Recently, I as webmaster have been publically attacked for including material on this webpage regarding the Presidential election that some feel is inappropriate and not in the vein of fairly representing the candidates.  In response to these allegations, I sent out the following letter addressed to Nilda and Efrain Oyola, and copied the letter to the Board of Directors.  It reads as follows:

"Efrain and Nilda,

 I am sorry if the FOP page upset you, but contrary to your belief, it was my intention to fairly represent both candidates.  Because lodge elections were coming up, I asked Tom if he could send me a list of the people who were running so I could put that list up on the page.  Because the President's column was about Tom running for President, it was only fair to include a section on his opponent.  I would understand your insense if I had included a sensational paragraph blatantly supporting one candidate or the other, but  the main jist of what I included just highlights Sean's background in law enforcement so people who may not know him would at least become familiar with him.  It also included a personal statement from Sean - I did not make it up.  Had there been other opponents, I would have included sections on them as well.

 Secondly, I do not appreciate being personally attacked in public without you having personally broached the subject with me beforehand. If someone has a personal issue for me, the proper forum for that is NOT in the public eye, as was just done with the mass emails, but in the private sphere, where I can have a chance to defend myself without being attacked.  It just seems like a publicity ploy to attack the webpage content without first even approaching me and asking me revise it.  I am a firm believer that you end up more satisfied with the results if you diplomatically attempt to correct any situations you construe as problematic rather than throw out personal attacks and expect the person who was attacked to acquiese and follow your wishes.  The best way to solve these type of problems is not in an accusatory way, which in this case has obviously caused me to become defensive and does nothing to solve the perceived problem at hand.

Over the years, and starting under Neil, it has brought me great personal satisfaction to work on the page in keeping with Jason Conklin's memory.  I have worked extremely hard on keeping it up to date and have worked hard gathering all the information on there.  No format is provided to me - I am given the president's column each month and then the rest of the information on the page is gathered from lodge member input to me based on what new sections they would like to see on the page.  Tom has been very supportive of my efforts, and I greatly appreciate his support through the years with my endeavor.

To quote Nilda: "There is nothing negative in this ad. What disturbes me is that the WebSite, OUR WEBSITE, is being used to support and promote just ONE cannidate instead of promoting the Election in general."

 I don't quite understand how you interpret the webpage to be supporting one candidate.  Both candidates are highlighted on the page and both have their personal opinions stated.  This to me is fair representation.  My honest intention is to promote the election in general.  If you ask around, you will find out that *I* was the one who asked for the information on who was even running, because I am not sent any information besides the president's column.  If you are so concerned about the the content of the website, it would have been more appropriate for you to show your interest all along rather than get upset when you have an issue with what is up there.

 In conclusion, I have temporarily taken the webpage offline (I am at work and can't do editing like that while here) but will put it back up with several changes as soon as I can when I am not at work.  Since the only two options available to me while at work are to leave it up or take it down (I can't physically change any of the files on the page while at work), I decided it would be best to wait until the issue can be discussed.  If the lodge is really so concerned about the webpage, I would appreciate more imput every month.  (guest articles, suggestions for content, a list of upcoming events, updated each month, pictures, minutes from the last meeting, etc.)  It seems to me as though the page is taken for granted until there is a problem.  Then all of a sudden all hell breaks loose and it is as though I have strayed from some higher guidance and am accused of  manipulating the webpage.  For those on the Board  who know me, they know that I am far from being a manipulative person and am uninterested in  becoming embroiled in the politics of the Lodge. My  intention is to present both sides fairly, and if people feel I have done otherwise, I must  apologize because that is not my intention.  Like I  said earlier however, a  diplomatic approach to this problem is much more effective than personally attacking me.

Thank you.

Elisa Hirth"