President’s Column – September 2003

Title: President’s Column
Author: Bruce Kelso
Publication: The Outcrop, September 2003, p. 3

Last month, the RMAG Board of Directors approved a $2.00 dues increase for 2004, raising next year’s dues to $39. Now, before any of you decide to write me emails or call to voice your opinion on this modest increase, let me point out a few reasons justifying the decision.

First, the $2.00 increase only represents a 5½% increase and that is not much more than the current inflationary rate. Everyone’s overall cost of living has gone up and operating expenses to run RMAG are no different. Second, the last RMAG dues increase was implemented in 1999, and I believe the RMAG Boards over the past five years have done an excellent job in controlling costs while providing excellent value to our membership. Third, the current annual operating expenditures for FY 2003 are projected to be $520,000, and while RMAG strives to achieve a balanced budget every year, this year’s expenditures will be the second highest in the past twenty years.

Annual RMAG expenditures include G&A costs for the office and staff, publication costs, social functions, and professional events that we host. Recent increases in annual expenditures primarily reflect the number of events that RMAG provides. In 2003, we will have put on five major technical events (the 3-D Symposium, a CBM Symposium, the Piceance Basin Field Conference, the Fall Southwestern Wyoming Symposium, and the Prospect Fair). I cannot think of any other professional society, maybe other than AAPG, that provides a similar number of technical events for its membership. The Friday luncheons also provide the opportunity listen to technical topics and socialize with friends and business acquaintances. RMAG’s publications, including the Mountain Geologist and the guidebooks, are recognized worldwide as first-class publications. Socially, the organization provides events like the annual ski trip, the golf and tennis tournaments, and the Rockbusters’ Ball. All of these events contribute to the cost associated with the organization’s annual expenses, but also need to be considered as a valuable benefit to our society and profession.

So, when your 2004 membership renewal statement arrives later this fall, I hope that you will reflect on what RMAG provides to you for a mere $39.00 per year and agree with me, that we get one heck of a deal for the money.