Scouts-L Mail Archive for September of 1998: Re: Jere Ratcliffe's salary
Re: Jere Ratcliffe's salary
Thu, 24 Sep 1998 15:11:10 -0400
>If you care to keep your head buried in the
>sand and never pay attention to where the money goes, that's fine...
>I'm sorry you felt this was a personal attack. I did not mean it to be.
I confess I knew of no other way to construe a second person remark which
implied I am either willfully blind or willing to disregard indisputable
facts. But since you say it was unintentional, I will regard it as a mere
unfortunate choice of phrase :>)
> I'd love to know the rationalization behind this level of compensation.
The simplest explanation is that the market supports it. To retain
executives for a complex organization requires adequate (by the standards of
the group) pay. There are a lot of jobs. Look at the entire non-profit
salaries posted to the list. Ratcliffe isn't even near the top.
>Certainly not enough to justify the high costs of the program.
$7 a year is high?? What other costs are there associated with National?
Aside from Boy's Life, whcih is optional.
>Try to get any information from the National offices these days. The
headaches are > mountainous.
All I can say is that my experience does not bear that out. I have always
gotten a rapid response to any question I had or request I made. Of course,
I've only had reason to contact National perhaps a half-dozen times.
>When I said "spend my money," yes I mean my registration fee. If there are
>million registered adults, at $7 a head, that $28M is not chump change.
Agreed. But as we have both acknowledged, we do not have the complete budget
figures in front of us, so determining overall performance is difficult.
Also, I say again, your Scouting magazine comes out of that seven dollars.
That may be less than it costs, but it takes a chunk out of it nonetheless.
>We at the unit level have our hands tied when it comes to raising
>money, because National and Council reserve the right to solicit direct
For the BSA, yes. You and I are not the BSA. We are Troop/Pack/Crew # x,
Everybody I know solicits donations for their unit for various things all
the time. And I mean cash, discounts, work, goods, etc. Does that not happen
in Maine? I know that you are not supposed to ask directly for funds for
Scouting, but I think you may be overstating the restrictiveness somewhat.
Locally, we have developed several corporate sources who did NOT give to the
Council before, but do so now because of their interest in and involvement
with, specific units. And I don't mean units they have scouts in from their
own families, but units they have assisted with donations, Eagle projects,
and the like.
Our chartered partner also provides a lot of financial support, and often
asks members or "friends" to assist the units it sponsors. They have sent
some of our kids to camp every summer for the past six years. There are ways
to do that and still not "cut into" Council resources. Another thing is to
whole-heartedly support the annual IC campaign - if the budget is made, it
reduces pressure on the local execs. Lastly, if you feel better about it,
make your personal contributions to your unit. It's still tax deductible :>)
Of course, I know that, like most of us, you are probably spending a lot of
your own money on your unit, anyway.
I agree some of the clothing is out of line - the "casual" or activity
outfits especially. We also have our own sources for "Class B" type items.
The tan shirt, though, is comparable to other quality shirt with collar and
buttons such as one might wear for work. The "basics" don't seem, to me, to
be out of line with other clothing costs.
>I don't know if it's true or not, but I hear that the profits from the sale
>clothing is what pays the retirement salaries of our professionals.
I've heard that as well and also don't know if it is true. If so, then at
least the profits are designated for something worthwhile. I mean, I expect
the professionals to be able to retire sometime:>)
>If your opinion is that we should not care what National
>spends on anything, that their spending should not be monitored closely or
>that we should simply expect it because "they have a tough job," that's
Well, let me echo you. I didn't say that :>) What I DID say is that the
single item of the CSE's salary is not sufficient to conclude that the
organization's spending is entirely out of control. A little more
information is needed, I think, to make any supportable conclusions
regarding how well the money is being managed.
>We are the check that keeps National in balance and I won't ever forget it.
"We" being of course, the Chartered Partners and their designated
representatives. Not every volunteer. Don't forget how the system works.
>I believe we could put a CSE in place for much less money, yes I do.
Believing it doesn;t make it true, however. I'm not saying it isn't true -
it may be- but I don't know. And I don't know if we'd get what we want.
>many more companies running in this country with CEOs who earn less than
>a year than those making $450K+.
Well, that has to be true, since most business is small business. But how
many National non-profits or Fortune 500 compaines have CEOs making less
I have no idea, but I expect it is not many. And remember - "earn" in this
case (to compare it to the report on Ratcliffe) means EVERYTHING - salary,
benefits, life insurance, retirement, expenses, etc. Not just the gross
amount on the pay check.
I am often bother by
>the simple statement that someone is able to make a living - a good
>as a Scouting Professional. Perhaps it's time to move back to more
>and less paid positions, period.
Well, I can't be bothered by somebody making a living - we all have to do
it. But this is really getting into another issue. If you want to talk
philosophy - I stand by my oft-repeated reference to B-P- he felt strongly
that there should be NO paid Scouters, and he implored scouters world-wide
to never let it become an organization of professionals. I tend to agree
with this. The difference is in seeing what it "should" be versus what it
>but I am not convinced that the best program we
>can provide to the boys is being supported by our National policies and
Me neither. It never has been. The best program is delivered by a male role
model who cares enough about boys to spend time with them and guide them as
they enter into life. Ultimately, you and I are on our own doing that. So
keep up the good work.
I just think that it is finally counter-productive to worry too much about
what the organization is doing. I'm too concerned about whether or not my
SPL has everything in hand for our next meeting:>) I'll wager that is a more
immediate concern for you, too.
By the way, my mother is from Portland. I spent a lot of happy hours at Old
Orchard Beach in my youth. Nice place. You can have it in winter, though:>)