What is the manifest Destiny of ALS?
How big will we become? – in land area; membership; number, purpose, size, and location of buildings and structures; length and location of right-of-way, sidings, yards, switches, etc.; parking capacity and location(s), to itemize but a few of the many items bound to come up in the future.
What will the area look like populationwise and what kind of development can we expect in the neighborhood? Will this cause us concern, and if so, how do we cope with it to protect our investment of capital, efforts, and yes, of ourselves.
Assuming that Manifest Destiny can be interpreted as or equivalent to “all we can be”, at what point do we risk biting off more than we can chew? I respectfully suggest that point is if/when we cannot properly maintain, repair, replace or protect what we have built. At that stage, gradual deterioration would set in resulting in loss of operational use, resulting inevitably in further neglect and loss of membership; and lastly a final result of actual disappearance of ALS altogether. It would seem that long range preplanning is essential.
We have gone through two of three stages. The first stage was the formalization of an idea by a small band of founders and workers. It involved the organization of a club composed of members having mutual interests. The second stage was of somewhat longer duration; the growth, setting up of a corporate structure, obtaining tax protection, organization of the corporate structure into officers, a board of directors, and various committees, divisions or departments – all to openly operate on and build on land acquired for that purpose.
Now ALS is a sizable volunteer, non-profit organization with a membership of over 200, a viable treasury, and growing value of physical assets. The third stage is that of Manifest Destiny – where we will be all we want, should, and can be……….