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Poll
Should the Full Member category be expanded?
Yes
11%
 11%  [ 6 ]
Maybe....
5%
 5%  [ 3 ]
No
83%
 83%  [ 44 ]
Total Votes : 53


Author Message
marc_54140
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-01-28
Posts: 2631
Location: Little Chute

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:37 am Reply with quote Back to top

If you have not seen lagrac's recent posting, his comment refers to his not being able to be a full member of the WGA because he misses one of the two primary requirements:

1. Reside in Wisconsin.
2. Be 16 years or older.

I believe it is time to reconsider the restriction on residence in Wisconsin. With the growing popularity of geo-caching, and the result that cachers often travel considerable distances to cache, there is a need to broaden our (i.e, the WGAs) membership umbrella.

Does residency really matter in determining what you are a member of? Think about it for a moment. The Sierra Club, the Democratic party, Geocaching.Com, The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), Yahoo.Com, NAACP, citizenship in a particular country, etc.

The common factor here is not residency, but a commitment to the purpose of the organization.

I would propose the following:

1. Reside in Wisconsin, or
Have completed the Wisconsin Delorme Challenge, or
Have cached in all 72 counties of the state, or
Have found 750 or more caches in the state.

2. Be 16 or older..............

A cacher who meets one of the alternate residency requirements above has certainly demonstrated an interest in Wisconsin. I believe it would be fair for that cacher to share in the benefits of full membership in the WGA.
 
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greyhounder
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-01-18
Posts: 3342
Location: Fort Atkinson, WI, USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:44 am Reply with quote Back to top

We did address this at our annual meeting. This is the revised bylaw for membership (from the news section on the main page):

Quote:
The second area of clarification defines our membership as it was intended by our founders. Basically, you can be a WGA member if you are eligible for a WI Driver's License. The membership of the few current WGA Members who would not fit this new definition will be "grandfathered in" and will not be revoked. This clarification will only apply to new memberships.


Bec

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Team Deejay
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-10-02
Posts: 2400
Location: Rochester, WI, US

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:14 am Reply with quote Back to top

Since apparently the only privilege associated with membership is voting for the BOD, I'm not sure this is that important to the individuals.

One negative is that currently we have the ability to say that we represent geocachers residing in the state of Wisconsin when we deal with government agencies. If we start adding "auxiliary members" from out of state, would we represent geocachers residing in the state of Wisconsin and tourists? I think that this is significant in these times where we are working to ensure the long-term viability of the game.

With regard to the Becky's post, I am assuming that we do not intend to eliminate from membership people who have handicaps which would prevent them receiving a driver's license (poor vision being the most likely reason). The wording provided would do exactly that. What if they just can't pass the drivers test due to poor driving skills? Are those people excluded? Perhaps this should be changed to read "eligible for Wisconsin Drivers License or State Identification Card"?
 
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zuma
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-01-30
Posts: 5559
Location: Eau Claire

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:44 am Reply with quote Back to top

Team Deejay wrote:
Since apparently the only privilege associated with membership is voting for the BOD, I'm not sure this is that important to the individuals.

One negative is that currently we have the ability to say that we represent geocachers residing in the state of Wisconsin when we deal with government agencies. If we start adding "auxiliary members" from out of state, would we represent geocachers residing in the state of Wisconsin and tourists? I think that this is significant in these times where we are working to ensure the long-term viability of the game.

With regard to the Becky's post, I am assuming that we do not intend to eliminate from membership people who have handicaps which would prevent them receiving a driver's license (poor vision being the most likely reason). The wording provided would do exactly that. What if they just can't pass the drivers test due to poor driving skills? Are those people excluded? Perhaps this should be changed to read "eligible for Wisconsin Drivers License or State Identification Card"?


As Bec said, this was discussed at this year's BOD annual meeting, and it was decided that residency should be required for membership.

And no, a driver's license is not required. It is just that the residency requirements for a Wisconsin driver's license are the same residency requirements that we adopted for WGA membeship. So the blind, or those who cant drive are eligible to join WGA, as long as they meet the residency requirements spelled out for a driver's license.

Hope that makes sense.

zuma

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Jeremy
WGA Member



Joined: 2002-02-19
Posts: 3251
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:54 am Reply with quote Back to top

First of all, I'm against giving full membership to anyone who does not live in the state. It would be possible for a person to fulfill the requirements Marc stated above if you spent just a month or even summer in the state. This person could then move to Zimbabwe, yet they'd have a say in determining who was going to run this organization? It doesn't make sense to me... just like I can't vote for the governor of another state.

If there is some need to "honor" non-residents who do a lot of geocaching in the state (or former active members that moved elsewhere), maybe a special "honorary member" category could be created but this would be a title only and they would have no Board voting rights.

zuma wrote:
And no, a driver's license is not required. It is just that the residency requirements for a Wisconsin driver's license are the same residency requirements that we adopted for WGA membership. So the blind, or those who cant drive are eligible to join WGA, as long as they meet the residency requirements spelled out for a driver's license.


To clarify, the definition of resident the WGA chose came from Wisconsin State Statues Section 29 (29.001(69)). This section is related to DNR licensing, permits, and hunting seasons. Here is the full text of the statue:

Quote:
"Resident" means a person who has maintained his or her place of permanent abode in this state for a period of 30 days immediately preceding his or her application for an approval. Domiciliary intent is required to establish that a person is maintaining his or her place of permanent abode in this state. Mere ownership of property is not sufficient to establish domiciliary intent. Evidence of domiciliary intent includes, without limitation, the location where the person votes, pays personal income taxes or obtains a driver's license.

Acceptable forms of identification to verify residency include:

1. Valid Wisconsin driver's license (or letter of revocation or suspension);
2. Department of Transportation identification card; or
3. Documentation verifying current name and address, which could include a car registration, union cards, payroll stub or WI safety education card.


So in essence if you can legally buy a Wisconsin resident hunting license, fishing license, state park sticker, etc. then you can be a WGA member. We picked this definition of resident to (a) have the same definition as the DNR who we work with (b) because it seemed to make sense and fit the original intent of the WGA bylaws.

Other sections of the statues use this same definition of resident... but some define resident in other ways. The definition of resident used in Section 343, Operators' Licenses, which would be used to determine who can hold a WI driver's license or ID card is:

Quote:
(g) “Resident” means an adult whose one home and customary and principal residence, to which the person has the intention of returning whenever he or she is absent, is in this state. A child under 18 years of age may qualify as a resident if the child lives in this state and at least one of the child’s parents, or the child’s guardian, is a resident of this state or the child meets any of the following requirements:
1. Is attending and residing at a full−time boarding school or similar live−in facility located in this state.
2. Is a foreign−exchange student from outside the United States residing with and in the care of a host family.
3. Is residing with and in the care of a relative or other adult acting in the place of a parent, with the consent of the child’s parents or legal guardian.
4. Is on active duty with the U.S. armed forces.


Definitely not as clear as the Section 29 definition in my opinion...
 
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kbraband
WGA Historian



Joined: 2002-02-19
Posts: 2461
Location: Mequon, WI US

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:58 am Reply with quote Back to top

marc_54140 wrote:

Does residency really matter in determining what you are a member of? Think about it for a moment. The Sierra Club, the Democratic party, Geocaching.Com, The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), Yahoo.Com, NAACP, citizenship in a particular country, etc.


These are not state organizations. Sierra Club has regional chapters based on your home address. The Democratic Party has residency requirements for voting in primary elections.

The most important reason for a WGA residency requirement, as others have alluded, is so that government officials know we represent Wisconsin residents, who are -- for the most part -- the people who pay their salaries through property and income taxes and we elect the respresentatives who control the government budgets.

Another good reason is that a group of non-Wisconsin residents with voting powers could conceiveably (although I don't know why they would) become a majority, vote to disband our organization, and disperse whatever funds are in the treasury.
 
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PCFrog
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-05-11
Posts: 728
Location: Sparta, WI

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:29 pm Reply with quote Back to top

kbraband wrote:
Jeremy wrote:




Yep... Agreed
 
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lagrac
WGA Friend



Joined: 2007-01-22
Posts: 246
Location: Rushford,MN

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:35 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I totally agree with Marc. I think the Wisconsin Delorme Challenge should be the determining factor. I realize that an out of state cacher could come to Wisconsin and complete it in a month or week or whatever the common misconception is. But it's funny, I don't see a single non-Wisconsin cacher having completed it yet, or even in the top 20 for that matter. Oh, I'm sorry, there is one. Very Happy It seems as though it might take quite a bit of commitment to caching in the State of Wisconsin to complete that Challenge. That commitment should warrant a person's Membership to the WGA.
 
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Cathunter




Joined: 2003-09-10
Posts: 1263
Location: Bristol WI

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:20 pm Reply with quote Back to top

A question for those out-of-state residents-

In your opinion, why is it important that you be allowed to become a registered member of the Wisconsin Geocaching Association?
 
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lagrac
WGA Friend



Joined: 2007-01-22
Posts: 246
Location: Rushford,MN

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:29 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I think having the 'friend' title tells people who don't know just how dedicated I am, that I'm just a curious by-standard. I don't even belong to the Minnesota Geocaching association if that matters. I do the overwhelming majority of my caching in Wisconsin (check my stats). My dedication to caching in Wisconsin to Wisconsin's environment warrants concideration if nothing else.
 
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elfdoctors
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-10-31
Posts: 417
Location: Grantsburg

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:49 pm Reply with quote Back to top

How about an exception for people who own property in Wisconsin?

Around here, the majority of the cachers are Minnesota residents (many of whom own lake homes in the area). These people are also paying property taxes. Out of state residents own about as much property in Burnett County as Wisconsin residents (1/3 of Burnett County land is publicly owned, 1/3 is owned by Wisconsin residents and 1/3 is owned by people who live out of state (primarily Minnesota)).
I would hope that our organization could be more inclusive. This would also give increased representation for some of the more rural areas (particularly the lakes districts).
 
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Team Deejay
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-10-02
Posts: 2400
Location: Rochester, WI, US

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:40 am Reply with quote Back to top

If the issue is the "friend" title, maybe we can come up with something different. How abot "WGA Auxiliary Member"? "WGA Non-Resident Member?" We could also have "WGA Youth Member." Alternatively, we could let people set up their own titles on the website. (Lagrac would probably choose "WGA Gopher Hunter".)
 
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Team Honeybunnies
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-05-03
Posts: 1029
Location: Stevens Point,WI

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:53 am Reply with quote Back to top

Ooooh! I really like the idea of being able to customize your title. It neatly eliminates the problem, allows us to have some more fun in here, and we should still be able to readily identify one-time and infrequent visitors who wouldn't bother to customize their title. Great idea.
 
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PCFrog
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-05-11
Posts: 728
Location: Sparta, WI

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:28 am Reply with quote Back to top

Team Honeybunnies wrote:
Ooooh! I really like the idea of being able to customize your title. It neatly eliminates the problem, allows us to have some more fun in here, and we should still be able to readily identify one-time and infrequent visitors who wouldn't bother to customize their title. Great idea.


I like that... or once you make 500 posts you are awarded the ability to change it.
 
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Team B Squared
WGA Friend



Joined: 2005-11-20
Posts: 257
Location: Bark River, MI

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:42 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Cathunter wrote:
A question for those out-of-state residents-

In your opinion, why is it important that you be allowed to become a registered member of the Wisconsin Geocaching Association?


Personally I don't feel it is important for us to be full voting members of the WGA. I don't feel that I should have a vote in the WGA elections, just as none of you should have a vote in the Michigan Geocaching Organization (MiGO) elections.

Since moving to the Upper Peninsula, about 1/2 our finds are in Wisconsin. If you take away a week long caching trip we took downstate last summer I would have to think that definitely more than 1/2 our finds have been in WI since moving up here. That being said, we definitely have a great interest in the state of caching in Wisconsin. I don't see us completing the DeLorme challenge. For some reason, it just doesn't excite me that much (which is weird because finding a cache in each county of the state is a goal of ours). I was just looking at the map tonight, and I figure we could accomplish that goal in 4 or 5 weekends.

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