While I normally don't post to the forums, I've seen this discussion and wanted to point out a few things.
Your initial complaint of having only three heats open, as has been discussed, was in error. Chalk it up to the first event of the year, and move on. It likely will not happen at future events. Four heats will be open for each event when the gate opens, and you can pick from whatever is available when you arrive. If all 4 heats fill up, then the 5th will be opened up, and so on until we run out of time or competitors. We're ready for up to 6 heats. The gate workers now understand this in detail, and it won't be a problem.
As for online registration, many of the historical points made are quite accurate. If you do online registraton, there must be a cutoff time in order to get the data from online to some media to move it to the computers at the event. Someone has to do this work, and the same someone would then be responsible for getting it to the event. If they sleep in, or get run over by a bus on the way to the event, then there would be a lot of lost data, and no doubt people wouldn't like that either. If the entire registration team goes AWOL, there are a couple of people at the events that could set up the computers and get it to work. It may not be optimal, but the event would go on.
Many of the suggestions are possible, and if there are volunteer hours behind them to implement, then they could happen. The true fact of the matter is that many of these suggestions are addressed to the organizers, saying that they have been brought up in the past and that they "fell thru the cracks". When making the suggestions, did you offer solutions, or just point out the problem? Unless those that are making suggestions step up with zero-additive time solutions, or volunteer to take on the responsibilities themselves, then things will likely stay status quo. The last time I checked, everyone that does so much to put on the events has other jobs that pay the bills, and many also have families that they like to spend time with. Asking them to invest yet more time for what is a volunteer activity or hobby for them would be unfair. If there are those that would like to volunteer their time to help out, please step up.
If we're comparing the amount of hours that an event involves, you probably don't want to go there. I was up at 5:30am, out the door by 6am, and didn't leave the event site until 5:45p. After getting home at 7:30p, I still did all of the financials and SCCA insurance/sanction payments, etc. T&S puts in even more post-event time to audit the results and get them posted. All of the chiefs put in time above and beyond what goes on the day of the event, all to put on events for the rest of the membership. It's always difficult to hear how much additional time for the chiefs everyone else is willing to volunteer them for.
Also, just to point out some of the mathematics of the event. There were three computers, working continually. With registration open from 8am -10am (or 10:15 this event), that's a total of 135 minutes of wall time per computer, or 405 total man registration minutes. With 163 registrants, that's 2.48 minutes each. Typically newbies take longer because they don't know what they need. And even the seasoned rarely have their DL/SCCA Card/Heat Ticket/Payment ready when they get to a computer. The longer time may also be attributed to having to re-input all SCCA numbers on a yearly basis, as well as off-season vehicle/number/class changes. Subsequent events and registrations should be expedited as the data rolls over from event to event within the season.
Dave also points out the fact that if you go with online registration and payment, entry fees would likely go up to cover the costs incurred by the program doing online registration. Are the members willing to pay an extra $5 per event for online registration?
Again, I'm not against the ideas or solutions to them. It's just important that it comes with a way to implement the solution that doesn't require yet more commitment from our already taxed chiefs and board members. The events are a culimination of what the organizers put into them, and if you want more things done, the members need to become organizers as well, and be part of a solution, rather than just saying "someone outta..."