Author Topic: COG Conflict of Interest  (Read 2191 times)

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Offline smithr1

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COG Conflict of Interest
« on: November 27, 2017, 07:51:47 pm »
So there is a recurring situation in COG that revolves around conflict of interest.  Should a member be allowed to sell a product that is related to motorcycles or the Concours and also be allowed to hold an officers position within the club?  This could be a real issue if it was found that the member was using their position in the club to promote sales of their product.

To my knowledge there have been a few members over the years that have developed products.  Some of those members later became officers.   The opportunity to increase profit from there position was there.   

To my knowledge I have NEVER seen one of these members say.  I will help you if you buy my product or I have the answer to your question but you must buy my product.   I think if you saw that happen you would want that person removed as officer and rightfully so.

So should we change the club rules to make this no longer possible?   Remember what you may be giving up.   MANY members make products for themselves and then later sell them.  Some of our best members have built almost second careers out of it.  Does that automatically make them bad officers or money grubbing?  I am sure you can see that is not the case. 

I would think what we do now is just fine.   If you want to support the club do so.  If you want to sell a product do so.  If you want to make selling your product a condition of helping the club or its members we ALL will show you where the door is.  If someone does not  deserve to be here because of there actions take it to the BOD.  Work it out and move on.  No room here for personal agendas.

What's your opinion?
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Offline Staylo

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 08:25:12 pm »
Maybe someone else will have thought of something I haven’t, but I can’t think of a scenario where an officer could take so much advantage of their position by selling a self-developed project to necessitate needing to put a blanket ban in place up front. If an officer was found to be somehow abusing their position it could be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2017, 08:32:30 pm »
Are you suggesting it be a new rule, or suggesting a existing rule be removed?

Regardless, I don't think it's a problem now, nor has it ever been a problem.
So, my thought is "there should be no rule about it at all"... (Not worth the time to worry about).

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Offline Staylo

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2017, 09:39:07 pm »
Are you suggesting it be a new rule, or suggesting a existing rule be removed?

Regardless, I don't think it's a problem now, nor has it ever been a problem.
So, my thought is "there should be no rule about it at all"... (Not worth the time to worry about).

Ride safe, Ted

I agree. I’ve not been a member for a very long time, but so far as I can tell it’s only a problem for one individual.
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Offline Bruce_Reafsnider_TN

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2017, 10:20:22 pm »
There's no need to find a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.  Deal with it on a case by case basis.  I'd rather throw out the bad apple than the whole bushel.

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2017, 10:35:23 pm »
Are you suggesting it be a new rule, or suggesting a existing rule be removed?

Regardless, I don't think it's a problem now, nor has it ever been a problem.
So, my thought is "there should be no rule about it at all"... (Not worth the time to worry about).

Ride safe, Ted

With all due respects, and to the COG community, this all came about from something that COG has already placed into effect as a "rule".

Said "rule" was quoted, with no other diatribe, in the post that got everything boiling...
Its a shame it could not be read, and understood, before the fires began getting set.
A p/m was sent, prior to any other posting, and also an email directly to the Executive Director, making a request that the advertising post be moved to the appropriate area outlined in that rule, which was the Industry Member sale section of the COG mart area.

Anyone can report a thread, member or not, and frankly posting "a sale", in a thread that was about someones observations, with nothing "relative" to the threads content other than such, noting a "sale", was just that...
Am I an idiot for posting that rule? It is in print, and was already created to curtail that, by the BOD already.
The subterfuge that followed was completely unnecessary, the sale post could have been moved, and was not.
All that followed,was avoidable.

So the lack of reading and understanding of the rule, which ALL industry members are aware of, and follow as far as I see, was disregarded.

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Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2017, 01:29:59 am »
I agree. Deal with case by case issues.
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Offline Old Man on a Connie

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2017, 01:34:38 am »
Are you suggesting it be a new rule, or suggesting a existing rule be removed?

Regardless, I don't think it's a problem now, nor has it ever been a problem.
So, my thought is "there should be no rule about it at all"... (Not worth the time to worry about).

Ride safe, Ted

With all due respects, and to the COG community, this all came about from something that COG has already placed into effect as a "rule".

Said "rule" was quoted, with no other diatribe, in the post that got everything boiling...
Its a shame it could not be read, and understood, before the fires began getting set.
A p/m was sent, prior to any other posting, and also an email directly to the Executive Director, making a request that the advertising post be moved to the appropriate area outlined in that rule, which was the Industry Member sale section of the COG mart area.

Anyone can report a thread, member or not, and frankly posting "a sale", in a thread that was about someones observations, with nothing "relative" to the threads content other than such, noting a "sale", was just that...
Am I an idiot for posting that rule? It is in print, and was already created to curtail that, by the BOD already.
The subterfuge that followed was completely unnecessary, the sale post could have been moved, and was not.
All that followed,was avoidable.

So the lack of reading and understanding of the rule, which ALL industry members are aware of, and follow as far as I see, was disregarded.
From all that I have read, and as I understand it, it was not disregarded. It was denied. Again as I understand it (and I have been wrong before) it was denied as pretty inoffensive, unobtrusive and really not that big of a deal. Except by one. If someone can introduce me to a industry member making bank on selling something to 2k members I want to buy some stock, and for those in the know the industry members, THAT VOLUNTEER there time and efforts as officer contributors, catch more BS from some than others. Could there be a conflict of interest? Yes. Is there? Not IMHO. I have never ever seen a contributing officer tell someone I can help but only if you buy my junk. Ever. Now being a relative short timer compared to others that is my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
"I don't always ride street bikes, but when I do, It's a Concours. A C14 '11 silver to be precise." OTP 2017 Traveler. It was a Blast Baby.

Offline Sport Rider

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2017, 02:58:51 pm »
let's use the extra cash COG has to hire a bunch of lawyers so we can REALLY ruin the club.  We're not doing a good enough job of doing that quickly enough.  geez.   >:(

Offline Lurch71

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2017, 04:09:52 pm »
MOB..... this entire thing is ridiculous.  Give it a rest already.  This could have been handled through PM’s.  At the end of the day how does this directly effect you?  YOU are acting childish!

Offline Stasch

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2017, 05:12:05 pm »
IMO The 'rule' was arbitrarily over emphasized here, and at great cost to this community.

The baby got thrown out with the bath water, and its a shame.

As a natural part of a thread's conversation, someone may point to a 'vendor' or a 'vendor' might say they have a solution ready to go should a forum member not wish to do something themselves from scratch.

Its a good thing.  There hasn't been an outcry about it and rightfully so. 

Half the time I don't even know which section stuff is posted in since I use the 'recent posts since last visit' option.

IMO this is not being abused. 

No one is being hurt, sellers aren't profiting at the expense of others and are helping the community at a fair price.  People are happy with the result. 

Don't let the rigidity of a 'Roberts Rules' mindset stand in the way of the real world community.

I can decide for myself if someone is trying to take advantage or a price is out of line.  If a real problem arises, address it as needed.

The 'free COG market' will sort the rest out just fine.

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2017, 05:21:59 pm »
IMO The 'rule' was arbitrarily over emphasized here, and at great cost to this community.

The baby got thrown out with the bath water, and its a shame.

As a natural part of a thread's conversation, someone may point to a 'vendor' or a 'vendor' might say they have a solution ready to go should a forum member not wish to do something themselves from scratch.

Its a good thing.  There hasn't been an outcry about it and rightfully so. 

Half the time I don't even know which section stuff is posted in since I use the 'recent posts since last visit' option.

IMO this is not being abused. 

No one is being hurt, sellers aren't profiting at the expense of others and are helping the community at a fair price.  People are happy with the result. 

Don't let the rigidity of a 'Roberts Rules' mindset stand in the way of the real world community.

I can decide for myself if someone is trying to take advantage or a price is out of line.  If a real problem arises, address it as needed.

The 'free COG market' will sort the rest out just fine.

Thanks for your input!

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Offline Road Runner

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2017, 02:11:58 am »
Are you suggesting it be a new rule, or suggesting a existing rule be removed?

Regardless, I don't think it's a problem now, nor has it ever been a problem.
So, my thought is "there should be no rule about it at all"... (Not worth the time to worry about).

Ride safe, Ted

Also agree !
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Offline Gixerhp

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2017, 03:03:37 am »
I do have to say here, that the posts in the last few days really are really disturbing.
After what i have learned to be the Cog in over the last year here!
I am a Industry member, and would never ask anyone that wasn't interested in my stuff, to promote it, nor buy it.
I must be missing something along the way of posts for this situation to have become.

Why cant we just get along,,,,  :-[
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Offline gsun

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2017, 04:35:58 am »
I do have to say here, that the posts in the last few days really are really disturbing.
After what i have learned to be the Cog in over the last year here!
I am a Industry member, and would never ask anyone that wasn't interested in my stuff, to promote it, nor buy it.
I must be missing something along the way of posts for this situation to have become.

Why cant we just get along,,,,  :-[

You say you are an Industry member in the wrong area!!! Product promotion!! You say "The Lighting Guy" below your avatar!!! RULES ARE BEING BROKEN!! Off with your head!!

Well, this is just as stupid as the previous problem with posting in the wrong area. :banghead:

Offline Rev Ryder

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2017, 06:11:26 am »
I do have to say here, that the posts in the last few days really are really disturbing.
After what i have learned to be the Cog in over the last year here!
I am a Industry member, and would never ask anyone that wasn't interested in my stuff, to promote it, nor buy it.
I must be missing something along the way of posts for this situation to have become.

Why cant we just get along,,,,  :-[

You say you are an Industry member in the wrong area!!! Product promotion!! You say "The Lighting Guy" below your avatar!!! RULES ARE BEING BROKEN!! Off with your head!!

Well, this is just as stupid as the previous problem with posting in the wrong area. :banghead:
Wrong!
If that were the case, SiSf and most of the rest would have been shut down.  Look, we are not trying to find ways to limit Industry Members.  In fact we are constantly discussing possibilities and looking for ways to improve their lot with us.  But it cannot be that the forum becomes their personal billboard or otherwise becomes an annoyance to anyone by frequency or volume.  The Industry Member section is there for their personal playground.  The areas designated for Tech and Chat are not eligible for advertising or spam of any kind.  The rules in effect are our (so far) best attempts at curtailing such activities not only by IM's, but by others.  Most of the posts by outsiders who come in and post up their wares in those areas you probably never see as they are ghosted as soon as detected.  Spam is not tolerated, period.  To be fair, the rules need to be consistent and consistently enforced.  Our moderation staff has been short for far too long and authority has been limited.  Training is pretty much non-existent and difficult to implement and so the quality of moderators to be "moderate" is essential.  But they also have to be firm enough to be believed.  We probably have been too easy on lots of folks in the past which has exasperated the problems. 

We are, as best we can, working hard to conceive and establish forum policies that will make poor and/or undesirable behavior go away while trying to INCREASE the possible exposure of IM's and not intruding into regular club member's abilities to share their own knowledge and to continue the assistance at the membership level that was once the mainstay and at the forefront of this forum's discussions.  We are a club that owns a forum that entertains at our own expense a lot of guests, not simply a forum.  The forum exists for the benefit of its members.  If in the course of its safe and sane operation it attracts members wonderful. BUT, it exists to serve the membership first... and that includes its Industry Members.  But our IM's are also only a few tenths of a percent of the overall club membership.  Nonetheless, we want ALL folks here, dues paying Club Members and Forum Subscribers alike to have the best possible experience here.

As far as conflicts of interest... I've never seen it.  I've seen the opportunity for it, but never seen anyone in any circumstance abuse their position or try to leverage it to promote personal agendas or businesses.  I've seen officers step down from a position because they wanted to guard against anyone saying something like this about them, but they were beyond reproach to all of my knowledge.  You have to remember also, that ONLY the elected Area Directors and I have the privilege/responsibility of voting and decision making on policy and ultimately enforcement at the club level.  Admin has authority to do most of the decision making regarding the forum, though the Board is often requested to consult first.  The appointed directors authority is limited to their respective positions and they may also be asked to share their views and opinions by the BoD, but they generally do not make or enforce any rules outside their areas of expertise. 

In any case, I do not see any instances nor any indication of any Officers exhibiting any behavior that could remotely be considered to be a conflict of interest... and I, as one of many I'm sure, will not stand for any such behavior and expect to be held to the same standard. 

Over the course of my time with the COG's forums and subsequent membership I have seen cottage industries spring up here and in other forums (motorcycle, jetski, bowhunting, etc.)  Members have found a solution to a common problem and maybe began giving it away and it out grew their abilities to do that quickly and essentially forced them into business to be able to continue to share their wares.  Others began sharing a few things and offered them to the general population for a small charge to cover their expenses and make it not be a waste of time.  Still others saw opportunity and sought to find ways to make a profit from other riders of similar bikes and interests and found ways to do so to varying degrees of success.  Most of these are now Industry Members. 

Nearly all have been Officers at one time or another or are now serving the club in some capacity though there are none in any voting director's position.  And, I doubt one of them would not give up their position to another dedicated, COG oriented person who could and would do the work.  More often than not their COG position costs them money and time that they actually could use to further promote their businesses but instead give of themselves to help the club constituency.  Your club officers are certainly more for the people than the people seem to be for them and yet they continue to do what is asked of them even when it costs them money and time and energy that could be more profitable to them in their personal and family lives as well.  I cannot say enough positive things about them.  I get to see firsthand the quality of this board and the appointed directors and find them to be men and women of integrity, wisdom, patience, and humility.    Anyway, I just wanted to share those few thoughts with you and thought this as good a place as any.

Y'all be blessed. Goodnight.
Fortis non Ferox
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Offline Gixerhp

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2017, 03:46:02 pm »
I do have to say here, that the posts in the last few days really are really disturbing.
After what i have learned to be the Cog in over the last year here!
I am a Industry member, and would never ask anyone that wasn't interested in my stuff, to promote it, nor buy it.
I must be missing something along the way of posts for this situation to have become.

Why cant we just get along,,,,  :-[

You say you are an Industry member in the wrong area!!! Product promotion!! You say "The Lighting Guy" below your avatar!!! RULES ARE BEING BROKEN!! Off with your head!!

Well, this is just as stupid as the previous problem with posting in the wrong area. :banghead:
Really show me the rule that states i cant promote any thing,, also im Not a officer of the site.
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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2017, 03:56:08 pm »
The applicable forum rule to this discussion

7- Advertising - Any subscriber may advertise motorcycle related products and services in the relevant COG Mart section of the forum. Industry Members only may ‘reference’ their products/services in a relevant reply to a thread, any advertising should be done as an afterthought to providing members genuine help or assistance.


All the forum rules: http://cogmc.com/forum-rules


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Offline smithr1

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2017, 06:24:16 pm »
My interest is not in making new rules or enforcing existing ones.  I just do not want to loose our most helpful and valued members over issues like this.  Maybe I miss read a situation but I felt we are loosing members over a perceived conflict of interest but maybe I miss understood. 

My point in the end was to not personally confront or assault someone that you think is handling ANY situation wrong and take it either to PM's or the BOD.  An open assault or insult of members is making it unpleasant for everyone here and driving away good people.
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Offline Gixerhp

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2017, 06:41:30 pm »
The applicable forum rule to this discussion

7- Advertising - Any subscriber may advertise motorcycle related products and services in the relevant COG Mart section of the forum. Industry Members only may ‘reference’ their products/services in a relevant reply to a thread, any advertising should be done as an afterthought to providing members genuine help or assistance.


All the forum rules: http://cogmc.com/forum-rules


So do i need to remove , The lighting guy from my profile
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Offline S Smith

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2017, 06:51:35 pm »
I don't feel you need to  :-X

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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2017, 10:13:04 pm »
The applicable forum rule to this discussion

7- Advertising - Any subscriber may advertise motorcycle related products and services in the relevant COG Mart section of the forum. Industry Members only may ‘reference’ their products/services in a relevant reply to a thread, any advertising should be done as an afterthought to providing members genuine help or assistance.


All the forum rules: http://cogmc.com/forum-rules


So do i need to remove , The lighting guy from my profile


No, and nobody said that seriously, with exception to one person being facetious and injecting personal humor, but it was clear he didn't really mean anything "bad" about it or you.

Having a link to your site, or simply calling yourself "the lighting guy" is not the same as posting "I'm having a sale on XXX right now, get em while the sale lasts" in a posting not relative to, or contributory to the O/P's subject.
Nothing you have done is wrong, you followed the rules as COG set forward, and "advertise" in the appropriate section as Rev Chuck notes.

Id also like to thank Chuck for a very level headed response, explaining in a better way, and in a way people may tend to read, the exact issue I attempted to outline.

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2017, 12:00:01 am »
So do i need to remove , The lighting guy from my profile
I certainly don't think you should or need to remove it.     My opinion.

(But I have no real COG responsibilities and only am in charge of trying to get rides set up in NorCal, so...)

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Offline Old Man on a Connie

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2017, 12:51:51 am »
Shoulder to Shoulder with you Rev.
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: COG Conflict of Interest
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2017, 03:47:24 pm »
  :iagree:   +1 !!    :iagree:   

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