2006 CANDIDATE STATEMENTS
[Organized By Position Sought and Order Received]
It has been my pleasure to serve the OCA as President for 2005. Its my hope to continue to serve our great club. This past year, I have focused on several fronts that I would like to continue in 2006. Its no secret that my main focus has been on our observing site Anza. We have re-established the Anza Site Committee and opened its doors to the membership. We hope to accelerate past years efforts in developing new areas on the property such as more Pads, Private Observatories, and a new Members Observatory. Other focused area's like our General Meetings need more work. I will continue to improve and organize our meetings as they have become a hallmark for other Astronomy Clubs. I hope you have enjoyed aspects of our meetings with the acknowledgement of members deserving recognition. We have so many "behind the scene" members who really deserve our thanks. Many challenges await us in 2006. With careful planning and a responsible fiscal budget, I will assist in these issues like: The observatory roof replacement - The development of the North West Territories (Anza expansion) that will add some 75 Pads and 28 Observatories - The introduction of ASCR's (Anza Site Code of Regulations) - and the Fence repairs. I look forward to your trust in allowing me to serve again.
OCA is a diverse club whose members are engaged in an amazing array of activities – and all out of an interest in astronomy. I’ve been fortunate to have the time and interest to become involved at some level with all of our Special Interest Groups as well as our outreach program and Beginners Class – which has been a great way to learn a lot more about astronomy as well as about the club! I’ve also been involved in the Anza planning process from the beginning, and have taken on a number of projects at our Anza site, including getting the septic tanks pumped (a truly memorable experience!), painting the white edges on the various stairs on the site to make the steps more visible at night, and, more recently, overall responsibility for the club observatory and the Kuhn telescope. I got involved with many of these activities during the four years I was on the OCA Board – one as a trustee, one as Vice President, and two as President – and the combination of all of these activities has given me an unusually broad as well as detailed view of the club’s interests, needs and activities.
This last year away from the Board has given me a better outside perspective on overall club concerns and on the relationship between the Board and the general membership than I could get as a Board member. One reason I am running again for president is that I am now aware of things I would like to do to improve member accessibility to the Board that I can do most easily as President, such as establishing firm procedures so agendas are regularly posted on the website before Board meetings, making minutes of Board meetings easily available to the general membership, and establishing a regular practice of reporting Board actions to the general membership. I would also like to develop a regular process to ensure that any member whose interests would be affected by a proposed Board action automatically receives direct notice of the proposed action and has a meaningful opportunity to participate in the discussion leading to the final decision. This has been done on a rather hit-or-miss basis in the past, but, as we increase the variety of activities our members are engaged in, and as we increase the numbers of pads and observatories at our Anza site, we have more and more members who could be directly affected by Board actions. Having a more formalized process will help ensure that rights of individual members are protected, and will also get more complete information to the Board as it considers these issues, which should lead to better decisions overall.
Besides these procedural goals, I will continue to work on the replacement of the observatory roof and the other major projects still pending at our Anza site, such as completion of the perimeter fence, improvement of the roads on site and leading to it, and the Anza planning process, and on such upcoming events as the AstroImage 2006 conference next August. This is going to be an eventful year for the club, and I hope I will have your support to see it through as OCA’s president.
My name is Craig Bobchin and 2006 will mark my 4th year as a member of the OCA. I'm running for the Vice president's spot again this year. During the past year, I've had the pleasure to meet and interact with a great number of our members. I've also brought a wide and interesting variety of speakers to this past year's meetings. I have several ideas for more speakers this year that I am working on.
I have been active in many of the club's SIGs and activities, I'm a member of the Astroimagers sig, The Go-To telescope SIG, and I participate in many outreaches and beginner classes.
During my tenure as Vice President, I have also had the pleasure of using my business travel to meet and interact with other astronomy clubs across the US and spread the exposure of the club far and wide.
I feel that you, the members are the clubs greatest asset, and I look forward to meeting and working with as many of you as possible should you choose to re-elect me as Vice-President.
2005 marked my 20th anniversary as a member of the OCA. During those years I've taken advantage of many of the opportunities that OCA offers, participated in several outreach events, and made quite a few friends. I've shared my enthusiasm for astronomy in general, and amateur research in particular. During 2005 I was the club's Secretary, and in that role I hope I was of some help to the Trustees and the members. I would be honored to continue in that position for another year. During 2006, I will endeavor to bring our plans for further development at Anza to fruition, to get the Minutes and action items from Board meetings prepared on time, and support the ongoing activities of the Special Interest Groups."
TRUSTEE AT LARGE:
Thank you for electing me to the OCA Board last year. I have tried to keep the best interests in mind for all the club members as Board decisions have been made which affect every aspect of the club . The decisions made next year will be particularly important for members regarding our Anza dark sky site and the new developments that are planned to be made.
Since it was not all that long ago that I was a just an astronomy beginner, I am particularly interested in seeing that we provide the best club resources for newcomers. That is why I try to attend all the OCA Beginners Classes, help at the OCA public outreaches and run the nearby Black Star Canyon star parties for the club.
If elected, I promise to try and attend every future board meeting and scrutinize each issue that arises in the biggest and finest Astronomy club in California, if not in the USA!
My name is Alan Smallbone and I am running for a trustee position. I have had a long time interest in astronomy and science in general. My background is in electrical engineering and I currently work with aircraft flight controls. I have been an active member of the OCA for just over 1 year, in that past year I have been active in the AstroImagers SIG. I have given presentations at the meetings related to beginning Astrophotography. I have also volunteered to be a presenter at AstroImage 2006. I am an active imager and frequent Anza, which has led me to be a member of the Anza Site Committee helping to plan and implement future development of the Anza site. I feel that my background and skills can be beneficial to the club and that is why I am seeking a position as trustee.
My name is Tom Kucharski. I have been an amateur astronomer for forty years, an OCA member for the past eight years, and a Trustee for the past two years. I have been active in OCA-TV, the AstroImagers SIG, the planning group for AstroImage 2006, and the Anza Site Planning Committee.
Next year will be an important year for OCA as we try to prioritize critically needed improvements at Anza with the interests of all club members. If elected, I will continue to provide support for members' individual concerns while being sensitive to OCA's overall strategic requirements. Thank you for your past support.
My name is Leon Aslan and I’m running for a Trustee position. I have been an active member of the OCA since joining in the late 90’s. I work as a Sr. Mechanical Engineer for a large aerospace company by day and am an astronomy junkie by night. Aside from my technical skills, I’m also very savvy in the art of negotiation and getting things done efficiently.
I have been a member of the OCA AstroImager’s SIG since its inception and continue to image from the Anza site regularly. I have learned quite a bit about the hobby and have met a lot of outstanding people since joining the OCA. I feel that this position would provide me with the opportunity to give more back to the club, so get out there and ROCK the VOTE!
I am running for re-election for a seat on the OCA board as a trustee. During the past year I've looked out for the interest of the members. I have backed some proposals sent to the board and have expressed dissatisfaction to some also. I have made proposals as
well. We as board members run the club for you. You are the club not us. If you want me to continue to look out for your interest then please vote for me. I have enjoyed working for you and look forward to doing it again.
I am running for a second term as a trustee at large in order to complete projects that I have worked on in the past year. I am interested in seeing the continued development of our Anza observing site.
In addition I would like to continue participating in the planning for the future of the club, especially in projects to promote the club to further increase its membership and visibility to the public.
I regularly attend the Astrophysics, Astroimaging, Beginner's Class and GoTo SIGS as well as Black Star Canyon and Anza star parties- so I am one of the most visible and accessible trustees in the OCA.
My name is Gary Schones
I have been a member of OCA since 1995. I have been a board member for the past 7 years. I took the lead position and along with the pad members built Mars Hill. I also donated and installed the Anza house; the club paid for grading, improvement and materials, and I supplied the labor and tools. I also do most of the tractor and heavy repair work to the Anza site and Bonny Lane.
I get a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction from all that the OCA has to offer. Working as a board member or at Anza allows me to give back to the club. The board has a lot of exciting plans and ideas in the works and I would like to part of them. With my general contracting background and construction experience I think I can bring a lot ideas and stability to the table. Your vote will allow me to continue to work for the club.
Thank you, OCA.
Most of you only know me through the newsletter and my occasional e-mails exhorting you to submit material, although I have been a member since 1994. I can honestly say however that I am completely committed to the success of OCA and its dual mission of bringing dedicated amateur astronomers together and providing a valuable science education resource to the communities of Orange County and surrounding areas.
My involvement in OCA has mainly been behind the scenes: in addition to the newsletter, I’ve also assisted in the management of our club library and was involved in the early stages of OCA TV. Outside OCA, I was involved in the Telescopes In Education program for two years before it left Mt. Wilson last year. In addition, I have five years of experience in labor negotiations, which provided me with valuable training in ‘putting my ear to the ground’ and bringing the concerns of rank-and-file members to a senior leadership body. As a private tutor specializing in science education, I’m also dedicated to supporting and expanding our educational outreach activities.
In my capacity as editor of the newsletter I’ve always tried to be prompt and thorough in addressing concerns brought to me by you, the members of OCA. I intend to continue that trend should I be elected, and I would like the opportunity to be your voice on the board.
FULL CURRENT LIST OF CANDIDATES FOR THE 2006 OCA BOARD