Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Board sends Fonte away?

This blog has been reliably informed that the General Manager of the local credit union, Silvanius Fontenard, affectionately known as "Fonte," has been asked to vacate his post. His vacation was due to end on February 25th.


This reliable source has also informed the blog that the relationship between the manager and the board of directors has not been too cordial because the inexperienced board never seemed to understand the role of the General Manager in spite of his attempts to clarify this on numerous occasions. This relationship got even worse  since the romour of the manager replacing Rufus in Choiseul reached their ears. Fonte cofirmed that he may not return to work, but categorically denies this rumour, and coins it as pure propaganda aimed at discrediting him. 

Fonte confirms, "It has been very difficult to operate with these people (the board of directors) because of inept approach to the management of the Society and their politically driven actions sparked since the rumour that I could be the replacement for Rufus. As you know this is the furthest thing from my mind but it seems the Labour Party supporters on the Board like . were desperately bent on trying to ruin my reputation."

When asked the question about him being labelled as pro staff, he chuckled and replied, " I was also accused of being pro staff because I recommended that the board pays 5% per year to the staff after an 18 percent growth rate by the credit Union in 2011 and projections of 12-14 percent growth over the next five years. Instead they allowed the negotiations to break down resulting in the staff joining a Trade Union and are angry with them for doing do. I pleaded with a key executive member to help to convince the Board that the staff was uncomfortable with the spirit of the wage negotiations position because the staff had been contemplating joining a union since the tenure of the previous board and I thought this would not be very good for the organization."

Fonte's recommendations were rejected outright. The staff at the institution have since then joined a trade union and this has brought about a very tense relationship between the Board and the staff. It is interesting to note that the General Manager was never consulted or even invited to discussions on the wage matter while the Board held numerous meetings which were unattended by management.

But that is not all. It is also alleged that many delinquent members who Fonte had been pursuing to bring down the union's delinquent debt, were encouraged by certain members of the board of directors to write to the board accusing Fonte of harassment. In 2013, can you believe this? A real soucero job?  Most interestingly, the blog was informed some time ago that Fonte was very highly paid with numerous perks so I asked him about this last year and he informed me that he had never been appointed to the position and had no formal arrangement except for the first six months of his tenure. The salary was less than two thirds of what I was quoted and there was no arrangement for gratuity or any other terminal benefits. As he put it then “My interest in developing the Credit Union to secure the future of this community and so money is not a priority for me. All I want to do is grow the Society, and prepare the staff to manage its affairs in the long term”.

Also, an inside source at the union speaks to rules and protocols being randomly broken some elected officials. Maybe Fonte was seeing too much. One will remember that it was Fonte’s who saved the Credit Union, at the time when there were rumors of maladministration by a past board of directors, as well as the disappearance of funds. (Remember that meeting, when lie after lie was being spewed out by the supervisory committee).

Asking Fonte about his feelings on his dismissal, this is how he responded, "I am not wounded by this because I have wanted to get out for over 15 months and if you remember clearly I did indicate this to you when you interviewed me on the performance of the Society as we approached the last AGM. However, many prominent members who were hearing of the developments were asking me to hang on in the interest of the organization. I will be taking a break for while and will determine my next move over time. My only regret is that I listened to the persons who advised me to stay. I should have left over a year ago so at this point everything would have panned out differently”.

This blog thinks that it will be a sad day for our Credit Union when Fonte goes, only because a few board members want to have their cake and eat it. There, mark this post, will be reprisals.

Something is definitely brewing at this institution and it is hoped that the members will be informed soon. Where there is smoke there is fire.
In closing, one will have to admit that the union has doing remarkably well under Fonte's administrative skills - the annual financial reports speak to that in no uncertain terms - a high level of efficiency by the front desk tellers, - a sense of purpose by the junior staff. Why then should Fonte be asked to leave? A million dollar question which may never be  honestlyanswered.



Anonymous said...

I think instead of sending Fonte away the whole Board needs to go!

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable! Mr Fontenard took this credit union to a level it had never known and will never get too again. I am shocked but I know exactly what is going on, he stood up for all the wrong doings , for all the board members whose families only would get loans they did not even qualify for, for those board members whose kids never pay back a dime towards their loans. When I'm back home I am cleaning out my account, closing it off from this market place credit union.
All the best to you Mr Fonetnard