Question: Is there an explanation of why Bill's position was eliminated that CAN be shared by the Executive Committee? Was there a "personnel" issue (not "personal") between Bill and the Board?then today, milwaukee magazine's bruce murphy recounts many of the details from last week's board meeting – which ended with a vote of 16-12 to retain dillner as managing director – and he includes this tidbit about that vote:
Response: There was neither a personnel nor any personal issue. It was a heartbreakingly difficult decision based on the financial situation and made with the hope that Bill would understand the financial constraints and agree to direct the shows he had previously agreed to direct.
Some supporters of the slim board majority are claiming Theisen spent too much and that Dillner had trouble reining him in financially.murphy will not confirm that "some supporters" refers to an actual board member, but let's assume it does, and that murphy didn't get this line from joe blow on the street, someone on staff at the skylight, or a board member's spouse.
which would mean that someone on the skylight board is suggesting to the press theisen's firing was not strictly financial, but also because he couldn't be "reigned in."
in response, bill theisen replied, "maybe someone feels like we didn't make enough cuts, but i was never led to believe that. i was never told i was spending too much."
not only had the artistic department of the skylight come in under budget last year, but theisen and dillner, on a mandate from the executive committee, had cut artist salaries by 10% for the following season.
and that's not all. "in the two weeks prior to the firings", theisen said, "we cut an additional $18,000 out of artists salaries for next season. eric was thrilled." ultimately, artist salaries for the 2009-2010 season were cut to 2002-2003 levels.
both theisen in past comments, and dillner at sunday evening's forum have spoken of their prior working relationship as open, constructive and positive.