“A Most Unfortunate Situation”
Rec Board to donate monies from sale to theater program
A simmering controversy regarding the removal and sale of items from the Fremont High School theater group’s property area known as ‘the pit’ by decision of the Fremont Community Recreation Authority Board was aired out during the board’s regular meeting on Thursday.
The ‘Pit’ long served as the storage place for theater materials and the removal came as a surprise to members of the group past and present causing a stir within the community and creating a good deal of buzz on social media
A number of attendees expressed dismay, disappointment and distrust toward the board for...
...the recent discovery that items had been taken to a local online auction resulting in the sale of most articles.
Board Chair Todd Blake while recognizing the effect the removal has had on the theater group defending the decision citing numerous attempts made to have the items removed by the school and the length of time that passed
“We do not deny in hindsight that perhaps one more phone call might have been made before we did empty the room out. The fact remains we have written agreements and emails and calls were exchanged but that doesn’t change the fact that the theater group was disenfranchised and we feel bad about that.”
“Obviously this is a most unfortunate situation.”
The board heard from current theater students,alumni, parents, and community members many of whom felt betrayed by the lack of communication between the two entities a theme that seemed to arise often during the evening meeting.
Fremont School Board Member Ed Wosinski addressed the need for more effective communication stating “This incident has shown me as a board member and member of the community that trust is vital.and this situation has damaged that trust. That will make an impact on our institutions going forward and we cannot continue that kind of action. We need to show we are better than that,
“The school board agrees that we were obligated to remove the items from the building We removed some items last summer and it was our understanding the rest could remain in the pit as part of an agreement with staff of the Rec center and the director at the time.
"Going forward we need to make sure there’s increased communication We’re tied together and will continue to be tied together. We have mutual responsibilities and need to regain the community’s trust.”
After more input from the public the motion to provide those who purchased items and returned them to the group was modified to donating all the proceeds received from the sale of the items totaling $2800 to the theater group. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously by the 10 person board.
Board member Karen Diekema reached out to the theatre group suggesting the board engage in some activities to help add items to the group’s collection and other board members spoke to a willingness to assist in this effort.