The following letter was sent to all RBAs in late April 1998. It is essentially the same as the E-mail sent earlier, with some minor modifications. A form to indicate approval or disapproval was also included.

A Proposal for Change

April 23, 1998

Dear fellow International Randonneurs Administrator,

For the last year or so, some of us have been discussing IR and its future. After much discussion, we have concluded that IR needs a change in structure if it is to continue to grow and prosper.

This letter's purpose is to outline our reasoning for coming to this conclusion and to seek your approval or disapproval for our proposed solution. (This note is being sent to all IR Regional Administrators, as well as, some other well-known randonneurs who have already expressed their support.)

Please review the following discussion and reply expressing your approval or disapproval and making any comments that you deem necessary or relevant.

Current IR Structure (to the best of our knowledge):

Director of International Randonneurs, James Konski, Founder
Audax Club Parisien Member Club, James Konski, USA Representative
Randonneurs Mondiaux USA, James Konski, Voting Member

23 Regional Administrators appointed by Mr. Konski
15 member Advisory Board appointed by Mr. Konski
No elected officials.

Governing Documents / Rules:
No constitution
No bylaws
IR Brevet Requirements (translation of ACP brevet rules)
Other IR brevet requirements set by Mr. Konski

Membership / Dues:
$20 per year per individual
Financial Statement unavailable
Membership List unavailable

IR Publications:
IR Newsletter, published quarterly (approximately)

IR Functions:
  1. Promote randonneuring in the US
  2. Set IR rules and requirements in the US (with ACP/RM approval)
  3. Submit a US calendar to ACP each year
  4. Submit US brevet results to ACP each year
  5. Return US brevet numbers/medals to IR Regional Administrators
  6. Vote for US at the quadrennial RM meeting after each PBP
  7. Communicate randonneuring information to IR members
  8. Fulfill other general administrative functions

The problems with this structure as we see it are:

  1. One person is in charge of everything.
  2. There is no formal document governing IR.
  3. Members are not represented by elected officials.

We find the implications of this structure quite disturbing. Should Mr. Konski's other obligations come to dominate his spare time, should he become incapacitated, or worse, there is no formal way to replace him. There is no successor. The organization essentially ceases to exist structurally.

For example, in the worst case scenario, IR, finding itself unexpectedly without Mr. Konski, would have no access to any of its vital records. The organization--with no membership list, no financial statements, no access to its funds, and no mechanism for an orderly transfer of responsibilities, etc.--would be rudderless.

With no formal document defining the structure of IR, there are no means to change anything except through petitioning Mr. Konski.

With no elected officials, members have no effective means of voicing their concerns within IR. They can't express their approval or disapproval through the ballot box.

In addition to these structural problems, we have had several complaints about IR's responsiveness. These have ranged from unanswered letters, calls, and E-mail to not returning brevet numbers and medals to Regional Administrators. In talking with some members of the Advisory Board, we have been told that they have no responsibilities of which they are aware and that they have never had a meeting of any sort.

To us, all of these things point to the need for restructuring IR.

We would like to propose calling a constitutional convention to restructure IR. The proposed convention's delegates would consist of the current IR Regional Administrators and Mr. Konski. The convention's purpose would be to set up a constitution for IR that defines an elected structure for the organization, defines the powers / rights / duties of members and elected officials, etc. The constitutional convention would be organized via E-mail and regular mail, so as to permit participation by all IR Regional Administrators.

Once a constitution has been drafted, we would propose that it be submitted to the current membership for approval.

Mr. Konski has been instrumental in establishing randonneuring in the US. He has done a marvelous job these last 20 years with IR. He's almost single handedly established IR. He has helped IR grow from an organization of less than a 100 with a few organized brevets to one with a large membership with brevets organized in some 20 states. He started the IR Newsletter which keeps us abreast of randonneuring events in the US and abroad. He's represented the US within RM since its inception. He's promoted randonneuring and IR both on and off the road. In short, Jim has given his all to the cause for an extraordinarily long time.

We think it's time to ease this burden, allowing Mr. Konski a well-deserved rest, but more importantly moving IR on to the next level of organizational stability. Specifically, we think it's time to create a constitutionally based organization with member elected officials. We feel this will remedy the short comings of the present organization's structure and prepare IR for the future.

If you find the above to be reasonable and to have merit, please indicate your approval on the form enclosed, and send it back in the enclosed postage-paid envelope by May 22, 1998. If you find the above unreasonable or lacking merit, please indicate your disapproval on the form enclosed, and send it back in the enclosed postage-paid envelope by May 22, 1998.

If a majority of you reply favorably, it is our intent to submit a formal request to Mr. Konski asking to call a constitutional convention and to abide by its outcome.

Thank you for taking the time to read this proposal. We look forward to your reply.

Johnny Bertrand
Bluegrass Cycling Club
Lexington, KY

Jennifer Wise
Middletown, RI

John Wagner
Seattle International Randonneurs
Seattle, WA

A quotation from 3 time PBP winner, Scott Dickson:

"Bravo!!! I agree with your assessment of the current situation and your recommendations."

  Please fill out this form, sign it and return it to Jennifer Wise
  in the enclosed postage-paid envelope by May 22,1998.
                          Thank you.

Name:             _________________________________________________

Address:          _________________________________________________

City, State, Zip: _________________________________________________

Tel:              _________________________________________________

Fax:              _________________________________________________

E-mail:           _________________________________________________

     ___          I approve of a convention to restructure the
                  International Randonneurs. Please include me in
                  your efforts and let me know how I can help.

     ___          I disapprove of a convention to restructure the
                  International Randonneurs for the following reasons:










                  Signature: _______________________ Date: _________