PAYING THE PRICE FOR APATHY
To the Editor:
I attended the June 20 bylaw meeting at which the voting procedure of Local 802 was set back 35 years. Not only did this meeting pass a bylaw change which will prevent the voters from being informed (on the ballot) of any affiliations of the candidates (such as ticket or party) but it returned us to a chaotic system in which all candidates for a given office are lumped together alphabetically.
The reform movement in 802 was able to eliminate this cumbersome and confusing system 35 years ago, against the opposition of the entrenched administration at the time. It took a great deal of hard work and risk of reprisal to get it done then, but the result (slate listings on the ballot) was partly responsible for the elimination of the old Arons administration in 1982.
The worst part of this deplorable event is that an action that affects all the members of our union was taken by a vote of only 127 members (of whom about 60 voted against), just two above the bare minimum required for a quorum. Events like this can only occur, in a democratic society, when the majority of the membership is apathetic and does not come to meetings, allowing a small group to impose its will on the entire membership.
Of course our local has long suffered from the malady of apathy and we are now paying the first price for it. Who knows what the next price will be? It would be tragic if we allow the hard-won gains of the reform movement in 802 to be eroded because we won’t attend membership meetings.
President Moriarity comments:
I would like to clarify why, despite a discrepancy between the last quorum count (127) and the vote count (144) at the June 20 meeting, I nevertheless declared the bylaw resolution to have passed.
Almost immediately after the quorum count, the member who made the count informed me that he had not included himself, Vice-President Price or me, thus bringing the count to 130. The difference, therefore, between the quorum count and the vote count was 14 (144 less 130).
The margin of victory for the resolution was 24 votes (84 yes, 64 no). If all 14 of the questionable votes were declared invalid and deducted from the prevailing position, the measure would still have passed by 10 votes. Therefore, with the concurrence of the parliamentarian, I declared the resolution approved.
THE WESTCHESTER SYMPHONY ELECTION
To the Editor:
Just recently, as of May 10, the results were tallied for the Westchester Symphony’s new orchestra committee. I am disappointed in the outcome for several reasons. First, only 17 of the 57 rostered members voted. Do some of us not really have a concern for the orchestra’s future? Secondly, there are now no women on the committee. I believe we would achieve more of a balance if gender were considered in future elections. However, I am certain that my friends and colleagues who were elected will give careful thought to what is needed, and I trust that each of them will do a great job.
INFO SOUGHT ABOUT BRUNO JAENICKE
To the Editor:
I am searching for information about a past member of Local 802 for a friend of mine who is in his 90s and trying to reconnect with some people before it’s too late. My friend, Dr. Asher Treat, is a horn player who during the 1930s or early ’40s became acquainted with Bruno Jaenicke, a very highly respected first chair French horn of the New York Philharmonic. Mr. Jaenicke left the orchestra around 1940 or ’41 and died around 1956. I am trying to find the names or whereabouts of any of his descendents. I have spoken with two very friendly and knowledgeable horn players, one of whom suggested contacting Local 802.
I would appreciate it if any 802 member who can provide any information about Bruno Jaenicke would contact me at P.O. Box 226, Stockbridge, MA 01262, or send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Treat will be extremely grateful for your help.