Thursday, May 25, 2006

Daze of Our Lives

A New Daze Dawns
by Dazee

Update: May 26: As expected, the nominees of officers and executive board members presented to the Chestnut Hill Community Association on Thursday evening were confirmed.

The new management team is as follows:
The Organizational Meeting of the Chestnut Hill Community Association saw the election of the Second Opinion Caucus slate to officers positions.

President: Ron Recko
Vice President - Operations: Lou Aiello
Vice President - Physical Division: Susan Pizzano
Vice President - Social Division: Jane Piotrowski
Treasurer - Ned Mitinger
Secretary - Ann Spaeth

At-large Members - Executive Committee
Janine Dwyer
Nancy Hutter
Ed Budnick
Jim Foster
Tom Fleming

Aside from murmured snarks from several unhappy election losers (and associates) sitting together in a row, the challenging of a certain former executive committee member's veracity and job performance and the usual opening night jitters, the meeting confirmed that a change is in the works. The is especially true the Publisher's Committee as the board heard of its several failures and of the wrong turn CHCA made when it redefined the committee through a bylaws change several years ago.


Back to our prvious broadcast:

In which we note the new board officers, see a board member-elect decline a seat, witness a former parliamentarian try a spin with numbers and learn that the editorship of the Local may see its seventh title holder in a little over two years.

So it begins. The Organizational Meeting of the Chestnut Hill Community Association will be held Thursday evening, but at the Chestnut Hill Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia instead of the Hiram Lodge. CHCA Community Manager Betty Brady says its because outgoing president Maxine Dornemann was allowed use of the place "as a favor." Okaaaaay. That's news to everyone around here. Not that the 10 PM witching hour curfew at the library isn't convenient or anything.

In preparation for the transition, the Second Opinion Caucus held a caucus or two in the past 10 days, events which produced nominees for the top officers and executive committee of the Chestnut Hill Community Association. Eleven in all, 10 of them SOC-hoppers. All this to Walter Sullivan's dismay and much harrumphing (see below for his observations and any board meeting for his "harrumphetical" emissions). We are told that editor Lea Stanley of the Local was in attendance at both sessions. At the latter meeting she let it be known her tenure may not be what was anticipated (see below for more).

Actually, reports from the meetings say it was pretty much business as expected, with no surprises popping up in the way of nominees. Ed Feldman, however, promised he would continue as a watchdog, no matter who is in charge. Ed was shut out of a seat on the Executive Committee. Had to be the haircut.

There was talk that two AA candidates might emerge from floor nominations prior to the Thursday organizational meeting. But the deadline for other nominations was Monday evening and none appeared. A review of the bylaws, as currently posted, do not show procedures for nominations from the floor.

But will AA concede its massive defeat, given Sullivan's angst and the group's taste of power these past three years? Word comes to us that on Wednesday evening that it was observed there was a confluence of AA forces at a Millman Street house on the Hill. Among the personages seen were Graham, Keintz, the Beckers and Sullivan himself.

The question was posed: "What could this be about? Something mischievous, certainly. The Local may feel confident in reporting on the front page today that the candidates' filing deadline had passed, but have any of us looked carefully at the bylaws in the last 24 hours to find text supporting the Local's 'it's-all-over' assertion?"

One could conclude that Sully's letter to the paper provides a basis for AA's assertion it deserves an inordinate number of seats on the Executive Committee. Sully, after all, cannot look defeat in the eye without tearing and blinking.

But sometime Thursday evening reality will rear its fearsome head for AA. That might happen when the Nominating Committee will present these nominees to the full board for a vote:
Officers
Ron Recko, President
Lou Aiello, Vice President-Operations
Susan Pizzano, Vice President-Physical Division
Jane Piotrowski, Vice President-Social Division
Ned Mitinger, Treasurer
Ann Spaeth, Secretary

At-large Members - Executive Committee
Janine Dwyer
Nancy Hutter
Ed Budnick
Jim Foster
Tom Fleming

One SOC Hopper turned down his seat on the board of directors. Rather than mis-state the case, we produce a copy of Scott Alloway's letter to the new board:
May 24, 2006

Dear Members-elect of the CHCA Board:

This is my notification to you that I will formally decline my seat on the board for the ensuing term, effective May 22 with letters to you, the current Community Manager and the sitting Vice President of Operations. It is my reading of the bylaws that the latter two officials, as the named CHCA officials of the election process, are the persons who need to be so informed.

It is out of the need to continue working at the Chestnut Hill Local that I do this. Had other opportunities arisen, I would have taken them and taken my seat on the board. The bylaws strictly state that board members may not work for CHCA. Given my status and the minimal chance that I will have a new job elsewhere by May 25, I choose not to be seated on the 2006-07 board.

My election was one for the working staff of the Local; to wit, those people who signed the editorial in November when the current board and Local management caused the many problems our newspaper has endured. Each vote for me was actually a vote for all of us, not just Scott Alloway. On behalf of my coworkers, the gratitude of us all is extended to the community.

It is my hope that the new board will be able to provide the Local with the support, encouragement and financial backing it sorely needs. It has been a very trying seven months for us all.

I remain,

Sincerely yours,

Scott Alloway


Meanwhile, Walter Sullivan of AA is looking for love (see his letter below). With the whomping his crew took, especialy after his dropping a reported $2,000 on his wife's losing campaign, his missive in this week's Local doesn't do anything to improve what's left of his appeal.

Sully wrote, "Our community must now come together in a genuine coalition for the service of the community. This includes a genuine coalition fairly balanced among the officers and Executive Committee members. I therefore dissented and dissent from the recommendations of the Nominating Committee, which merely took the slate passed on to it from the Nominating Committee member associated with the Second Opinion Caucus, which slate would give 10 of the 11 leadership seats to the SOC. This is contrary to the voice of the people expressed in the April 28 election and to the interests of our community, which called upon all of us to come together to serve it."

Dazee responds: "That's why people vote. To elect representatives. Seems to me 19 of 24 seats is a mandate."

Sully again. "Yes, the people have spoken. But what have they told us? No faction won a majority of the popular vote. The 22 candidates of the SOC got 47.7 percent (14,990 votes) while the 24 candidates of the opposition Alliance got 45.96 percent (14,532 votes). Those who ran unaligned (including some excellent and deserving people, caught between the two juggernauts) got 6.63 percent (2,097 votes). To make the comparison fairer, delete the last two Alliance candidates so that we compare 22 SOC with 22 Alliance candidates. The numbers then are SOC, 48.95 percent (14,990 votes), and Alliance, 44.20 percent (13,533 votes), a paper-thin plurality of 4.75 percent."

Dazee: "That's why votes are counted one at a time. But a statistician came up with a reasoned analysis of the whole deal."

Statistical analysis of the CHCA election
Version 1
If you simply want to know the how much greater the number of votes cast for SOC candidates is compared to the AA candidates, the percent that expresses this difference is 3.2%. (As a group, SOC candidates received 3.2% more votes than AA candidates, in spite of having two fewer candidates on the slate).
Version 2
If you want to weight the information about votes by the different numbers of candidates in the two groups, you can do this by comparing the average number of votes per candidate. In this case, the weighted difference is 12.5%. (The average SOC candidate received 12.5% more votes than the average AA candidate.
OR Taking into account the difference in the number of candidates in these slates, SOC candidates received 12.5% more votes than AA candidates.)
HOW TO...
To find the percentage in version 1, subtract 14,532 from 14,990 for a difference of 458. Express this difference as a percent of 14532 by dividing 458 by 14532 to get .0315 or 3.2%.
To find the percentage in version 2, first find the number of votes per candidate by dividing 14532/24 = 605.5 and 14990/22 = 681.36.
Subtract 681.36 - 605.5 = 75.86. Then divide 75.86 by 605.5 to get .125 or 12.5%.
Total Voting Numbers
24 AA candidates received 14,032 votes or 44.5% of the candidates received 45% of the votes
22 SOC candidates received 14,990 votes or 40.7% of the candidates received 48% of the votes
8 independent candidates received 2,097 votes or 14.8% of the candidates received 7% of the votes
54 total candidates received 31,119 votes"

It's Sully's faux lament that rings to off key. "Those not associated with them (SOC) in every aspect of their onslaught and critique had no choice but to form the faction for electoral purposes that was the Alliance. Had they not done that, they would have met the same fate as the excellent people who ran unaligned."

Dazee: "Onslaught and critique? This election has been the taking back of the association from those who saw it as a private fiefdom. It wasn't the SOC Hoppers who suspended the bylaws. Nor did they violate the bylaws on a number of occasions to put their wishes into policy."

Sully ends his prosaic wanderings with a lament that AA won't get a proportional share of the management seats. With the track record Sully and his allies have, it would be insane to put them in positions of responsibility. They aren't the only people who love Chestnut Hill. And they surely must recognize there are people who are willing to contribute their time and energy, if they believe those contributions are well used. It has been shown, in the past three years, that the outgoing team did not understand this.

Dazee: "We have heard talk that Sully (and the Friends of Henry D) may use the organizational meeting to lament the gross violations of civility this recent campaign has wrought. It's always a treat to see how a 'discussion' changes when it depends on whose ox is being gored."

Meanwhile, back at the aforementioned Local, several SOC members let it be known that current Local editor Lea Stanley is opting out of the position of editor. This came out at the Sunday, May 22, meeting of SOC Hoppers.

If it's a new season, it must be time for change at the top of the paper. Or so it seems with the beleaguered Local. Just another reason the Publisher's Committee of the past few years has exceeded itself as the perfect storm of failure.

Maybe SOC can get this ship righted. Another reprise of "The Poseidon Adventure" could sink the boat.

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