This evening the board of directors of Berkeley Town House decided to make itself a lot nastier and more antagonistic than it has been in recent memory. It replaced the mild-mannered, peacemaking, sensitive K M, who is resigning as she prepares to move out, with none other than S P, whose motto might be “Leave no stone unthrown” and who is remembered by long-timers for her iron-fisted presidency. The (unanimous) vote gave the lie to the board’s recent calls for “peace” and “forgiveness”.
During the comment period, a member asked S P about her previously circulated open letter attacking “aggressive newcomers” and urging people that she disagrees with to move elsewhere. The member asked S P whether she could work with members of various opinions. Answer (paraphrased): Yes, if they behave themselves. The member asked S P whether she would begin acknowledging her again when they met in the corridors. Answer (exact quote): “Not if I see you coming.” The member also asked S P whether she would be willing to ride in the same elevator with her. No answer. Another member said she, too, was always ignored by S P. Answer: I don’t consider her a member in good standing. (It’s an honor to report that S P has recently crossed me, too, off her greeting-eligible list.)
This appointment was a declaration of spite by the board against the membership, or at least a mammoth lapse of judgment. There were far more constructive, open-minded, friendly members to choose among.
On the positive side, S P’s addition to the Board will increase its candor. When she despises you, she says so. A refreshing change. It’s also admirable that the board actually voted on this appointment in an open meeting, not in secret, as it had illegally done with its last two replacements.
This vote was flawed, too. It wasn’t legal (as I read the law) for K M to vote on her own replacement, nor for the board to hold this vote before K M’s resignation had taken effect, but those are technicalities. The important thing is that the board did something dumb in front of the members, and the members got an opportunity to give a live demonstration of that fact. That’s progress.