to the top and are volunteering as leaders on the national board could not also serve as traveling presenters to chapters, and earn a token amount of money for their 2-3 day commitment they have for each of the cities they have to travel to, loosing money because they were not available for photo assignments for their clients, and giving great benefit to the members their programs touch. And, let me remind you - these token payments are coming from sponsors via ASMP, and not coming out of membership dues.
Further, this referendum would eliminate the token $15k payment to the President for what is essentially a 40-hour a week job for a year. Further, the Library of Congress project that came to ASMP was, in-point-of-fact, brought to ASMP by a board member - and, if this referendum were passed - that would not - in fact could not - happen in the future.
What Highton hasn't been so forthcoming about is the fact that he was on the national board at the time that it was voted that directors should be paid, and he voted in favor of the very thing he is now opposing so hard. Scott Highton could easily paraphrase John Kerry's famous flip-flop line about funding the war, and say "First I voted for paying directors for giving talks, and now I am opposing it." Nice flip-flop Scott. Good luck getting elected.
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