Mathias' Blog

Occasional musings and technical posts…

15 Apr 2021

A Warning about the High Desert Amateur Radio Club

This is something I never thought I’d have to write about, but due to the events of the past few weeks, I need to document it, both for myself and as a warning to other amateur radio operators.

I had been a member of the High Desert Amateur Radio Club (HDARC) here in Albuquerque, NM for the better part of four years. It was a pretty good club – interesting meetings, active with various outreach events, and sponsor of a VE testing team I’m a part of. While I never held a leadership role in that club, I was a member in good standing and fairly happy with what the club was doing. I especially appreciated how the club’s current President had transitioned some activities to virtual ones the past year as we all dealt with COVID-19.

On Sunday, March 21, simmering disagreements and outright hostility between various club leaders exploded into public knowledge as some of the club’s leadership attempted a coup. Several members, including myself, had been unaware of any issues and immediately voiced our concerns about what had just happened. It took a full five days to publicly receive an explanation from those staging the coup.

During that time period, I publicly called out those leading the coup for blatantly disregarding the club’s Constitution and By-Laws. I provided evidence; the various leaders either never responded to my concerns, or failed to provide any evidence that my facts were incorrect.

In the following couple of weeks, it became clear that several club leaders had personal conflicts that were the root cause of the other issues, but they failed to properly seek outside mediation or opinions, and rather chose to let the issues fester.

On April 8, I resigned my membership and all affiliation with the High Desert Amateur Radio Club.

At this point in time, I must – in the strongest possible terms – warn against any involvement with the HDARC for the following reasons:

  • A majority of their leaders are willfully operating outside of the club’s Constitution and By-Laws
  • A majority of their leaders are refusing to communicate with others, either due to personal choice or pending legal action
  • At least one leader of the club initiated legal proceedings against the club
  • A majority of their leaders attempting to hold an election to fill positions that are not empty
  • An inability of their leaders to provide required meeting minutes or financial records of the club
  • Various leaders of the club inappropriately seizing control of the club’s finances and storage locker
  • At least one member, who previously held a leadership role, acting as if they held special powers equivalent to a duly-elected club leader, and tacit approval of this behavior by a majority of the club’s leaders

The High Desert Amateur Radio Club no longer exists. It has become mob rule, and is a stain on the reputation of amateur radio.

(I have purposely not listed any names to give some degree of privacy, but will share publicly available evidence upon request.)