Letters to the editor
It really is painful when one steps on his own tongue in public. I know because I did so today (Jan. 5) in my letter to the editor regarding Adam Aron.
I wasn’t wrong in my appreciation of Mr. Aron’s public relations sensibilities (they are atrocious), but I was wrong about a number of other things.
It was pointed out to me by a reliable source that more than one senior exec at VR does in fact devote significant portions of their incomes to help their neighbors, and that is over and beyond the $2 million-plus a year that VR gives to community causes, VR also has a very long list of individuals (employees and non) who have been directly aided by VR when distressed by the vicissitudes of life. That’s one of the problems of impulsive writing. Ouch! Mea culpa!
And, unlike some others more intimately involved, I have no problem with Aron’s bonus in a losing year. To delay $8 million of income for another year would have cost the man some $250,000 to $500,000 in lost investment income. That’s an inhumanely high price to ask a man to pay for popularity. Besides, no one ever really loves a rich uncle anyway, so the effort would have been a waste of money.
Don Rogers brought me up short when he so correctly noted in his far more thoughtful and professional article that VR could easily have pumped up their numbers much more on the backs of its employees and local customers. And, incidentally, pumping up Aron’s personal performance bonus for this fiscal year at the same time. It’s not like we are in a competitive or varied labor market or anything. I should have thought of that myself.
Regardless of any resentment one may feel at the cuts, the fact that they weren’t worse is a comment on the CEO’s heart, or at the least the heart of his staff. If the latter, Aron still deserves credit for listening.
I still stand by my comments regarding Aron’s ineptitude in the community relations area but never intended to imply he was a bad person, as one or two of my friends inferred from my letter.
Sure, the parking incident was flat out dumb, but maybe you can chalk it up to a moment of thoughtlessness. (My current embarrassment makes me far more charitable if only temporarily.) The letter responding to Kaye Ferry was just flat out dumber, but no executive does everything well.
It is a comment on VR that Ferry and other VR employees can openly and vehemently criticize VR without fear of reprisal. Back in the day and in the city, they’d be looking for new jobs. Here, it’s a form of job security. You gotta like that.
So, I apologize to those I unfairly (and ignorantly) maligned albeit unintentionally.
VR still does a lousy job on community relations and I don’t know why, and that’s frustrating to someone who knows from experience that it isn’t brain surgery.
As the CEO, that’s clearly Aron’s fault and an unnecessary waste of corporate equity. Nevertheless, for my inaccuracies and misplaced passion, I am truly apologetic.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to veterinarian Courtney Diehl of Eagle. On Dec. 28, our family had to make the unfortunate but necessary decision of putting down our family dog of 13 years, Cowboy.
Dr. Diehl made a house call for us on the same day we had contacted her and provided her professional assistance with a tremendous amount of compassion for all involved.
Dr. Diehl alleviated our worries, addressed our concerns and treated Cowboy in a manner that allowed us to all be as comfortable and relaxed as the situation would allow for.
We are very fortunate to have been referred to Dr. Courney Diehl.