I am pleased to report that the association’s finances are in a strong position as a result of the funds raised at our recent events including Sierra Trek, High Sierra Poker Run, Operation Desert Fun, and Panamint Valley Days, as well as funds from the advance registration for Winter Fun Festival and ticket sales for the Win-A-Jeep raffle. Our strong finances allowed us to fund a Natural Resource Consultant and even purchase the next raffle vehicle for cash without the need to borrow from the Life Member Fund or any other fund as we sometimes had to do in the past. It is the Association’s policy that I do not publish financial details in a public forum such as In Gear. I will present detailed information at the Annual Meeting on February 18, 2023 in Visalia.
I made a misstatement made in my Treasurer’s Report in the October 2022 In Gear regarding a proposed joint Cal4Wheel/Mojave Desert Heritage & Cultural Museum event. At the August, 2022 Board of Directors meeting, I had submitted a motion to hold an event based at the MDHCA facility in Goffs, CA. Billy Creech, the president of the MDHCA was a guest. After discussion, I withdrew the motion because there were too many unresolved issues. Josh suggested as an alternative: that we continue to discuss and work with the MDHCA to resolve the issues. These discussions may lead to a scaled down event, an event at a different time, or no event at all. My article implied that this event is a board-approved event when it is not. I apologize for my mistake; I did not intend to mislead anyone on the status of this proposed event. I hope that we will continue to build a strong relationship with the MDHCA because such an alliance will have many benefits for members of both associations and for all “desert rats”.
Recently, Josh, the board of directors and I have had discussions on the roles and responsibilities of the state treasurer. Josh’s opinions can be summed up in one sentence, “I think you’re overwhelmed.” I would prefer to use an analogy that I’m sure every member of this association will understand. I hope you will bear with me when I compare our accounting system to a vintage, classic off road vehicle. When I became state treasurer in February, 2020, I felt like the proud owner of an old but dependable Jeep CJ-5. This Jeep was in pristine condition inside and outside and had been lovingly cared for by about a dozen previous owners, each of whom had upgraded various systems such as the engine, powertrain, wheels, tires, sound systems, and other accessories. Some of the recent owners replaced or upgraded some of the upgrades of previous owners. As a result, when I open the hood, there is a maze of wires, hoses, and relays, many of which are no longer needed or in use. There are switches on the instrument panel that have no labels and I don’t know what they are for. Fortunately for me, there are two experienced mechanics who have taken care of all the routine maintenance on this CJ-5. Unfortunately for me, one of the mechanics has announced that she will be retiring and the other is nearing her retirement. I need to learn how everything works and bring order to the mess under the hood.
Josh and the board decided to appoint a committee to work to bring more order to the duties and responsibilities of the state treasurer and in light of the retirement of Suzy Johnson, the overall financial management of the association. I have already begun by drafting a proposed SOP that will be a start to this process. I have made some recommendations to simplify the accounting systems and I will work with the committee to identify additional tasks and priorities.