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Revised Memorandum of Understanding between ARRL and FCC Still a Work in Progress


The ARRL Executive Committee (EC) has directed that work begin on finalizing the language of a revised memorandum of understanding between ARRL and the FCC regarding the Amateur Auxiliary (Official Observer) program. The EC met on March 25 in Aurora, Colorado. The panel, which acts on behalf of the ARRL Board of Directors between its regular meetings, heard an update on the Official Observer Program Revitalization Study from ARRL Second Vice President and committee chair Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, who said his committee plans to present final recommendations later this year on revamping the Amateur Auxiliary, for ultimate consideration by the full Board.

In his remarks, General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, was complimentary of new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and told the EC he thinks enforcement efforts may be more successful in the future, due to the new chairman’s interest in the issue. Imlay also said the new chief of the Enforcement Bureau, Michael Carowitz, is reported to be “amateur friendly.” He told the EC that he foresees a potential window of opportunity for improved spectrum enforcement work, as well as the opportunity to build a stronger working relationship with the FCC on all issues.

The ARRL’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws came up for discussion. A thorough review by Imlay and ARRL International Affairs Vice President Jay Bellows, K0QB — also an attorney — that was directed by ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, identified several areas that should be addressed. Imlay’s and Bellows’ observations were presented to the EC for discussion, and the two attorneys were instructed to continue work on the project, building on input received from the EC.

The EC was briefed on a report from the League’s Connecticut corporate counsel Day Pitney LLP on ARRL organizational governance, with a view to modernizing it and bringing it into full compliance with Connecticut statutes.

President Roderick chaired the session. In his remarks to the EC, he emphasized the need for all ARRL Divisions to focus harder on growing membership.

ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, offered an optimistic report on January-February ARRL finances, noting solid financial results with income above projections.

Gallagher told the EC that the Membership Working Group continues to identify ways to increase membership, especially among former members or those who have never belonged to the League. The working group is developing a “life-long learning plan” to encourage activity and development among all age groups.