I grew up on stories of Burlington Island and the BOIM, literally at my father’s knee. I was taught that the Island was a great resource to be respected and one day it would be known all over and save Burlington. I spent time on the Island as an Island manger’s daughter. I have many stories of hidden treasures and the former dirt mounds caused by former dredging.
I also grew up as a democrat. I was taken to democratic meetings. I worked disturbing flyers (once), and making phone calls, and watching polls as a challenger.
I went to a private school were there were about 9 girls. They were teenage girls to be precise. If you want to study cliques and social mores in tight knit groups this is how you should do it. I tried my best to stay out of it and was mostly successful. I think that once the teacher even asked me to intervene.
When I went to my first Island Board meeting, I was invited on board stationary by the president to a workshop meeting, a new concept at the time. The BOIM had just release the RFP. This was only possible after working with Diane Allen to adjust the charter for a longer lease. The BOIM also had to lease the City owned half of the island. Without these things, the island would never be able to be developed.
I had heard from my father about the existing animosity between certain board members. In my naïveté I thought my ability from my school days would be helpful and apply to the BOIM. I thought perhaps the Board members could get together outside the meetings, have a few drinks, eat a few noshes and NOT talk BOIM business. You know, they could get to know each other as people. Most people could resolve issues in such simple ways.
I was utterly mistaken. The animosity was such that these differences could never be resolved. I don’t think the parties involved even know what originally caused the rift, but the hatred has grown such, that there is no way back.
It seems such a shame to me that people waste their time. I have grown up listening to what Burlington Island COULD BE. I listened to stories of what it could do for BURLINGTON. The Island sits there. It’s been sitting there for four years since Dad has been off the board. I think one of the last things he did was approve (Karen) the Woolman Corporation.
I was on the board for one year. I had one vote. I voted against the guy who is now unable to fix or access the website. I voted against the lawyer, since we had a pro bono lawyer that wanted to work for us. Since I have been off the Board, I have suggested several fundraising ideas including: t-shirts with advertising to cover the cost; using paypal on the website (when it’s fixed); starting a fundrazer or indiego-go page. I have suggested these thing several times. I connected the BOIM with girls who sold bracelets for the BOIM and raised over $600.
These are just a few things from my Island memories. One day I will sit down and write some more.