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Polict Conflict V

            Re: Winter Scientific Meeting (Part Three)
            Thu, 28 Jan 1999 12:52:16 -0500
            Jim Hawes <hawesj@gcnet.net>

I wish to apologize for the lack of continuity in the presentation of
continuing parts of my "Policy Conflict" paper in progress. This post is
the final part of my report of the Winter Scientific Meeting held Jan
23, 1999. It has already been posted in its entirity on Jan. 24-26,
1999. Since continuity was interupted by my surprised suspension from
AHS Robin on Tuesday Sept. 7, 1999,  I am not able to post this to the
AHSE-MAILROBIN. I ask that someone on other listserves who are members
of AHSE-MAILROBIN copy this  post to AHS Robins. Thank you.

> This last part of my continuing discussion about the Winter Meeting
> relates to what happened AFTER the Meeting. At the beginning I want to

> express appreciation to the President of the AHS who is taking several

> initiatives to solve a backlog of problems within the AHS which are a
> carryover from the past administration. His hard work and dedication
> applauded. However, some programs and policies flowing from these
> efforts may represent individual or collective work of several
> individual "Decisionmakers" within the Board of Directors. When I
> discover faulty or divisive policies, I, like others, may disagree
> strongly when necessary. That is what I am doing in this post. I am
> discussing faulty policies. If policy makers insist they are right,
> I may address the actions of the policy makers themselves.
> I am not speaking on behalf of growers. Many of them have spoken for
> themselves in a series of electronic posts in recent weeks indicating
> strong objections to the IAC Program described in the last Edition of
> the Hosta Journal. I wish to address several related policies and
> regulations that have been mentioned previously.
> After the Meeting the normal pattern of friendly disussion occurred in

> hallways, in the Hospitality Rooms, in private rooms, in the lobby and

> over dinner with friends. These were largely reactions to the AHS
> Officials' Panel Discussion. I did not attend the Growers Meeting
> occurred immediately after but I got reactions from several
> who did attend.
> The general reaction to the IAC Program and related Policies was
> NEGATIVE, almost universally. The only supporters appeared to be
> and family  of Board Members, newcomers  unfamiliar with details and
> background and a few people who might benefit in some way or
> attendees were not interested or were unaware of the IAC Program. Of
> those attendees who expressed verbal opinions, I would estimate that
> percent were AGAINST and 5 percent were FOR the Program....and that's
> very conservative estimate.
> By chance I encountered Jim Wilkins in the hallway near the lobby. We
> approached, greeted each other and began a lively discussion about
> health matters, mutual activiites and the Panel Discussion. I
> congradulated Jim on previously announced AHS  policies regarding
> Registration in which costs were reduced and the registration
> were simplified. I suggested to him that this change from an
> of dissincentives to an environment of incentives was a good change to

> encourage an increased rate of registration. I suggested that this
> would in time solve perceived but undescribed problems re
> I characterized the IAC Program, however,  as a step too far...not
> needed...an answer to a problem that will not exist soon, now that an
> incentive environment to register has been insitutionalized. I assured

> him that I planned to register all of my plants worthy of registration

> just as soon as they mature and  flower. I believe that everyone else
> has the same intentions. I suggested that the punative measures
> associated with the IAC  were disincentives toward cooperation and
> participation in various AHS activities.
> Jim responded in saying that he did not think that the IAC was
> but rather was rewarding to those who participated as Preferred
> He viewed the IAC as the best means to achieve increased registrations

> and to solve other problems.
> I repeated my opinion that I was only one of many who opposed IAC and
> its related polocies because it punishes those who do not fall into
> line. I mentioned a dozen or so leaders in the AHS who have indicated
> their opposition to IAC in conversations with me. I warned that the
> manner of making these policy decisions and the rigid position taken
> the Board would result in serious damage to the AHS in terms of lack
> harmony, participation, cooperation and contributions of many kinds by

> some within the membership. I expressed my opinion that in terms of
> feasibility, the costs and harm done would far exceed any benefits
> for by the Program.
> Jim's reaction to my comments was, (as best as I remember his
> words)...." I don't understand. The policy remains. If it is not
> excepted, we can be voted out at the next election". (Note: I think he

> understood what I said but did not agree with me. I interpreted " I
> don't understand" to mean "I don't understand why you don't agree with

> us and do what we decisionmakers say".
> As noted, we did not reach agreement on any of the recent policies,
> conflicts or points of view raise by the IAC Program and its related
> Policies. Jim did say that continued study of these problems may be
> necessary to try to resolve the conflicts. At least he is open for
> further study. I appreciate that the door is still ajar even if just a

> wee bit.
> In discussing this subject with dozens of attendees, growers,
> and women, friends, newcomers, oldtimers and  other Board members not
> involved or knowledgable of these decisions, I can say that almost to
> man (or woman) they are opposed to being told what to do. Only a hosta

> cop on the internet here and there, only Officers on or off the Panel
> were supportive of the IAC. What does this tell us? It tells us that
> something is drastically wrong within AHS.
> I thought the AHS was a social club...a society of friends, not a
> political party or a financial endeavor.  I thought our objective was
> promote and encourage the use of hostas in our gardens through
> educational and scientific efforts...not the promotion of individuals,

> decisionmakers or special nurserymen in their pursuit of power,
> prestigue, advantage over others or money. In my opinion, we have
> off track. We have forgotten why we are here. We have forgotten that
> harmony in our ranks is necessary to achieve our objectives. We can't
> survive under dictatorial  edicts. It is not in our nature.
> I wish to remind all that we garden for the rewards of beauty,
> understanding and spiritual experiences that we receive from our
> gardening efforts. If some gardeners impose bad rules, policies and
> regulations about gardening on others who don't want them, this
> conflicts which subtract from the rewards we seek as a group. Please
> don't destroy the group by trying to impose your will and your assumed

> power on others.
> Jim Hawes

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