Council mergers (was Rumor Control)
Wed, 8 Apr 1992 18:35:03 -0400
I think your description of mergers in the 60's supports one of the points
I was trying to make: mergers are nothing new, and have been going on
for a long time - primarily for financial reasons.
> I don't care how much you *want* to cut the support (read that as
> "professional") staff in a local Council, they ALL perform many
> functions that we volunteer's don't want to, can't do, or we give to
> them to do for us.
It's not that I (or anyone else) want to cut costs by cutting staff.
But if the money to pay these people isn't there, there isn't much
choice. I did not mean to imply that the Council staff wasn't
important. Of course they perform a vital function. But a Council that
was staffed to serve 15,000 Scouts 10 years ago wouldn't need the same
number of people (or the same number of layers of management) to serve
10,000 Scouts today. I think that the mergers reflect the fact that
SOME councils have not kept their staff size in line with the number of
people they serve.
> Merging several Councils is a really great finacial solution....but when we
> are talking PEOPLE (and that's what Scouting is all about!), merging can
> create more problems than its really, really worth!
Without question, mergers create many problems: logistical, emotional, etc.
But a merger can also introduce some efficiencies. For example, two
smaller councils may each have a Director of Camping who oversees
operation of an under-utilized camp. By merging, one Director can
oversee one (or two) facilities. One purchasing agent may be able to
serve the needs of a larger, merged Council.
I don't really like the possibility that, as a result of a merger, my
Council proffessional and support staff will have more to do. But I
prefer mergers to the alternative: disbanding an insolvent Council. I
also think that many (but not all) councils would be best served by
investigating mergers on their own now, instead of waiting for an order
from National to merge a couple of years from now.
Many corporations (public and private) are working to re-structure their
operations to improve their financial stability, so that they may
continue to operate at all. BSA must do the same.
What is happening in other youth-service organizations (GSUSA, Camp
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City