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The Webfooted Astronomer - December 1999


Randy's Ramblings:
My Vision for the SAS

by Randy Johnson, SAS President

Now that I've been elected president, members should know what matters to me. I love this club, but I have done this tour before. The bylaws for the club say that the board of directors must provide a slate of officers to be nominated a month in advance of the elections. In the 15 or so years that I have been with the club, this slate has always been indicative of who would serve the following year. I can remember few times, if any, when there was actually a contested election. Most of the time our election of officers is a simple ratification and acceptance of the presented list of folks who have agreed not to stand up and scream, "No, not me!"

I am interested in the long-term viability of the club. I believe that this means providing programs and activities for the club that are of interest to the membership. I am an observational astronomer and tourist of the night sky. I believe star parties and group observing activities are a fundamental part of keeping the SAS well oiled and viable. To that end I believe that the SAS needs to be currently involved with land owners and agencies who are responsible for sites and areas that we would like to visit and use for astronomy.

I believe that public outreach is a core aspect of our mission as an organization. SAS has an honorable history with its involvement in programs like Astronomy Day at the Pacific Science Center, Project ASTRO in our local area schools, sidewalk astronomy, and the monthly public star parties. Additionally, many members have voluntarily stepped forward when called upon to serve groups such as Boy and Girl Scouts, the county parks department, and the library system.

I also believe the SAS needs to fight for public awareness and prevention of the ever encroaching light pollution that threatens the night sky. Finally, I know there is a vast wealth of talent and ability in our organization. I believe that good leadership is about seeking out help from those individuals. Look for me to look for to you for help.

Paraphrasing a former U.S. president, these are my thoughts on, "The vision thing." I'm sure there are others here that have other ideas about what the SAS should be doing. I sincerely hope that you will step forward and consider serving the club.

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