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  #1  
Unread 02-20-2011, 06:24 PM
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Texas_Offroad Texas_Offroad is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Spring, Tx (The Woodlands)
Posts: 43
Default Some thoughts about TMTC in 2011....

I just wanted to post some thoughts and to let you know I got the mass email today regarding the upcoming increase in membership dues.

I'm posting portions of an email I've written to the BOD regarding TMTC - where the organization is today and where it may be going in the future....and my personal thoughts, concerns and comments about what's on my mind as a TMTC member.

I joined the TMTC on July 17, 1999. My membership cost me $10. I just purchased three more years, so my next renewal date bumped from July 31, 2012 to July, 2015....so don't think there was an error on the website renewal or PayPal or your bookkeeping.

I wanted to help add some money to the war chest now, so I've jumped ahead a few years. I hope this helps a little.

Best Regards,

Bob Beamer
Spring, Tx.

bobby@texasoffroad.net

Texas Offroad Network
Founder - Project Manager
www.texasoffroad.net

National OHV Conservation Council
NOHVCC - Texas
www.nohvcc.org

Texas Motorized Trails Coalition
TMTC - Charter Member #5
http://www.texasmotorizedtrails.com

...
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  #2  
Unread 02-20-2011, 06:25 PM
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Texas_Offroad Texas_Offroad is offline
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Location: Spring, Tx (The Woodlands)
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In regards to the TMTC financial state of affairs --

I realize the organization is struggling financially. Although I'm no privy to internal accounting and concerns, based on what I do know about TMTC and TPWD and RTF and etc, I suspect the TMTC is probably staying alive month to month - and may be in serious danger of short term financial disaster - just like so many businesses and non-profits are doing during a cyclical recession as deep as this one.

It's not my intention to turn this into a ***** and moan email, but I'm not sure I agree with the logic of increasing fees to increase the TMTC corp cash flow or as in incentive to increase membership renewals - especially during a major recession when discretionay income for most families is on hold - and the local clubs and regional racing series around the state are desperately trying to hold on to their dwindling memberships already, but I'm sure the Board of Directors have their reasons.

In my opinion, and as an active stock trader, it's very bad timing on a corporate level - and as an experienced shareholder, action like this often has the appearance of trying to cover some financial desperation inside a corporation in trouble...possibly even could be taken as a good time to bail out from a sinking ship. But I still sent you my $100 anyway....
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  #3  
Unread 02-20-2011, 06:26 PM
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Location: Spring, Tx (The Woodlands)
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In regards to TMTC communication and advertising to increase the financial bottom line of the organization --

I know I'm preaching my oldest sermon here, and it's been opposed strongly in the past because it's not a tangible asset builder that is easily quantified in the 180 day or 360 day projection, but you have got to advertise if you want to make sales...that is a basic rule of growing a business...and in my opinion, a portion of every dollar of TMTC membership dues spent on advertising to increase TMTC membership is the key to growing the org...and keeping it alive.

As a BOD, you really should consider doing away with the cutback for advertising and dedicate at least 20% of the annual dues paid by membership to producing communication (newsletters or small posters or other ad campaign stuff) that not only serves to remind the TMTC members, but also goes out to non-members in order to encourage and solicit support (membership and financial) and as an ongoing year over year ad campaign to get the name "TMTC" in every dealership, repair shop, club and racing series, community related website, etc... and burned permanently into the mind of every ORV enthusiast in Texas and the surrounding states as The Authority for ORV in Texas.
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  #4  
Unread 02-20-2011, 06:27 PM
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In regards to the proposed HB1 changes to the state budget --

I'm sure the TMTC BOD has seen the email a handful of people got on Jan.25 from Steve Thompson at TPWD regarding the proposed changes in HB1 and the potential elimination of state budget for the RTF program and other grant programs.

There is a PDF file online - note our area of interest on page 201
http://www.lbb.state.tx.us/LBE/2012-..._2012-2013.pdf

I haven't spoken with Steve or Andy or Tim at TPWD yet about the proposed changes under HB1, but the ORV community may be looking at a few years of hard times and very limited funding (or no funding at all) for the next 1-3 years - until the current recession follows it's logical course and TPWD has it's financial house back in order and can reinstate programs. These things happen...with cyclical regularity...in US economics and in regards to state agency support, political support, and availability of funding for the ORV community.

Even though RTF is technically federal funding and does not require the state of Texas to match funds, it appears the budget for state staff to manage the program could create a bottleneck that essentially strangles the ability of our grantwriters (in TMTC and elsewhere) to get access to the RTF program funds.

There may be relatively simple ways to develop a game plan to head off the doomsday effect - such as mass involvement as three-minute-speakers at each of the TPWD Commissioners Public Hearings, like we have done in the past - but it's probably still too soon to tell what to do when, how much to push and when, where to apply pressure without a political blowout or backlash, if TMTC is the right org to do that, etc.

Leadership is seriously needed to show the TMTC is indeed here for more than just writing RTF grants, capturing our gas tax money for TMTC use, building ORV Parks for TMTC benefit, and playing politics on the state level for the primary purpose of promoting TMTC.
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  #5  
Unread 02-20-2011, 06:28 PM
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In regards to the TPWD and RTF Program relations with TMTC --

My time serving on the TPWD Grant Advisory Committee ended last season - as did Tony's - so I suspect the motorized user group reps are not so TMTC-focused. Unless Andy Goldbloom and Tim Hogsett agree to call back old members of the Committee (like Rhonda Treadaway or Leslie Ramirez or Carol Smith) I'm not sure who from within the old TMTC supporters will be able to help TMTC keep it's position of dominance as a grant recipient, but I suspect a change of priorities for allocating funds will be coming in the future.

I think many of the BOD will agree that even with Tony's hard work to sail the battleship with almost no crew on deck some of the time, the general attitude and relationship between TMTC and TPWD over the past 2-3 years has....uh....faltered...and the fresh new baby smell of TMTC has worn off. After ten years, elementary school days are over...and the TMTC is either a first team player on the Dean's List...or gets cut.

That isn't to say TMTC is already being handed it's hat on the way out the door...or will no longer benefit from RTF by any means. I suspect the next plan of attack will be to create new organizations - like the Sam Houston Trails Coalition did this past summer - to take on new projects and/or ORV Park development. This will probably be the chosen method for any re-assignment of ownership and/or management for any TPWD Parks that may be converted for ORV use in the future.
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  #6  
Unread 02-20-2011, 06:30 PM
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The TMTC - is it ever going to be the state org or not - will it ever be?

In other words, TMTC must be active NOW to build a network so these new orgs will eventually join together under the TMTC umbrella...and the RTF funding they use will benefit the TMTC effort....or this whole process will evolve and some other organization will probably be created as a state wide org specifically for that purpose.

Our experience with NOHVCC proves on a state by state comparison, there must be a state wide organization - or at least, the impression of a state wide org made up of competing local and regional organizations joined together. It is the only way to survive the cyclical economic hard times or unfavorable political climates...and a state with the driving distances and diversity of Texas is no exception.

It may be useful to TMTC internal politics - and as a way to encourage the ORV community at large to support the TMTC - if the TMTC Corporation and it's Board of Directors make visible public efforts to show TMTC as a champion for the community during hard times...otherwise, don't be offended if the TMTC is asked to sit in the back seat of the audience, instead of on the podium with the breakout session speakers.
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  #7  
Unread 02-20-2011, 06:32 PM
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Living up to the potential to make positive change happen --

I'm not trying to find fault with the TMTC...not at all...but to point out this is an opportunity to show off the TMTC potential -- and if TMTC does not step up to the challenge, and some other new org does, then when this current cycle is done and times get easy again, the TMTC will have missed the chance to show what it's made of - who it actually serves - why it's here.

It is from those organizations that step up and take the lead to show the rhetoric was and is more than just optimistic words during easy times - and the org can and will follow through with leadership when the easy times cycle into hard times. If the TMTC is willing to take the lead now, during this crisis, and can successfully make positive change happen - NOW - when we need a state wide org to step up on behalf of all the taxpayers who don't even know the TMTC exists or is in the back stage working on their behalf.

**

Good luck to the TMTC over the next year...or two...or three...

We are living in hard times. I'm sure the TMTC is struggling desperately to keep the financials above water. Many organizations are. What you men on the BOD do now really will determine the direction of the corporation for the rest of this decade. We're going to need some good luck...and well thought out leadership...to stay alive.

Best Regards,

Bob Beamer
Spring, Tx.
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  #8  
Unread 02-20-2011, 06:41 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Spring, Tx (The Woodlands)
Posts: 43
Default

Living up to the potential to make positive change happen --

I'm not trying to find fault with the TMTC...not at all...but to point out this is an opportunity to show off the TMTC potential -- and if TMTC does not step up to the challenge, and some other new org does, then when this current cycle is done and times get easy again, the TMTC will have missed the chance to show what it's made of - who it actually serves - why it's here.

It is from those organizations that step up and take the lead to show the rhetoric was and is more than just optimistic words during easy times - and the org can and will follow through with leadership when the easy times cycle into hard times. If the TMTC is going to survive, it must be willing to take the lead now, during this crisis, and show an honest effort to successfully make positive change happen - NOW - when we need a state wide org to step up on behalf of all the taxpayers who don't even know the TMTC exists or is in the back stage working on their behalf.

**

Good luck to the TMTC over the next year...or two...or three...

We are living in hard times. I'm sure the TMTC is struggling desperately to keep the financials above water. Many organizations are. What you men on the BOD do now really will determine the direction of the corporation for the rest of this decade. We're going to need some good luck...and well thought out leadership...to stay alive.

Best Regards,

Bob Beamer
Spring, Tx.
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  #9  
Unread 02-21-2011, 04:27 PM
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Location: Leander, Tx
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Default Thanks

Bobby,

Thanks for the comments and insight. I agree we are in tough times as is everyone else who is in the offroad market. We continue to try and make things work as best we can. We didn't raise membership to save a sinking flagship, the BOD determined we were not operating as a business but as a good old boy group. We must operate both parks as businesses to ensure that both stay solvent and are around for years to come for our children and grandchildren. I've been with the State for 27 years and we will see what comes of the budget near the end of April or the first of May. There's a bunch of chicken little going on in Austin and I prefer to wait and see what happens staying optimistic. If they make the cuts, there's not much we can do except keep trugding along. We're working at advertising both parks better than we have in the past. The race at BMRA was great for the park and we're in negotiations to have one at EDRA.

Thanks for all that you do,

Richard
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Last edited by pecosjacobs; 02-21-2011 at 04:28 PM. Reason: spelling
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