I would like to announce that I am running for the position of President of the South End Rowing Club for the 2004-2006 term.
I have been a member of the South End since 1984 (with a 6 year absence from 1986-1992). See background
I have been actively involved in the Club since the day I joined this wonderful and historical institution. In my years at the Club I have made friends with people I consider to be living legends. Some still here, most, sadly gone. I have made life long friends, I have raised a family in this wonderful eclectic community.
I have the deepest respect for our history and our future, and would never, ever, make a decision that would harm who we are and who we will be. I have held positions on the Board 4 times, but never in this esteemed position. I believe, after all my years and experience, it is time.
I believe our Club is in trouble. We have become stale and ineffective. We MUST evolve if we are going to grow as a community.
We need a new injection of fresh new faces, people who can grow this Club as it should. We need new people to volunteer for positions traditionally held by others. We need the enthusiasm of youth and the wisdom of the experienced. I believe I hold and honor both of these qualities.
We are a Public Athletic Club and we should serve our members accordingly. For example, simple things make a big difference:
- We should have a real television with cable/satellite, where the South End is where 'everyone' goes to watch a major sporting event and socialize.
- We should install bathing suit dryers, like most real athletic clubs, where we can dry our suits, and make the locker room smell better.
- We should have a pay washer and dryer. The Club would make a few dollars, covering their cost by far, and again, the place would smell better!
- We should get 4-5 newspapers a day, paid for by the Club, as well as subscriptions to major sporting magazines. We are an Athletic Club and we are athletes. We should be a full service Club.
I just described $2500 in expenditures that would improve the quality of life at the Club. I may add this is 1/100 of the amount our Club has mismanaged over the last 18 months, on nothing.
I GUARANTEE you, on my watch, not a single penny of South End members money will be foolishly spent, not a penny will not be given to a contractor "who is a friend", not a penny will be taken by a member because "Well, I volunteer a lot", nothing will be unaccounted for, ever.
Not a single penny.
I promise to restore our accountability to our members and restore financial responsibility to the Clubs management. This is not hard to do, the Club is a business, treat it as so. We are all equals as members, no member is 'more equal' than others.
As well as being an athletic club, we are as a social club. Lets have some fun! Lets share this wonderful gem with the City and our friends, our families, and lets do it responsibly.
Ten years ago I started our 'now' annual, 4th of July Party. For 5 years we had this party, with no support from the Board, and many members, including myself, financed this out of own pocket, to allow our friends and our families to enjoy our Club on this most special occasion.
I tolerated years of abuse and rumor for this, yet I persisted. I believe this day is the closest we have to a National 'Holy' Day' and needs to be celebrated. I also felt that making good neighbors with the Police, the Firemen, the Meter Maids, the Park Service, people on duty this day, is what we OUGHT to do. The South End SHOULD be the good guys, the kind, the generous and the sharing. Why NOT? We have only to gain.
This year I participated in a Labor Day BBQ. Why the South End, a 130 year old 'working mans club', has NOT had a Labor Day party in all its history, is shocking. As we celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the 4th of July and Christmas, we should also celebrate the roots of our country, the American Laborer.
This closed minded mentality is exactly what is stunting our growth and limiting our options. We are a Club of over 600 members and WE run it, not the few curmudgeons that desire to keep this 'their private club'.
We need to share, we need to be the good guys, we need to be good neighbors and good citizens as well, we need to solicit new members (whether they wear a wet suit or not). We need to be this 'better place' respectfully, responsibly and in the interest of all our members.
We need to insure that our future exceeds the greatness of our past.
In reference to the many years of rumors about me, let me address them now, once and for all, and may they never be whispered again:
- All rumors regarding kindness, generosity, civic participation and my love for my children, the Club and its members..
These rumors are absolutely true!
- All rumors regarding tales of madness, debauchery, wildness and bad behavior..
Well, what the hell, those rumors are probably true too!
Yours in Brotherhood, Fellowship, Respect and Love,
John Steven Calder