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2011 Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club Financial Documentation

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mfine
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Post by mfine » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:44 pm

You read wrong.

Rugger8
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Post by Rugger8 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:48 pm

Mfine,

ok, good to know you did not intend it that way, but I am sure others took it that way as well. Just so you know.

Jeff

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DLKster
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Post by DLKster » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:56 pm

Rugger8 wrote:Dave,

Get a life. Do you work for the IRS? Is it your objective to prove how smart you are? What reason do you have for the venom? What is your personal agenda? What proof do you have that Bill or the club has done something illegal? Do you honestly think the club will be better if Bill leaves? Are you trying to make the club better by your posts or are you trying to tear it down? Do you think you could do a better job? If so, please start another club and see how many people want to join. Count me out of that new club, by the way.

Jeff
Jeff, maybe you should read my first post on this topic. No one is accusing anyone of anything. I made that clear in my first post on this topic.

In response, Bill said he agreed with me, and would post financial data including the tax returns. So far, he has not done what he said he would do.

A number of people contacted me privately after that post, as a result of which, I have learned more than I really want to know about the internal workings of this Club over the past few years. Some of this was told to me on a confidential basis, so I am not going to post it.

I hope you'll indulge me just another minute or two to respond to the the one thing you said about destroying the Club. Asking questions about the club admninistration is not destroying the Club. That is every dues paying member's right.

What is going to destroy the club is having absolutely no oversight on something with an annual budget in excess of $100,000. What is going to destroy the club is either ignoring (at best) or deliberately disregarding the governing law regarding conflicts of interests vis a vis self-dealing transactions. What is going to destroy the club is either ignoring or deliberately disregarding applcable IRS rules governing tax-exempt organizations.

Asking for transparency and disclosure of financial information that should not be a secret in the first place and all of which started when Bill Bassler himself suggested that the dues ought to be raised substantially is not going to destroy the club.

But promising to make those disclosures and then not doing it, or electronically waving around a lot of papers and saying, in effect -- "See, I keep very detailed financial records, but you just can't see what's in them" -- that's what's going to destroy the club.

That violates the spirit, if not the letter, of Florida Statute 617.1605 

617.1605 Financial reports for members.—A corporation, upon a member’s written demand, shall furnish that member its latest annual financial statements, which may be consolidated or combined statements of the corporation and one or more of its subsidiaries or affiliates, as appropriate, and which include a balance sheet as of the end of the fiscal year and a statement of operations for that year.

See also, Fla. Stat. 617.1602 which lists the records to which all members must be given access on reasonable notice including all minutes and all accounting records.

Then it dribbled out that all the other members of the Board of Directors resigned over two months ago and no one was told about it until this past weekend. Why don't you go back from today until September and see how many posts on Boat Buzz Bill Bassler made during that period, yet he just what -- forgot? Thought no one would care? What?

I was one of the first ones to say Bill has done a lot for the club. No one can deny that. No one is denying that. I agreed with Bill Robinson that Bill really should think about the future of the club, and do so objectively, keeping in mind that there's a difference between what is good for the Club and what is good for Bill.

Unfortunately, right now, Bill is the Club. He is the sole remaining director and he has the authority to appoint three new members to the Board of Directors. Their posts have been vacant for about three months -- since September. Why in all that time hasn't Bill even announced these vacancies much less announced how he will go about filling the vacancies in a open and transparent way that won't generate even more suspicion given that he has a conflict of interest and according to Florida law? Why?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but Bill does. And he is not answering them. Unfortunately, right now he's dodging them or answering them in a disingenous, if not evasive way. That is exactly what, if anything, is going to destroy the Club, to the extent whatever has been going on for the last few weeks or months (or perhaps even longer) has not already seriously damaged the Club's reputation and image and put its very survival on the line. Oh, one other thing -- the Club is out of money. Bill Bassler, among other hats he is wearing, is also the Club's Treasurer according to the Florida Secretary of State's office in Tallahassee.

That is not my fault or anyone else's fault who has been asking legitimate questions the past week or so. That is the fault of those who allowed things to get to this point without demanding any accountability or financial oversight like an internal auditing committee to review the books on an annual basis.

We are in big trouble if someone is accused of destroying the Club by suggesting that it should operate according to applicable law and regulations, according to generally accepted accounting principles and also according to generally accepted principles of honesty, integrity and morality.

Is it? If you don't have the information at your disposal right now to say "yes, Dave! No question that it is -- here's the proof" then let me suggest to you, Jeff, that it isn't. Period.

Because those laws and operating principles require that every member have access to all the information at any reasonable time upon request, and not to have to beg and plead with Bill Bassler or anyone else to please disclose it.

We don't have that information. And it appears that Bill Bassler is the primary reason for that information gap. That is all I know for sure right now.

Why don't you contact some of the directors who resigned and find out what led to their resignations or the resignations of other directors back in 2009? Why don't you inquire into the reason why the Club has no Constitution and Bylaws? Maybe if you did that instead of launching into a tirade against me just for asking questions when really you don't have the faintest idea what you are talking about, you'll start singing a different tune. Right now, you are singing pretty far off key.

I hope the thing gets straightened out just as much as you claim you do, but the way to get it fixed is not to pretend there are not some very, very, very serious problems with the way the Club has been and is being administered at this point in time.

Yes, serious damage is being done to the Club, but not by me. Rather it is being done by whoever is trying to prevent the full truth from coming out into the light of day. Which side are you on, Jeff?

I am on the Club's side, whether you happen to think so or not. I think what I am doing and what others who are joining me in asking for full disclosure and compliance with elementary and generally accepted principles of corporate governance is in its long term best interest.

I do not think letting you or anyone else bully me or anybody else who is asking legitimate questions into silence is in the Club's best long term interest. That's exactly how we got to the vbery unfortunate place in which we -- all the members -- now find ourselves.
Dave Konick
Washington, VA
1951 16' Riviera
1954 22' Sea Skiff

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Bill Basler
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Post by Bill Basler » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:37 pm

David, as with all things there is more than one side to every story. I told everyone in a prior post that I had just moved an entire office. I told you I would post the returns when I can lay my hands on them. Please give me a chance and respect that.

Better yet, give me a call. I am more than willing to talk with you and I think you know that. We have never had a problem with one another.

As for what I am doing today, I asked you to respect my needs to get a couple of things in order in my new position with a new company. I asked for you to be fair as we went into the holidays.

Today I have spoken with Terry Fiest, and Bill Baldwin. Both are supportive of me and they always have been. Tomorrow I will seek out the advice of Wilson, and Herb Pocklington. I am looking for the advice of those who have considerable history with the club.

The Spring and Summer Brass Bells are being printed and I am moving on to the Fall issue. The Fall issue is the last of our calendar year. This is among my top priorities.
Bill Basler

Rugger8
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Post by Rugger8 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:50 pm

Dave,

Thanks for your detailed response. Based on some of your statements, it appears that you have been told some things that are shaping your thinking on this. And that may be right or wrong depending on how things play out. As I wrote earlier, I never met Bill or personally know anything about the inner workings of the club. It could be as simple as personality disagreements as to why people left. As you state, the only thing we know for sure, is that the club is having monetary issues and the Brass Bells are late. We don't truly know the reason why, which is certainly a legitimate question. My biggest problem is that innuendo is being thrown around here without any publicly known basis. Something of which I was accused of doing in regard to the post above and which I did on purpose because of many of the posts I have seen, not just by you but by others. And I have not seen any shred of evidence to say that fraud, misappropriation of funds, etc. has been committed. If that info comes out, then I will certainly change my opinion. I have no skin in the game besides my $35. But again, I would not be accusing (I know you put in a disclaimer, but the tone of your post said something different) someone who has obviously done so much for the club, without some sort of evidence. Maybe you have that and can't talk about it. If so, let the cards fall where they may. But until that point, I don't think we should be implying that its "What's best for Bill." And did you address these issues with Bill directly? And how much time is reasonable for Bill to provide this info? Certainly more than a couple days given the situation, I would think. And what if you are wrong? Again, this country was founded on innocent until proven guilty and yes I may be naive, but I do think some benefit of the doubt should be given until the facts show otherwise. If you go back to my first post following GBrakers initial comments, I indicated that we should have more transparency. I still agree with that, but what could destroy the club is the insinuation of wrongdoing, if you are wrong. If you are right, then so be it. I guess I will watch and see how this plays out, but I am still not sure we are going to be better off because of this argument. We will see.

Jeff

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Chad Durren
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Post by Chad Durren » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:54 pm

1952 CC 18' Sportsman
1969 CC 19' Commander Super Sport

Rugger8
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Post by Rugger8 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:58 pm

Chad,

Thanks for that. Very funny. Show me the truth first, still trying to figure that out.

Jeff

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Chad Durren
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Post by Chad Durren » Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:21 pm

Just trying to cast a little light on an otherwise dark forum these days. It's a boat club for Pete's sake.

All of this aspersion casting, impugnation, and misappropriated blah blah has me looking in the dictionary every 5 minutes. I'm lover not a fighter.

David, shouldn't you be fishing 40 miles out in the Atlantic or something? You don't want to lose your "Biggest Balls" title.

I'm going back to my "hidey hole" until the storm clears.

Happy Holidays you crazy bastards.
1952 CC 18' Sportsman
1969 CC 19' Commander Super Sport

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mfine
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Post by mfine » Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:22 pm

I am not sure why there is a fixation on fraud or theft. Do some basic math on our low annual dues of $35 and think about the expenses and you will quickly conclude no one is getting rich stealing from this club.

Also look at the value of what Bill does for the club. I would have no problem if Bill and Angela were getting paid $10,000 an issue to put together the Bell. I would have no problem if we had to raise dues so we could pay them. The key is if they get paid a mere $0.10 per issue, it needs to be done transparently and legally and with authorization of a board.

Whatever has been going on is not good. It is a crisis and it does need to be sorted out sooner rather than later, but I will repeat, there is no need to jump on Bill to get everything posted today. Let Bill move and get sorted out. Lets give him time to come up with his plan and present it to us. Then we can critique it and or act upon it. Instead of worrying about tax returns today (which will tell you little) lets worry about doing a real independent audit after year end.

The only real question that needs to be answered now is can we operate right now with a one man board. If the articles of incorporation or Florida law require more board members, new ones should be named ASAP, even if they are interim board members who will only serve a month or two. If it is not required, that can also wait a few weeks.

Rugger8
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Post by Rugger8 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:36 am

Mfine,

I agree with everything you said in your last post and think we should move forward in that fashion.

Jeff

Oberon01
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Post by Oberon01 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:41 am

I agree with Mfine. We know know with much greater clarity what some of the challenges and deficiencies are. Clearly Bill needs time to address these and work towards structural solutions. Members are entitled to information and both the request and the promises to provide same are now out there. Personally I am fine with that and trust materials will be provided in due course. At the same time, Bill also has to expend his energies on devising a solution, rather than addressing every post or member request. I am certain that the point of the present operationing model being dysfunctional is now clear to all involved. No matter what other differences we may have in our individual perceptions, we can probably agree on that basic reality. At this stage, progression towards a resolution is more important than further muckraking.
1926 Mullins 16' Outboard Special
1940 CC 19'Custom
1946 Gar Wood 22' 6" Sedan
1946 16' Peterbrough Falcon
1947 CC 16' Special Runabout
1947 Chris Craft 22' Sportsman
1948 CC 25' Sportsman Sedan
1959 Feather Craft Islander Express Cruiser
1961 CC 21' Continental
1965 Glastron Futura 500 V -164
1965 CC Sea Skiff 24'

PFSWilley
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You guys have way too much time on your hands...

Post by PFSWilley » Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:37 am

I have yet to hear the winers and complainers and the legal beagles offer up any help or support. Rollup your sleeves and volunteer to be "actively" involved in moving the club forward, has anyone called Bill and said what can I do to help? Be a Temp Board Member or something (whatever the state of florida allows, of course) ......anybody can complain...the world is never perfect.....but it takes a real man to pitch in and help.....donate some of the time you spend writing your banter to making things work.....this is a hobby guys.....go to your garage and sniff some varnish or something.....geez !!!!!
Life isn't measured by the number of breathes you take but by the things you do that takes your breathe away.

gbraker
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Post by gbraker » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:45 pm

We have had several that have offered to help.

Personally I think those working behind the scene should announce the structure. Then if you see something you would like to assist in you could offer to help.

Since no one has announced the basic structure its hard to know what jobs need help.

So someone help us with this important question.

I'm thinking we would need an auditing committee, and a brass bell committee, and a trading dock update committee, a receivables like member dues committee, and an advertising committee. There are others that come to mind, but I'm not the one in charge. Hopefully information will be forthcoming.

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Al Benton
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Changes in Club Leadership

Post by Al Benton » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:20 pm

Fellow Members of the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club, Inc.:

An ad hoc committee comprised of familiar names came together in late December to consider and evaluate ways to strengthen our club’s ability to serve its membership. At that time Bill Basler was the sole remaining director of the club. Bill Basler, Terry Fiest, and Bill Baldwin started the process and other leaders in the classic boat world were brought in to the (virtual) table. The resulting committee consisted of Bill Basler, Bill Baldwin, Terry Fiest, Wilson Wright, Don Ayers, Don Vogt, and Al Benton.

This effort resulted in the creation of a new board of directors on February 11, consisting of Don Ayers, Al Benton, and Don Vogt, and the resignation of Bill Basler as a director. As soon as the necessary changes are made in our Articles of Incorporation, and in By-Laws, we will be adding additional directors to the board. Bill Baldwin has assumed the role of Editor of the Brass Bell, and the club will be setting up new procedures and will call on members to assist in the management of the club.

First and foremost, Thank You to all of our fellow members for your loyal support and patience while we have been working our way through this process. We sincerely apologize for taking so long to report this progress. Please understand that it was indeed a long, tedious and stressful process for all involved.

We feel that the results of these many weeks of difficult decisions and actions will result in a clear path that will allow the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club to move forward, clarify roles and responsibilities, involve our members more directly, increase transparency and accountability, increase our visibility in the hobby at large, and achieve timely delivery of member benefits.

As our plans have evolved, Bill Basler has decided not to continue in his other role as manager of the club. Club management will continue on as a team effort which will spread the work load into manageable segments in order to avoid an excessive burden on any one individual. Bill has agreed to assist in familiarizing other team members in using, managing, and maintaining club services, including the Club’s web site.

We sincerely thank Bill for his years of dedication and service to the club, for creating our vast on-line presence, for helping to develop our world-class quarterly publication, The Brass Bell, and for our amazing growth over the years. We all owe Bill a great deal of gratitude for these accomplishments on behalf of the members of the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club.

As all of you are keenly aware, delivery of The Brass Bell will be our most challenging task and is at the top of our list of priorities. Methods of “fixing” this are being considered by the board and team as we work through reorganizing the Club in keeping with the best interest of our members.

The Club has experienced a period of severe financial distress and your Board of Directors are working diligently to address this issue and to resolve it. We will resume publication of The Brass Bell once this recovery process allows us to print the next issue. This will be the Fall 2011 Brass Bell, followed as soon as possible with subsequent issues. With your continued support we feel that it may be possible to be completely caught up during 2012. That is our goal. One way members can directly help is by promptly renewing their membership when billed, and by inviting others to join the club.

In order to meet budget constraints for The Brass Bell, page count will be reduced modestly in the short run in order to help in this difficult recovery process. However, Bill Baldwin promises that they will contain amazing, interesting, and enjoyable content and will be printed using the best quality format and artwork available for the price. You will not be disappointed. To provide more timely information, the Calendar and the Trading Dock will appear only on our web site.

Our goals are focused on providing the very best Club benefits available anywhere in a timely fashion and forming good governance with necessary oversight and complete transparency that serves the membership to the fullest extent possible. We are currently forming an IT Committee to assist with electronic member benefits, and a publications committee to help Bill Baldwin with The Brass Bell. Do let us know if you would be interested in joining either of these committees. More specific information as to needed skills will be sent out shortly. We will be adding additional committees to tackle other tasks as we move forward. The enthusiastic participation of club members will be very beneficial and welcome.

Please feel free to contact any of us if you have any questions. Again, thanks for your continued support as we move through this challenging transition. We will update members as additional information is developed.

Your Club Board of Directors: Don Ayers, Al Benton, Don Vogt
Al
Member - Executive Team

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steve bunda
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New Start?

Post by steve bunda » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:39 pm

Ok , so lets see the financial Docs,, like the email said......

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mfine
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Post by mfine » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:59 pm

Great news. I was hoping things were going on in the background, and I am glad they were. Just curious why it took so long to tell us? It would have saved a good bit of worry if we knew the club was in competent hands back in December and that the right people were working on putting in a board and getting things back to legal and proper with respect to AoI and bylaws.

My IT skills are getting a bit dated these days, but contact me if you are desperate, I spent about a decade in the field. If you form a financial oversight/audit committee I will volunteer for that one.

farupp
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Post by farupp » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:31 pm

I agree with Mike and Al. My day job is to run a non-profit and I can speak from experience that in the past two years the IRS has significantly added to the information, and cost, needed to prepare and submit a non-profit 990 tax return. What used to be just a few pages now exceeds 15 for my very small organization. I have also run a large hobby-related membership organization and am very familiar with trying to be profitable, while making everyone, including a Board of Directors, happy.

I think we all have to think back about how far we have come in the 20 years I have been a member of the CCABC. I distinctly recall when Wilson asked the membership whether an online forum should be developed along with email correspondence. I said yes but Wilson was very concerned that the club would lose those members who weren't computer literate. However, Wilson, regardless and to his full credit, took the plunge and the result of that was the old "member-clicks" forum. It was awkward but it worked.

Now we have grown to have the excellent online Boat Buzz forum, full-color Brass Bells, the Archives, Trading Dock, etc. In my opinion, we must thank Bill Basler along with Wilson and present and past Directors for all of that. So, I say thank you to them and everyone else who was involved with our growth.

Let’s stay positive, continue to grow and have fun.
Frank Rupp
1959 22-foot Sea Skiff Ranger
283 Flywheel Forward engine

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:24 pm

Frank,

Thanks for your comments. It's true that Wilson Wright is the Visionary that lead our club into the world of internet communication through the latest means that were available at the time. From there, Bill Basler continued to bring about more modern means for us to share via Boat Buzz. The web site was began under Wilson's watch and has grown tremendously over the past years, providing members with a variety of exceptional on-line benefits.

We owe these two True Visionaries a great deal of thanks for their contributions for our future.

Our vision is to build a strong platform that might continue to excel with modern technology well into the future. Believe me, these two are a hard act to follow but with the combined knowledge and talent of our membership we believe that our future as a Club is strong and will indeed continue to provide its members with the best of the best in leading edge technology and visibility both on-line and in print via our web site and The Brass Bell.
Al
Member - Executive Team

gbraker
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Post by gbraker » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:33 pm

Jeeze Al you sound like a sales/marketing guy through & through. I thought you were an engineer, did you get a brain transplant? :P

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:56 pm

Ha!

Gery, all I can say is that I wrote what I felt was important, things that are good to remember and things to remember as we move forward. Possibly it's sort of like an Engineering Proposal to a good client.
Al
Member - Executive Team

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Paul P
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Post by Paul P » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:16 pm

Here it is on April 9, 2012 and I just now see this thread and I thank the LORD I missed it. Does that make me a schmoo? If so I'm a happy schmoo. 8)

Paul
1956 17' CC Sportsman, 300-hp
1957 17' CC Sportsman, 95-hp
1966 20' CC fiberglass Sea Skiff, 210-hp+
1973 23' CC Lancer inboard project, 427/375-hp.
1966 38' CC Commander Express, 427/300-hp(2)

So many boats.........so little time.....but what a way to go!!

gbraker
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Post by gbraker » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:37 pm

Schmoo's, weren't they the creatures in the Lil Abners cartoon. Perfect animal, good to eat & everything else.

You aren't a schmoo, you missed some of the broken eggs, I think the omelet is going to turn out OK.

Gary

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