I’ve held back my comments from the beginning of this controversy, mostly because I didn’t want to fan flames, pour salt into open wounds, or produce any other adverse effect that can be summed up in cliche metaphors. Unfortunately, I did let certain opinions slip through. Having participated in these conflicts in the past, it’s hard to stay objective particularly given the intensity of the experiences.

This has split the community practically down the middle, in almost Biblical fashion setting father against son, servant against, master, yada yada yada. I have good friends on both “sides” (actually, there have been more than two “sides” which has complicated things even more). And for me personally, the end result is sad. I know there are those who are more sanguine, but I really did hope that mediation could turn out a more unifying result.

I also believe that the Board exhausted every reasonable possibility before making this decision. And I know that it was very difficult for at least some of the Board members. But one thing everybody agreed upon even before the negotiations began – the relationship wasn’t working. In some ways, it never has although the money was made and the bills were, until recently, paid. The Mateel had to make a decision that would benefit the center and the community as a whole. Prior boards had visited the possibility of a divorce, but had not acted upon it. Whatever you think of the wisdom thereof, this Board’s decision was courageous. And I hope it was the correct one. In either case, it’s done.

I’m encouraged by these threads and those at the Reggae forum. It appears that people who were “adversaries” are pulling together to make ROR 2007 work, regardless of their opinions of the recent controversies. And as harsh as some of the venting has been, it could be much worse (and may yet worsen).

I also want to echo a sentiment expressed in the threads below. I don’t censor comments for the most part, and I understand the need for some to remain anonymous. My suggestion is that if you must remain anonymous, avoid personal attacks. It’s one thing to express a controversial opinion for which you are afraid of social or other repercussions. It’s quite another to snipe from the cover of anonymity.

In the meantime, I’m grateful for the efforts at unity which currently outweigh the venting. I hope this spirit holds.