John's Open Letters Vol. 1 #18
January 7, 2002
Dear Sirs and Ladies,
Finally, the issues that have been batted about over the last four plus months should have their day and with fair and honest judgment will be resolved.
My letters have proven to be a wake-up call to many and has revitalized the K.W.V.A. and its members. This was an offshoot from my letters and was not intended on my part.
For a long time I have felt the complete, real story of what was happening in the K.W.V.A. was not being told to its members. Questions asked were not answered in a straightforward way and I started to hear a lot of grumbling from many members. I personally received opposing answers to the same inquiry. This was explained in my first letter. Every time I asked an important question I got the run-around.
My biggest surprise was the expulsion of Directors, Staff Members and a Past President. It appeared if you did not agree with the President you were his enemy and with the present makeup of officers you were voted out. Every person who was removed from office had different views than Mr. Coon. It was "my way or the highway'. There was no dialogue to work things out. The K.W.V.A. was being run as if it was a one-man rule organization with several officers willing to do his wishes. When questioned about charges against anyone, the answer was "I have nothing to do with it, I only break the tie with my vote". The officers are supposed to be representing "all the members", and not do what Mr. Coon wants because he has a personal grievance against someone.
I was looking for the truth and I think I have found it. The unsolicited mail I have received has brought to my attention a lot of things that is wrong with the K.W.V.A. that needs fixing. By my reporting in my letters some of the information I received I have been accused of printing "hearsay" and passing on "misinformation". For a long time there has been much dissension in the K.W.V.A. I was accused of creating it. Wrong. In Mr. Pratt's letter that I have he states "he would not want to be the Legal Advisor if that and other conditions continued to go on." This was written long before my first Open letter. The many problems that have happened were going on for a long time but have gotten worse since the St. Louis Meeting.
That Meeting (St. Louis) was properly called and notified, from the information I have received, but was declared illegal by the legal advisor, Mr. Pratt. Since then officers have been expelled, quorums have been questioned, and the General Membership taking the place of the Executive Council at the Tuscola Meeting.
The K.W.V.A. seems to be operating like a runaway truck; get out of the way or I'll run over you.
Some time around my Eighth Open letter I got an e-mail from Mr. Coon telling me to stop my Open letters or he will see that I am expelled and that he might file charges against me for defamation of character. I do not take accusations against me lightly and I will not give up my right (freedom) to write my Open letters. Mr. Coon being an ex-POW should know more than most of us the value of free speech and freedom of expression.
Because the Graybeards will not print any articles from members that could show a dim light on what members think or feel, I felt my Open letters would do the job. What a surprise I had when I received a flood of e-mails and documents from very interested members.
One thing for sure is that it exposed the attitude of Mr. Coon about anybody who had a complaint. They were called disgruntled, vindictive, troublemakers. By my trying to get to the truth about what has and is happening in our K.W.V.A. I too am called a troublemaker. I have always helped, and am still helping, locally and nationally, the members whenever I can. Also I have had my heart and soul in the K.W.V.A. since shortly after becoming a member. My worry has been that the members were not being considered important to the makeup of the organization.
Questions of importance from Chapters went unanswered causing a feeling of not belonging and an alienation from the National. Other issues at Meetings were brought forward, not acted on, and were not made a part of the report on the Meeting in the Graybeards. Again the members are not being told what is going on.
Reasons of "Just Cause" are not explained in our By-Laws as they should be but one member said it best: ". . . my guess would be 'just cause I don't like you' ".
Recently Jerry Lake, Director and Membership / Chapter Formation Chairman sent in his letter of resignation from the Membership / Chapter Chairman position, effective Jan. 12, 2002. Then in an undated letter Mr. Coon "fired" him. How can one know which came first? You can't fire someone who has already given his letter of resignation. Undated letters should not be considered official. The only thing Mr. lake is guilty of is to get a better hotel rate in Vegas so more people might attend and save money so they can afford to participate at our National Meetings. This would help for more members to be involved.
Now Mr. Lake and I are accused of working together in some fashion to hurt the K.W.V.A. first, I work alone, and second, the person who might hurt the K.W.V.A. for putting in the notice through a Travel Agency with only forty (40) rooms reserved is Mr. Coon. And these were specifically stated for Council Members. What were general members supposed to do about a room if they wished to attend? It appears Mr. Coon did not want a large showing at the Meetings by having such a restrictive notice. I hope all are in for a pleasant surprise as to the turnout.
I think there are some of our elected officers who should look at the trend the K.W.V.A. has been taking, and the potential damage that is happening. I have faith in my fellow man but sometimes our loyalties get out of hand and a little soul-searching is necessary.
After all the bragging by Mr. Coon about how much money we have in our Treasury I feel we can afford a larger meeting room. Sometimes a hotel will be so glad to see so many people show up they are happy to provide necessary accommodations.
In the July/Aug. 2001 Graybeards on page 13 there are several items just called miscellaneous, in the amount of over $47,00.00. I am curious to find out what this covered for there is no explanation about it. Maybe someone can get an answer for me. Someone suggested an "outside audit" might be considered unless we already have one annually.
The recommendation by Director Pirrello to replace our late Director John Settle's position with Mr. Mahoney just a couple of days after he passed away appears like a rush job. Was anyone else asked to fill the vacancy? There could possibly be others who would be interested in accepting the Directorship who might have a better background and was not turned down by our members as Mr. Mahoney was when he ran twice for Director in the past. There was no need to rush this issue except to put Mr. Mahoney in office for whatever reason. The Meeting should take up this issue and surely someone will do a good job on the Board.
I am hoping my prayers are answered and cool heads will prevail. With that the K.W.V.A. will become better than ever.
I resent the fact that Mr. Coon accused me of speaking badly about Mr. Gregory and Mr. Krepps. In both cases I congratulated them on doing a fine job. Mr. Coon's false charges are way out of line. Having a personal feeling about how things in the K.W.V.A. could be improved should not be twisted to mean I spoke badly of anybody.
Even the job our President Bush is doing is open for criticism. At present he is doing a good job because of Sept. 11. Harry Truman once said, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" and that is also my own feeling. One should not have anything to fear if he has nothing to hide.
Recently when a member was seeking official answers to what he thought was an important question his own motives were questioned. Why would anyone in office be so suspicious to question him that way?
Many of you know Director Dick Adams will be representing me in Las Vegas. This was his offer and I thank him for that. Naturally I have no desire to be expelled from the K.W.V.A. for I am a Life Member and who knows how long that will be. We are all getting on in years and our efforts should be towards more constructive matters, not the expulsion of another member. Who is next? Will anyone be safe if the trend continues?
The game is on, and the ball is in your hands. I hope it is a just and fair game and the members, who are the K.W.V.A., are the winners.
Freedom is not free, and it never was.
God bless you all and I hope you have a nice and safe trip. Oh yeah, win lots of money.
Respectfully, John Kronenberger