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I know you aren't mocking me. I am not taking it as such...

 

I am confused as to the need to notify all members, as opposed to just asking a single one, but ok, I can live with that.

 

As I said in my previous post, if your goal is to make the entire BoG aware of an issue, you should email them all. (I even emphasized the "if" by putting it in all caps in my previous post.)

 

This discussion stemmed from earlier posts that mentioned how to bring major concerns like these to the BoG. That's why were talking about notifying all members.

 

If you feel that a particular concern is best addressed by a single BoG member, then by all means, email just that member, as Dave and Ruth reiterated above.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Now that it's been established HOW to contact the BoG, perhaps the focus should be turned onto what their response is to the original posts and related ones? I understand Richard and Dave probably want to handle this in closed emails, but given how many VATSIM members seem interested in this, it doesn't seem feasible to do this privately...

Nick Bartolotta - ZSE Instructor, pilot at large

 

"Just fly it on down to within a inch of the runway and let it drop in from there."

- Capt. Don Lanham, ATA Airlines

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David,

 

I didn't have a chance to get a word in as I was at work. Thank you for the post.

 

Since I am fairly new to the network, can you or any other BoG member give me a history lesson and what the true intent of the network is? I'm not looking for policy or big fancy words, just what the true goal is. I was one of the people brought up under the current state that is now trying to be changed or is changing. Alot of people said to me and I believe that the people want to know what is going to happen, kind of like storytime maybe?

 

What was it like back in the glory days?

Matthew Temple

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The BoG is aware that there are issues of concern going on in VATUSA/VATNA as well as similar issues in other regions. We are looking into it. That said, reducing this down to a debate over whether or not emails are on a site obscures what I understand to be the real point of contention -- the guidance coming down to ARTCC Center Chiefs with regards to member and visiting controller qualification, certification and currency.

 

This is being looked at by the BoG...not just for VATUSA but for all of VATSIM. That said, there are a number of ARTCCS/FIRS around the world that are violating the intent of VATSIM's leadership with regards to this issue. I think a big part of the problem is that there is not articulated guidance and things become open to interpretation...and that leads to misunderstandings and arguements. Especially when the guidance received from above doesn't match up with "what we have always done/how we have always operated." In at least SOME of these cases, this is because "what we have always done" is NOT in accordance with what the VATSIM leadership's intent has ALWAYS been...and now people are being called on it.

 

As I said, this problem goes far beyond VATUSA or VATNA and we are looking into it.

 

As far as the petition goes...knock yourselves out. Of course it means absolutely nothing and has no impact on VATSIM whatsoever, but whatever floats your boat. The issue is now on my scope and the rest of the BoG...but it would have been more productive and effective to simply email me or another member of the BoG with your concerns. Not a single peson in this thread or who has signed the petition has emailed me voicing any concerns about VATUSA/VATNA. Can't speak for the rest of the BoG, but I have a suspicion I know what the answer to that question is...

 

Dave

 

Dave,

 

This petition and forum post sure has done something. We've already solved about 3 communication issues in only two pages. I do apprieciate all of the founders, BOG members, and other people who have posted here. It shows that we can have productive debates without turning to childish attacks.

 

I will write more later, but it seems that we have addressed the issues with (B)(3) and (B)(5), what about the other's I've pointed out in the article?

 

 

Thank you all for your participation in this thread. You can see that alot of people are interested in it, as the number of views are quickly climbing...

"TF", ZMA

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You can see that alot of people are interested in it, as the number of views are quickly climbing...

 

People also stop to view a car wreck, fire, etc.

 

 

(Disclaimer: The emoticon affixed to the above sentence identifies the sentence as a joke. This reply does not represent the actual views of the poster or any other BoG member or their affiliates, parents, relatives, or pets. Certain restrictions apply. Void where prohibited. Refrigerate after opening. Side effects include smiling and chuckling. In most cases these effects were mild and temporary.)

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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You can see that alot of people are interested in it, as the number of views are quickly climbing...

 

People also stop to view a car wreck, fire, etc.

 

 

(Disclaimer: The emoticon affixed to the above sentence identifies the sentence as a joke. This reply does not represent the actual views of the poster or any other BoG member or their affiliates, parents, relatives, or pets. Certain restrictions apply. Void where prohibited. Refrigerate after opening. Side effects include smiling and chuckling. In most cases these effects were mild and temporary.)

 

Your joke killed my pet lemming! I'll see you in court, you pet hater!

 

BL.

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

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I wasn't going to mention it, but after giving it some thought, it's worth saying.

 

The issue was on the radar screen of right people prior to the petition's existence, and was being worked on. It would be a shame if ppl walk away from this thinking that PUBLIC petitions for calls to action are the only way to get the attention of vatsim staff. (Edit: added 'public')

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Well said, Keith.

 

I for one feel that the petition only eroded the credbility of the post and poster. To be clear, I have no problem with someone bringing attention to the alleged shortcomings of an individual [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned to a staff position, but I do think there are better ways to do it.

 

(Why do I feel like I need another disclaimer?)

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Well said, Keith.

 

I for one feel that the petition only eroded the credbility of the post and poster. To be clear, I have no problem with someone bringing attention to the alleged shortcomings of an individual [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned to a staff position, but I do think there are better ways to do it.

 

(Why do I feel like I need another disclaimer?)

 

Well Ross...having read through a lot of the various posts over the past few days, I won't put a disclaimer out but I will issue a strong word of warning. There appears to be some unsubstantiated (and possibly outright false) allegations being made by the poster. Since he seems fond of quoting the Code of Regulations, let me quote a couple of other sections for him to consider: Article VI., §6.03(B) which prohibits using the VATSIM network to defame someone. Article VI., §6.03(A) which prohibits threatening, har[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing and abusing others.

 

As Ross said, it's one thing to disagree with decisions being made. However, taking the route of publicly airing grievances, p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing around petitions and this pervasive nastiness and petty vindictiveness some of you seem to be engaging in of late is a risky course of conduct, particular when many of your accusations are unsubstantiated, conveniently ignore facts and rely on a tortured reading of the Code of Regulations. I would strongly suggest that you be very careful in how you conduct yourselves on these public forums and what accusations you make lest you find yourselves out of a staff position and before the DCRM with your memberships at stake.

 

If you disagree with something, then by all means, speak up. Do not, however, take the course of trying to threaten or intimidate other staff members. That has never been tolerated in the past and it won't be tolerated here.

George S. Marinakis

VATSIM6, co-Founder, VATSIM

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Well, I have read these posts, and another Forum post about a VATSIM Founder's rights being abused, and I dont know about anyone else,

 

 

But what on earth is going on? Did I miss something obvious in the past few days? Im getting worried that this is turning into NATCO thing (I wasnt here, but I heard it was a fued between the upper staff)

 

Edit: Added new sentence.

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Don't worry, you're not the only one out of the loop. But I'm pretty sure it will get worked out, as it is tarting to now. Hnce why I made the joke about the pet lemming! sometimes in the middle of all of this serious debate and politicking, someone has to crack a bad joke.

 

BL.

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

27

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Well Ross...having read through a lot of the various posts over the past few days, I won't put a disclaimer out but I will issue a strong word of warning. There appears to be some unsubstantiated (and possibly outright false) allegations being made by the poster. Since he seems fond of quoting the Code of Regulations, let me quote a couple of other sections for him to consider: Article VI., §6.03(B) which prohibits using the VATSIM network to defame someone. Article VI., §6.03(A) which prohibits threatening, har[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing and abusing others.

 

As Ross said, it's one thing to disagree with decisions being made. However, taking the route of publicly airing grievances, p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing around petitions and this pervasive nastiness and petty vindictiveness some of you seem to be engaging in of late is a risky course of conduct, particular when many of your accusations are unsubstantiated, conveniently ignore facts and rely on a tortured reading of the Code of Regulations. I would strongly suggest that you be very careful in how you conduct yourselves on these public forums and what accusations you make lest you find yourselves out of a staff position and before the DCRM with your memberships at stake.

 

If you disagree with something, then by all means, speak up. Do not, however, take the course of trying to threaten or intimidate other staff members. That has never been tolerated in the past and it won't be tolerated here.

 

George,

 

I haven't threatened anyone in any way. Publically stating something isn't harr[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ment, or threatening anything. I'm just simply saying the rules that I found Craig to be in violation of. The reason that this came this way, is Matt Temple, Tom Ferry, SEVERAL ATMs, emailed many members of the BOG, EC, and our many supervisors. Only one recieved a reply, which was vague, and didn't answer our questions. When we asked Craig the same questions, up until recently, he avoided it, and didn't seem to be answering them completely.

 

However, I must say, now, he has been on the ball today, and has been doing a fantastic job with emails.

 

To say: "I would strongly suggest that you be very careful in how you conduct yourselves on these public forums and what accusations you make lest you find yourselves out of a staff position and before the DCRM with your memberships at stake."

 

Wouldn't that be considered a threat? I have been the utmost polite on this forum, I have not said anything in false tongue, or spoke any lies that I know of. In my article, I didn't include a slant, I simply stated facts. Many people same to share this same opinion.

 

As far as defamation goes, all of the arguments that I have posted in the paper were backed up by facts. I have emails, numbers and some of these facts are publically available. They are verifiable and proven, to say that I've made up things, and to call me a liar, should be below you. There are many other members who feel that this information wasn't previously on the radar, and now that it is, it's being looked over. That's what I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to make people aware of this, and it appears I've done just that.

 

And just to reiterate, the reason why this post had to go public: We've tried email to many, many members, and none of them were getting any answers NOR even replies. You've already lost one VATUSA1 member, and MANY ATM/DATMs/TAs to this problem, and I think that we shouldn't lose any more. The problem had to be brought to attention one way or another, and this was the most civil way. (Given the circomestances).

 

To hear BOG, EC, and founders say that this will be delt with, and that they didn't know about it, is exactly what I was aiming for. I didn't want a hanging, or anything like that. I just want the problems to be fixed.

"TF", ZMA

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George,

 

I haven't threatened anyone in any way. Publically stating something isn't harr[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ment, or threatening anything. I'm just simply saying the rules that I found Craig to be in violation of. The reason that this came this way, is Matt Temple, Tom Ferry, SEVERAL ATMs, emailed many members of the BOG, EC, and our many supervisors. Only one recieved a reply, which was vague, and didn't answer our questions. When we asked Craig the same questions, up until recently, he avoided it, and didn't seem to be answering them completely.

 

Who is the "many" BOG you have emailed? I only left Conflict Resolution last week and when claims of violations of the CoR are being made, I was always, without exception notified and initiated an investigation. This has been the case for the entire 6 year existence of VATSIM yet no one has ever mentioned receiving multiple emails from "SEVERAL ATM's" or the ex-Division director. Nor has there been a discussion of the RD for VATNA rampantly abusing the CoR on the Supervisor forums. So who are all of these many members you have been in contact with and yet none of them ever seemed to think to contact the VP of CR?

 

To say: "I would strongly suggest that you be very careful in how you conduct yourselves on these public forums and what accusations you make lest you find yourselves out of a staff position and before the DCRM with your memberships at stake."

 

Wouldn't that be considered a threat? I have been the utmost polite on this forum, I have not said anything in false tongue, or spoke any lies that I know of. In my article, I didn't include a slant, I simply stated facts. Many people same to share this same opinion.

 

As far as defamation goes, all of the arguments that I have posted in the paper were backed up by facts. I have emails, numbers and some of these facts are publically available. They are verifiable and proven, to say that I've made up things, and to call me a liar, should be below you. There are many other members who feel that this information wasn't previously on the radar, and now that it is, it's being looked over. That's what I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to make people aware of this, and it appears I've done just that.

 

So let me see if I understand you correctly Mr. Flanary. You have dug through the CoR, taken it out of context, and created a petition in which a handful of signatories have deemed (under no color of authority and without following any of the proper, long established procedures for conflict resolution) that someone has violated VATSIM rules. Then acting as judge, jury and executioner, you have demanded that he be summarily removed from his position. Then to top it all off, you go on a public forum, plaster this petition up for the entire world to see and urge others to sign it? Now you are going to sit back through some disarming post and claim you were only stating facts and expressing an opinion? The term "lynch mob" comes to my mind. Now you are trying to tell me that I am threatening you or calling you names? What I am telling you is that you can disagree all you want but your course of conduct is itself a violation of the CoR because it is threatening and abusive since there are procedures for these sorts of matters which are expressly set out. You haven't followed them. Moreover, if any of your allegations are proven false (and a cursory examination of some of them shows that might be the case), then you may have just publicly defamed a Regional Director. An ATM such as yourself should be following established rules to the letter instead of utilizing a lynch mob mentality to show your disagreement. If you think my reminding you of such things is a threat or me calling you a liar, then you can think that until the cows come home. You cast this die and will have to live with the consequences.

 

And just to reiterate, the reason why this post had to go public: We've tried email to many, many members, and none of them were getting any answers NOR even replies. You've already lost one VATUSA1 member, and MANY ATM/DATMs/TAs to this problem, and I think that we shouldn't lose any more. The problem had to be brought to attention one way or another, and this was the most civil way. (Given the circomestances).

 

So you did everything humanly possible to avoid going public....except that is, for the single most obvious (and required) option of raising your concerns with the VP of Conflict Resolution? I had fresh new members emailing me with conflict resolution issues. How is it that it never occurred to you and "MANY ATM/DATMs/TAs" not to follow this course of conduct before having "to go public"?

 

To hear BOG, EC, and founders say that this will be delt with, and that they didn't know about it, is exactly what I was aiming for. I didn't want a hanging, or anything like that. I just want the problems to be fixed.

 

Say what will be dealt with? That we are going to hang Craig Merriman based on your petition signed by 28 people? Let me reiterate what has already been said...that is not going to happen. As a Founder and a former VP of Conflict Resolution, I will insist upon a fair review. Since you have chosen to ignore our established procedures by publicly making accusations (and not just within the VATSIM community....that petition is on another, publicly accessible website) I hope for your sake that you have not exaggerated the facts or misinterpreted those rules as there are consequences if you have done so.

George S. Marinakis

VATSIM6, co-Founder, VATSIM

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This post has been removed due to further facts being discovered.

 

George,

 

I am sorry, and I owe you a nice dinner and a pack of whatever frosty beverage you would like.

Edited by Guest

UND ATC Major

ZAU MS

GO FIGHTING SIOUX

"Success isn't really a result of spontaneous combustions. You must set yourselfs on fire."

-Arnold H. Glasow

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Perhaps what George is referring to is that the appropriate method would have been the DCRM process. The member was accused of wrong doing in public and not afforded the rights and guarantees afforded by the CoR. In short, this petition does not grant due process as mandated by the CoR.

 

I'm sure that if someone accused you of wrong doing concerning VATSIM you would want to have your say in the denial of the charges.

Richard Jenkins

richard(a)vatsim.net

"It's all fun and games until the cops show up."

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Honestly, if this many people are bringing out a topic like this, perhaps the fun is being taken out of this network and this should be examined.

 

Although I believe that even a single member with a concern should be heard, please keep in mind that only 26 people signed this petition.

 

That is a miniscule percentage of active controllers in vatusa alone. Some of them aren't even active members of vatsim.

 

So please, don't make this sound as if there are endless legions of people all concerned about this issue and calling for someone's head on a platter, as opposed to a handful of outspoken ones.

Ian Elchitz

Just a guy without any fancy titles

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Hi guys,

 

Ok, time out.

 

A couple of points here :

 

1) There are valid concerns about the handling of these issues

 

2) These issues have now been publically recognised by the BoG and the Founders

 

3) There is now due process going on.

 

Honestly(and I've pointed this out to Thomas on another forum), the original post here was handled all wrong. However, I can completely understand the frustration that was being felt recently. Before this post hit the forums, there was a lot of activity in the background as to how the local staff could address these issues, one of these items (a last resort) was a closed petition to the whole of the BoG from the local staff. We were also trying to use the chain of command afforded to us. We were talking to VATUSA1, who was relaying to VATNA1(No need for us to talk to the BoG). Unfortunately, it was when this chain of command broke down, that the level of frustration started to rise and pretty much came to a head in the background and on these forums. I would hope that both sides of this debate can take a step back and try to understand what happened and why, rather than to deflect the attention away from the real issue at hand and try to antagonise each other.

 

Now, with the 3 points that I have at the start of my post, can we understand that this is being dealt with under due process. Really, there is no need to continue this debate here until a formal response has been heard from the BoG or the Founders. The point has been made. I'm not saying to forget about it, just lets take a break and let the people who are dealing with this deal with it.

 

Don't worry, there are a lot of people who are very aware of this and what's going on and I'm sure the people who these policies affect will be kept fully in the loop about these issues. I'm also sure that if there is a problem it will be addressed and dealt with.

 

But, there's no need now to keep rehashing this. It's now starting to look like a vicious little circle of posts is about to start and that can only end badly.

 

All that's needed now is little bit of patience.

 

Cheers!

Paul.

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Hi Ian,

 

I just want to point out that a lot of people invloved in this also felt that this was not the correct way to handle it and so didn't sign the petition.

 

I don't believe this is now a minisule minority of outspoken people.

 

Cheers!

Paul.

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Gentlemen,

 

"What we've got here is...a failure to communicate." A clichéd but prescient observation in light of the recent posts here. Though a daunting task, it is vital that clear, open and unambiguous communications are established and maintained throughout all facets of a membership-driven organization as large as VATSIM. As VATSIM has grown so too have the varied levels of management necessary to ensure membership accessibility, viability and growth. With these additional layers comes the further challenge of ensuring information is p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed from level to level in both directions in as clear and unambiguous form as possible.

 

Currently, VATSIM appears to be suffering from a well-docomeented phenomenon that occurs in many growing organizations - lack of a comprehensive infrastructure for communicating actions, policies and regulations in a clear and unambiguous manner throughout the organization. By infrastructure I mean defined processes and channels through which appropriate coordination and communication are transmitted. The CoR does a creditable job of defining some of these informational flow requirements however it is plainly unclear in others. Diligent attention to defining that process and adherence to its implementation has been overlooked in many instances at many levels.

 

The CoR does outline the procedures to be followed for removal of a member of the BoG in Article II, §2.09 Board of Governors – Suspension and Removal, A. Founder’s Hearing on Charges, 1. Presentation of Charges.

 

A member of the VATSIM.net Board of Governors

suspected of improper conduct that may be at variance with this Code of

Regulations or for any type of abusive and/or illegal conduct towards any

members or users of the VATSIM.net network must be so charged by at least two

other members of the Board. The charges must be made in writing and should

provide enough detail so that the alleged improper conduct can be readily

identifiable. These written charges must be served via e-mail to the members of

the Board of Governors, the accused member and the VATSIM.net Founders.

 

This paragraph is clear and concise in its direction and content, however the same section as applied to members of the EC is not. Article III, §3.11 Executive Committee – Suspension and Removal

 

Pursuant to the requirements set forth in Article II., §2.07 (J), the Board of Governors

may suspend the privileges and/or remove any member of the VATSIM.net Executive

Committee for any improper conduct of such member that may be at variance with this

Code of Regulations or for any type of abusive and/or illegal conduct towards any

members or users of the VATSIM.net network.

The terms of any such suspension or removal shall be in the sole discretion of the

VATSIM.net Board of Governors voting for such suspension or removal and shall be

final.

 

NOTE: Article II, §2.07 (J) provides only for the required majority of voting BoG members necessary to affect a suspension or removal.

 

There is no clearly defined process through which an EC member's actions can be called into question.

 

I can find no requirement listed in the CoR that the VP of Conflict Resolution is "required" to be notified in any of these matters. Every reference I can find in the CoR that pertains to the governance powers of the Conflict Resolution process from the Division level through Region through the BoG VP of Conflict Resolution specifically outlines those powers as pertaining to member process and appeals after levying of a suspension, expulsion or other disciplinary process - not beforehand. If it is a matter of due process that the VP of Conflict Resolution is notified in matters outside of these powers, then it would appear that, in itself, is an internal to the BoG affair and not a publicly known factor.

 

Please understand my intent is not to "cherry-pick" the CoR nor in any way point-out inappropriate actions/inactions by any individual or group in this matter - I have no dog in this hunt. My intent is to show that incidents and the aftermath of barbs and accusations we are witnessing of late, can be attributed to ambiguity and a lack of clearly defined processes and procedures. I believe it would serve the organization as a whole if there was a concerted effort at all levels to ensure the CoR and other pertinent docomeents define those processes clearly and that we as a membership clearly understand and abide by them.

 

Gary Millsaps

Gary Millsaps

VATUSA1

 

"I knew all the rules but the rules did not know me...

guaranteed."

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I can find no requirement listed in the CoR that the VP of Conflict Resolution is "required" to be notified in any of these matters. Every reference I can find in the CoR that pertains to the governance powers of the Conflict Resolution process from the Division level through Region through the BoG VP of Conflict Resolution specifically outlines those powers as pertaining to member process and appeals after levying of a suspension, expulsion or other disciplinary process - not beforehand. If it is a matter of due process that the VP of Conflict Resolution is notified in matters outside of these powers, then it would appear that, in itself, is an internal to the BoG affair and not a publicly known factor.

 

Please understand my intent is not to "cherry-pick" the CoR nor in any way point-out inappropriate actions/inactions by any individual or group in this matter - I have no dog in this hunt. My intent is to show that incidents and the aftermath of barbs and accusations we are witnessing of late, can be attributed to ambiguity and a lack of clearly defined processes and procedures. I believe it would serve the organization as a whole if there was a concerted effort at all levels to ensure the CoR and other pertinent docomeents define those processes clearly and that we as a membership clearly understand and abide by them.

 

Gary Millsaps

 

Gary:

 

That's as well reasoned an analysis as I've heard. However, it misses on a couple of points. The procedure when it comes to members of the EC IS outlined.

 

Pursuant to the requirements set forth in Article II., §2.07 (J) [Note: This section requires a supra-majority vote (defined as 2/3 majority vote of all 13 members of the BOG) to hold a hearing on the suspension and/or removal of any member of the EC as well as any votes taken during such hearing], the Board of Governors may suspend the privileges and/or remove any member of the VATSIM.net Executive Committee for any improper conduct of such member that may be at variance with this Code of Regulations or for any type of abusive and/or illegal conduct towards any members or users of the VATSIM.net network.

 

The terms of any such suspension or removal shall be in the sole discretion of the VATSIM.net Board of Governors voting for such suspension or removal and shall be final.

 

The entire process is in the sole discretion of the BOG. It starts and ends there.

 

While it is true that there is nothing set forth in the CoR requiring that the VP of CR be notified, that has been standard practice since the beginning of VATSIM and the option to turn to the VP of CR is well known throughout the staff ranks (it was frequently used throughout my near 5 year tenure as VP of CR). It is so ingrained a process that it was even incorporated into the job description of the VP of CR (go to the VATSIM Home page, in the left frame, select Member Services > Contact VATSIM > Job Descriptions. Read the second sentence). It is not a made up or arcane procedure. It's real and has been frequently used.

 

Just because it isn't specifically set forth in the CoR does not mean that the CoR is ambiguous or lacking in defined processes and procedures. Standard practices which are well known throughout the staff ranks have their place and help ensure a smooth running organization. In this case, when certain staff go public with grievances without following established, well known procedures for raising concerns internally and which result in denying the accused a measure of due process and the ability to defend himself against those charges, it's not going to sit well with me or most any other reasonably-minded member. That is what is at the heart of this discussion. It was simply wrong to proceed with this petition and Mr. Flanary, as an ATM, should have known better.

George S. Marinakis

VATSIM6, co-Founder, VATSIM

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