LETTERS: Reflections – A Journalistic Travesty

— To the editor: Without question, the YMCA’s plans for Drakes Landing have been a long-standing controversy within the Radisson community. The importance of public discourse, the sharing of opposing ideas and opinions at times like this cannot be overstated; however, the publishers of Reflections clearly do not view it that way. Since the Oct. 26, 2011 Board of Directors public announcement supporting YMCA plans, we have seen nothing but a steady stream of one-sided information from the executive director trying to explain and justify that decision to concerned Radisson homeowners with opposing views. This one-sided stream of information, prompted entirely by Radisson homeowner questions at the Nov. 21, 2011 BOD meeting, has verged on arrogance, vagueness, half-truths and a general lack of sincere accountability by the executive director and BOD. We have also read in Reflections a half page open forum provided to Cindy Dowd Greene, chairperson of the Baldwinsville YMCA Board of Managers, who is not a resident of Radisson.

What we have not seen published in Reflections is a single word of opposing views, ideas or concerns of Radisson homeowners, nor a single word of resident criticism regarding the BOD’s open support of YMCA plans for Drakes Landing. Likely, they will argue that a special email address was set up for us to use to express our opinions on their YMCA decision, somehow supposedly providing us with direct access to elected RCA Board members, which of course is nonsense. This too little and too late token effort was nothing more than a somewhat clever ruse to stifle open and public criticism. After-the-fact individual resident opinion is virtually meaningless, especially when it goes unanswered by the BOD and unpublished in Reflections.

This autocratic approach by the executive director and BOD, when coupled with control of Reflections, gives them the power to basically say whatever they like with near total impunity, breeding nothing but growing mistrust. It gives them the power to make vague and unsubstantiated statements like “the board members discussed the feedback they were hearing from their constituents” as sole justification for publicly supporting YMCA plans (Dec. 2 Reflections). It also gives them the power to make statements like “some people that signed that petition have since rescinded their support of that petition” as sole justification for ignoring the petition signed by more than 900 residents against YMCA plans (Dec. 2 Reflections). It gives them the power to make misleading statements like “the YMCA Board and the RCA Board are completely separate entities, and there is no over-lap of Directors,” then go on to casually and innocently explain that RCA Executive Directors have held an “honorary” position on the Baldwinsville/Northwest Family YMCA Board of Managers since 1998 (Dec. 30 Reflections). The notion that 13 years of direct involvement and interaction by RCA Executive Directors with the local YMCA Board of Managers (now chaired by Cindy Dowd Greene), had no influence whatsoever on the RCA BOD’s October decision to openly support the YMCA is ludicrous. Yet, that is exactly what they would have us all believe, simply because they “said so” in Reflections, knowing full well that nothing they say can easily be publicly disputed.

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