There’s no way to sugarcoat the truth. Due to the continuing issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, I have decided, with the consent of the Board of Directors and in concert with the Carolina Southern Division Local Convention Committee (LCC) to postpone the convention. Yes, I used the word “postpone.”
After consultation with the Carolina Southern and James River Divisions, the respective LCCs have agreed for James River to relinquish the 2022 convention and the Carolina Southern team will push back their convention until 2022.
It’s with a heavy heart that this decision was made. With our membership falling mostly in the age range above 60 years of age, a significant number of us would be ill-served by having a convention. Also at this time, there is no assurance that the North Carolina Governor will have removed the various pandemic associated directives on social distancing and sheltering at home.
Now for the “positive spin”: for the 2021 Convention in Hunt Valley, MD. I hope that you each will work on one or two models to place in the model contest or in the Model Showcase for the Mt. Clare Junction Convention. As I mentioned in my email to the Region a couple of weeks ago, the stay at home order allows us to spend some dedicated time on our hobby.
As for myself, I’m working on my layout so that it will be operational for the convention, actually sooner. The structures may be mainly mock ups but the switching can still be done.
Chins up, folks. We’ll get through this and have some fun with our hobby while we do.
Don’t forget to catch the next addition of NMRA-X this Saturday, May 30th for 12 hours of live content! Below is the schedule in EDT. Please adjust the times according to your own time zone.
Tune in to either the NMRA Facebook page or the NMRA Facebook group to view the convention. Please note that you DO NOT need a Facebook account in order to view the event! Simply click on the below link to the Facebook page and you’re all set! While you cannot comment, you can still watch and learn. (Ignore all prompts to create an account or sign in.)
Yes, you! If you are a member in good standing and want to support your region with good ideas and real involvement, we need you to volunteer to serve as one of the four Officers for the Region. The MER Board of Directors meets 3 times per year; once at the MER convention. The deadline for nomination is May 30, 2020. The term of office is two years, with a limit of two terms for President and Vice President. The Treasurer and Secretary may server five consecutive terms. Any MER member in good standing can be nominated, either by him or herself or by another member with the candidate’s permission. The process is very simple.
Prepare a 200-word (max) statement outlining the nominee’s interest and qualifications for the position, and include a photo of the candidate. Send the nominations package – by May 30, 2020 – to all of the following nominations process officials…
Option – also by May 30, candidates may supply a 500-word statement suitable for placement on the MER Web site.
You can make a difference by giving something back to the hobby you thoroughly enjoy. This is your chance. Successful completion of three years in office fulfills most of the requirement for the Achievement Program “Association Official” certificate. Please respond in one email to all three committee members plus Director Morningstar to insure receipt of your nomination! That is all there is to it!
Deadlines and Schedules for 2020 Nominations and Balloting
Our Bylaws require the publication of deadlines and schedules for nominations and balloting for every year in the first issue of The Local of each year. The dates and schedule for nominations, ballot and election results are in Executive Handbook, Section 5, Policies, Article VI.
The dates for 2020 are:
May 30, 2020 — Deadline for receipt of self nominations sent to the Nominations Committee. Date for Nominations Committee to notify Board of Directors of slate of nominees validated by the Business Manager.
July 5, 2020 — You must be a member in good standing (paid up NMRA dues) based on the membership report supplied to the MER Business Manager from NMRA National as of 07/05 (the 5th of July) of every election year to be eligible to vote. If an individual is not a member or if membership has expired as indicated by the record supplied to the MER, and MER officials have not been informed by NMRA National of a valid renewal of membership by 07/05 (the 5th of July), that individual will not receive a ballot, nor be permitted to vote in that year’s election.
August 1, 2020 — Deadline for mailing paper ballots to members and for commencing electronic voting; could be mailed earlier depending on other deadline requirements.
September 8, 2020 — Deadline for electronic voting, also last day as shown by postmark for mailing paper ballots.
September 12, 2020 — Deadline for receipt by Balloting Committee of paper ballots sent by mail.
September 19, 2020 — Deadline for Ballot Committee to transmit results to President, the Director overseeing this committee, and the Business Manager.
September 26, 2020 — Deadline for The President to communicate the election results to candidates. The Business Manager also notifies the MER Web Master and the NMRA of the election results.
October 10, 2020 — Deadline for publishing election results on MER’s website.
In accordance with CDC guidelines and recommendations from the four(!) states within SMD territory, I’m very sorry to say that our final May 17th meeting at Steve King’s HAS BEEN CANCELLED. The advisory committee and I have been discussing the best way to handle officer elections; please expect another post soon with more details.
Take care, stay safe, and look after each other.
Alex Polimeni, Superintendent
[Statement edited from 18 April Superintendent’s email message. -Ed.]
Some of you may have noticed a strange occurrence on Facebook between April 24th and April 25th and still might be wondering what happened to the NMRA. Well, the NMRA-X is what happened, and it is here to stay! The NMRA-X is the new virtual experience formed to bring some of the benefits of the organization live, right to your computer screens! Our very first NMRA-X Virtual Convention was held from 7pm EDT on April 24th to 7pm EDT on April 25th and consisted of 25 straight hours of clinics and tours from around the globe, featuring a new presentation every hour. Broadcasted through both the NMRA Facebook page and group, NMRA-X was a huge success with both members and non-members alike and it definitely broke the mold in the model railroading community. If you missed out on any of the action, all the videos are saved in the NMRA Facebook group:
Marketing and the Social Media Team have been pushing for this and plan on making NMRA-X the virtual model railroading destination by continuing to bring you more valuable content over the coming months.
The next event is “Ask the Master Model Railroader” scheduled for Saturday, May 2nd at 5pm EDT. Additionally, four, 12-hour NMRA-X Virtual Conventions are set for May 16th, May 30th, June 13th and June 27th. These can all be accessed from the NMRA Facebook group and the NMRA Facebook page. It is our hope to add additional streams soon. We hope to see you all there!
A special “thank you” goes to Gordy Robinson, Martyn Jenkins, Gert “Speed” Muller, Brad Anderson, and Jordan Kramer for pulling together and running the entire event, the presenters for sharing their knowledge and time, and the group from the A Modeler’s Life Podcast for wrapping up the event!