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Petition filed (with State of New York, Supreme Court) for redoing the annual meeting

February 20, 2013

Today, February 20, 2013, Eileen Buholtz filed her petition to redo RPO, Inc.’s flawed annual meeting of members held on January 23, 2013.  Ms. Buholtz requests that the entire membership be notified of a new, properly convened and conducted meeting at which write-in votes on the ballots be recognized and counted.

RPO, Inc. neglected to notify several segments of its membership of the January 23rd meeting, including contributors to the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, patrons who turned in their tickets for credit as contributions to RPO, Inc., and members whom it improperly determined were family members with other individual members.

The petition shows that RPO, Inc. violated its by-laws and New York State law in setting the membership year and record date for the January 23rd meeting, and in fact systematically sets its record date in early December of every year which disenfranchises the donors who contribute during the end of December and  that RPO, Inc. and its inspectors of election improperly refused to receive and count votes cast by write-ins on RPO Inc.’s ballots at the January 23rd meeting.

Lastly, Ms. Buholtz repeats her request that RPO, Inc. provide her with the list of members, as required by New York State law and RPO, Inc.’s by-laws, so that she can notify RPO, Inc.’s members of their right to write in the names of candidates other than those nominated by RPO, Inc.

RPO, Inc.’s current condition demonstrates that a change in leadership is necessary.

Here is the petition (20 pages, in PDF format)  

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8 Comments
  1. Martin Fass permalink

    Understatement–thank you so much for all this, Eileen!

  2. Jennie Oberholtzer permalink

    Wishing you great success in this effort, Eileen.

  3. ted cichanowicz permalink

    I continue to be simply astounded at the arrogance and cluelessness of this current ‘regime’ at the RPO. Statement by Mark Berry–‘it is a shame that the RPO needs to continue to waste precious time and money to defend itself against these claims’. SERIOUSLY Mark???? I can hardly breathe.

    YOU started a war at a horrible and unnecessary time. You ‘defeated’ not an enemy, but a good friend of your audience and patrons, and now you say THIS is a waste of time and money?? How about all the time and money YOU are wasting as a result of this ill-timed, incredibly stupid move of firing a talented music director midway thru a season and pulling the rug out from under so many loyal patrons…many of whom bought tickets because of, not in spite of, this visionary music director.

    The solution is so simple at this point. Owens and Rice step down and give the RPO a fresh new vision and a perspective that won’t cause all this division, acrimony and strife. How many more ways does this need to be said? I think its shameful to continue to play the cards you are playing to the public. Shameful. You STILL take zero responsibility for the damage YOU have helped inflict on the orchestra and the community. Yet you want people to think you are the knights in shining armor when indeed you are anything but.

    The annual meeting was a farce beyond measure. The mid-season firing of our music director was a misbegotten attempt at grabbing power and acting like the neighborhood bullies. All your efforts to ‘make nice’ ring hollow.

    You are right about one thing. This is not fun. This is not good. But YOU are a large part of the problem. The solution going forward is pretty obvious…to just about everyone but the leadership of this Board.

    In short….no in long…I found these comments in todays D&C to be distasteful and so wrong. The community will be watching closely this charade. Time will tell whether wounds will heal…properly.
    I hope all who read this mornings nonsense and who feel as strongly will speak out.

    • Brian Stotz, RPO Percussionist since 1977 permalink

      Ted, to use the line from informercials, “But wait, there’s more”, you didn’t get the entire quote from Mark Berry which is as follows: “The RPO is looking forward with optimism and is encouraged by the audience support the orchestra has received in the past three months, with all Philharmonic and Pops performances exceeding goal for single ticket sales.”
      He failed to mention that these goals may have been exceeded by doing what the RPO is doing again next week, that is to offer U of R employees 50% discounts. With a business model like that, how can we fail?

  4. I have to disagree a bit with Brian Stolz. Granted, these reduced-price tickets distort statistics. But if they fill seats that would otherwise be empty they are a net gain for the RPO. I first attended an RPO concert in 1953, when I got a season ticket for $15! If I had had to pay the going rate, I am not sure the then miserable pay of a UR instructor would have supported it. The RPO desperately needs to attract younger listeners. Too many around me in the audience are close in age to my generation. And we will not be around for long.

  5. Wondering who might be attracted, now and next season. I can’t help but view the conductors and soloists for next season as somewhat similar to Scabs. Maybe they need the money, but it would be so good to see Solidarity. Maybe there are some rare people who turned the RPO down.

  6. ted cichanowicz permalink

    William–I think what Brian meant was the RPO taking credit for the increased ticket sales…as though the war was over; the bad guy is gone; and they are doing just fine without him. Similar to the last Phils concert, which was designed by Remmereit. People attended that in large numbers because of the content of that program….which would have been totally different had we not had the Maestro on board. I suspect the invitation to Carnegie Hall was also due in some part to a world class conductor leading the way.
    The RPO management is glomming onto the coattails of what was already in place and taking all the credit while still having us believe they are totally blameless and we should follow them like lemmings. I am still seething over Mr Berry’s comment in the paper. The audacity of such a thing.

  7. Jon Eckleben permalink

    What more can one say about this current board? I always believed in the past that they acted in the best interests of the orchestra and continuing its presence in our community. Now I wonder. They have let POLITICS creep in, and as a result many avid supporters are left feeling alienated and confused.

    And how disingenuous is it for for board members to employ false personnas (i.e. “sock puppets”) on these various web communities and post laudatory conversations with themself about how brilliant and ethical the board has acted? I suppose no law has been broken, but certainly it smacks of dishonesty and cowardice.

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