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Posted on October 21 at 5:35 p.m.
I am delighted that the old guard is out the door and the new guy is in the pipeline. I just wish it had happened a long time ago.
Earlier comments might give the impression that this institution's mission is narrower than it actually is. The Bot Garden's mission is considerably broader than education about local plants. Its focus is native plants of California, northwestern Baja, and southwestern Oregon; its mission involves research, conservation, and collections, as well as education. While it is the only institution of its kind in Santa Barbara, there are other botanic entities in California that are engaged in one or more of these disciplines.
Re the comment that if donations do not meet all of the needs of an organization, it must seek ways to attract audiences: I strongly disagree. The place to start is by taking a realistic look at those "needs" and making sure they aren't merely wants and dreams, perhaps the desires of a kingdom-building CEO and an out of touch board. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden CEO and trustees overtaxed the budget with an assortment of six-figure income "vice president" positions; some of the jobs - like the CFO and the public relations VP- should have been classified as (lower salaried) "managers".
(Do any of these board members get it? The reason they are called “trustees” is because they hold the institution in trust for the public good. They had a fiduciary duty to the community, and they blew it.)
As for the comment about increasing membership numbers at the Botanic Garden, on the surface, that may seem like a good idea, but it's a hard sell. Actually, it’s close to impossible. The reality is that native plants are darned hard to market - they aren't as interesting to the general public as whales, giraffes, fine art and historical artifacts. And let’s face it - poppy fields and twig houses have a very short shelf life. (As do the memberships purchased during their residence.)
I wish the best for Dr. Windhager; he has a lot of repair work to do, but hey – he’s a Texan with a great smile; he can handle it.
On Botanic Garden Names New Leader
Posted on October 18 at 9:39 a.m.
I wonder if she's going to repeat her usual instructions to Spanish-speaking staff that they can't speak Spanish on the job. It doesn't seem to occur to her that not only is is this practice illegal, but given the Hispanic population in California (and the number of international travelers who visit botanic gardens), it's marketing suicide.
On Nancy Johnson Leaves Botanic Garden
Posted on August 14 at 12:03 a.m.
Oops - sorry - I thought I wrote "darned".
On Landmarks Panel Rebukes Botanic Garden Changes
Posted on August 13 at 11:48 p.m.
There is "no historic plan or layout"? Give me a break! A half dozen years ago, HLAC after much discussion with Garden management - crafted verbiage which safeguarded the landmark but also provided the institution room to evolve and change as a botanic garden. That resolution, which protects several features including the "historic landscape design concept", gives the Garden so much leeway that you could drive a truck through it. It was - and still is - a win-win situation for everybody. Given the comments from their spokesperson, the Garden still seems to be clueless regarding the parameters of the landmark and what a super deal it is for them. Hey, folks - read the damned resolution!
Posted on April 23 at 1:17 p.m.
Jeez, what a crock of crap from these execs. The VMP is a kingdom-building plan, for God's sake! So they've fired employees - yet they're bringing in a new "art" structure to the meadow, in the belief that it will attract the same huge attendance that the twig house did? I've seen the artist's work, and believe me, folks - this just ain't gonna do it. I guess they fired all the employees who actually had taste (not to mention institutional memory.) Very convenient - there's no one there anymore to witness the machinations of this dysfunctional and out-of-control administration. It's just a matter of time before the place implodes. Will somebody with political influence please report these doofuses to the State Attorney General's Office before they destroy the place?
On Botanic Garden Lays Off 10