Thursday, December 29, 2005

Peace & Good Will in Chestnut Hill?

This letter was sent to 300 people in Chestnut Hill and vicinity on Christmas Day, 2005. A copy was also sent to the Chestnut Hill Local for inclusion in the Dec. 29, 2005, issue. Lloyd Wells is a founder of the Chestnut Hill Local and past chair (1968-1969) of the Chestnut Hill Community Association.

My acquaintance with Fred Williams began shortly after my involvement in Chestnut Hill’s civic life, circa 1949. Since then we’ve mutually supported each other’s civic interests. Fred’s personal note (below), copied from the back of his Xmas letter, together with other similar commentaries I’ve received clearly demonstrate that the Chestnut Hill Community Association (CHCA) is no longer an eleemosynary enterprise; rather one dedicated to the private economic and political interests of its current leadership.

“My activities with Pastorius Park came to a bitter end for me. The incumbent President of the CHCA dumped me and put a young ambitious lawyer as head of the Social Division. She immediately went to folk music and was not interested in the bands (concert and big bands). She wouldn’t listen to what I had to say. Not a single person in the CHCA thanked me for my 41 years of summers. I try not to say too much but when asked why I’m not there I tell them.

“About a year ago this same group tried to take over the Water Tower (W.T.) Recreation Center. They made no preliminary effort to contact any officer of the W.T. Advisory Council or employee of the W.T. Recreation Center. They did send a letter to the City-wide head of the Recreation Department (over our heads). Also the newspaper failed to send anyone to the W.T. to look into our activities. Where were they? It sure made us wonder why we’re denigrated as not having much of a community program for all interests. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is my 41st. year on the W.T. Advisory Council and I can say there are thriving dynamic programs to suit many interests for all ages. Needless to say the CHCA was shot down. I even called the President of the CHCA a liar, at the meeting, and was quoted on the front page of the LOCAL.

“I’m trying to recede from public life because of health and have given up many activities.

“Fortunately the bulk of my interests are in and about music and I don’t fret too much about the crazy things the incumbents are about. I don’t have the time or energy any more to fight .... but I’m watching.

“Now that I’ve vented my spleen have a wonderful holiday season with family and friends.

[Copied from “Fred William's 2005 Christmas/Holiday Letter To Family and Friends.”]

My suggestion to all Chestnut Hillers, particularly the remaining members of the CHCA, is that they resign or, alternatively, reduce their annual dues payments by 50% in protest to the policies of this administration. The community’s and the city’s best interests would be well served were all Chestnut Hillers to ignore all future fund raising efforts by the Association until the current leadership resigns or is replaced. With your support a new administration, genuinely concerned with the public good, could renew the C. H. experiment that was so successful in the 3rd quarter of the last century.

In the interim make your contributions directly to the senior or teenage programs or to those committee activities you personally support. The CHCA can be recreated as a democratic alternative supportive of “City Hall” but designed to determine and implement those public policies that C.H.’s citizens support.

Lloyd P. Wells (12/25/05)


Anonymous Local Reader said...

And why wasn't this in the Local? It looks as if it was sent to the paper. Is the Lentz Policy effectively dead under the current management?

Tue Jan 03, 07:12:00 PM EST  

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