I was extremely disappointed to read your article concerning the Art Alliance of Idyllwild in the Town Crier. I attended the meeting and, in my opinion, you only reported the negative side of the business conducted while completely ignoring the positive elements raised at the meeting. For example, you completely failed to report that the longest and loudest applause of the evening was in a response to a comment thanking the board for their hard work and diligence.

There were also other things reported that, in the context of the article, implied at the very least incompetence and possibly malfeasance. These included:

1. Comments on the terms of board members which are limited to four years. You should note that many organizations in California, including some of the biggest in the world such as Apple, have directors serving much more than four years; they are simply re-elected after each term, much as the members of Congress are. A one-word change in the bylaws, from extension to re-election, would surely solve this issue.

2. Expenses. The large size of the expenses shown in your article implies profligate management when in fact this sum includes several thousands of dollars of sales by individual artists processed on their behalf by the AAI; more money donated to Idyllwild good causes in the last year, including the smARTS program, than the previous three years combined; and expenses for the Art Walk and Wine Tasting, Idyllwild’s biggest and best annual event.

As an artist, AAI provides the main outlet and prime source of promotion for my work. It is one of Idyllwild’s greatest treasures and we should thank anyone and everyone who has donated their time to help this organization and thus the artistic community of Idyllwild. We should all be focusing our efforts on improving the organization rather than denouncing it or it will end up in the self destruction which overtook the Chamber of Commerce.

I am not a member of the board and the information I have included is my understanding of the information presented at the meeting.

Neil Jenkins


Editor’s note: The Town Crier does not keep or report the minutes of meetings we attend. That is the job of the organization’s recording secretary. We report news; what we feel are newsworthy matters of import to the community. The story in question reported on specific controversial matters discussed at a recent AAI membership meeting. In such a story, we do not generally at the same time report on the wonderful things an organization has done or is doing. Those are reported in other stories. 

Readers of the Town Crier and other Idyllwild House publications know that we have published dozens upon dozens of stories regarding the fine accomplishments of AAI’s board and members and the contributions they have made and are making to our community, including in this issue.