TTOR has treated Chappy community dismissively
To the Editor:
This is a letter we sent August 20, to The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) president Andy Kendall, Kathy Abbott TTOR executive vice-president, with a copy to David Croll, chairman of the TTOR directors, from concerned Chappaquiddick citizens:
The signatories of this letter include longtime Chappaquiddick stakeholders and many past and current members of the TTOR Local Chappy committee. We are writing you to express our deep disappointment with The Trustees of Reservations over the forced resignation of Chappaquiddick superintendent David Babson. It has raised among us serious concerns over our future relations with TTOR.
Meetings were held on this issue with members of the Local Committee on Wednesday, August 11, and Saturday, August 14. The reports we have received about those meetings are disturbing, to say the least. There appears to have been no flexibility on your part in meeting the concerns of the Chappaquiddick community over David's firing. In a word, the committee was stonewalled. On Saturday the 14th, members of the committee offered many ideas in an attempt to make this a win-win situation for TTOR and the community, instead of a lose-lose proposition for both. None were considered — David was gone.
Our approach was to problem-solve within the organization to find compromise and reconciliation, not to run to the press with our grievances. The committee questioned the wisdom and timing of some organizational decisions and offered suggestions for the future, with or without David. They were received with outright rejection, not to mention a decided lack of enthusiasm. What the people of Chappy got was an inflammatory, and factually questionable, statement in the Vineyard Gazette on August 13.
You have said many times over that, "We are the professionals; trust us." The rapidity with which this termination took place, together with the unprofessional, insensitive, cruel, and sloppy manner in which it was carried out, leads us to advise you not to make that statement to us again.
The committee and the Chappy community believe that David Babson was wrongfully terminated. Perhaps the larger injustice is that the committee and the community have been so poorly treated. The growing perception of current TTOR management is that it is arrogant and totally out of touch with its stakeholders —members, visitors, donors, volunteers, and local staff.
You appear to neither care about nor value our opinions and concerns. This, in spite of the unwavering support given to TTOR over the years — both financially and in time — by the community and the committee. Such treatment has consequences.
There would be no TTOR without the many bequests of land, money, and personal effort from people with trust in the organization. As a result of how TTOR has handled the Babson matter, many of us have lost that sense of trust. We now have serious reservations about the roles of the local committee and of the community, and how they will affect future decision making, fundraising, and estate planning.
Frankly, the community is appalled and outraged by TTOR's recent actions. Your responses to date have been inadequate and unsatisfactory.
We strongly urge you to take our concerns into consideration.
Virginia M. "Ginny" Murray
Joan and Siamak Adibi
Lindsay and Boyd Allison
Bob and Fran Clay
Ron Domurat and Barbara Rogers
Cynthia Plumb Hubbard and Theodore Hubbard
Richard and Daryl Knight
Kelly M. McCracken
Judy Self Murphy
Joseph E. Murray and Bobby Murray
Karen and Boyd Osler
Christopher and Claudia Trancynger
Betty and Edward Trider