To President Jim Wilkins,
How does one write a difficult post to a freind? With difficulty.
How does one question a friend? With questions.
How does one try to solve a mystery? With clues and perception.
The mystery is why, you, Jim Wilkins, persist in identifying yourself
with a faulty policy/ program when there is so much opposition to it?
Surely, the facts are well known that
the policy/program of IAC ...
- is faulty,
-is opposed by most people who are familiar with it,
-offers no benefits to membership or to the Society,
-has created conflicts which demonstrate the character of the people
-is threatening the health and future of the Society.
From those who have been involved in communication about this conflict,
one can learn that :
1. some people ignore the conflict and retreat without becoming
2.some try to find out facts, understand them and share them with
3.some try to twist facts, engage in name calling, casting insults and
attacking people personally and without cause and
4.some retreat into themselves, baffled, confused and unable to accept
I am aware that I am using the second listed option. I have tried for
about a year to remain objective, acquire all of the facts that I can,
analyze these facts and describe them as I understand them. I have
stated my opinions of these facts. I have stated that I am opposed to
the IAC Policies/Program because they are more harmful than they are
There remains a part of the mystery not yet described. That part is the
"intent" of the IAC Policies/Programs. If they are the product of one
person, as you have stated to be you, Jim Wilkins, then therein lies the
mystery...why are you promoting it? why do we need IAC? what is the
justification for it? What is lacking is both your specific intentions
and those of the Board which has approved your Policies/Program, which
have proven to be so divisive, so destructive and so splintering in its
effects upon the membership.
Let me review several "intentions" as you have stated them in your post
to me and AHS Robins on September 13, 1999, entitled "Re: Questions via
E-Mail". Among them are:
item 2. it is intended to encourage the registration of hostas that are
in the trade.
item3. it is intended to minimize unregistered hostas being introduced
into the trade
item 4. it is intended to honor growers who support registration (and
visa versa...dishonor those who do not register all of their hostas?)
item 5.it is your intention to form a Presidential Taskforce (to make
IAC work ?)
item 6. it is stated that " there have been several implications that
registration and the Preferred Growers Policy has had a sinister intent
to financially benefit some at the expense of others. I can assure you
that this is not the case or motivation personally. I have learned that
I am not a savvy as some and I would appreciate input on this item,
because I would not want to do that." ( I interprete this to mean that
you, Jim Wilkins, do not want to financially benefit from IAC at the
expense of others. I also assume that item 6 is a personal intent and
the others are collective intents of all others on the Board).
So, among the mentioned "intentions", you asked for inputs on item 6. My
input is a simple observation that there are three people on the Board,
who had the opportunity to vote on policies which "could", under some
circumstances, benefit them personally at the expense of others. These
people are Bob Solberg, Jim Wilkins and Sandra Straka Wilkins. If they
voted "for" the IAC, they are establishing or influencing a market
environment where one "Preferred Grower"(Green Hill Farms, for example
and his business accociates) may have a comparative advantage over
another grower(s) who is not able to be a Preferred Grower. Since Bob
Solberg is marketing several of your new hosta introductions, this has
the possible "appearance" to some people of a conflict of interest.
There is certainly nothing wrong with you, President of AHS, marketing
your hostas through a grower of your choice. But there may be the
appearance of something not quite appropriate for these same people
voting or even influencing others in adopting policies which may hurt
other participants in the hosta marketplace and not hurt yourself.
While I, or anyone else, may fully accept your statement of intent,
that you "do not want to do that", it appears that you, indeed, did
what you did not intend. You voted on policies that would hurt others
and would not hurt yourself. I see at least 10 new hosta introductions
of Jim Wilkins offered by Green Hill Farms in 1999 at moderately high
prices. Perhaps more are in the wings to be introduced later. Whether
you get rich and famous on your enterprise is not important to most
people. But your simultaneous involvement in commerce and policy
affecting commerce is important to many because it appears that three
people on the AHS Board voted on policies and issues which may have an
impact on finacial matters in the hosta marketplace. Since IAC
interferes in the hosta marketplace, for this reason alone, it should be
abolished. It was voted on by people who had a personal interest in its
promotion. For this reason, this appearance of conflict of interest and
the influence you had on the Board's vote, should be considered serious
enough to reconsider the current IAC policies/programs as approved by
the Board in 1998.
I hope you will accept my input seriously as a good alternative, to
resolve some serious problems which have arisen because of IAC. If you
simple abolish IAC, there would appear to be no problem with freedom in
the market place with open and fair competition in operation. I hope
this is helpful advice to you and the Board..
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