So what does this mean? That recommendation clarifies that SPFGA members are not actually members of the AFGA. This came as a surprise to us, as we had previously believed we were and based our recommendation to support the AFGA on that understanding. Instead, the AFGA understands that it is the SFPGA itself that is the member and that SPFGA members are not, meaning that each of us has no entitlements at all. Any benefits extended to our members are done on a voluntary basis only...
The AFGA’s board has indicated they understand that is problematic and requires work. Well, some of them have. You see, we have received troubling indications that despite everything that has transpired with them, some members of the AFGA's Board still disagree that sweeping change is required.
Clearly, this is very concerning to us. We extended a good deal of support to them on your behalf, so learning that they view this support as coming from people they do not even consider members, and that their Board is not united in concern about that fact, is exceptionally troubling to us. During discussions about the fee increase, you gave us a clear mandate to ensure that the AFGA lived up to their promises, and we are doing our best to ensure they take that as seriously as you do.
OK, so what can we do about this? We believe it is necessary to send a strong message. One such message might be to simply not affiliate with the AFGA for 2021, and affiliate instead with an alternate partner that is consistent with our Mission Statement. We expect that this would provide the AFGA's entire board the necessary motivation to change. Then, through 2021, we can continue to revisit this with them to ensure that they're moving in the right direction.
But wait, didn't we ask you for a bunch more money for the AFGA? What happens with that? Affiliation fees with a comparable organization would be in line with the amount the AFGA increased to, so we wouldn’t expect much of a difference. But if there is a difference, we would come back to you to seek guidance how to handle that difference.
Does this mean we're parting ways with the AFGA? No, it doesn't. This simply means that if we did this, we wouldn't be affiliated with them this year. We would however maintain open lines of communication and base the go-forward decision for 2022 on a demonstration of commitment to change.
Why do we need to affiliate with anyone at all? Currently, your individual excess liability insurance, without which we would not be able to operate our facility with, comes through affiliation. There are alternative options, but this is a simple and generally cost-effective choice. More than just insurance though, affiliation also lets us leverage external partnerships to meet and expand our reach on other aspects of our Mission Statement.
So, in this What's Your Thought? poll in this issue of Bullet Points, we're asking you for a general sense of direction based on this concerning new information. We will include your feedback during our March Board meeting discussion, so timely responses are important.