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Most certainly a "hot topic", can we cool it off?
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posted
My letter to Mr. Wurtz:
Dear Tim,

You may recall me as someone who has disagreed with you in the past.

I am willing to leave that disagreement there in the past and move forward in the interest of collegiality and peace.

I don’t really have an interest in the controversies since I am unlikely to ever attend a large event again, but I do have friends in all camps and I hate to see the continued rancor and polarization affect the very relationships we all claim to treasure.

There has certainly been a buzz surrounding you and Lance and Lyn and others recently in the many-faceted realignments and political wrangling surrounding the Ankara folks.

I thought perhaps you’d like to try and resolve this whole tempest and put the ill-will behind us. Perhaps the model will rub off on others?

If we all put our energies into positives for the cause, there is no limit to what we could accomplish with the talent we collectively represent.

Staying in petty factions for the feeding of our egos does no one any good, I think you will agree?

It takes a big man to admit errors and move forward for the good of the many.

I think you may have that quality, but no one has ever come out and asked you.

I’m asking.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant to all this pus and venom.

If you take the step, I’m sure you will find the effort reciprocated.

There has been enough character assassination and name-calling on all sides.

It can be mitigated and people can forgive.

We can choose a mature process to arrive at a reasonable conclusion.

I encourage all parties to open up and answer legitimate questions. Ask some too!

You might be surprised at the salutary effect.

Continuing this sniping and back-biting does no one any good.

Can we agree that we want only good for our relations in the reunion biz?

I hope so. So let’s air it out….



1. There is the matter of the allegations of impropriety and breach of financial trust concerning donated funds.

Can we get this out in the open and put it to rest?

Where did the money come from and where did it go?

Welcome the questions and give your honest answers, won’t you?



2. There is the issue of favoritism and executive privilege wherein you are alleged to have received perks including free airfare to some of the reunions and free luxury accommodation for yourself and your friends.

Did that happen? If so, then let’s get to making it right by everyone. If not, then let’s get some documentation out there and put it away forever.



3. About the “list” and the issues surrounding privacy and data sharing among the parties, etc.

What are the REAL issues and how can we get to some agreement?



If you have any questions you’d like to ask the other parties, please do.

Let’s see if we can find some basis for agreement instead of continuing a silly feud any longer.

I see myself as a fair arbiter in this issue, interested only in the truth and a just outcome for all involved.

If not me, then who could we agree on to manage this discussion?

What format do you suggest?

I’m looking forward to your reply.



Tim Conner, ‘66
 
Posts: 27 | Registered: September 07, 2004Reply With Quote
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Tim -

As you may know, Tim Wurtz's browser will not let him post and play on the APO. He emailed me the following reply to your questions --

The following posted on behalf of Tim Wurtz -

1. There is the matter of the allegations of impropriety and breach of financial trust concerning donated funds. Can we get this out in the open and put it to rest?
Where did the money come from and where did it go?
Welcome the questions and give your honest answers, won't you?


Impropriety - none.

Breach of financial trust concerning donated funds - none.

Please see the financial statement(s) posted to the web site AnkaraAlumni.net

Donations have been received from people who attended the school in Ankara and from parents and friends of those who attended. Donations have been in the form of cash, checks and postage stamps. All contributors who sent cash, checks or stamps to me from 1991 to the present are listed on the web site. From time-to-time I've also listed their names in mailings. If anyone has been omitted, it's inadvertent.

The money has been used for all costs associated with mailings since 1992; search costs and mailings since 1996 and search costs, mailings and web site construction and maintenance since 2004.

2. There is the issue of favoritism and executive privilege wherein you are alleged to have received perks including free airfare to some of the reunions and free luxury accommodation for yourself and your friends. Did that happen? If so, then let's get to making it right by everyone.
If not, then let's get some documentation out there and put it away forever.


REUNION 1992 - I paid my registration fee and airfare. The hotel comped rooms for Karen Wright Arbaugh, Druanne Miller and me.

A "scholarship" fund was created to pay for people who needed financial assistance. People were solicited to donate money to that fund. Without looking at records, I can remember the name of one person who received help. That individual shall remain anonymous.

That year, the registration fee of $55 per person DID NOT cover all hotel expenses associated with the reunion. There was a shortfall. It was several thousand dollars. Money collected at the Saturday night dance help pay for some of it.

Additionally, my out-of-pocket expenses from October, 1990 when the search began, through the 1992 reunion, were approximately $10,000. Some of that money bought postage and printing for mailings and some was for phone bills. It was the era before the internet, search engines and sophisticated personal-information data bases. Contributions covered less than half our printing and mailing costs for that reunion.

No friends of mine were provided any kind, type or manner of perks or accommodations by the hotel or the Ankara Reunion.

REUNION 1996 - There was no money. I jump-started the effort in 1995 with a $1,000 donation. Another alum sent a mailing to her class asking for contributions and that began to generate the funds we would need for the numerous mailings leading up to the reunion. The Ankara Directory was printed and mailed, along with a letter announcing Reunion '96, in May, 1995.

I paid my registration fee. Karen Wright Arbaugh purchased airline tickets for both her and me. That information is in her Reunion 1996 financial statement. I don't know if the money came from donated funds or registration funds. The hotel comped rooms for Karen Wright Arbaugh and me.

We again had the "scholarship" fund. I remember I purchased an airline ticket with personal funds for one alum, who shall remain anonymous.

No friends of mine were provided any kind, type or manner of perks or accommodations by the hotel or the Ankara Reunion.

My out-of-pocket expenses were approximately $5,000, mostly phone bills. That was still the era before extensive internet searches.

REUNION 2000 - Karen Wright Arbaugh said I didn't have to pay my registration fee. I did pay the $100 dollar registration fee for my then wife. Karen purchased airline tickets for herself and me. That is noted on her Reunion 2000 financial statement. I don't know if that money came from donated funds or registration funds. I purchased the roundtrip airline ticket for my then wife with personal funds.

The hotel comped rooms for Karen, Jill Park Doyle and me. That included space for my then wife.

The scholarship fund was again established. Without looking at Karen's records, I remember that we paid airfare and hotel for at least one faculty member and hotel for at least one alum. They shall remain anonymous.

No friends of mine were provided any kind, type or manner of perks or accommodations by the hotel or Ankara Reunion.

My out-of-pocket expenses were approximately $4,000 in phone bills.

3. About the "list" and the issues surrounding privacy and data sharing among the parties, etc. What are the REAL issues and how can we get to some agreement?

I have no issues. I share all the data I have. I maintain the Ankara Directory. I update it with the help of other Ankara Alums, and it's periodically printed and mailed to all people listed, at no cost to them. The Ankara Directory has always been, and continues to be, the backbone of the Ankara Reunion effort. Remember, the first directory in March, 1991 had 66 names and addresses. By the time of the first reunion in July, 1992 there were 750. Today the Ankara Directory lists 2,026 people and their current addresses.

Once, in spring of 2004, I advocated digital distribution of the directory via e-mail. That idea was fiercely opposed by several people. They stressed a number of reasons including privacy and a promise I made in the mailing of May, 2002 NOT to post the Ankara Directory to the Internet. I have always been opposed to scanning and posting the directory to a web site. The Ankara Directory is mailed via the US Postal Service, only to those listed.

Right now, I'm off to the printer with the next Ankara mailing - The Reunion '05 Registration form, a cover letter and an update to the Ankara Directory mailed in December. It has all the newly found people and all the address changes.

I hope to see you in Dallas.

All the best,
Timothy Wurtz
Ankara, class of 1969
 
Posts: 123 | Registered: August 04, 2004Reply With Quote
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Tim Conner and Tim Wurtz:

Thank you both for addressing several questions that are important to many of us associated with GCM.

In the spirit of the season Mardi Gras: Laissez les bons temps rouler! (let the good times roll). See you both in August! CR
 
Posts: 4 | Location: Davis, California | Registered: August 31, 2004Reply With Quote
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Tim Wurtz is a Good Ole Boy. More power to him. Would any of you rather use a proffessional class reunion service?? Go ahead hang on to your ass. They will give a complete accounting right down to their huge service fee. Mr Wurtz is a bargain at any price, if you don't trust him or the rest of his crew then go hang out in your local bar and make a new life with some strangers. You know someone who did not live in a strange country with you. Some " Perfect Strangers" May God bless Tim! and forgive you.

[Eliminated entire Tim Wurtz quote to shorten response]

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Hallmonitor,
 
Posts: 37 | Location: Riverside,California | Registered: December 16, 2004Reply With Quote
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For my money, I say right on to both Tim's. This ongoing split is not good for the overall effort of the "A" reunion, finding friends and reconnecting.

Knowing how I was found; several long distance phone calls, from a person I vaguley remembered, I was more than positive that Tim Wurtz and others had more uncounted (or maybe counted) out of pocket expenses, they would most likely never recoup. Any money I may have donated was a pittance compared to the amount of money they most likely spent getting this effort off the ground and continuning the effort and this does not take into account the time spent on the phone, licking envelopes, ect. I am more than tahnkful to Tim W, Karen A., Lyn, Anita, Jill and the countless alum that have helped these folks over the years. These people have allowed me to find friends, I had figured were lost for good, I've been to Dallas twice and plan on being there in August and I am prodding my old school chums to attend. Then there are the new connections I have made, people that went to GCM prior to my time or after I was there, but are now counted among my friends; whether they like it or not.

I have heard some personal attacks and DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY? We are all suppose to have a common bond and should be able to see past minor differences to work for the good of all.
I think (and I might be wrong on this) that the overall effort spearheaded (to the best of my knowledge) by Tim Wurtz has a large following and to try to split this group with bickering is a waste.

I have benefited from the efforts of others and any money I have donated has been more than worth the expense. I have been to Dallas and seen the payoff.

I have also stated before that anyone that feels they have been mislead and feel their donation was a waste, send me a copy of the cancled check, I'll do what I can to see you are reimbursed.


Brian Gaquin
 
Posts: 15 | Location: Leesburg, VA | Registered: August 31, 2004Reply With Quote
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Yeah, Brian! I agree wholeheartedly, and think that any money I've contributed is money well spent. I don't need an accounting, because I know from personal experience that no accounting is going to take into consideration everything spent - there's no way to completely account for time and energy when you're working as a volunteer. Tim, Lyn, Karen, Anita, etc., didn't have to do any of this - they did it because they wanted to, and the rest of those who want to nitpick the hell out of what they have done and report should be ashamed.
 
Posts: 33 | Registered: September 13, 2004Reply With Quote
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Merri, too right. These folks have done us a tremendous service. Their hours alone are worth many times the contributions I've made. At this point in my life I'll just remember all the good stuff. And there was plenty of that.
 
Posts: 2 | Location: La Habra, California | Registered: August 31, 2004Reply With Quote
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I just read through the comments, and think that this issue has been address, and put to bed. Thank you, Tim, for taking the time to clear up the doubts. I know that there has been a tremendous amount of effort put into this network and the reunions.
THANKS TO ALL FOR YOUR WORK AND TIME.
 
Posts: 2 | Registered: August 31, 2004Reply With Quote
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