To the editor:
I'd like to know where the Berkshire Museum trustees came up with the magic number of $55 million? What urgent repairs and renovations must be done to the South Street building, and how much will they cost? Will any more half-million-dollar, no-bid contracts be given to a trustee? How much of an endowment does the museum believe it must have compared to the Albany Institute of History and Art, which gets by on much less? How have they budgeted for their new programing, whatever it may be?
After removing the costs of repairs and the establishment of an endowment, how much money will be left? Doesn't the museum need another $8 million, or do the trustees just want it because it's dangling in front of their faces?
Is any of that money earmarked to hire a real art expert and art conservators in place of the "collections experience office," whatever that means? What does it mean? Is there anyone in the building who knows about art and history? Or technology?
How much money is being given to Van Shields to disappear? How much will a search cost (they're not cheap)?
How many pledges were made to the museum on the assurance that the New Vision would be built? How much money have current and past trustees donated to the museum — one of the obligations of serving on a board. Do any of the board members have art credentials?
These are straightforward questions to which the new interim director, or the paid-spokeswoman (how much was she paid?) can provide early and straightforward answers.