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Tension visible at ANA meeting

Tension between the leadership and the membership of the American Numismatic Association was apparent  at a special forum held Jan. 6 in conjunction with the Florida United Numismatists convention.

Titled, ?Where is the ANA Going, Why are We Changing and What Does it Mean to You?? the one-hour seminar featured President Bill Horton and Executive Director Chris Cipoletti facing a room packed with approximately 130 concerned members.

Cipoletti made a presentation telling members that the organization is expanding its educational role by starting to make its library and collections more accessible by putting books and images online. Also, there will be more seminars around the country and an expansion of the Summer Seminar. The museum will also develop a traveling exhibit schedule.

However, what spoke volumes were the people in attendance. Past presidents Q. David Bowers and Ken Bressett were present and asking questions, as was past governor Bill Fivaz. Other longtime members and supporters were also there.

When Bowers observed that he was more open during his presidency, the response essentially was that times have changed.

There were no real surprises. When asked if former governor Walter Ostromecki would be reinstated, the answer from Horton was, ?The matter has been closed.?

Bressett said he was trying to track financial statements. Where are they? he asked.

Horton said they were reviewed in October and published in the December issue of Numismatist, but then it was pointed out that this was an auditor?s report and there is no finance chairman.

Concern was expressed about an ongoing review of the bylaws and about how much notice members will receive of proposed changes.

Cipoletti responded that there is a 40-day notice period for anything that has impact on member voting rights and that this would be handled by putting notices on the ANA Web site, www.money.org, and publishing them in an issue of the Numismatist Magazine.

Ray Flanigan asked what the timeline was for enhancements to the Web site and Cipoletti said this would be tied to the budget plan, which will be presented to the board during its April  meeting.

Gov. Don Kagin, who sat in the audience, said ?We haven?t done a good enough job in communicating.? He said he believed in the board and the executive director.

Former President John Wilson also pointed out the good points of the organization, including the fact that its assets were up over the time he and his wife Nancy were active in board service, some 18 years in all.

Cliff Mishler offered a suggestion that the board submit the Ostromecki issue to arbitration.

The meeting was ended to stay on the schedule announced at the beginning, though at least some of the participants hoped it would continue past the appointed time.

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