The differences, as of late, within the Marquette Neighborhood Association are not over the issuance of new liquor licenses or the fate of some new proposed development. Rather it is over the manner in which the MNA Board, elected by the membership, is acting towards the membership.
Not for the first time do I post about an organization that has lost my faith due to their illiberal actions. Not allowing for the posting of vote tallies at the yearly annual election for the Board, or recording the ayes and nays of votes by the Board at meetings is akin to what takes place in banana republics. Though I was told by a business owner on Williamson Street in 2007 that the Board was “a little Communist society” I only then laughed at the quip. That could not be a serious comment.
But with the continued lack of process-oriented actions by the Board one does need to reflect again on the line that I heard as James and I prepared to offer to pay (through an estate) for new park benches at B.B. Clarke Beach. What has caused much concern and discussion as of late is the way residents who hold opposing views from the Board have been belittled. I would go further and state residents have been bullied by more than one Board member.
Next week there will be two very oddly timed and questionable vacancies of the Board filled by the President. Thirty-three percent of the members elected in October has resigned. I am most interested, given the climate and tone of the Board, to see if there is any recognition that the atmosphere has been sullied by their behavior towards the membership. If the Board turns a blind eye to their past actions and places into the vacancies, anyone who has proved to be responsible for the bullying and disrespect, then we have the answer as to how the next year will play out. The membership will have to dig in and continue to press for change and call out the bad and illiberal behavior and actions.
As a member posted to the listserv this week, “Neighbors are being called names. Their concerns have been disregarded. Is it really a surprise that people are uncomfortable?”
Given the track record of the MNA Board over the past five years this blogger is expecting nothing to change. Come Monday the deck chairs will likely not change position and the same behavior and unacceptable lack of openness and transparency will continue.
Maybe the MNA Board is nothing more than the business person opined.