Friday, January 27, 2006

Throw Them All Out... They Are a Disgrace

After reading today's Chestnut Hill Local (January 25,2006), were I a board member, I would move at the Jan. 26th board meeting that the interim editor of the Local be ushered out of the Local's office immediately (and more quickly than she threw Shawn Hart out) for her hostile attitude toward residents of this community.

In her editorial of December 29, 2005, she was clearly hostile to community members who "were not on her team." Since when does a credible editor, whose main journalistic skill is to be impartial, expect to have a team on his or her side. And since when does an editor worth his or her salt, write an editorial portraying herself or himself a victim. As if that, and the continual lobbying in her public position (unethical) to become permanent editor of the Local, weren't enough, in this week's Local she calls the letters, etc. that are sent her way "JUNK". How dare she!!!

Second, I'd demand that the president step down. After reading the dreadful results of the Holiday House Tour-ALWAYS a financial winner- the community can not afford another second of this leadership. Our Senior Center, Teen Center, Meals on Wheels, etc. are all being hurt. They may end up losing employees.

Besides dismal finances, the real estate sign belonging to the company of the physical division vice president stands in front of the CHCA owned 8434 Germantown Avenue. The issue of the ethics of board members "working" for their own nonprofit has been brought to the attention of the president and board at recent board meetings. The president who is proud to claim that she knows all about nonprofits because she has worked for nonprofits seems to have missed out on the standards of nonprofit behavior or she’d know this is wrong. Or else she just doesn’t care that she puts at risk the 501 c 3 status of the Community Fund. Even if the vice president isn’t being paid, a nonprofit already questioned about improprieties should certainly avoid even the suspicion of wrong doing which equates to bad press and lack of confidence in the organization.

And, what is their excuse for the unrented property. In fact, the CHCA has a building oversight committee whose responsibility it is to review such situations and make recommendations to the board. According to a member of this committee, they have not been contacted by the president to do this job. Another failure of leadership.

The next president of the CHCA will have one hell of a mess to clean up as it is. Three more months and if the past predicts the future, the CHCA’s finances and credibility will continue its downhill slide.

It’s critical that board members who understand the chaos, drama, and failure brought on by an organization that is controlled by a select few and hold onto its power by shifting the blame, demand that this madness stop now. Removal of the president is based on facts not personality problems as the "blamers" will quickly jump in to say.

Thank you Ron for your letters to the Local. They point out much of the problem that has led the CHCA to this dismal place. Believe me I can back you up on the concerns you voice and list many more. These concerns have not only been destructive to the reputation of the CHCA (including Local and Fund), but have been extremely hurtful to many individuals in our community.

Having been a board member and employee, I know how much bad press radiates from the abuse of employees and others who try to participate but aren't towing the corporate line, thus not welcome.

I believe the Second Opinion Caucus can and will move the CHCA back to its stated purpose. Though painted as an angry few, they are actually a group who understands how to play by the rules and has invested much time in seeking a way to bring the CHCA back to a place of respect.

Marie Lachat

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