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Accusations about co-op had facts wrong

This is in response to Root Routledge’s letter about restoring integrity to Durango Natural Foods (Herald, Sept. 7). The problem is that Routledge has his facts twisted. For the sake of transparency, the board of directors, of which I am a member, included both general managers in the process. We emphasized that this was just beginning, and that members would have to decide. A process has a beginning, middle and end. This was the beginning. The middle and end never happened. The board is to present opportunities like this merger to members. The board crafted a rough draft and extended it to the staff members seeking their input before sending it to its members.

Without board approval, mind you, and with total disregard for the creative process, members of the staff sent this unfinished draft knowing that chaos would follow. A supreme lack of integrity. Kim Wiggins was not a whistle blower, as there is no reason to blow a whistle! There were no violations by this board, which was in the process of presenting membership an incredible opportunity. The board does not have the ability to make such a decision without membership approval. The board knew this. So did both general managers.

Wiggins was fired for specific violation of both her job description and the policy governance rules DNF operates within. Those violations represented a lack of integrity with a board that trusted her. She also used DNF mailing lists for her own personal agenda, sending letters to members to protect her job. Her fabricated stories inflamed the staff and derailed the process. This was the basis for dismissal. Kim knew exactly how things work: clarify the idea and bring it to the membership. This, after all, is the cooperative principle. That’s how this board works; how all co-ops work. There is no other option, even though people like Routledge and Pat Blair may think and say differently to convince members. It is not, and never was, the fact. Integrity benefits the whole, not a faction or an employee. Get it right!

James Forleo


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