Thursday, October 26, 2006

Crazy like a fox.

As mentioned, complaining about Madam President’s behavior incites her cohorts to jump to her defense and label complainers crazy.

Is madam president crazy? No… but she could be called crazy like a fox. Madam P is famous for her tight lipped suffering. And her curt “this is not the time or place to discuss this” . She is a master of passive aggression.

Passive aggression is a behavior. Its not a crazy one, in fact, in can be very effective.

Don’t hold board meeting (and then there is no discussion or dissent) a passive behavior

Make all the decisions your self.--aggressive behavior

Don’t comment or explain your behavior to anyone who questions it --passive behavior

Complain how hard you work, how you get no support and everything is on your shoulders -aggressive behavior.

Madam presidents cohorts (or should I call them her Greek chorus?) defended her actions (and let me make this clear, these complaints are about ACTIONS not personality)And claimed:

  • The BAKG is a social organization.
  • The BAKG is not incorporated and doesn’t need to adhere to by-laws
  • Madam President can run the organization any way she see fit.

Are these statement truthful? Factual?

Well lets look a them one by one.
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The BAKG is a social organization.

From the BAKG web page we get:
The BIG APPLE KNITTERS GUILD (BAKG) is an organization of over 300 knitters in New York City. We are women and men, young and old, of all races, religions and sexual orientations with one common passion: knitting!
Our mission is:

  • Preserving and supporting knitting and all forms of fiber arts.
  • Educating all who want to learn these arts.
  • Awakening awareness to these arts and fostering appreciation and respect for their place among other arts.
  • Providing a harmonious network among its members who come together for these and all purposes.
  • Returning to society the products of our craft.

First bullet: Preserving and supporting knitting and all forms of fiber arts-- this is an conservation and support goal.

So the BAKG is, at least partly, an conservator organization, like a museum or historical group

Second bullet: Educating all who want to learn these arts.

So the BAKG has an mission to education.

Third bullet: Awakening awareness to these arts and fostering appreciation and respect for their place among other arts

A three part’er, Awareness, appreciation and resects.

Fourth bullet: Providing a harmonious network among its members who come together for these and all purposes

OK, there it is, a social group.

Fifth bullet: Returning to society the products of our craft

The BAKG serves a *charitable function. ( *more on the charity functioning of the BAKG to come!)

So is the BAKG a social organization, yes, but it not simple a social organization, socialize is just a small part of its mission.
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Next Statement: The BAKG is not incorporated and doesn’t need to adhere to by-laws

Part one: The BAKG is not incorporated
Absolutely true.

Part two: doesn’t need to adhere to by-laws
Conditionally true.

Right now there are by-laws and the executive board of the BAKG is supposed to operate under these by laws.

Can that be changed? Yes. Should it be changed? I don’t know.
There is a simple resolution. Put out a referendum. Ask the general membership if they want to change from being an organization run by a board of directors to an organization managed by a single person.

Lots of co-op and condo boards hire managers to manage them. We could change to a simpler board of 3 or 4 members, who’s job it is to oversee a manager.
The Manager could have broad powers to sign contracts, receive organization funds, write checks, hire instructors, plan meetings and other duties.
Do I think this would be an improvement? No. but it could be done.

Currently the elected officers are not sworn in, they are not asked to promise to abide by the by laws, they are trusted to do so.

There is very little in the current bylaws that addressed how to deal with failures of trust.
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Third statement: Madam President can run the organization any way she see fit.

Well, no, actually she can’t. She was elected to serve as a president, (not a dictator) and under the current by-laws she has failed in her duties.

She has the power to set changes in motion, and revise and edit the bylaws, but any changes must be presented to, and voted on and approved by the general membership.
Usurping power is not permitted, nor should it be tolerated.
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So what is this all about? A few pennies? No, actually, in the last fiscal report (Jan of 06) the BAKG had a reserve fund of about $40,000.00 This is about twice the annual operating budget, (about $20,000 a year in past years).

These are rough numbers, (remember there are almost no records or treasurers reports to work from; there was financial report in Sept of 03, and then again, (reluctantly) in Oct of 05, and one in Jan of 06.

And in 2003, the membership there were over 500 members, (membership dues make up about 25% of the operating budget) and now there are a scant 300 or so members. The loss of membership also means a loss of income (about 10% overall).

When there were more members, there were more donation and more money spent at the annual yarn action. So income from the auction is down, too (but how much? Who knows, remember there haven’t been any treasurers reports!)

When there were more members, attendance at the annual retreat numbered about (give or take) 100; in 2006, attendance was about 25 members).

This meant there were only 2 instructors, (not 4 or more) and few classes available.

In 2003 (and perhaps in 2004 and 2005) the retreat was also a substantial source of income for the BAKG. This year, there was a verbal report that the retreat “broke even” --you have to take madam presidents word for it though, since (do I sound like a broken record?) there have been no treasurers reports to the board or to the general membership, nor has anything been presented in the club newsletter (the CityPurls).

Attendance at the annual luncheon, (can you guess?) was down too.

But madam presidents cohorts are sure everyone is happy with things just the way they are. Sure, as people get unhappy, and ask questions, they are told to quit! And they do!

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When wse vote with our feet,we leave the surplus in the treasury for her to spend as she pleases. No wonder she wants the complainbers to quit.

7:50 AM, October 30, 2006  
Blogger HPNY Knits said...

well, I voted with my feet last year. I heard too many times "no, this is not the time to discuss this that or the other", and was shot down by madam P for any good idea I had. I am glad there are people now,(finally!) who are going to get her out.
its about time.
but the solution may be to start a new guild, and move on- and start an official $ investigation.
start fresh. take all or most, members with ya. get the young hip local designers to come, and some older but trusted and knowledgeable ones as well.

1:48 PM, November 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helen Griffin - please add this to your blog-roll

http://golden-apples.blogspot.com/

https://sites.google.com/site/oftroysgoldenapples/

8:42 PM, April 10, 2013  

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