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JUDGES ON JUDGES FEES

 

If you judge, exhibit, or serve your club, learn what’s really going on with the AKC judges tax.  Background, and Dr. Penta's keen analysis on new fees for Dog Show Judges.BARBARA "BJ" ANDREWS BIO

 

Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief TheDogPress.com | Sept. 14, 2010

 

In the initial coverage of AKC’s vote to impose a judges fee, (Ref. #1 at end of page) we asked all three judges’ associations for a position statement; the American Dog Show Judges (ADSJ) Dr. Gerard Penta, President; the Dog Judges Assoc. of Am. (DJAA) President, Col. Joe Purkhiser, and the Senior Conformation Judges’ Assoc. (SCJA). Lt. Col. Wallace H. Pede, CEO.

 

Col. Purkhiser wrote back that he preferred not to discuss the DJAA’s position with anyone until it was presented to AKC.  Col. Pede responded for the SCJA and we published his comments along with a letter to the judges by American Kennel Club CEO, Mr. Ron Menaker. (Ref. #2)  

 

We heard nothing from ADSJ President Dr. Gerard Penta and assumed he chose not to reply for more than 9,000 subscribers and a quarter million readers.  It was a seriously bad assumption because he had replied but said that his email did not make it into my inbox.  I should have followed up with a phone call to him and I failed to do that.  I have apologized to Dr. Penta and I apologize to our readers.  His reply is as staunch and inarguable as that of the SCJA.  Here is what Dr. Penta sent to me:

"Hello Barbara,

This is a very busy period (two institutes, newsletter, surveys, meetings, etc.) but perhaps the following statement will provide what you need for your publication.

Regards,

Jerry

"It is clear that the judging community realizes just how self-defeating these fees would be if they are ever collected. Just as the AKC is attempting to increase entries through the new Grand Champion program, they have come up with new fees which will have the opposite effect on entries. 

"These new fees will greatly harm judges who do not judge frequently enough to pass the expense on to the clubs.  Many will quit judging. In fact, the AKC anticipates the loss of 1,000 judges over this issue. The fees will be an added burden to clubs who must, like the judges, either absorb the expense or pass it on to exhibitors. To pass it on will invite a further decline in entries. Faced with either of these options, some clubs may fold. I have not been told if the AKC Board is also prepared to accept the loss of a number of clubs as well as their anticipated loss of judges. In the end of course, the exhibitor will be forced to pay a higher entry fee, which is particularly damaging to the dog show world during these critical economic times.  As I wrote in the last issue of The Voice, “In essence, an annual judges fee is a way for the AKC Board to conscript their judges into service as AKC tax collectors.......this proposed fee is most disappointing because it is a sign of our confused response to the challenge of falling registrations. Do we really believe that feeding upon ourselves is the best way to confront those forces aligned against us?”  This latest short-sighted action of the AKC Board of Directors, and the dire financial straights which prompted it, demonstrate a failure of this Board to provide the vision, creativity and leadership our sport so desperately needs."

Not having received the above, I was pretty hard on Dr. Penta in the editorial which followed.  (Ref. #2)  I let personal feelings interfere with professionalism and offer my public embarrassment as a lesson to others in the sport.  Were it not for Col. Pede, neither Jerry Penta nor I would have ever known what happened.

 

Keenly aware of his obligation to the judges, Dr. Penta agreed to allow us to run his President’s Message to the ADSJ membership.  Disgruntled exhibitors, overburdened club officers; we all need a dose of the real world he so perfectly portrays.  As exhibitors, we come equipped with a sharp tongue and of course, much more knowledge than the judge who “dumped” us.  Indeed, there are some judges who have yet to mature in the profession but Jerry Penta has it right.  Even if a judge fails to make everyone happy that day, he or she has earned the right to be there!   For most, it was a long expensive journey to the center of that ring. 

 

Before exploring any links, you must  Read Dr. Penta's Message to the ADSJ Membership!

 

 

ref #1 AKC Judges Fees (Tax) AKC rationale for judges; fees SCJA comments, etc.

ref #2 Judging Fee Withdrawn, judges' groups react (or not), AKC President's message, AKC withdraws proposal.

Dig up a little Gold in these related links re: ongoing, unrelenting fee increases and attempts to tax judges.

SCJA On Judges Fees in 2005 They stopped the fee 5 years ago

$25 p/year, p/dog Annual Activity Fee on AKC Exhibitors Tyou can't blame AKC for trying.

AKC Economics = 700% increase, interesting history on AKC fees.

 


 

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