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Re: Senschal's Letter

To the Good Folk of the Merry Rose

>From William de Montegilt

Most Courteous Greeting

I wish to state that I hold enormous respect and affection for
Master Thomas Smith of Ayr, the Seneschal of Atlantia.  Having been
a kingdom seneschal, it is not easy to criticize or second guess
people who are willing to undertake a job as demanding as that.

However, his letter contains some factual errors, and I fear that
they have led to some false impressions.  I am not presently a member
of the Board of Directors, but completed my term at the April meeting
to which Master Thomas refers.

First, the Board did not overturn the banishment of Fritz Justus Fritz.
That banishment had been, in fact, upheld by the Board at the October
1995 meeting.  However it was not continued into the present reign
by HRM Galmr.

The Board was asked by HRM Cuan for a revocation and denial of membership
on Lord Fritz.  To that end, an investigative team was sent to Caer
Mear, where they took much testimony from all sides and presented
their opinion in a 150-page report on the condition of Caer Mear.
At the April meeting, the Board voted not to act on the request
AT THAT TIME.  Further action is contemplated.

Second, kingdom officers, including the seneschal, have two bosses.
These are the Crown and the appropriate Society officer, to whom they
report.  It requires the consent of both to issue or renew a kingdom
officer's warrant.  If either are unwilling to do so, then a new
candidate must be found.

I do not wish to go into the details concerning the Society Seneschale's
decision concerning Master Thomas.  However, it was considerably more
than not characterizing the Barony of Caer Mear as dysfunctional that
prompted her decision.

I am surprised at the bitterness expressed in Master Thomas' letter,
although I can understand his disappointment.  I must question whether
such a letter would be the sort that a responsible, considered
opinion would conclude to be in the best interests of the kingdom
and the Society.

It has occurred, in Atlantia, even, that the King decided to remove
all of the kingdom officers and replace them with members of his
household.  At that time, the only thing that prevented it, and not
in all cases, was the untrammelled control over the administration
of your kingdom by faceless, self-selecting bureaucrats and a
lame-duck Society Seneschal (and his successor).  This is NOT
a fairy-tale.  The point is that the process can work to
either advantage or disadvantage.

Third, in the case of Caer Mear, I have got a lot of friends there,
including the Baron and Baroness.  It is a group blessed by large
numbers of hard-working and extremely talented people.  That has
been the case for at least twenty-one years.  However, the group has
got some fairly serious problems as well, and these need to be dealt
with, not ignored or swept under the rug.  Unhappily, they have not
been dealt with locally, nor by the kingdom administration, nor
by the kingdom seneschal.  What then is to be done, if the local
and kingdom officers abdicate their responsibility by not taking
some kind of action?  See above under faceless bureaucrats.

Finally, Duchess Sedalia is being replaced as Society Seneschale
by Duke John the Bearkiller (John Fulton).  You might want to
write to him, as he would take any action.  Viscount Edward, the
Chairman of the Board, is also the Atlantian Ombudsman.  His involvement
is on that level, not as supervisor of the Society Seneschale.  I
strongly suggest that letters sent be based on factual information
rather than emotional appeal.

I am very sorry to have missed Emerald Joust, but my modern liege
required my presence at the last moment <sigh>.  I am also sorry for
perhaps making the Rose a little less Merry with such a long posting
on such a weighty topic.

Yours in Service, this III Iuni, A.S. XXXI

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