Monomakhos recently received this unsolicited e-mail from a priest in the OCA who wishes to remain anonymous. It puts a human face on the previous three postings regarding the upcoming All-American Council and the proposed New York Plan (which seems to be gaining momentum). It crystallizes many of the complaints that have been appearing in the commentary section and we offer it in the spirit of free and open debate. If anybody from the present administration would like to counter it, we will likewise make this blog available to him and publish a rebuttal in its entirety.
The Occupy Wall Street movement, the idea of the 99% vs the 1% has parallels in the OCA with the Chancellor, Secretary and Treasurer making $140K each (two full time and one part time making $70K) reflecting the 1% and the rest of our clergy, indeed the 99% making, well, making at least 50% less if not 90% less than the fat-cat New York barons of Syosset. What do we get for paying such salaries?
Yes, we all know that living in NY is very costly. But, if that is so, why don’t other OCA clergy living in the New York Metropolitan area make as much? The answer is simple, because they live within the reflection and reality of the parishes they pastor, whereas the Syosset barons live off the entire Church, not unlike the Wall Street types who garner huge salaries. But like them, we too can ask what do we get for paying such salaries?
A chancellor, a secretary and a treasurer, all making more than the Metropolitan of the Church. The last time I checked, you can have a church without a chancellor, secretary and treasurer but you can’t without a bishop. But, in the OCA, it appears to be just the opposite and more telling, it appears that the power of the purse strings is used by the Synod and the Metropolitan Council to punish the Metropolitan. So, what do we get for paying such salaries? More dysfunction?
Something is brewing in Syosset and on the Main Street of local OCA parishes. With the Church gathering in Seattle in just 12 days, a full-court press is now on with Syosset emails going out to OCA parishes who have not responded yet to going to Seattle – pleading with them to attend. Could it be that faced with the real possibility that a $50 assessment movement is gaining steam and the Syosset barons seeing their fat cat salaries falling by the wayside starting in 2012, is it possible that they are in a panic? Maybe rather than panic, they should be asking themselves, do we deserve such 1% status? Maybe they should be asking themselves what do we do for such salaries?
I don’t think there are too many in the OCA who would begrudge anyone a fair wage if they saw that they were getting value for their investment. True, some will argue that $105 is not that much money to quibble about, but when we look at the $8.1 million paid to the Syosset in the last three years and what the Synod and the Metropolitan Council has been doing with that money and what they have been doing in the public humiliation of Metropolitan Jonah, it seems that we can still ask the question, what do we get for paying such salaries?
At this point there is little doubt that the OCA is very broken and the job offer to Jillions is a feeble last ditch attempt, to rescue the Stokoe/Wheeler new OCA agenda. A reduction in the assessment to $50 will foil that attempt and cause the OCA to step back and take a cold hard look at what it has become. In Stokoe’s own words, the reduction of the OCA Assessment to $50 would be “the worst thing that could happen to the OCA. It would end the OCA, period.” In fact, what it would end it what the OCA has become and force it to retool. That is something that Stokoe and Wheeler object to, especially now that they have Jillions ready to give them open access to the OCA.
The Synod might overrule our conciliar voice, the voice of the Church meeting in Council, they certainly can do so, but if they do and it is business as usual in the OCA, the way it has been for the last three years, infighting, disrespectful and open contempt for the Metropolitan, one could almost be certain that the drop in financially supporting members to the OCA will be plague-like in magnitude netting the Syosset 1% barons much less than they have now.
We just don’t buy it any longer that those working as officers of the OCA have our best interests in mind. $8,100,000.00 since 2008 sent to Syosset and are we any better off now than we were in 2008 or 2005 or 2002? $8.1 million and we get amateurish work product reports for the Seattle AAC. Tell me, are we getting value for the salaries we are paying?
The 99% would like to know and just to let you know, OCA 1% we are not impressed with what we have gotten and we will not be paying your salaries fat cat salaries starting January 1, 2012.