Elected Section Manager to Dictator

Aug 2, 2019
By: Jerry A. Goodson
In: Amateur Radio

I am the Section Manager... end of discussion

The elected ARRL North Texas Section Manager Steven Lott Smith KG5VK and I have rubbed each other the wrong way on several occasions since he was announced the winner in February.  Most of the time, it was because of some bonehead thing he's said, and being completely oblivious to the negative connotations of what he said.  I'm a pretty straight shooter, and the man does NOT like it when people call him on his bullshit.  Yes, that makes me #ThisGuy... the asshole who will call a spade a spade.  I usually try and do it privately, but despite publishing his phone number everywhere and encouraging people to call him if there's a problem, he simply wouldn't take my calls today over a big problem he created.

Full Disclosure:

As of writing this, I am currently appointed as an ARRL NTX Assistant Section Manager and Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator.  I am the webmaster for the ARRL NTX website (http://www.arrlntx.org), and I manage all of the social media pages for the section.  Some or all of that may change after this is published.

ARRL NTX Facebook Group

The North Texas Section has a facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ARRLNTX) to promote member discussions in matters concerning amateur radio and the ARRL.  While it is attached to the official ARRL NTX Section facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ARRLNTX/), the group page is separate so that members can have topical discussions that aren't published on the official page.

The facebook group didn't exist when Steven Lott Smith KG5VK was elected.  Just like his opponent's, Steven Lott Smith KG5VK's candidacy announcement was published on the official NTX facebook page: (Direct Link)

His announcement included a link to his personal blog website.  

The Censorship

This morning, I published a similar announcement for Alan Brown K5AB, who announced he is running for ARRL West Gulf Division Director against incumbent John Robert Stratton N5AUS.  I was surprised to get the following notification:


If you read my original post, I didn't express support or opposition to Brown.  I simply stated he was running.  I didn't do it "officially" on the official NTX facebook page, I posted it from my personal account as myself.  So why wouldn't this be okay?  Steve KG5VK said, "After confering [sic] with the SEC we have determined this is not the appropriate place for this thread. Esp since it was started from a Section Official Steve KG5VK"

So why is this not okay?  Apparently it's because our elected section manager doesn't like this candidate, and believes it to be "okay" to censor posts that he doesn't like or agree with.  But please, don't take my word for Steve not liking Brown!

Steve KG5VK Opposes Alan Brown K5AB for West Gulf Division Director

In his own words, here is Steve's comment on the matter:  (Direct Link to facebook comment)

Steven Lott Smith So according to K5AB there is zero positive about the League,
I disagree !

When I ran as Section manager for ARRL NTX, I ran a positive campaign.

I found no need or desire to bad mouth others as a way to garner votes, apparently Mr. Brown feels he must travel the low road.

I in fact embraced my competition and appointed them as an assistant manager. Ken KD2KW and I have frequent discussions and have had working lunches with each other even before I took office.

We work together to promote our ARRL Section and betterment of the hobby.

It is one thing to run for Section Manager with zero experience as I did. However it is another to run for Division Director with zero field experience.

I know one person that did so and she embraced feedback from Directors of several divisions before she ran, in other words she did her home work and ran a very positive campaign.

Mr. Alan Brown has shown me nothing but negativism with relationship to his campaign and that my friends turns me off !

Someone that is running for Director should be able to present many positive ideas without attacking the incumbent and simply stating everything is broken.

Is the ARRL, it's leadership and members perfect of course not.
Has Mr. Brown not heard of the positive things the league is doing ?

John Robert Stratton has my Vote !

Everyone is welcome to email me for any specific questions

Thank you for reading
Steven Lott Smith KG5VK

Have you lost your mind?

Immediately after receiving the notification that my neutral post had been removed, I drafted the following email and sent it to Steve KG5VK, and copied the NTX SEC Greg Evans K5GTX, and West Gulf Division Director John Robert Stratton N5AUS:

You removed a post I made in the ARRL NTX Facebook Group (NOT on the website or on the official Facebook page)... because.... I'm a facebook "official"????

[Screenshot of removed post]

You've SAID a lot of bonehead things since you threw your name in the ring to get elected SM, but you haven't really DONE a lot of bonehead things... until now.

My post wasn't abusive, offensive, and really not "political" (although it's been previously established that it wasn't against ARRL policy to refrain from political discussions on "official" ARRL social media after Nancy McCain removed posts from the official facebook page).

The fact is, we have an election coming up for WGD Director. That *IS* ARRL business. The NTX facebook group is the MOST appropriate place to discuss this!

So you decide to arbitrarily remove MY post after discussing it with your SEC, but didn't discuss it with ME??? AND the reason you gave was because it "came from a section official"???? Guess what? I'm an ARRL *MEMBER*, and I'm allowed to have an OPINION (although I didn't really even express one in the post, I just stated a FACT!)

If you believe being Section Manager gives you the authority to be some kind of facist lord over the section, you are sadly mistaken.

What really chaps my ass is your hypocrisy in deleting my post after YOU made THIS scathing reply on another post in the NCTC Radio facebook group:

[Screenshot of Steve's comments as linked above]

You slammed the candidate, and blatantly endorsed incumbent John Robert Stratton! AS AN ARRL OFFICIAL!!! Who the hell do you think you are????

One thing Dr. Woolweaver and John Robert Stratton reinforced over the big hoopla last year was the RIGHT for section officials to have and express opinions, even if they conflict with decisions made by the Board of Directors. You did NOT have the right to remove my post just because it's linked to a candidate you've already openly expressed YOU don't like! (...which, funny enough, I didn't express any support for or against in my original post).

Pull your head out of your ass!

-=Jerry A. Goodson=-

Steve's Reply:

Did u talk to Greg Evans ref this he and I agreed

My Reply:

No, I did not talk to Greg. Both of you agreeing doesn't mean it's right!

I based my stance and comments on the precedence that was set when Nancy McCain pulled this kind of crap when she was section manager. We used that SAME precedence when we (Jay Urish W5GM and I) presented candidate information for you and your opponent on the OFFICIAL NTX facebook page.

I didn't express any support or opposition in my post, I just posted the FACT that there was a candidate... just like I did for you and Ken Mitchell when you were running for Section Manager. Why? BECAUSE IT'S RELEVANT!!!

So, you both can agree to be wrong.

Unanswered Phone Calls

I tried calling Steve three times since I sent that last reply.  Three times, he wouldn't answer.  However, on the last attempt, he did send me a text message that led to a little text war:

The funny thing was, he called Greg Evans K5GTX... he talked to Greg... but he never called me.  He wouldn't take my calls.  My elected Section Manager refused to talk to me!

Answered Phone Call

When I sent that last email, I hadn't spoken with Greg Evans K5GTX.  I figured maybe I should give him a call.  After all, he "agreed" with Steve!  Greg had some reservations about discussing political candidates before they were officially announced by the League, but I quelled those concerns by pointing out that a candidate and his or her candidacy can be discussed once it is announced by the candidate.  Once we got that settled, he agreed with me!  (Or at least, so he said... and I have no reason to not believe him)

So, Greg told me he would give Steve a call and get this sorted out.  

He called me a short time later and told me Steve was out having dinner, but said he would "fix it" when he got back in.  That was at 8:06pm. 

Unresolved Issue

By midnight, I had not heard anything from Steve, and the post is still not put back up.  Steve thought my warning was a mere threat.  Right is right, and wrong is wrong. 

It's time our elected section manager starts acting like a section manager for the ARRL NORTH TEXAS SECTION, and not a little dictator for the STEVEN LOTT SMITH SECTION!


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