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Disputed Editorial
Board Overrules Committee
Fires Collins

During the summer (2007) Gabrielle (Welford) and I (King Collins) and Dennis O'Brien worked together under the name of the MEC editorial committee to produce a much improved publication for the MEC. We hoped to use it to make the publication sustainable and also increase membership. Gabrielle and I did the majority of the desktop publishing and photography as well as several interviews which we prepared for publication.

On October 31, 2007, the MEC board voted to disband the editorial committee and take over production of the "MEC Review."

First, the Board complained that the editorial, written by Gabrielle and myself, was too critical of the MEC and Smart Growth. (The editorial appears on page 2 of this 1.5 MB PDF file.) We understand that they took a vote on disbanding the committee based on this issue, which failed.

Board president Denny O'Brien was not satisfied with that, so he suggested that Collins (and Welford) be dismissed for another (untrue) reason: that they conspired to sneak the editorial into print without review. An email from Denny O'Brien, board president, said that the board voted unanimously for the "sneak" charge, even though some members of the board, including O'Brien himself, knew that charge was false.

In fact, at the time the disputed editorial was submitted, it was three days or more before the final print-ready version could be produced; the printed copies could not be delivered for another week after that. There was plenty of time for review by all concerned.

Disbanding the committee was an insult to Gabrielle and I who had worked for scores of hours to create the magazine. The more so, because we had sent copies of our work and asked for participation all through summer. Some board members promised articles and images but very little was provided. Aside from Denny, only Dave Smith actually provided an article. Finally, we delivered copies of the nearly completed 32 page magazine, photocopied and stapled back-to-back at our own expense, to each member of the board. And we received no response from the board at that time. And yet a short time later the O'Brien and the board accused of being too critical and trying to sneak something past them.

It is also revealing that the board actually only mentioned Collins in their complaint. Welford who had worked with the committee the whole time was completely forgotten. When she wrote to the board about what happened she was ignored.

If there's time, and readers are interested we will provide the email trail which verifies what is written here.

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For a look at the magazine in its nearly completed state see MEC Review (3 MB PDF file)