Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, June 22, 1966. Intended for Apa L, Eighty-Eighth Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1506, June 23, 1966. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
WESTERCON! Jim Schumacher for Senior Committeeman! Salamander Press #183.


The time has come again to elect a new Executive Committee to run the LASFS for the next six months. Tonight, the next-to-last Meeting in June, we nominate our candidates for Director. Next week, at the last Meeting of the month, we elect the new Director, and nominate and elect the officers to fill our other four top non-appointive posts: Senior Committeeman, Junior Committeeman, Secretary, and Treasurer.

There was a time in the past when the LASFS didn't give too much thought to the selection of its officers. The club itself wasn't considered too important, other than as an excuse for the people who constituted its membership to get together; and the elective offices were parceled out more on a basis of who wanted the glory of sitting at the front table and having a title to put in front of their names, than on who could best fill the duties of the posts. Ask those who were in the club in the early and mid-'50's about the policy of playing musical chairs with the Directorship, with the loser getting stuck with the post -- like Alexander Throttlebottom's Vice-presidency. The "honor" was often bestowed on the club's rawest neofan, who hadn't yet learned that the "honor" was just the opposite. Another policy was a sort of share-the-wealth, rotating the holders of the Executive posts so that everybody got a chance to be Director, or Secretary, or Senior Committeeman, without regard to getting and keeping capable people in the posts. It was democratic, but we sure came up with some pretty incompetent officers at times. Back then, of course, it didn't matter -- anybody who took the idea of being a LASFS officer seriously would probably have been laughed to scorn.

Now, of course, things have changed. We're trying to manage the club as a serious concern, and we'd like to be able to pick officers who're capable of performing the functions of the posts to which they're elected: a Director who can direct firmly, but not overbearingly; a Secretary who can take accurate and complete Minutes; a Treasurer who can keep good financial records (and officers in these three posts who can be counted on to show up regularly!) , a Senior Committeeman who can serve reasonably competently as a Director when need be, and a Junior Committeeman who's friendly and a good greeter of guests. Since some members of the club are more competent at filling the duties of these posts than are others, this means that some members will be re-elected to these posts over and over, rather than letting somebody new take the job every six months on the sole grounds that "he hasn't had a chance yet". The important thing -- and I think that it is an important thing -- is that we vote for whoever we feel will be the most competent member in filling the duties of the respective posts, rather than in trying to throw the control of the club into the hands of one clique or another, or voting without giving any thought to the abilities of the candidates.

For Director, I favor Bruce Pelz for re-election. Bruce has proven through long experiences that he is very competent at presiding over our Meetings, getting any necessary business done, and adjourning the Meetings as soon as is advisable. (Remember our week-long Meetings under Ted Johnstone, when he just wouldn't adjourn a Meeting until the next Thursday, five minutes before the new Meeting was to begin?) Bruce is also doing an excellent job of doubling as our de facto Program Director, taking on the duties of that post as part of the Director's job. Frankly, I do not think that he is the best qualified man for Director that the club has to offer, but all those whom I consider more qualified -- Al Lewis and John Trimble, specifically -- have already refused to run for the post. Therefore, let experience and capability count, and re-elect Bruce.

For Senior Committeeman, Jim Schumacher. The Senior Committeeman's most important function is to serve as a Vice-Director, to preside when the Director's away. Since this is presumably only an occasional duty at best, it's not as important to put one of the club's most experienced members in this post. In fact, the post of Senior Committeeman has occasionally been used to groom one of the club's newer members, who has executive potentialities but no experience, for future more important posts. This is the case this time, and my reason for backing Jim Schumacher for the post. Jim is one of our newer members, and currently a part of the "Valley clique". It would be an excellent thing to help integrate the Valley group into the regular LASFS social structure, and I believe that electing one of its members to LASFS office would be a fine way to help accomplish this. Jim is by far the most competent-appearing of the group, and I think that with a little more experience, he will make a fine "regular" for future LASFS offices. He attends Meetings regularly; an important requirement for any LASFS officer. This coming term of office, our new Senior Committeeman will get an unusually large opportunity to substitute for our Director, since Bruce is planning to be gone for a month in attending the WorldCon in August and September, and possibly will be returning to Florida for a couple of weeks in December to spend Xmas with his parents, as usual. Jim should be able to do a competent job of presiding over the LASFS during this period of five or six weeks. There are other LASFS members who could doubtlessly fill the post of Senior Committeeman satisfactorily, but for the above combination of reasons -- apparent competence, plus giving a new member a chance to get experience in a club office, plus getting some new blood into the Executive Committee, plus helping to integrate a new clique into the regular club society -- I feel that Jim Schumacher is the best candidate we have for the post.

For Junior Committeeman, Jerry Jacks. The post of Junior Committeeman is our problem spot; the one we're consistently unable to fill well. Because it's generally considered to be our least important elective post, there's seldom very much concern about filling it properly. The Junior Committeeman serves as a backup to the Senior Committeeman, presiding over our Meetings if both the Director and the Senior Committeeman are absent; and he is supposed to be the official Club Greeter, the member whose job it is to make sure that any guests who come in for the first time are welcomed, introduced to various people, and made aware of whatever happens to be going on, so that they don't sit by themselves for the whole meeting, being ignored by anyone and bewildered by ingroup fanspeak or activities, and finally leaving to never return. Up to a couple of years ago, the job was a sinecure given automatically to Forry Ackerman, as recognition for all he's done for us in the past. About then, though, we decided we wanted an officer who'd carry out the duties of the post. Well, we got Bill Blackbeard, who spent all his time talking to the club's older members and ignoring the guests; Tom Gilbert, who refused to assume the duties of the post (in fairness, he was elected over his protests that he didn't want the job); and Earl Thompson, who campaigned furiously for the post by promising to be the first really efficient Jr. Committeeman in history, the promptly stopped attending Meetings altogether as soon as he was elected. This last December, we elected Fred Hollander, and I think that Fred might well have turned out to be our best Junior Committeeman yet, if it hadn't been necessary to transfer him to the post of Secretary almost immediately, when it became apparent that Phil Castora was not about to function efficiently at that job himself. That has left Phil as Junior Committeeman for the last 5 months, and while he's been as good a Jr. Committeeman as any other that we've had, he's still not the ball of fire that we've been hoping we can find for the post. I think that Jerry Jacks would be. Jerry is one of the club's newest members, and electing him to a not-too-demanding office would be a good way of getting him active in things. (The post has also been a new-blood training-ground, as you can see from our last three elected officeholders.) In addition, those of you who've met him already know that Jerry has a very outgoing personality, and would make an excellent representative of the club to welcome new guests and to really make them feel that the club is concerned about making them feel at home. Jerry is not a member of any of the club's social cliques, and therefore can be counted on not to spend all his time in private conversation with one group off in a corner of the room, ignoring the guests. I think that for the best Junior Committeeman we could find, possibly the first really efficient Junior Committeeman in living memory, we should elect Jerry Jacks.

The posts of Secretary and Treasurer are two of the club's most important elective offices, because so much record-keeping is connected with both. Both officers should show up weekly. The Secretary should take complete and accurate Minutes, as well as handling other correspondence; and the Treasurer should make a point of collecting dues from all members (not just accepting money from those who come up and hand it to him) and keep accurate records of who has and has not paid, as well as other financial records detailing the club's income and expenditures. Both these posts should have reliable, experienced members in them. I can think of no more experienced, reliable, and competent candidates at present than the incumbents, and I therefore suggest that Fred Hollander and Bill Ellern be re-elected to the posts of Secretary and Treasurer, respectively, for another term of office.

The ideal lineup, then, as I see it, is: Director, Bruce Pelz; Senior Committeeman, Jim Schumacher; Junior Committeeman, Jerry Jacks; Secretary, Fred Hollander; and Treasurer, Bill Ellern. Three old, experienced LASFS officers (all incumbents, in fact), and two promising newcomers. And all the best qualified candidates for the respective posts. You may not agree with me; you may have your own candidates that you think are more qualified for the posts. This is fine, as long as you do take the trouble to vote for whoever you really think would be the most qualified member for the duties of the post.

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          Constitution of the Mongolian People's Republic. [no date]

          IV Miscellaneous.

          Chapter Nine -- Arms, Flag, Capital.

Article 90. the coat of arms of the Mongolian People's Republic reflects the nature of the state and the idea of the friendship of the peoples, and displays the national and economic peculiarities of the country.

The arms of the M.P.R. consists of a circle surrounded by ears of corn [wheat] whose stalks are affixed to a cog-wheel. They are bound with a red and blue ribbon bearing the inscription "M.P.R."

In the centre of the circle is the symbolic figure of a working man on horseback galloping towards the sun -- communism -- against the background of a landscape typical for the M.P.R. (mountains, forest-steppe and desert).

Where the ears of corn meet in the upper part of the circle, a red five-pointed star is depicted, with the "Soyombo" sign inscribed on it.

Article 91. The state flag of the Mongolian People's Republic is based on the state coat of arms and consists of red and blue stripes, the centre stripe of the flag, one-third in width, being sky-blue and the two other stripes flanking it being red.

In the upper part of the red stripe nearest the flag-poleis a golden five-pointed star below which is the "Soyombo" symbol, also golden in color. The ratio of width to length is 1:2.

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