[Vision2020] Eyes on the prize, please.

Joan Opyr auntiestablishment at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 27 09:53:58 PDT 2004

In response to several posts, which I'll deal with in cascading order according to their frothing frenzy, how do we know that the Chamber of Commerce, under Paul's leadership, is in trouble?

1) Unhappy Chamber members are speaking to the press in detail about the nature of their unhappiness.  They're using their real names, they're citing specific concerns, and they're proposing solutions.  In particular, I direct your attention to the interview with B. J. Swanson, a past Chamber president and a highly-respected Moscow banker, in last week's front-page piece by Alexis Bacharach on the Chamber's present difficulties.  No one could (or has) stated her concerns about the Chamber more concisely, more calmly, or more reasonably than Ms. Swanson.  She is as far from being a 2020 flamer as I am from being Pamela Anderson.   

2) Someone who was present at Paul's Robert E. Lee leadership retreat was angry and/or outraged enough to take that information to Vera White in the hopes that she would bring it to the attention of the wider community.  That person could only have been a current Chamber board member, as only current Chamber board members were present at that retreat.  Look at the list and take your pick; there are eighteen board members.  Out of that eighteen, how many thought Lee was an excellent choice, and how many caught sight of the Confederate battle flag on p. 17 and wondered if they'd accidentally wandered onto the set of The Dukes of Hazzard?     

3) I don't care if Paul Kimmell is up for canonization and Janice McMillan is called "Mother" by Calcutta's poor.  They could both be candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize; it doesn't matter.  When it comes to sound management, nice is for naught.  (Just ask Jimmy Carter.)  I am sure that Paul and Janice are lovely, affable, kind-hearted people, and I don't doubt that they are worthy of the admiration that Dan Carscallan and Ted Ryan so generously express.  But here's the thing -- this is not judgment day.  The last trumpet has not sounded.  We don't need to conduct a searing inquiry into the state of anyone's soul.  All we need to know is this: is the Chamber in financial trouble?  Are the books in some sort of mess?  Did Paul follow accepted hiring practices in selecting his staff?  What is the current state of the Chamber's retained earnings?  Have those retained earnings dropped under Paul's leadership?  If so, why and how?   

Finally, will the Chamber lose members because of this Robert E. Lee leadership nonsense?  If it doesn't, then I'll be an organ-grinder's monkey.  And I'll tell you something else -- just to show that I'm a good sport, I'll put on the little red suit and hat and perform my act in the middle of Friendship Square.  That way, Doug Wilson can look out of his NSA window and enjoy the spectacle.        

Joan Opyr/Auntie EstablishmentGet more from the Web.  FREE MSN Explorer download : http://explorer.msn.com
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