Optimism & Prudence for Springtime
Happy Month of May!
Okay, so this may not be the happiest of times (ya think?!), but you sure wouldn’t know it from the weather. The cold spring fog is finally retreating in the Bay Area to leave clear sunny skies. My roses are in full bloom, the pear tree is covered with itsy bitsy pears, the plums are about the size of gumbballs and will be dollops of purple sugar in about another month. The planet seems pleased that human activity has quieted down for a bit. Here’s hoping that you and your loved ones are weathering this difficult and stressful time with some measure of cheer and optimism for the future. Stay safe, but do remember to enjoy the good in life at least a little. The last time I checked, lifespans were still finite! My Porsche may very outlive me…
Likewise, at the Board we’re focusing on keeping the GGR “plumbing” in good working order so we are ready when it’s time to safely begin venturing out for a bit more activity.
In the short term, compliance with government directives has canceled all in-person activities. This has been reflected in the GGR online calendar. If you’ve not already instructed your devices to subscribe to this calendar, you can subscribe here on the GGR web site. Then you’ll know what we know when we know it!
In terms of club positions, with the addition of Canyon Chan for Treasurer (thanks, Canyon!), we’ve filled all the club positions except Motoring Director. Himanshu Patel is filling in for the moment (in addition to autocross duties!). When it is possible to resume fun runs, we’ll begin chumming the waters and dropping the drag nets for a candidate for Motoring Director. If you’re thinking you may need an excuse to get out of the house more for almost too much fun to be legal that conveniently masquerades as a “job,” do consider raising your hand for this position. An experienced team is in place to assist you, a wide variety of routes have been laid out, and with surprisingly little effort on your part you can be leader of your own pack. We should really charge for this!
On the autocross front, as co-chair Ed Hunter has related here, the City of Alameda has declined to renew our application to run there. We thank the City and residents of Alameda for their hospitality and support over these many years, and hope an opportunity to resume our events may arise in the future.
An alternative site, Crow’s Landing (a former Naval air station where SCCA also runs autocrosses) is not yet returning non-urgent phone calls. We are hopeful to begin communication with them when directives allow.
As always, if you have specific ideas about where else we could put on events, do give us a holler. We need a big stretch of pavement with no obstacles cars could run into (light poles, etc.) It does NOT have to be level (there was actually a very interesting hump where we used to run at Candlestick), but really busted up pavement is a no-no.
Regarding track events, Jim McClelland has been juggling dates and allowable activities like the rest us. Currently, the first two events (at Buttonwillow and Thunderhill) have been canceled, and the May event at Laguna Seca has been moved to a 2-day Drivers’ Education-only (no club race) on September 12-13. We are still currently scheduled to run at Thunderhill September 26-27. More information on both events can be found here and registration is open.
We are hopeful the government directives and prudence may allow these events to go on. If you’re itching to get your car out like the rest of us and finally start to wear down those tires and brake pads before it starts raining again, do go ahead and register. Registration levels will give us an indication whether it is economically feasible to continue with these events in addition to the safety concerns.
On the accounting side, we’ve just about completed a major cleanup of GGR’s books and realignment to provide the Board with the right information for keeping track of the club’s finances and making prudent decisions going forward. The major change was moving from an accrual to a cash basis. Although an accrual basis may be required for some purposes, for making decisions for GGR it adds clouds rather than clarity. For example, payments of expenses for events that had not yet occurred were carried on the balance sheet as an asset (“pre-paid expenses”) when, from a cash perspective, the money had already been spent and, really, was an expense that had already been paid. By moving to a cash basis those very real expenses go to the income statement and the Board has a much clearer idea of where the club is for considering what we should and shouldn’t undertake going forward.
As part of this effort, the Board voted in February to publish an annual year-end summary of the club’s finances. We’re almost ready with the tidied-up 2019 results, and should have them published before the next Nugget goes out.
On another note, this month’s Nugget includes a column from GGR Historian Ralf Dossman. In this 60th Anniversary year, we welcome Ralf’s efforts so do take a look. Ten years ago, Ralf took on the daunting task of scanning back issues of The Nugget to create the online archive. If you haven’t yet perused this archive of GGR history (which is unique in PCA!), take a look here.
That’s it for this month. Stay safe, stay optimistic, and drive your Porsche!