I was invited to attend the community meeting hosted by IVCCD regarding the future of the Orpheum. After the meeting I expressed to IVCCD Board President, Conrad Dejardin, and Chancellor Chris Duree, my trust in their sincerity of working with the community and the Orpheum staff in saving the Orpheum under the leadership of Orpheum Director, Pip Gordon. My trust was misplaced.
Had IVCCD been straight forward and respectful of peoples' time and efforts, the meeting would have gone something like this: "We, the IVCCD Board and Chancellor Duree are at fault for not providing Ms. Gordon with a budget and guidelines when she was first hired and told to build a program and not worry about the cost. We approved her bills. Now we have accumulated a debt and a vision we can no longer afford which has led us to our decision to scale back the operation of the Orpheum to bare bones which may result in the loss of Ms. Gordon and staff. Because we know of your pride and support of the Orpheum, we thought it only right that we inform you of our plans. It is too late to consider forming a community committee, our plans have been made. Thank you for coming."
In looking back, we were told what their plans were, they just wrapped it in the guise as options being considered and subject to a community committee working with them for the good of the Orpheum. There was no effort to include the community, despite the fact that the Orpheum had been a part of the successful IVCCD bond issue. Ms. Gordon and her staff have been dismissed and the investment that had been made is mostly lost due to the mismanagement by the board and the chancellor. Not only have they violated the trust of the community, but the treatment of Ms. Gordon and her staff was shameful. This community will be the poorer. But it also casts a question on the honor and capability of the IVCCD leadership. When the next bond issue is presented I'll remember that it is more than just the merits presented it is also the integrity of the administration.