There have been a series of letters to the Packet critical of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra board for its decision not to renew Mary Woodmansee Green's contract. On Feb. 5, a column appeared in the Packet from the "Save Our Orchestra" coordinating committee. It went too far.
The board's decision took many people by surprise. A petition to show the strong support for Green asked the board to reconsider. I assume the board members acted only reluctantly because they knew their decision might not be popular. From personal experience serving on nonprofit boards, I am confident this board is motivated to act in the best interests of the orchestra, but the very nature of this controversy -- an individual's employment contract -- is a private matter.
In the column, the committee upped the ante. Its members threatened to withhold financial support and possibly change estate plans. They assured us that such action would not "bring about the demise of the orchestra." But will they resume support next year, encouraging others to do likewise? If so, what have they accomplished other than to hurt the orchestra? Who will pick up this shortfall?
I am concerned the committee will carry out its threat. Once started, it will be difficult to stop. This committee was formed to "Save Our Orchestra," but what they plan to do might have just the opposite effect. I urge the committee to reconsider. It is time to move on and all help save our orchestra.
Terry Putnam Hilton Head Island