At a recent meeting of the Marquette Neighborhood Association Board, when replacements were named for two openings, a woman stood and asked that there be training so to deal with bullying. MNA member Anne Walker was succinct and not deterred as the Board tired to shut her down.
“That is something that has been a long-term problem at MNA and certainly more information could be made available to the Board, should the Board choose to pursue it, which it really hasn’t. I see the MNA Board having three problems. One, there is bullying going on, two you are not acknowledging it, and three you are not dealing with it. So now you have put someone back on the Board…….”
It was then the Board, who protects their own, tried to shut the meeting down. But Walker continued to speak out over the growing clamor for an adjournment to stress that UW-Extension has some excellent classes that can help the Board.
“This is an issue that you need to pursue.”
So it does require asking, since $1,000 was placed aside for training, what actually does the Board plan to do so to understand that bullying tactics of the members can not continue? I know one of the Board members thought an online course might suffice. I do not want those in their skivvies glancing at the screen as they open their mail or make a meal. The serious issue which Walker and others have raised demands that the money allocated for the training takes place in a structured manner with serious and sober Board members paying attention.
This neighborhood association cries out for actual leadership. A genuine and meaningful conversation must take place so that those with perspectives and experiences which differ from the elected (and now appointed board) are not treated in the fashion as the emails prove to be the case. I was more than stunned when reading the ‘c’ word was used by a Board member about a woman in an email. Perhaps these emails will need to be made public to underscore the issue at hand.
I am proud of those who have taken the time to literally stand up to the Board and not cower when faced with their blowback. Our neighborhood is a grand place to live as we have the best that an isthmus can provide, a robust research university in our city, along with state government. There are so many credible places the Board can turn to for guidance on how to conduct themselves in a professional manner they are bound to find at least one to their liking.
But to do nothing substantive to curtail the bullying that Walker and others have presented is not tenable.