I am writing with sadness to tender my resignation from the board of the Skylight effective immediately. Admittedly my resignation is symbolic because I had announced several months ago that I had decided to resign at the time of this year's Annual Meeting after two terms on the board, but I wanted to send a message at this juncture that I cannot and do not agree with the recent decision to terminate Bill Theisen. Incidentally, my wife Polly who served for 16 years on the board is 100% supportive of my decision.
I am well aware of a board member's fiduciary and social responsibility and I am saddened that the decision to fire Bill was made in the manner in which it was done...solely by the Executive Committee. Last month at a full board meeting it was announced that because of the economic downturn some cuts would probably have to be made. It was not even hinted that Bill might be one of the people affected. If that had been the case I'm sure it would have prompted a great deal of discussion. I'm not sure that I would have had the wisdom or foresight to predict the amazing reaction from patrons and artists alike, but I certainly would have been one of the ones too stand up and ask if this would be the best route to take. Hindsight is always easy, but to incur the wrath of the community to such a degree does not bode well for the Skylight for I fear that we will be losing subscribers and donors to the extent that budget impacts could be disastrous.
One of the unique characteristics of the Skylight is that it has always been "family" and, as in all families, there always disagreements; however, in solid families these disagreements are worked out and the family moves forward. My fervent wish is that you are able to steer the Skylight boat through these troubled waters and I do hope that you will reach out to Jamie and others who have been so vocal to at least open up the lines of communication. All of the actors, musicians, artists, patrons etc who have been bombarding the board with their emails are the life blood of the Skylight and without them we would be would be in very tough shape. Please take heed!
Robert L. Beal