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ARRL Executive Committee Removes NTS Eastern Area Chair, Eastern Pennsylvania Section Manager


The Executive Committee of the ARRL Board of Directors has relieved ARRL Eastern Pennsylvania Section Manager Joe Ames, W3JY, of his appointments in the ARRL Field Organization, including his position as Chairman of the ARRL National Traffic System™ (NTS™) Eastern Area. The vote came as a result of a June 16 recommendation from the ARRL Programs and Services Committee, which oversees NTS. In addition, the Executive Committee voted to declare the Eastern Pennsylvania Section Manager position vacant, effective immediately.

The decision by the Executive Committee results from a determination that Ames unilaterally and repeatedly communicated with officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on behalf of NTS, making commitments on behalf of ARRL without authority and in violation of the rules and regulations of the ARRL Field Organization. Those actions were contrary to the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding between FEMA and ARRL, which states clearly that ARRL Headquarters staff will be the single point of contact between FEMA and ARRL. There is no independent relationship between NTS and FEMA; the ARRL/FEMA Memorandum of Understanding is the operative document.

In August 2015, then-ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, wrote to Ames and instructed him that, unless otherwise authorized by ARRL, any communication with FEMA with respect to NTS is to be conducted through ARRL authorized representatives. ARRL learned that Ames repeatedly acted contrary to Sumner’s directive, which led to the decision to cancel Ames’s Field Organization appointments and to declare the office of the Section Manager for Eastern Pennsylvania vacant.

In accordance with ARRL bylaws, and after consulting with ARRL Atlantic Division Director Tom Abernethy, W3TOM, the appointment of a new Eastern Pennsylvania Section Manager will be made by ARRL Field Services and Radiosport Manager Dave Patton, NN1N. The NTS Eastern Area Chair vacancy will be filled by appointment made by the ARRL Programs and Services Committee, the committee that oversees NTS.

NTS was formally created by ARRL in 1949. It continues the long-standing tradition of formal message handling via Amateur Radio, an integral component of the Amateur Radio Service. NTS would not be possible without the thousands of volunteers who keep the distribution network running. 



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