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What would you ask ANA board candidates?

It is election year for the American Numismatic Association.

What would you ask the candidates?

There is a forum for them at the National Money Show in Orlando March 10.

Barbara Gregory, editor of The Numismatist, has asked me and others to send her questions.

The first question I would ask is where should ANA focus in the coming years to meet the needs of 21st century hobbyists?

Old duffers like me might be satisfied with 20th century attention, but can you attract new members that way?

Then I would move into the tall grass with financial questions.

Middle America is being squeezed. So is ANA.

The revenue it is paid for the rights to convention auctions is declining rapidly.

Dues cannot fund the $5.55 million annual budget.

I would ask each candidate if they have identified any new sources of revenue and what they are.

ANA has an endowment of $18,470,595.

This year’s board decided to take a higher than usual 4.7 percent of it to fund the current budget.

That is $868,118.

Should ANA continue to dip into the endowment this way to fund current operations?

The other option is budget cuts. If chosen, what should be cut?

Would you abolish the National Money Show?

This is the smaller of the two ANA annual conventions. It is held in late winter.

Would you charge members an admission fee to attend the conventions?

Increasing the number of ANA members would help the budget, but it has been very difficult to fight a downtrend in recent years.

What would you suggest to increase numbers?

That of course goes back to my first question about 21st century hobbyists.

And then there is the perennial question: Are dealers too dominant in the ANA?

This is a question that has popped up in amost every election since the first one I voted in back in 1979.

Trying to divide the numismatic community into factions is not a good idea.

We have had strong ANA presidents from the ranks of both dealers and collectors.

We have had weak presidents from both ranks.

Members need to pick the best dealers and the best collectors for the board and not pit one against the other.

There, I have answered my own question, but it should be asked in the forum anyway.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."