Sunday, April 10, 2016

governance by breathtaking optimism

Now that I've been elected to the Terwilliger Plaza board of directors, it strikes me what an amazing idea it is for a facility like ours to be self-governed. Do you know what kinds of things boards of directors do? They hire the person who will be in charge of the place. They issue bonds. They purchase property and plan for the future. They are responsible for investing money held in the reserve fund totaling over $25 million. MILLION! All this is deeply important and sunk to the gunwales in legal complexity. And yet we, a community of aging bodies and minds, think we can find people among us with the wisdom and knowledge to plot out the best path through mazes set up to confound the wiliest of corporate intelligences.

And dang if we haven't done it. I make no claims for myself as a brand new board member, but look at us. We've been around running like this for over half a century. We're deeply financially stable and running a 95%+ occupancy rate. We're looking ahead to expansion of both residential and assisted living facilities. And all with us amateurs running the place.

A mid-twentieth-century writer said, roughly, "Democracy is the worst of all possible governing systems, except for all the others." (E.B. White, maybe?)