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Friday, October 4, 2013

My Burlington Island Memories

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.