Speaking out

To me what was really interesting were the number of Board member comments about rumors and Letters to the Editor at the Fluvanna Review. Let me point out that Valerie Palamountain has the Friday Flyer and an email that looks like an official email from the LMOA Board of Directors. Joy Bauserman has a wonderful communication’s vehicle, the LMOA Voice. The board has the published agenda, whether complete or not, for BOD meetings. The rest of us have the Letters to the Editor column at the Fluvanna Review.
I do know that my letters to the editor were not based on rumor, but absolutely stuck to the facts of Board and steering committee meetings that I attended. I was extremely careful not to have ‘museum drift’. Cliff Altschul mentioned at the golf work group session the Board mistake over the 16 year old age limit. The only way to garner the attention that deserved was through the Letters to the Editor column. It worked.
The board has made changes to how approximately $7 million is invested without any real public comment/discussion. LMOA members were not adequately notified of the proposed changes. I know that since I have been at every Board meeting since the first reading which essentially discussed looking into the possibility of hiring professional money managers. Ultimately, Ida Swenson was the only board member to vote against the switch from the Investment Committee, all of whom resigned as a result of the Board action. As I heard Ida explain after the meeting, it is not the decision that she was protesting, but the process.
Ida Swenson is my hero. She is right, it is the process. We elect our Board to make decisions, but it should not be done by gerrymandering the system. It should be done in a straight-forward manner, with the Board announcing major changes in a way that allows public discussion. If the Board is so convinced of the rightness of its actions, it should not be afraid of constructive debate. The change in the investment policy was not even listed as an agenda item in the Friday Flyer prior to the monthly Board meeting.
I recognize that it is easier to write letters to the editor than to actually be on the Board. I also know that there is a place for the opposition, discussion and building consensus. Thanks Ida.

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