Attorney Eileen Buholtz has filed a lawsuit against the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s board. And her filings include a request for a temporary restraining order which, if granted, would postpone today’s annual meeting of the board.
The case has been assigned to State Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Fisher. Buholtz says she expects to have a phone conference with Fisher and a legal representative of the RPO sometime this morning. When we spoke to Buholtz earlier today, a time had not yet been set.
Buholtz is also a member of a six-person dissident slate trying to gain seats on the RPO's board. The slate members are unhappy with the direction of the RPO, particularly the decision to terminate Music Director Arild Remmereit’s contract two years early.
Buholtz says that neither the board nor the board's executive committee properly set the membership deadline that determines who can vote for board candidates; the deadline was December 21. She says she wants the annual meeting delayed until the board formally sets a deadline.
The dissidents are running as a slate of write-in candidates, which the board's bylaws do not prohibit, she says. Buholtz says she also wants the judge to compel the RPO to give her the names and contact information for all RPO members. In the filing, she says she's entitled to contact the members to inform them of their right to write in a candidate, and that she wants also to inform them about the dissident slate.
The board's annual meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. today. Members are due to elect eight board members. The RPO board has nominated eight candidates: William Cherry, Patrick Fulford, Marie Kenton, Dawn Lipson, Katherine Schumacher, Mark Siwiec, Ingrid Stanlis, and Eugene Toy.
The alternate slate is Buholtz, Edward Fiandach, Sandra Frankel, Ray Grosswirth, Hobart Lerner, and John Lovenheim.
Here's a copy of Buholtz's complaint: