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 2005 Blog posts
 11-21-California-On ethics and back scratching
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Female Junior Member
26 Posts

St. Louis, MO


VFR 750F
Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 02/02/2011 :  1:28 PM                       Like
(Posted 11/21/05)

I was thinking about the situation out here in CA yesterday and thought may you all could help me figure out what could and couldn't happen:

I know that it was common for years under Crane and Associates as well as for M$F for QAV field team members to also own sites and/or be site managers. But what I don't know is what safeguards are in place to prevent abuses.

First, let me introduce you to the QAV team for California:

NoCal field team members:
There's Gerard Hopwood who was a site manager and now owns at least one site in NoCal.

Mark Lytal owns sites but I can't find out where.

Jack Becker owns sites in Atwater, Stockton, Fresno, and perhaps Modesto and Harvey Lacey, who was a training specialist under Crane and Associates. Lacey is also a site owner. Both have good reputations as straight shooters.

Debra Finlayson is also a NoCal field team member and, at least, a site manager.

In SoCal we have:

David Crouch who owns sites in San Diego and Oceanside along with his wife, Allison Tyra who is Sherry William's assistant. Crouch taught William's to ride twice and then became a QAV specialist and picked up the site in Oceanside. And, of course, David and Allison's site will be one of the Discovery Project sites, Buche told MCN last year.

Amanda Cunningham is not a site owner and is just an instructor and recently trained QAV member from out just West of LA. At least she's not a site owner or manager yet, let's see what happens after Dec. 1st. Cunningham, who used to teach for Red Runyon, had stopped by Red's sites early last summer for what she told them was a friendly visit, went home and yet then went home and wrote up a negative QAV report on Red's site even though, at that time, she was *not* yet a member of the QAV team. That is, according to a source.

Last, but not least, Tom Edgar, is another transplant from Crane and Associates, and the quintessential yes man according to those who know him. He also owns at least one site.

Iow, all but one of the QAV team owns or manages a site.

So, it seems to me that eventually one or more of these team members will have to evaluate each other's site, right? Unless the new kid Cunningham will be sent out all over the state to evaluate the other field members own sites.

So what's to stop them from quid pro quo or, at worst, do unto me or I'll do unto you?

M$F is pressuring CA site owners to go business all the way and gave the 2004 Outstanding Community Training Sponsor award to T3RG, a business all the way outfit in Denver that's shot up from one site to four in less than three years. Multi-service sites and concentrating the existing territories in the hands of a few is what M$F thinks is good business practice.

And M$F appears to have rewarded both Crouch and Hopwood for services rendered, what's to stop something worse from happening:

What's to prevent a QAV member who wants to take over an adjacent territory from working out a deal with the field team member who evaluating that site in exchange for a negative eval for a site the other member is interested in? A "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" situation from developing?

The QAV team members own code of ethics since M$F doesn't have one, as far as anyone knows.

Today, several of the team members do have those who will vouch for their ethics, and that's good.

Of course, I wonder if Dwight McBride would've vouched for Hopwood's ethics a few months ago and if he still would now?

But what about tomorrow? Will the next QAV member be as upright as these?

And what about M$F itself? And given the back stabbing, under handed way QAV team member Hopwood got his site and their games with field tests, and so much more, can we trust them not to use QAVs as IEDs against those they suspect are insurgents? According to many site owners/managers, that's whats already been going on for two years.

And it doesn't have to be an overt action by M$F either. A wink. A nod. That oh so subtle hint that non cooperation could result in less favor.

Already site owners are saying they'd do just about anything to keep their sites. It is their livelihood after all. What would QAV members do to keep not only their sites, but the extra income and prestige? This is not to judge them they are human and temptation is temptation and income is income and what job can someone get at 50 or older if they've spent their life in rider ed?

It doesn't even have to be even the slightest pressure from M$F. All it needs to go south or north is just that plain old ambition and desire to please the boss. All it needs is one QAV member who plays vigilante, judge, jury and executioner on those he or she feels isnt WFO M$F.

At the very best, because this situation is riper and more full of holes than an aged Swiss cheese, there's still the appearance of impropriety, of vested interests, of something that may not be "completely" ethical.

Where are the internal quality controls on the quality controllers?
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