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Application of Policies in VATUSA


Ian Elchitz 810151
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An open letter to the VATUSA Director.

 

Mr. Turner,

 

Obviously it is with much regret that we all received news this morning that Marc Sykes had been relieved of his duties as Chief of the Los Angeles ARTCC. While many of us don't agree with the decision, some do agree that this was within the scope of your responsibilities as Director of Vatusa.

 

I would debate against anyone who questioned your "love" for our network and vatusa. We all think that you are honestly attempting to do what you may believe is right for our network and Vatusa.

 

I personally feel that you stepped out of bounds in your termination letter sent to Mr. Sykes (and CC'd to various members of Vatsim and the entire ZLA Roster) and allowed your personal frustrations and feelings towards Mr. Sykes to cloud your judgement, leading to you attempting to add INSULT TO INJURY by demoting Mr. Sykes from his current I1 status to a Senior Controller.

 

From the email sent by yourself:

 

Therefore, you are relieved of your position as Air Traffic Manager of Los Angeles ARTCC. Your membership in ZLA is not affected; however, your instructor rating has been removed as well since you also fall below the minimum 10 hours required for this position.

 

Sir - I believe that the demotion was a parting "shot" taken at Mr. Sykes.

 

Now Mr. Turner - I don't doubt that there is a policy somewhere out there which says a person must meet a minimum of 10 hours per month to retain their Instructor status. If you were to just make that up and place it in an email sent to all those people when it didn't exist, you would certainly be looked upon as a foolish individual.

 

However, not being aware of this particular policy - I decided to do a little looking around myself. As you and many others are well aware - I am a firm believer that Policies must be applied across the board blindly. I was quite adamant about this while debating the Visiting Controller Policy a few months back and while debating the Chief replacement guidelines last year. I honestly think that policies need to either be applied across the board - to each ARTCC in Vatusa - or they need to be changed.

 

So.. I decided to take a look at some other Instructors in VATUSA to see if they met the 10 hour requirements. The results of my search were quite suprising indeed. Here take a look:

 

 

Name CID Center Hours Position

Tony Sabino 843702 ZOA 7

Kris Samms 820022 ZSE 8

Mike Hale 812757 ZLA 0

Ezra Sugar 810828 ZLA 0

Chris Gauthier 895085 ZLC 7

Stephen Weiblinger 836340 ZLC 4 CI

Kyle McDuffee 874569 ZMP 3 CI

Alec Peters 875318 ZMP 2

Fred Clausen 810603 ZAB 6 AC

Darrell Arview 816273 ZKC 3

Mark Brummett 812002 ZKC 2 Chief

Joseph Case 811929 ZKC 5 AC

John Gilette 812944 ZKC 0

Paul Radinski 826881 ZKC 2

Mark Zameda 810257 ZAU 7 Chief

Pedro Marquez 811136 ZFW 8

Glenn Miller 810107 ZFW 3 Chief

Zac Armstrong 895163 ZHU 8

Glenn Blanco 852844 ZHU 1 Chief

Logan Gloss-Ivory 812647 ZHU 0

Barry Jeter 811228 ZHU 1

Justin McElvaney 820279 ZHU 6 CI

Wes Kirkpatrick 854846 ZME 5 Chief

Dustin Robbins 887494 ZME 4 AC

Mike Williams 810382 ZME 0 CI

Jeremy Bucholz 899127 ZID 5 CI

Matt Moak 860122 ZID 8 Chief

Mark Tom[Mod - Happy Thoughts]oni 813617 ZID 9 AC

Chad Ballentine 811593 ZDC 2 CI

Christian Adams 850597 ZNY 0

Christopher Lezama 810830 ZNY 8

Ross Carlson 887155 ZBW 10

Dave Pascoe 824425 ZBW 10 CI

Chris Seeber 811161 ZBW 8

Christopher Serio 823884 ZBW 3 Chief

Phil Dowling 813710 ZOB 0

 

Wow.. that is really something else isn't it? I count the following:

 

7 Chiefs

4 [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istant Chiefs

7 Chief Instructors

 

Holy moly. That just blows me away.

 

So my question to you is:

 

Now that you have decided to apply this policy - are you going to be "demoting" all 36 of these controllers?

 

I really hope not.

 

Another question leaps into my mind. Why are you so concerned with the titles that people use - Chief, Air Traffic Manager, etc. when you have 36 people in important positions that don't meet minimum requirements?

 

Does it really matter what you call them?

 

In closing, I hope that we can find a way to realize that personal vendettas have no place in a community such as this. Policies need to be applied uniformly, and people entrusted in positions of power need to exercise that power responsibly.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ian Elchitz

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Ian Elchitz

Just a guy without any fancy titles

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This shouldn't be posted in this forum

 

Why did you find it necessary to edit your original post? allow me to copy the original

 

"Lance Williams 841959

 

 

 

Joined: 02 Dec 2004

Posts: 586

Location: Washington DC

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 9:13 pm Post subject:

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Marc got what he deserved!

_________________

Thank you,

 

Lance Williams

Virtual Continental Airlines (Click Me)"

 

Please to reply at your earliest conveniance

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In attempting to make the point that certain other individuals have been demoted for also doing the exact same "nothing" wrong.

 

 

Except that this should be a private email not a public forum. Obviously you have a side in this issue. I don't and niether does the others listed in that letter

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I think every VATSIM member (even pilots; hard to get ATC if nobody's training any controllers, right?) should be concerned that 36 instructors, including 18 senior staffers, are apparently on the chopping block. As VATUSA1 mentioned in his email, the rules are the rules, so I'm sure he just forgot to demote the other 36 and will quickly put it right once made aware of the oversight. That's a big manpower loss. How is VATUSA going to recover from this? How are we going to make sure that such bureaucratic mixups as forgetting to demote 36 out of 37 non-complying instructors don't happen again? I'd say that's worthy of public discussion, wouldn't you?

 

P.S. I don't have a side in this issue, actually, as I'm no longer a ZLA member (or a member of any ARTCC) and thus don't qualify for an Instructor rating anymore. I would have demoted myself to C-3 at the same time that I removed myself from the roster, had I had that opportunity. However, at the time that I was demoted to C-3, I was still on the ZLA roster; that's the point that Ian's trying to make.

Edited by Guest

Marc Sykes

Toronto ACC Trainee

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Well if the rules are in fact being applied unfairly and non-uniformly, that's completely unacceptable no matter how you slice it. It IS a public issue and people should be aware of such. This is YOUR VATSIM everyone. If you don't care to participate in how it's being run, then don't read these posts; it's that simple.

Bryan Wollenberg

ZLA!

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I would like to publicly thank MS for everything! Despite the polticial road that VATUSA seems to be taking, you really turned ZLA around. Look at us - so many new students, promotions, and staffing frenzies. I also want to thank you for going out your way monetarily to fly me out to San Diego for the Convention after suffering from the most devastating national disaster/tradegy. You don't find many people like that in this community. After what just happened in the past 12 hours, I can better confirm that.

Chanse "CW" Watson

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Except it mentions other VATSIM members who have done nothing wrong.

 

Richard - yes I agree with you. The people mentioned have done nothing wrong. Many (if not most) of the people in that list are highly regarded, highly respected, and are also friends of mine. The two controllers from Boston that you mention (who happen to be shining examples of fantastic contributors to our community, and I've also first hand seen their commitment and professionalism to instructing), as well as everyone else on the list- had their hours rounded UP to the nearest hour.

 

Policies are to be applied to all people fairly and equally. Time and time again I've attempted to make sure this how things work. This is no different than any other time I've raised these types of objections.

 

Please re read my post to see that I while I object to the removal of Mr. Sykes as Chief of ZLA, I don't believe that there was any abuse of power or movement outside of the VATUSA policies - in fact they followed their removal and vacancy policies to the letter. My objection was merely that VATUSA had applied a different policy unfairly to Mr. Sykes when they removed his I1 rating. For that they must be accountable and answer to it as well.

 

This shouldn't be posted in this forum

 

Mr. Williams - I'm not sure what other forum would have been more appropriate for the posting and if you could point out to me how I made an error posting it here, then I will gladly move it elsewhere. I feel strongly that public policy is something that needs to be discussed in the open, not behind closed doors - especially when someone is either being singled out, or is victim of an innocent error.

 

If you wish, you may single me out as starting a flame war, but in no way have I started calling people names here or made any ridiculous claims. I've simply pointed out that a policy has not been applied equally. Either the error needs to be corrected or the policy needs to be changed.

 

This is no different than the other two times I've raised policy issues with VATUSA over the past 6 months. I'm happy to say that in both those cases some resolution did come about in the end, and somewhere inside I like to think that I actually helped the cause.

 

If you, or anyone else thinks that I'm simply whining about Mr. Sykes being removed, then you obviously don't know me very well, and are not aware of the relationship that Mr. Sykes and I share - which has been always amicable and full of nothing but respect while at the same time sitting on opposite sides of a canyon on many issues.

 

Finally - I feel it is important that I note my opinion that your posts in this thread have already lowered its integrity. I'm trying to raise a valid point here regarding the policy under which Mr. Sykes has been demoted - this is not intended to be a complaint about his removal, and certainly not a Marc love in.

 

Although I have always appreciated your unique thoughts, comments, and opinions, I hope that you could at least conduct yourself publicly in a debate with some integrity and maturity.

 

The topic here isn't about Marc being removed, how much Marc may have helped ZLA, or how amazing many of the people on the list are. The topic is how VATUSA applies its policies.

Edited by Guest

Ian Elchitz

Just a guy without any fancy titles

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I must say, that's cheap listing those controllers. They are in no way involved in this, and you shouldn't be using them to make a point, and you are just putting them out in the open for VATUSA to make examples of. Just because Marc got his rating removed doesn't mean you throw everyone else under the bus. He broke a policy, got caught. Where is the issue? Are you justifying the ignorance of VATUSA policies? Its like the little kid who gets caught cussing by the teacher: "Well, everyone else does it, so why should I get in trouble for it?" Marc got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and he recieved the consequence. Where is the issue here?

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Personal agenda's, outrageous claims, and inconsistent application of policy have no place in VATUSA, or VATSIM as a whole for that matter.

 

This obvious frivilous policy enforcement was deliberate and targeted, and I find that an overstepping of bounds on behalf of Mr. Turner was both uncalled for, and an abuse of power.

 

I would propose that the upper-VATSIM administrators, or the BOG step in on this one, as we can't allow this behavior to go on in our community, even within the VATSIM government itself.

 

The listing of the other people IMO is fine as well, as we really aren't dragging them into the issue. It's like evidence in a courtroom, irregardless of nature, it's still evidence.

 

BTW, I have no side on this issue, but, why do we even have a 10-hour policy per month anyway? We're a virtual network, with virtual pilots, dealing with virtual planes. There's a difference between staying proficent and IMO, fufilling an unnecessary requirement.

 

John Speranza

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VATUSA forum is where it should have been posted Ian and quoting emails in a forum is not proper in my humble opinion. Now obviously everyone has their opinion on this subject and/or VATUSA policies (again, VATUSA, not VATSIM, thus my reasoning for stating why is this posted here?).

 

From my brief stint as web master, I saw VATUSA including Jeff Turner reaching out to ZLA and Marc in an effort to include them in policy making, etc...

 

Marc simply refused to be any part of it though and you can not have a Chief on staff who thinks he is above the rest of the staff and doesn't need to follow very simple policies.

 

If my title was VATUSA1, Marc would have been gone much sooner.

Thank you,

Lance W.

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