Walter Michalik and the Roslindale Community Center

I’ve had little time in the four years I’ve lived in Roslindale to get involved in community volunteer efforts.  My wife Rachele, however, has devoted several years to efforts such as the Roslindale Community Center, Roslindale Village Main Streets, and Roslindale Clean and Green. She has served as chair of both RCC and one of the RVMS committees.

Over the past few months, I’ve been disappointed to see the RCC board endure repeated senseless attacks by a perhaps overzealous community member, Walter Michalik, who has effectively paralyzed the organization. I have nothing personal against this guy, but I thought I could do my part here by publishing an example of an email he broadcast to the committee, which I think is embarrassing enough on its own merits to need no editorializing from me, except to say any email that starts with “just so you won’t be surprised when the IRS launches its investigation” can be neither productive nor taken seriously.

The context is a response to an announcement sent out pursuant to the Community Centers By-Laws scheduling a special meeting to discuss the recent upheaval on the Council. There’s no reason this should not be in the public record:


Just so you won’t be surprised when the IRS launches its investigation, be advised that YOU DO NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO CALL FOR A SPECIAL MEETING.  The By Laws do not allow the President/Chair to call for a Special meeting – that right is reserved for the MEMBERS to have a power over a hostile or non-performing President/Chair.  It was created by a Membership wary of annimosity within its ranks in order to protect itself from falling into a useless dysfunctional body.  That’s why our By Laws require the majority of the membership request it through the Chair and not the other way around.  So you screwed that up too.

Your continuous violation of rules and laws have proven beyond a doubt that this current Roslindale Community Center Council has violated the trust behind its IRS-designated not-for-profit status.

The failures are on so many significant levels over 6 months it is readily apparent that the Roslindale Community is better served without a Community Center Council.

There is no longer any excuse to allow the residents of Roslindale to be denied the services they deserve that you and the officers have no idea how to deliver.  Because that’s what you are supposed to do – serve the residents of Roslindale and not preseide over a self-serving board.  You’ve taken us from dysfunctional to non-functional over the past 60 days.

You and your officers have already driven away our Archdale partners and now the merger is off.  Congratulations.  You got what you wanted.

You and the officers have withheld information from the Members of the Council imposing gag orders along the way and in more than one instance spreading lies within this community.

There are so very many lapses on your part and the rest of the officers that it is very apparent that the Roslindale Community Center exists IN SPITE OF the Roslindale Community Center Council – not because of it.  It would be far better indeed, if the Center were run without the Council.

What have you done in 6 months?  All you do is avoid the work of leadership.  Please, just gracefully step aside and let a real leader emerge – or dissolve the Council and let the Center run itself under BCYF  before the IRS makes that happen.

Of course this is my stated opinion.  You can choose not to belive it.  You can huddle with a group of self-serving officers and invent excuses or change the agenda away from the message and continue with your ad hominem attacks against the messenger.  I’m thick-skinned.  Feelings aren’t important to me – services to residents are important to me.

While I have, in fact, enjoyed the confidences of others within this community and their true displesure with this Council, I will produce that to the appropriate authorities as I see fit along with the Bill of Particulars I have produced with documentation for all charges.

As a founder of the Roslindale Community Center Council I can no longer support you or the officers as any legitimate authority in this community.

[Tags]Boston, Roslindale, Walter Michalik[/Tags]

Four Cheers for Geoffrey’s!

Just recently, Rachele complained about a drop in quality at our neighborhood restaurant, Salute. No sooner did she complain than the restaurant changed name, ownership, and chef. Witness the power of the blogosphere!

Geoffrey’s (link, anyone?) just opened this week is the old Roslindale location of Salute, having taken a three year hiatus from its last location in the Back Bay, and the South End before that. Back when I worked in the South End in the late 1990’s, it was one of my favorite lunch/brunch places, so I was delighted to discover they’ve reopened in Roslindale.

We were the new restaurant’s first brunch customers ever.  They open at 8am, and with a natural alarm clock that wakes us up at 6am (our daughter), we were prompt for the opening.

The brunch was great. We shared a “DonutMuffin” as an appetizer. There was enough pleasure in that pastry to equal at least half a dozen commercial-grade donuts. I had a tomato, basil, and fancy-cheese-of-some-sort quiche with a side of fresh cantaloupe. It was a very generous serving with a thick tasty crust (no toast necessary!). I was particularly impressed with the volume of fresh basil, and the juiciness of the cantaloupe. Rachele has vegetarian eggs benedict (also delicious) and Esther had a side of heart-shaped waffles, which was just right for her. The coffee was definitely on the high end for restaurant coffee (which, somehow, seems to go on a different scale from coffee-shop coffee.) Next time I’ll try a cappuccino.

All this for only $35 (including tip). The meal was comparable to (but slightly cheaper and more filling than) our other favorite brunch place, Bon Savor in Jamaica Plain. The owner/chef explained that they had moved out of the South End when the rent tripled. He’s keeping prices in the 1997-range, since the rent he is paying in Roslindale is comparable to what he paid in the South End in that era. (Although actually I’m sure other costs have gone up significantly).

The Chowhound and Universal Hub folks are also pleased. Roslindale is certainly in need of a good brunch place — although I am fond of the Blue Star Diner conceptually, in practice the service has been poor and the food irregular. We will certainly be making fewer trips to JP for brunch now.

The dinner menu also looks excellent, with several good vegetarian options. The chef also assured me the couscous dish is vegan.

We were the only people in the restaurant in the opening hour. I predict in a month the place will be packed. If so, it will be proof of this blog’s influence!