Where is the Fort Ti board?

To the Times of Ti:

The ongoing rift between re-enactors and the management at Fort Ticonderoga has me wondering why nothing is being done to soothe this festering sore by those entrusted with the duty of overseeing the operation.

I find it interesting that of the 21 members of the board of trustees for Fort Ticonderoga only eight are from New York State and only two are listed as from Ticonderoga. One of these is actually a resident of New York City as is another board member! All other board members come from Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Texas, Canada, Virginia, North Carolina, Vermont, Idaho and Washington D.C.. These members are far removed from the day-to-day operations of the fort and one has to wonder what or how they contribute.

Having served on several boards for both non-profit and for-profit businesses I have to question the oversight by the Fort Ticonderoga board. Perhaps members serve in name only and are hand picked by management? The truth is Fort Ticonderoga should never have been put in private hands, as it is a national treasure just like the hundreds of other historical forts throughout the country. Unfortunately this wasn’t realized when New York State made the decision to give the fort away those so many years ago.

Those living in the Ticonderoga area have seen many changes at the fort over the years and management of the facilities has come into question many times. Benefactors have come and gone over the operation of the physical plant and more recently we have seen community relations at one of its lowest points. Relationships with organizations such as the Ticonderoga Elks have soured over conflicts with the new fort management and it seems the board of trustees could care less by their absence and silence.

Trustees are supposed to have a fiduciary responsibility as well as management. Fort Ticonderoga is a private non-profit under 501-C3 of the Internal Revenue Code and is subject to reporting to maintain this exemption. I would doubt very seriously that the trustees ever meet as a group to discuss if this is being done correctly or at all since they are so distant from the actual location and from each other. This being said one can understand how a public relations problem could fester for so long without intervention by those entrusted with the duty of being trustees.

The consensus of most is that as long as the fort is making money the board of trustees could care less about public relations or any other problems that may arise. What a sad commentary for something that is such an important link to our historical past. As Diogenes looked for one honest man, I am looking for one member of the board of trustees to come forward and restore relations with all parties involved.

Gary P. Guido, Ticonderoga

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