With rejuvenation and continuity the goal, Astoria Regatta Association President Peter Roscoe told KAST News in a live interview this morning that there will be some changes to the organization following the festival this year.
While all the details haven't been addressed yet, it's clear that Roscoe has made some tough decisions about what would make sense going forward for the festival and the people who love it.
Talking with Tom Freel, Roscoe said that one of the problems with running the volunteer organization comes with depending on the same people to chair the same event committees, in some cases, for many years. Roscoe said that to attract new people to get involved in the years to come it's important to give those volunteers the opportunity to join a committee and move up to the chair position. He is suggesting term limits for chairmen and perhaps an order of succession for volunteers that would give those who want the responsiblity the opportunity to advance.
Sounds easy but according to experts with volunteer organizations this can be difficult because often people have a very strong sense of ownership and satisfaction in what they do and can feel unappreciated when a change like this comes along unless it's clear from the outset that the objective is to provide a stream of new faces to keep the organization vital. Even then there is bound to be some difficult adjustment when any change, no matter how small, is suggested which can lead to wasted time arguing over tiny details if that person remains tied to the same group they once led.
Assocation Secretary Kevin Leahy, who was also part of the morning show interview on Friday, said that following the festival this year the board would put what he termed "best practices" into place. This is usually a term applied to business and no surprise since Leahy heads up the Clatsop Community College Small Business Center and is the Director of Clatsop Economic Development Resources. He said that rather than contining to rely primarily on a person's memory of how a committee is to accomplish their assignments that information would be committed to paper to give future volunteers all the information they need to work out various details in the planning and execution of events.
Roscoe wanted to assure the public that there are no major problems with any aspect of the 2013 Astoria Regatta, taking issue with a story on KAST1370.com that pointed to various issues involving several challenges the organization is dealing with this year. The story was based on the minutes from the June meeting of the Regatta Association Board and committee members. Roscoe says the organization is currently working with 30 volunteers. Leahy said there are others working on events that are not directly tied to the Association but occur as part of the festival. There is a need for additional people to assist with some events such as the Regatta Grand Land Parade.
Prices to attend Regatta events might cause some sticker shock
The Regatta Association is selling 500 festival buttons at a pricey $10, many of which are available for sale at area restuarants that according to Leahy, are participating in a discount program for those that buy the button. Leahy said that the discount offered varies from business to business. The Regatta website doesn't appear to mention the need to purchase one for admission and only lists events that are free and those that charge a fee. In the Friday interview Roscoe said you would need it for the Admiral's Reception event, but the website quotes an admission price of $50 a person. The Admiral's Luncheon will set you back $35 a person. The Saturday barbecue goes to $20 a head. It costs more to order on line through paypal. Roscoe said that some people felt the button was important, he saw nothing wrong with the idea so they ordered them. After combing the Regatta website, it doesn't seem to be necessary for people to buy for admission purposes. These buttons are often exchanged with delegations from other festivals and selling them to the public is a way to offset the cost. During the interview Freel commented he saw no reason for the public to buy a Regatta button and Roscoe responded, "Well you don't have to buy one. I guess we won't see you at any events". Commenting on the pricing involved with attending some of the events, Roscoe said, it reflects the true cost. He said that the Regatta had a benefactor underwrite some of those costs in the past but that is no longer the case.
For more information go to the Regatta website: http://www.astoriaregatta.com/