Letter from SaveCRS, June 4, 2015 (2 replies and 3 comments)
The letter from "Save CRS" sent out yesterday was premature and destructive. It was also UNTRUE.
This letter jumps the gun on the deliberations that are ongoing, both at the Strategic Planning Committee, headed by Chuck Wardlaw and the B&G Committee, headed by Tom Spurge.
The volunteers and staff are working very hard to analyze the true situation Camp Rising Sun finds itself in. This includes the physical plant at Red Hook and Clinton, as well as scenario planning for the future.
The letter that was sent out was insulting and demoralizing for all of us.
To be specific: saying "the Board has commissioned both the Building and Grounds and Strategic Planning Committee reports in the hope of giving false legitimacy to decisions already made" undermines the process, insults and hurts the feelings of many of us who are trying to do good work here.
That's how it was destructive.
It is also FALSE.
There is no hidden agenda to keep Red Hook shuttered for a lengthy period of time; there are no decisions that have already been made.
There are facts and data, financial projections and lots and lots of discussion and analysis being done by people of good will.
PLEASE LET US DO OUR WORK!
The reports will be ready soon, in any case by July 17, the date of the Board Meeting. If, after the reports are out, people want to debate their contents, or learn more about the data and methods that were used to come to whatever conclusions we reach (and we truly don't know what those are yet!), then will be the time to debate. I ask for your continued patience till then.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Aliki Perroti
Date: Fri, Jun 5, 2015 at 6:39 PM
Subject: Re: Save CRS Letter
Please forward to Chris Varrone and share with all:
I disagree vehemently with your characterization of the SaveCRS letter.
If the board had not broken the trust of the CRS Community in the course
of years of Star Chamber "New Dawn" planning -- with continued not
benign neglect of the Red Hook plant baked into the pie -- patience would
be a reasonable request. But it has been patience -- and now what you
call for, which to me frankly smells of appeasement -- which has brought
LAJF to the sorry state it's in, due to overspending and disregard of the
legitimate interest of the CRS Community, including Alumni/ae most of
So you will know for the record, I asked J.C. to post my financial proposal
so the entire CRS Community could see it for exactly what it is and prevent
it from being twisted and distorted as, frankly, you recently did -- and never
retracted or revised your false description of it.
It may interest you to know that it was very recently brought to my attention
that from a generous sum I contributed in 2010 to repair hurricane
damage at Red Hook, a sum was diverted -- without my knowledge or
consent -- to Clinton. And further, to compound that wrongful breach of
trust and duty -- and common decency -- pressure was put on Dan Atkins to
falsely certify that that money was spent on Red Hook, which he resolutely
refused to do. Is that the kind of conduct conducive to trust -- or silence?
History is too good a teacher of the damage that flows from misplaced trust
and patience and the failure to call wrongful conduct to account or to seek
to prevent its continuance.
Seth Frank '48 & '49
Sent from my iPad
Friends SaveCRS' letter of June 4 was necessary. Having negotiated things most of my professional life, it is a sign of bad faith, disingenuousness and ultimate unwillingness to make something happen when you meet the other parties demand/requests and overcome their objections- only to have them do nothing once those requests and objections are satisfied.
The BOD said they don't have enough money to run two camps - but now that their annual expenses are lower from reduced admin overhead they refuse to take Seth's $750k to operate the two camps until 2018.
They say Red Hook is too expensive and too dangerous to fix/ yet they won't spend the 150 dollars to let the town come inspect the property
Their horrific silence on these two items, plus a rush to judgement using the Strategic Planning Committee, would be entirely consistent with a group that was hell bent on not reopening Red Hook at all but having the appearance of "checking the boxes" in making their "new" decision - at least a little more than they did with New Dawn
We are at critical junction for one simple reason - an unelected group of individuals has made a number of unchecked and unstoppable decisions which have caused real damage and alienated a large group of alumni, and with lack of transparency has caused many alumni to distrust the MOTIVES of the Board about their real future intentions for the properties and programs of CRS
I urge EVERYONE THAT CARES to continue to fight for greater ACCOUNTABILITY from the BOD, and its Committees, to root out its Real Agendas and intentions
First, Seth, I never "twisted" or "distorted" your offer in any way. When you asked me about this matter, I denied the charge. Now you repeat the charge, publicly and without evidence, which is surprising for a gentleman and legal scholar such as like yourself. Once again, I deny any wrongdoing. I hope that puts the matter to bed. Clearly, I cannot "retract" something I never said or did.
Second, your letter says you disagree with the characterization of the SaveCRS Letter, but then you ramble on to other topics. What exactly do you disagree with? You (and Rob after you) seem to defend the Letter as _necessary_ because mistakes were allegedly made by the Board in the past.
I don't know anything about those alleged mistakes. When I was on the Board, you and I worked productively together. So why attack the members of the present B&G Committee, none of whom have been on the Board in many years, if ever? What does that have to do with me, or the other members of the SPC? Why question the work of good-hearted alumni, many of whom signed the Petition alongside you and the others just a few months ago?
The tone is all wrong, Seth. Not everything need be "to the barricades"? This is a summer camp. We have limited resources. We are trying our best. There are no villains in black hats with oversized mustachios.
Please ramp down the swagger and vitriol. You will have publicly available extremely thorough B&G and SPC reports within a few weeks time. Till then, have a cool drink and relax.
It will be up to the Committees and the Board to prove SaveCRS's email false. The claim that the Board created the Committees in the "hope of giving false legitimacy to decisions already made" is based on the assumption that the Board is still hoping that their belief in the New Dawn was firmly grounded even if the process by which they reached and announced that decision was flawed.
The decision to close RH this year and co-locate two camps in Clinton was announced in October of 2015. The decision to co-locate was clearly already made (the evidence is still on the CRS web site) and one can't help but assume the Board hopes it will be proven correct in having made that decision. While Patrick has apologized for the way in which the decision was announced, there has been no indication that he believes the decision itself was wrong.
The reason the Committees' reports could only give false legitimacy to the decision announced last October is, first, that the decision was initially reached in a flawed manner and no subsequent work by carefully selected Board Committees can fix that. A B&G Committee that published a report that contradicted the Board's claims about the state of the RH property was disbanded, its chair summarily dismissed from his position. The Board's actions were technically perfectly legal, but they lacked moral legitimacy. The BOD's continuing to avoid the question of allowing a town inspector to verify claims that President of the BOD has already made about the content of the new B&G Committees' report also makes it hard to trust in the outcome of the process. There is nothing in the way the BOD has gone about trying to justify the decisions it announced last October that lends them any new found legitimacy. This is not to say that the Committee members lack integrity or that they are not doing hard work, it's simply to point out that reports that based on past performance there is really no reason to trust in the future decisions of this board.
It may be the case that the Strategic Planning Committee will reach conclusions other than those you've presaged as far back as January, Chris, when your proposed a "sequence of events" where RH would remain closed indefinitely. However, there is good reason to suspect that the new B&G Committee report will contradict the report issued by the last report, which is why SaveCRS has called on the Board to allow an independent inspection of the property. The Board has not responded to that request.
I do happen to believe that based on the numbers I've been shown, that there is no justifying rejecting Seth's gift, and if that's what the Strategic Planning Committee recommends, then I think SaveCRS will have largely been proven correct.
There is still time, though, and I do truly hope the B&G and Strategic Planning Committees will issues report that don't reach the conclusion SaveCRS is predicting they will. There is still, I firmly believe, a ray of hope for the 2016 camp season.
How How Noel - the Committee members have a responsibility to act independently from the BOD and to put their own egos and agendas aside to examine all the facts and more importantly look at all the options on the table. Seth's $750,000 offer, however, IS a game changer and enables LAJF to operate normally for a full three years so that we ALL can come together, raise the $$$ needed, and insure the future of CRS