Letter from Mark and Mary Honeyman


Dear Board of Directors of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra,

As a long-time subscriber to the DSO, I am imploring you to resolve the strike immediately. There is no reason to prolong this conflict any further.

My wife and I are incredibly disillusioned by the stance the Board has taken while negotiating with the musicians.  We have personally felt from the outset that your position was unnecessarily stubborn.  However, now we have a coalition of impartial politicians and other community, business, and labor leaders who have examined the circumstances of this work stoppage and have recommended that you move off of your 34 million dollar proposal. This coalition presented a 36 million dollar proposal that the DSO musicians have already agreed to, which still results in a 25% reduction in salary. It shows a remarkable leap of faith on the part of the musicians, as well as a willingness to suffer tremendous personal loss in order to preserve the future of this great institution. It also shows that the Board’s stance goes beyond stubborn - your position now appears intractible and punitive.

You may cite as many “consultants” or ”advisors” as you wish as proof that you cannot raise your compensation offer. My wife and I, however, have a different perspective – if that extra 2 million over three years is going to stretch the organization’s resources, then put those highly-paid administrators of the DSO to work doing a better job of selling concert tickets and soliciting contributions.
My wife and I recently received a call from the DSO soliciting funds, ostensibly for the children’s orchestra. However, we no longer trust the DSO management to utilize our funds effectively. I refused the solicitation. For that same reason, my wife and I will continue to ask for refunds for any canceled concerts rather than donating our concert fees to the DSO’s coffers.

As for the future, my wife and I will absolutely subscribe to the 2011-2012 season AND we will make an additional contribution to the DSO to help provide funding for a fair contract for the musicians. We will do this, however, ONLY IF you embrace the Granholm-Levin proposal and find a way to make it work. Otherwise, we no longer have faith in the organization charged with promoting and preserving the orchestra for future generations. You’re failing miserably at both of those tasks.

Most earnestly yours,

Mark and Mary Honeyman, Rochester Hills

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