WHO IS THE PROBLEM?
Columbus is the fastest growing region in Ohio. It is also one of the richest.
Arts business produces over $330 million in economic activity in the Columbus area. Thatâ€™s 11,000 jobs.
The musicians of the Columbus Symphony play at a world class level. Other orchestras at this level are paid much higher salaries.
Yet, Robert â€œBuzzâ€ Trafford, president of the Columbus Symphony Board, and a lawyer with Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, thinks the musicians are overpaid and are causing the problem. He has hardly ever attended the Symphony. He also uses Google to figure out how to run a symphony orchestra. He's not interested in the professional and experienced opinions of anyone, unless they agree with his.
Tony Beadle, Executive Director of the Columbus Symphony, and supposedly a leader of the arts, called the orchestra a "dinosaur". He mocked a passionate grassroots support base which was formed to help with the current crisis. Since he came here, the Symphony has taken a nose dive. He is incapable of doing his job effectively.
Tony Beadle and management overspent their own budget by $6.5 million in the past 4 years. Thatâ€™s over $1.6 million community dollars wasted each year. None of this went to pay the musicians.
The musicianâ€™s expenses in the budget went down by $0.9 million in the past 4 years. Yet, the musicians are willing to immediately take a 7% salary cut to save the orchestra.
Buzz Trafford said he would think about accepting a thrid party mediator 3 weeks ago. He still hasn't accepted it. What's he afraid of? He also insists that the musicians pay for half the mediator's fee, something which is unheard of in any musician negotiation. Management pays the fee, because management stands to benefit from the advice of the mediator. The musicians continued to do their jobs of playing music at world class levels. Management needs professional advice to solve the problems they caused and they should pay for it.
Who do you think is the problem?
When a baseball team is losing, who gets fired, the players or the manager?