Friday, January 27, 2006

It Shows and Shows Badly...

Editor's Note: This piece, by Jim Foster, calmly and clearly exposes the motivations and actions of those claiming to be running a professional association. The letter was sent in response to the secret meeting held by the CHCA Executive Committee on Jan. 26 in which Lawrence Walsh was removed from the board. Read the part about the "locked in a room with police protection" and ask yourself if these were the actions of a leadership that has a grip on reality.

Stewart Graham
Executive Committee CHCA
Past President

cc: John O'Connell
Philadelphia Newspapers
Main Line Times
PNI-Daily News

CHCA Meeting Last Night


Thank you for your intervention in allowing me to address the Board last night. However, by the time it happened a good many had left and maybe some of them were the ones that most needed to look in the mirror before they vote in the future. I have to go on the record that I, in my wildest imagination, could not have envisioned a worse example of how a community meeting could be run in a 50 year old organization with so-called professional membership.

How do you hold an off-site meeting, bring in senior level hospital officials with a structured presentation, city and state planners, interested parties and neighbors, and then keep them waiting for three hours while an internal vendetta is carried out under the banner of an essential executive session? ! ! ! ! If I tried that in Pomona-Cherokee, I would be removed from office at a special election the next day!

But I am not laying the entire blame for this on Maxine Dornemann, despite my differences with her on other recent issues. She could not have done this damage on her own, and that Board should have voted to handle the so-called sensitive issues, Lawrence Walsh et al, in another way at another time, and on their clock, not that of so many others. I could not think of a better way to lower ones credibility in a community than what I witnessed last night. The entire Board locked in a room with "police protection" ! What was that all about? Who in the 14th District authorized two Philadelphia patrol policemen to spend all that time there "protecting" Board Members from each other? If you need a sergeant-at-arms I will get you a retired drill instructor from my American Legion Post in Mt Airy who will work for a reasonable salary, but he should be paid by the CHCA, not the city taxpayers.

Furthermore, it would seem to me, without all the information, that removing a Board Member, for any reason should be a public forum as it was the public that voted for him in the first place. I am not privy to all the By-Laws on that issue, but it clearly should have been handled in another way from the outset.

I have to believe that more than a few hands were involved here, and it shows and shows badly.

Jim Foster

New member CHCA
Opinion writer Chestnut Hill Local "Off Center by Jim Foster"
Vice President - Pomona-Cherokee Civic Council (Germantown)
Member - West Mt. Airy Neighbors
Member - Central Germantown Council.
Member - Col Chas Young Post #682 - Mt. Airy


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if this was indeed in accordance with bylaws? What are the bylaws? This was a pretty scummy move. Lawrence Walsh is a good guy. Folks may not always agree with him but you have to respect his honesty and the fact that he speaks from his heart and does not conceal any agenda.

Thu Feb 02, 11:41:00 PM EST  

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