Sep 20, 2003, 10:25 AM
Post #23 of 35
Good morning all,
Re: [pat] Amigos del Lago Open Meeting
Went to the meeting last night. It was an excellent example of Mexican/Expat cooperation in working for a common cause. When I arrived there were about 200 people there, overwhelmingly Mexican, although the SRO crowd dwindled a bit as the evening progressed. We lasted until part-way through the Q&A session at the end.
This may be surprising to some of those less well acquainted with the courtesy of our Mexican hosts but everyone who requested the privilege of speaking to the assemby last night was not only granted the opportunity but allowed to do so without interruption, and applauded at the conclusion of their comments. Even a defeated mayoral candidate.
As far as the partying was concerned, I can't give a report on that because I was about 10 minutes late and they were TCB by the time I arrived. Evidence of a raucous pre-meeting bacchanal was exceedingly slim. Set out of general view were maybe a dozen empty beer bottles, but it was quite obvious that the folks who showed up for the meeting were more interested in business than booze. From what I observed no one's dues dollars (or at least very few) were spent on bebidas. Miz T and I bought our own water at the Oxxo at the end of the block although I did see a table set up in the hallway off the the left side of the lobby and a person or two getting a cup of some sort of beverage. Anyway, those of you who feared that your bucks were financing an elaborate and expansive blow-out can rest easy.
I hesitate to post this since some are more than eager to attack any action not taken on a norteno schedule but I was told that one of the highly qualified techie ADL members was asked to post the financial report on the Amigos del Lago website (www.amigosdelago.org) this week-end. Since that worthy has a life in addition to his volunteer work I'm willing to give him a considerable amount of leeway in completing this task and would hope that all of you will do the same. It won't take him long I'm sure.
In addition to others, a slide presentation of the financial report for the past year was given and I hope that some of you are shocked when you see the pitifully small amount those folks have to work with. The 2002 income (and keep in mind these are figures copied in a hurry---please wait for the official report to be posted for the official word) was 379,252 PESOS. 344,366 PESOS of that was from donations (yes, even some from the Southshore for the benefit of those who criticized that effort) and about 30,000 PESOS in donations.
So far in 2003 income has been 25,735 PESOS and expenses have been 64,643 PESOS. I think if any rational person took a look at these figures they could readily see that there just ain't much there to steal, as some seem to imply. These same sorts of vicious and unwarranted attacks were launched against the last board of directors; most directly against the tireless Aurora Michel. It seems that things are the same here as where we all come from; the noble and steady big dogs do the work, the inbred lap dogs do the yapping.
The bottom line is that unfortunately there's just not that much money flowing into the coffers. It would be very difficult for the board or anyone else to divert sums large enough to justify the risk of exposure, but most importantly, it's difficult, if not impossible to believe that these educated, talented, caring volunteers would risk their personal reputations and the future of an entire ecological cause to misappropriate a few piddling PESOS.
If you're truly concerned perhaps a bit of research into where the monies are applied might be in order. Some of us assume that if we don't see action right here at the end of our respective streets that nothing is happening. Folks, that's a big damn lake and a lot of towns surround it. In his report last the president told of many of the hands-on activities sponsored by ADL, including refoestation using trees with low water needs, awareness and conservation programs, and others. These events have also been well reported in the local media.
In addition, many proposals for future work were laid out, including assisting in studies to find other water sources for Guadalajara.
This post is too long, but also much too incomplete. Much more was discussed so I suggest that those who have risen up in self-imposed righteous indignation, casting aspersions on the character and honesty of a devoted and knowledgeable group of dedicated volunteers make personal contact with some of these people to determine the facts and needs rather than anonymously (until someone chooses to publish secret identities---I'm surprised and gratified that so many folks e-mail each other with info about some of our "shyer" participants---this is a SMALL community) skulking about trying to harm a truly worthwhile organization and its supporters, some of whom I am proud and privileged to call my friends.
All I'm suggesting is fundamental decency and fairness in the way these folks and their various organizations are treated. And for those of you who don't live in the area but want to help, please go to the website for info on joining or donating. At present my guess is that membership numbers are extremely important in order to show widespread support as the various groups move forward in their efforts to gain political support and backing for this cause. There's a sliding scale of membership costs beginning at 20 PESOS, so sign up everyone you can think of. Wouldn't it be nice to include your grandchildren in this great effort?
Just a few opinions; but damn good ones.