Bruce Leith, Elk Landing Officer & Volunteer Comments

Comments sometimes get buried in dialogue swarms so since this important, signed contribution comes from a director at Elk Landing, we’ll post it on the main web-log. Bruce, one of many volunteers at the Landing, is the Director of programming and events. Someone Noticed knows how much everyone of the well meaning volunteers contribute to advancing what can make Elkton a tourist destination. Just tour the house someday and see how hard that crew works to accommodate visitor’s to the centuries old property. Because of that and since they’re doing all this without even any paid-staffers to advance Foundation goals, we say thank you, thank you. Now on the property, that’s another matter. — Someone Noticed

—- Bruce Leith, September 12, 2008

After monitoring Mike’s blog for some time, I feel the need now to defend what others are saying about Elk Landing. I have been a board member of HELF for 4 years now as the volunteer director of events and programing. As many of you know, Elk Landing is in the developmental stages. To keep the public interested in Elk Landing and to start offering educational opportunities we have limited events and programming that takes place periodically. We do not have a paid staff and we have a very miniscule budget from which to work with. For “Elkton Resident” who appears to have close ties to the Elkton Alliance the criticism of Elk Landing is inconceivable. I would think this person would want Elk Landing to succeed so that it brings day trippers in to town. The base ball club that plays at Elk Landing has brought great fame to the tiny town of Elkton. Its competitors are from Hartford, New York, Washington and other much larger venues, but people in the vintage community sure know about Elkton now. When they come to town and usually stay over night, they are having banquets or dinner at the Howard House, staying at Elkton hotels, and enjoying the best sites the region has to offer. When day trippers come to visit Elk Landing for our limited events and lectures, they wind up in Elkton shopping or dinning. As Elk Landing grows, so does Elkton so I don’t understand why we would be criticized by this person? For you others in town that have been criticizing about our events and programming, why not stop complaining and join us. We are in desperate need of volunteers to help plan and execute programs. We more than welcome fresh new ideas to make the site grow. Each event does not happen over night. There is a small handful of wonderful volunteers who spend months of their precious time planning these events. If these people or myself were paid to produce programming, then you have every right to criticize the programming and events. Since we are not, please do not complain, but rather help us. Just like anything in the world, don’t just complain about something, but see what you can do to make the problem right or fix it to the outcome you want. Please join us for Home and Hearth Day on Saturday. It should be a fun and entertaining day for the entire family.

Sincerely,
Bruce Leith
Director, Events & Programming
Historic Elk Landing Foundation

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37 responses to “Bruce Leith, Elk Landing Officer & Volunteer Comments

  1. The Historic Elk Landing Foundation held its first annual Home and Hearth Day at Historic Elk Landing today (Sept 13). To the credit and with great thanks to everyone, especially the volunteers who made it possible, about 65 people attended the event. As Elkton Resident will surely point out, this is no where near the numbers other local organizations turn out, but for Elk Landing and for a first time event depending on word of mouth and the generosity of the WHIG to get the word out, we at the Landing term it a success. Many of those 65 people were children which means young people who are not being exposed to enough local, let alone national history, today learned about how barrels were made 200 years go, how metal was forged, how chickens and sheep were cared for, how baskets were woven, how butter was churned, how to cook over a fire, how candles were made, how quilts were made, and how beer was brewed. This isn’t the kind of thing a student can read in a book. For those kids, and adults, this was a hands on experience of how life was 200 years ago on a large farm in Northeastern Maryland. During the event I talked to most of the guests. I heard lots of comments about individual trades and displays, but only one comment about the land proposal… and it was a misunderstanding of what was proposed. This individual thought all the foundation property, from the Hollingsworth House north, was to be developed. Once the proposal was explained along with the effort to head it off, the person who made the comment, was not quite as concerned. With the continued vigilance by organizations and persons like “Someone Noticed” this good fight will be won. Again, thanks to the WHIG, the volunteers, the exhibitors, the trades people, “Someone Noticed”, and the entire Historic Elk Landing Foundation for your hard work today.

    A Friend of HELF

  2. Who’s this friend of HELF? Bet he’s one of that there gang says they’re runnin’ the place. Friend of HELF! Bet he is!

    Does friend of HELF know what he’s talking about? Say’s he’s told ‘em how HELF’s heading it off! Darnedest thing it is. Considering that they approved a proposal to look into a land buy, yep that was heading it off all right partner.

    Where’s Benedict Arnold? I saw him writing on this blog thing somewhere, didn’t I? Oh I get it, he’s friend of HELF. If not, he needs to get in on this friend of HELF thing. Oh Benedict where are you out there on the Net.

    Few more friends like that and it’ll be over.

    Like I said, before that moderator man got after me, don’t let ‘em run anything. You see it! Yep he cut out some of my best remark. See what he does with this one.

    About runnin’ thing that’s the entire bunch all over the place, I’m talking about. Old Sam don’t see no difference between HELF, the town, and that other bunch that’s caused noise on this blogger thing.

    [comment deleted]

    But old HELF there, he takes it all. Don’t do it, don’t let ‘em run a thing. That’s what Sam says. They all just mess it up.

    Yosmite Sam

  3. Yosmite… you related to that there T. J. fella? Y’all havin’ trouble with them there eye balls? Poor fella’s obviously tryin’ to make amends and you keep jumpin’ on his case. Once had an owner like that. Yanked my chain from morning till night. You a chain yanker Yosmite? Ain’t you tryin to stop them there land rustlin’ bandits too? Seems to me Friend is too. How ’bout you cut him/her some slack, get on the same trail, and we’ll beat them low life land grabbers.

    Happy Trails…
    RTT

  4. Hey Sam it seems to me that if those guys at HELF who are struggling to get money and resources haven’t done anything wrong by looking. If you were poor and had an old house that was falling down and an acre of land on which it sat and the government came to you and said they were interested in buying the first 10 feet of your land (which is an easement anyway) to put a sidewalk in and in exhange they’ll give you money, fix up your house, give you a house keeper and build you a shed for your trouble, wouldn’t you at least want to hear what they had to say before you told them to get off your property?

  5. Rin Tin Tin, It’s good to hear from you. I was getting worried that you might have been picked up by the SPCA. You make a good point about uniting in our efforts to “…beat them lowlife land grabbers.” No sense in stooping down to the level of personal attacks. Stick to the issue.
    Your humble and obideient servant,
    Silence Nogood.

  6. Mary Hollingsworth

    Boys, boys, boys. Stop this fighting this instant! Mr. Sam, go to your room. Mr. Tin, go to your kennel. And Mr. Nogood… you may stay if you behave yourself.

    Now, we all want to preserve history and the ground where it was made. As my late husband, Mr. Hollingsworth would say, “let’s keep our eye on the ball.” Mr. Sam is right. HELF made a mistake. But, Mr. Tin is right too. HELF is atoning for its sin. On this Sabbath day, let’s be civil, and work together to stop this attempted land grab and prevent this pending blemish on the history of our little town. Mr. Mike seems to be taking a scientific, step by step approach in his systematic rebuke of the town, catching its officials spinning many webs. Let’s see what the Freedom of Information Act request produces. Let us know, Mr. Mike.

    Now, Mr. Sam and Mr. Tin, you may go out and play, but only if you play nicely and remember to be in by dark or there’ll be no bed time snacks.

    -Mrs. Hollingsworth

  7. Zebulon Hollingsworth

    Mr. Rudulph:

    With all do respect and at the risk of upsetting Mr. Nogood, I believe you oversimplify the case of Elk Landing selling land to raise cash. It is much more than that. This isn’t just any “acre of land”. It is the site of some of the most important events in not only our town’s history, but our nation’s history: the British invasion of 1777, the March of Yorktown and paying of the Continental soldiers in 1781, and the second and third attempted British invasions in the War of 1812, not to mention the extremely important trading post and later port that flourished there for over a century.
    On Elk Landing’s web site it states that it is the purpose of the Historic Elk Landing Foundation to “raise funds, restore, preserve, and interpret the rich heritage of the Head of Elk.” Yes, the foundation must “raise funds”, but not at the detriment of the other legs of the foundation’s credo. “Preserve” stands out, as it should, as the bedrock upon which all the others rest; because without preservation, the land, and in theory, that “rich heritage” will disappear in a maze of strip malls and trailer parks, both of which have been mentioned as possible developments for that land in recent years. No, sir, while I was known as an exceptional business person, never turning down a legitimate offer, the Historic Elk Landing Foundation isn’t a business. It is a non profit foundation called to protect and proclaim our rich heritage. It must indeed raise funds, but not at the expense of its soul. With your help and the help of many more historically minded citizens, we will succeed. Join us!
    ZH

  8. Ah Zeb, you know I’m just a fighter and you and your family are shewed businessmen. If your backs are up against the wall, I’m sure you’d do anything to keep the family business afloat. I’m sure the people looking out over your land are doing what’s right. They were just kickin’ the wagon wheels to see what the deal was. I over simplified that example so people can relate. Say, when are all the people who complain on this site going to put their time to good use and volunteer at Elk Landing like Mr. Leith said instead of criticize them?

  9. Miss Mary that you, the owner of the plantation? If so, sorry. I ain’t gonna’ stop fightin’ with the boys or go to my room like you say. Nope, ain’t gonna do it. Ain’t playing nice. Never did.

    Too many darn critters runnin’ around on Miss Mary’s plantation right now. Heck Rin Tin Tin, Friend of HELF, Michael Rudulph, the bunch of ‘em, I’m tell ya they must be the ones that listened to them developers talk about big plans for a big Target Store down there.

    Old Yosemite Sam’s here to help Miss Mary. We’ll raise a ruckus so everyone knows what they’re up to especially if that moderator man ‘ll just leave me alone. Don’t need no moderate deleting my posts.

    If ya see Benedict Arnold (he hasn’t posted for a bit), a developer, anybody like that snooping around down there with the Mayor and the ground hogs, let me know.

    Yep, I’ll raise a ruckus just like in the cartoons. But if anyone knows that blogger man tell him to let me tell it the way is.

  10. Yosmite Sam! How dare you compare me to a Groundhog and the Mayor!

  11. Crazy History Teacher

    I agree with Mrs. Hollingsworth. Rin Tin Tin, and Yosemite Sam, if you don’t start behaving, I will make a phone call to your parents. If you think I’m kidding, read my avatar!

  12. Yosemite Sam would never argue with a history teacher.

    But remember, Yosemite Sam for Mayor, that’s the campaign we’re starting, after they leave the land alone.

    Old Yosemite Sam at Your Service

  13. I agree with the purpose and function of the Elk Landing organization, but what I am wondering is why is takes something like this to get everyone in town to notice them? I remember them finding the letter, and that is quite amazing, but other than that incident and now this, it is rare that I ever hear much about them. I understand they are all volunteers, but thats no excuse, there are lots of sucessful volunteer run organizations.

  14. Susie:

    Thanks for posting your thoughts. Several individuals that seem to have some amount of insight about the internal affairs of Elk Landing lurk around Someone Noticed and post comments. Perhaps one of those bloggers with insight will provide us with some info. Perhaps they’ve been tied up protecting and restoring the historic lands and structures and raising money to restore this priceless jewel. My understanding is that they largely raise their money from sources other than the town taxpayers so they don’t have a guaranteed funding source like some other entities. But since I’m not aware of current affairs down there, we’ll have to wait and see if somone helps us out with some info here.

    Whatever the case, thanks for posting your thoughts and feel free to post more when you have opinions on something.

    Mike, Someone Noticed Blogger

  15. Zebulon, Hollingsworth,
    You make a very good point about the issue being more than just the sale of land. I wonder if the managment of Historic Elk Landing Foundation has overlooked the organization’s primary mission, hisorical preservation. In this regard, you have my support. By the way, it’s Ms. Silence Nogood.
    Your humble and obedient servant, S.N.

  16. Susie/Mike:

    I’m leaving Sam out of this. He insulted Miss Mary!

    First of all, thanks, Susie, for noticing. Thanks Mike for your explanation. I’d like to expand on what Mike said.

    The Historic Elk Landing Foundation is in fairly good financial shape… as far as it goes. Their problem is they have more needs and ideas than cash to cover those needs and fulfill those ideas. Not to defend what the HELF board did in relation to the proposed development concept, (repeat, NOT to support it) but that’s what spurred the board’s decision… cash. As noted above, the HELF has many projects and potential projects that it just can’t accomplish without cash flow. And unfortunately, they can’t be explained in sound bites. Allow me to give it a shot. For example, this Friday, the 19th, the town (yeah, the same town that tried to sell 10 acres of the foundation’s land) will open bids for initial restoration of the Stone House at Elk Landing. This initial work will cost nearly half a million dollars. To bring it back to its original pristine condition will cost an estimated 2 million additional dollars. The costs of this initial restoration will be paid for through a state grant and $60,000 from the town of Elkton. See, the town isn’t all bad.
    We’d all like to know more about the living habits of those who once inhabited the site, European, African American, and Native American. Archeology can fill in many of the historic blanks. But archeology costs money. .. 2 to 5 thousand dollars for each dig. Programming like the Home and Hearth Day last Saturday which received an excellent write up in the Cecil Whig (Thanks!) cost the foundation over $700. HELF charged $3 per adult and $2 per child, but 65 people won’t come close to covering those costs. Restoration of the first floor of the Hollingsworth House cost $400,000. What about the second floor? It is only partially restored and not historically accurately. I told you it cannot be explained in sound bites.
    Fact: the HELF needs financial support. Fact, it needs some new board members. Fact it needs volunteers to make it all happen. Some folks, Elkton Resident and Yosemite Sam especially, can sit back and complain all they want, but it’s not going to change those basic facts. If you really want to stop the destruction of this historic land and do some good history there, as Bruce says, support Mike’s work and support HELF!

    You’re right, Susie, it’s a shame that it takes something like this controversy to wake up other friends of HELF. Thanks for your comments. With supporters like you, Michael, and Mike, Elk Landing can be the “priceless jewel” of a living history museum it should be.

    Friend of HELF

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  18. Wayne Fenstermacher

    Whatever happened to that Jefferson letter found several years ago? I do remember that it went to NYC for auction and didn’t meet the inflated expectations of the board — then was put back into the safe and… I thought I heard it was sold — for even less!

    Can anyone fill me in on the details?

  19. Mary Hollingsworth

    Mr. Fenstermacher,

    Once again the boys were a bit greedy and you are correct, the so called Jefferson Letter sold several years ago for a lot less than what the foundation was originally offered. I believe I saw an article about it in the Cecil Whig about the sale… went for about $200,000. At first I thought my bi-focals needed adjusting, I’m not as young as I used to be you know, but I believe that was the selling price.

    -Mary Hollingsworth

  20. Wayne Fenstermacher

    Wow – that’s a shame. I think I remember the first time it went to auction the high bid was in the $400-500k range, but below the auction house appraisal of $750k… That extra $200-300k would have been nice to have to do more work there at the homestead, huh?

  21. Another Friend of Elk Landing

    Wayne-
    It sure would have been nice to have that extra $300,000, but when HELF ran out of $$ and there was little hope for any relief except to turn the place back over to the town, it had to sell the letter. Unfortunately, while there used to be 2 big collectors of such memorabillia, one decided to sell his collection months before the letter went to auction and start collecting something else, which left just 1 serious collector of that kind of stuff and there wasn’t much competition for the guy who got the letter for a steal.
    As for Suzie, more blogs like that and it will surely lead volunteers and board members to quit in frustration and go sit on their boat on the weekends instead of trying to help the community. You can make it up Suzie by showing up the first Saturday of October to the open house at EL and volunteer with the organization!

  22. Wayne Fenstermacher

    So, I guess – hindsight being 20/20 and all – it would have been better to take the money when it was offered rather than gambling it away.

    It’s a shame that the short-sightedness of coming just short of the auction reserve and taking it back – expecting to get more at a later date. The media attention and acclaim that the letter got when it was first discovered could not be had again. It should have been common sense to realize it wouldn’t get a higher price when it was quietly put up for sale at a later date. I do hope no one would say they hadn’t thought of that at the time.

    Then again, if common sense is so “common” more people would have it.

  23. In response to Friend of HELF-I think that saying HELF is in good financial shape might not be so true, because people tend to make good financial decisions when they have money, and spening $700 on one day and making not even half of that back does not seem sound to me. But, I understand I could be wrong. Also, people in good financial situations don’t look into plans to sell land, there is no need.

    I understand that HELF needs more volunteers, and I think thats accurate. From looking at their website, which has not been updated in a long time, its clear that at one point their was a vision. perhaps they have lost site of it. I know it is hard work to volunteer along with personal and work commitments, but perhaps they should seek out new board members that not only have the time, but knowledge about history and historic preservation. I read the press releases and it seems that they are very defensive, along with some posters here (Zebulon and others), while I feel that maybe they should use all of this controversy as a jumping off point for starting a volunteer drive and a capital campaign. I see the Jefferson letter was obviously a large source of income for them, but they need to work on finding more money, and a capital campaign should not be that hard given their board members. I am sure there are many people in our town and the surrounding ones that have the experience and knowledge to help protect and preserve the house and grounds down there.

    I apologize if I have offended anyone, that was not my intent.

  24. Susie:

    Thanks for your comments on this issue. One of the strengths of the blogworld is that it can create a deep dialogue allowing for the sharing of ideas, thoughts and opinions on almost anything. That’s often a wide continum as you get a variety of perspectives and ideas.

    Your postings raised some obvious questions and they were not offensive. We think we read your intent clearly for we too have questions. Our impression after reading the press release is that they approved the concept to look into it. That makes them one of the few preservation groups around that would allow the town and the developer to get that far with giving up what they identiifed as a rare national historical resource. But okay, so they approved the concept of looking into it. I guess if the mayor is pressuring you, perhaps you have too listen to his proposal, as I heard in one rumor around Elkton. I’ll give them that much. Then they say, they’d never give up their 99-year lease. So does that now mean, they’ve told the town no deal? That would put an end to it right-off, but that’s not what I’m hearing out of the noise coming out of the Mayor and Commissioners Office. We’ve filed a Freedom of Information Act request to try to straighten some of this out. In fact, a state mandated milestone for processing the request has past but we told the town we could wait a little longer. We just emailed them to see where we stand. Once we get the records concerning the mayors presentation, I think we’ll have more fact based insight.

    Oh, then couple all that with the rumors. Commissioner Jablonski, over at the Elkton Alliance, heard them as she commented during her section of the commissioners reports at the board meeting. And we hear them too about how this got started and what was proposed. One of the rumors that is being spread around town is that things went much farther than the Landing’s board just agreeing to listen to the concept. That, also, seems to be what the Mayor and Commissioner Jablonski are talking about when they can’t agree on what they promised Elk Landing in order to get their buy in on this important component of the tangled web that has been created at the Landing.

    We’ll see if we can untangle the web the town created on the World Wide Web. WE think the MPIA request will help and then there’s a second one, on which the deadline is still a little ways off.

    Again, thanks Susie for your commentary. I think we all agree that the volunteers at Elk Landing are doing an oustanding job, with limitied resources. When I recall what Elkton Resident has to say about them and compared their finances to the Alliance, the thought I had was that Elk Landing doesnt have a large guaranteed fundinig stream from the town. That organization has to raise its operating funds and improvement allocations from private citizens, membership, and grants, other than the Town of Elkton.

    Too, you make an excellent suggestion for the Landing. Use this tangled web and whatever the real story is behind it, as a jumping off point to improve things. If I were them, I’d appear before the entire board of commissioner, not just the Mayor and one of the commissioners to straighten this out and let them know what a tangled web they’ve caused for the Landing. This sort of press can damage a preservation group’s reputation with those that are most interested in protecting our history and able to donate.

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  26. In regards to Suzie, if there are people who are willing to volunteer or who wish to sit on the board, why don’t they come forward? I have sat on the board and been the director of programming and events for 4 years to make Elkton and the region a better place which eventually will be a great tourist destination and a great educational tool. If you think you can do it better, be my guest, but it will involve putting together events in the snow, in the driving rain, and in 100 degree heat. It will be soothing over egos to get many different groups together for a debate or lecture. It will be dealing with a very small but dedicated volunteer base. It will involve begging service organizations and businesses for money so you can put on events so people will know that Elk Landing is still there and has potential.
    To address another point, yes we spent $700 and raised only half of that day through admission donations, but was money the only object there? No. We also were able to build a foundation with several different key groups that will play a big part in our future. They were able to see what can be done there and what the future holds.
    Finally, for the last time, we DID NOT look to authorize to sell any land. All we wanted to do was see what the proposal was. If Suzie would like to head up a volunteer drive for Elk Landing we would love to have her on board as well as anyone else who would like to volunteer.
    Sincerely,
    Bruce Leith
    Director, Events and Programming
    HELF, Inc.

  27. Mr. Leith,

    Obviously I have hit a nerve, and I realize that you have dedicated a great deal of time to this organization, so I understand why you are upset. But according to the press release issued by your president, Kenneth Wilcox, you did look at the plan the developer came with. I understand that you did not authorize the plan, yet it appears that the simple act of looking at it is causing your organization to face the public. In history and preservation circles, the developers mind set is not preferred, so I think even by looking at or listening to the proposal is not well thought of.

    Apparently, I volunteered myself to be help you? No, that was not my intent, as I am not in a place to dedicate considerable amounts of time. All I was trying to do was suggest that you and your organization turn this negative into a positive. Additionally, a simple way you can recruit volunteers is by using the internet. You can already see what response this blog has gotten. I have seen your website and it needs to be updated regularly. You can put information about this whole ordeal right on the front page to squelch any rumors, you can attract volunteers and donations all through the internet at little cost and manpower. Websites like http://www.idealist.org also exist to help nonprofits manage themselves and recruit volunteers.

    I realize that you have put on activities and event there for years and it seems that perhaps some of the other board members have been there for a while too. However, mentioning things like the weather and egos as an excuse are not helpful in turning this into a positive, and certainly will not attract any new blood.

    Mr. Leith, I realize that this probably further offended you, and I am sorry to say that I can not apologize for that. You and your organization have been charged with protecting and preserving history, and I sincerely hope that you continue to move towards that goal and not getting bogged down in politics.

    Thanks, SuSie

  28. SuSie,
    Thanks for your note and I’ll take a lot of what you said under advisement. Just to be clear, mentioning the weather and egos are not excuses for anything, it is just what a person has to go through to put on quality events and programming. Instead of dwelling on negatives, lets all tell our friends of the great project out there that is Elk Landing and get as many volunteers and supporters out there as possible!

  29. Bruce:

    As a friend of Elk Landing and its founding president, I want to see the place propser. I did the first economic impact analysis for the town when it was considering the acquisition. When completed, the report said, the county seat would finally have a major tourist destination, one causing people to make Ekton a planned stop on a trip. The vision was to turn it into a living history center, with paid staff, that would interpret the period from the European incurision to the edge of the Civil War. I still believe that approach will work, once the Foundation moves beyond the distractions and noise that take it away from its core task of restoring a centuries old property. Mostly what’s taken it off that focus is the very significant distraction caused by the Mayor and Commissioenrs.

    After having said that, though I unfortunately have to agree with some of the points from several of the serious commentators on this site said, including Susie. For example, the Whig said: “At it’s May 2008 meeting, (Elk Landing’s board) approved a motion to look further into a concept presented to them (by the town of Elkton) to convert the (10 acres of open space) into retail commercial space.”

    As I listened to rumors around town about this long before Mayor Fisona made his April pitch to your board, the conventional widsom of professionals in certain circles, some downtown merchants, some of the founding Elk Landing members, and everyday folks, was that the Mayor’s proposal would die the afternoon he presented it to the Elk Landing board in April. I too thought that would be the case, since I don’t know of one preservation group that willingly let go of an asset that it called a national historical treasure. Logic just said that a developer wanting to build a Target there (or whatever type of big box store), wouldn’t get past first base, as they say in baseball. Well that logic was wrong in that assumption since the board was considering the proposal. Rumor adds even more about that aspect, but given the amount of talk flowing around town, I’d rather not add to that. The town and others are doing enough of that so I’ll stick to seeking verifiable data.

    Now nearly a half-year later the Foundation says it has no intention of breaking its lease. That seems like a good thing, but does that clearly mean that the Foundaiton firmly told Mayor Fisona and Commissioner Jablonski, no we’re not going to give up our lease? If so that message didn’t come through clearly at the town meeting two weeks ago, when they were still talking about the entire proposal. At one point, Mayor Fisona even suggested to other board members, “can’t we just leave Elk Landing out of it?” after Commissioner Jablonski opened up the broader topic again. No one on the board supported his comments so the tangled web of discussion just continued, being occassionally punctuated with laughter from the crowd as this confusing mess was hashed over one more time.

    If I were trying to manage this public relations fiasco, I’d want to get ahead of it as much as possible. I’d do that not by saying we voted against it after we voted for it. (I’ve heard that somewhere before!) The facts are what they are, but considering how this has evolved over nearly nine months of public scrutiny now, I’d make the organization’s position perfectly clear to anyone that’s not getting the message. One of those places would be in front of the entire town board for everyone, especially the commissioners, to see and hear. Commissioner Givens has commented a few times about the problem of one commissioner knowing this and another hearing that, but the board as a group being largely out of the loop. He’s right on that point so it would help if they all had the same set of facts to draw on for informed decision making. Let them know that they’d have a legal challenge if they were going to try to push it through, if that’s the Landings position. Also let them know about the trouble this causes a struggling organization, internally and externally, as a small group of dedicated volunteers try to do good work, for no personal gain, without a dedicated funding stream from the town.

    A friend of Elk Landing, but no longer affilated with the organization.

    Mike

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  31. Mary Hollingsworth

    I was sitting here, sipping a cold lemonade, as I read your latest blog. “If I were trying to manage this public relations matter…” Then it hit me; why not act on that, Mike? Why not get back into the saddle and tidy things up down there at my old home? You seem to still have a soft spot in your heart of hearts for the place (“A friend of Elk Landing….”) The Foundation holds its annual meeting in a couple of weeks. Judging from your comments and agreement with some of Susie’s, no one on the current board can do better. So, what say you?
    Who’s with me? Bring sensibility back to HELF, re-elect Mike board President!

    Mrs. Hollingsworth

  32. Here here Mary, I think that would be a great idea! Can you think of anyone who can run old Zeb Hollingsworth’s homestead any better than Mike? If I had a vote on that board, I’d go out and actively try to get Mike back with his vision Elk Landing could be just what we’re looking for! I’ll second Mrs. Hollingsworth’s nomination! All in favor?

  33. Crazy History Teacher

    Mrs. Hollingsworth,

    That is one HELF of a good idea! That idea has an A in my gradebook!

  34. WOOF!!!

    – RTT

  35. Miss Mary:

    With all due respect, there’s something more than lemons in that drink you’re sipping down at the plantation, Miss Mary.

  36. Crazy History Teacher

    Something more than lemons in that drink?! Mike, try being a high school history teacher and you’ll see why theres more than lemons in my drink!

  37. Mary Hollingsworth

    Mr. Mike,

    Don’t try and change the subject. My lemonade is perfect for a cool late summer afternoon, sitting on the porch here at my mansion, feeling the cool breezes coming off the Little Elk Creek. I will admit, having 8 children can make one long for this kind of peace and quiet. But I digress. Forgive me.

    In my day, gentlemen did not campaign for office, so I can see why you are remaining “disinterested” as the term used to be applied. However, I am very interested, since it is my house and farm at stake. So…
    MIKE FOR PRESIDENT!!!

    Thank you.

    I’m Mrs. Hollingsworth and I approve this message.

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