Published: Mar 06, 2013 11:03 AM
Modified: Mar 06, 2013 11:04 AM
Raspberries to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA for being too little too late with its racquetball rhetoric.
The YMCA, like any organization in this economy, has to make tough decisions. The board of directors is the group in charge of making those decisions.
We found board members persuasive in recent columns in this newspaper in which they explained they were trying to respond to the greatest number of members when they decided to replace the courts with expanded exercise room space. Crowding, they said, has been a persistent complaint.
But the board continues to undercut its credibility by closing the door on the nonprofits’ members who disagree with the decision. Several of these members say they were not surveyed when the board canvassed the membership. Last week past board members including a former Chapel Hill mayor finally got an opportunity to speak, and then when the YMCA board apparently decided it had heard enough, were shown the door.
The Y is a private entity, but it’s showing itself to be remarkably tone deaf. The organization is not required to let members or the media (“folks like you,” one board member told our reporter) observe its deliberations, but its continued insistence on closed doors certainly runs counter to its mission
Further, it feeds conspiracy theories, or maybe just legitimate questions, about who’s really calling the shots since the local YMCA entered into a management agreement with the YMCA of the Triangle.
With no funding to renovate in sight, the YMCA can still fix this mess. It can restore community confidence with a new survey, an open meeting where members may suggest alternatives, or both. Then with more and more visible input the board can make a final decision.
In the end, closing the courts may make the most sense. A decision reached openly where everyone feels they have had a chance to be heard, will enjoy greater support within the organization and community.
Roses to John Santa and his fellow pickers at last month’s Marathon Jam at the American Legion Post.
The 12-hour jam session raised at least $8,000 for Fisher House, an organization with chapters across the country that houses soldier’ families while their injured loved ones are receiving medical care.
Santa (and there’s an apt name), has organized the Marathon Jam for 10 years. It started as a bunch of studio session player picking for fun and gradually became a fundraiser, the last five years this cause.
But Santa is not a veteran. He’s just a big guy with a big heart and a ready embrace.
“It’s not about politics,” says Santa, who’s old enough to remember the hard time Vietnam veterans got when they came home. “It’s about families. It’s about kids. All they know is mom or dad is sick.”
Those kids, and those families will heal more quickly, if they can be together, he says. That’s what Fisher House does.
So next year let’s see a bigger crowd at the Legion Post, OK? There was some serious bluegrass and blue-grass tinged pop playing last month, and only a few dozen people there to enjoy it.
Folks, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Roses to the volunteers of the Triangle Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic.
The nonprofit recently closed its Durham clinic because the building was no longer suitable. This Friday and Saturday, supporters will hold opening receptions at Chapel Hill Art Gallery, 1215 E, Franklin St., for a benefit art show to help find a new clinic location.
Spring is around the corner, and with it the seasonal avalanche of orphaned wildlife the clinic nurses to health.
Find out how you can help at trianglewildlife.org and chapelhillartgallery.com
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