Showing posts with label Amy Medrick. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amy Medrick. Show all posts

Monday, April 20, 2020

Grace Church Posts Parish Administrator Job Description

Before we go further, let me say this upfront: As someone who is perhaps the most vociferous critic of Grace Episcopal, the clergy perjury parish, particularly during the final years of perjuring priest Bob Malm’s reign, I like much what I see coming out of the parish. That will come as a surprise to many, but fair is fair.

In that vein, the church recently posted the parish administrator job position  and it contains promising signs. Among these is the fact that the job description (JD) emphasizes equally the “soft skills” of integrity, dependability, and interpersonal skills, versus the technical skills required for the position.

Seemingly gone are the days when church staff could, with Bob Malm’s tacit and express support, yell at church members, curse them, lie about them, and more. Of course, none of that behavior should come as a surprise at a church where the diocese, bishops, vestry, and parish membership supported perjuring priest Bob Malm and his toxic behavior.

In recent years, things got a little better, but Amy “Middle Finger” Medrick certainly was no slice of paradise. Whether it was her falsely opining on what constitutes active church membership in contravention of church canons, her involvement in Bob Malm’s bullying, or flipping off protestors, Amy was a prime example of all that is wrong with Grace Church. That said, she did clean up the office and finally put in place a useful church management application. That stands in marked contrast with the Charlie Foxtrot that was the system used by Beth Wiggers and Charlotte Payne Wright. And Amy did manage to avoid some of the extremes of behavior that led to the current meltdown.

It’s also true that the church still has not wrapped its arms around facilities management. In light of Amy’s experience in affordable housing, she certainly was more than capable of doing better in this area. Yet despite the replacement of the HVAC systems, the church is reverting to type when it comes to preventive maintenance, which is to ignore emerging issues in favor of deferred — and inherently more costly — maintenance.

It’s also worth noting that the parish’s decision-making processes likely remain flawed. For example, the decision to run the HVAC system after the rupture of the underground line between the church and Merrow Hall was a debacle — yet one that few if any in the church recognize. Specifically, despite express warnings to the contrary, the church ran the system without flushing the lines, resulting in the accelerated failure of several air handlers and other pieces of equipment. Had the church been more prudent, it probably could have managed a couple more years with the incumbent system. 

That underscores a key point, which is that despite years of warnings, the church still has no replacement reserve study, and thus no meaningful plan to address capital expenditures, or capex. As a result, the church remains awash in an endless sea of reactive responses to its facilities issues. Nor have the half-measure steps taken by the property committee, which include identifying and estimating upcoming expenses, made any difference, for the church saves nothing from its operating budget for future capex. That’s really stupid, as it is virtually a given that the place will be much smaller in 10 years. Yet even as recently as 2014 the church was handing out $100K bonuses to perjuring priest Bob Malm — with the Princess Porcine, aka Lisa Medley, urging the vestry to give Bob $200K! (My guess is that the Princess Porcine doesn’t understand the concept of “private inurement. But then, she’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.)

On a positive note, the JD’s inclusion of social media is promising. Over the years, numerous folks have offered to help the church in this area, including my buddy Dee Parsons, who is known around the world for her work on abusive churches, including coverage of Grace Church and perjuring priest Bob Malm. True to form, Bob Malm ignored Dee’s offer, which is a shame. It’s a shame because folks at Grace don’t realize that announcements online are counterproductive —as in “the most recent sermon is available here.” If that’s your idea of social media, please do all involved a favor and stay off social media. Indeed, to the extent that parishioners like Leslie “Hambeast” Malm and Lisa “Princess Porcine” Medley — and their family members — have tried to wade into that space, the results have been nothing short of disastrous for the church. Yet many in the church have been too clueless to see this.

Ironically, while he is clueless as to social media and technology issues, perjuring priest Bob Malm, with his attention to superficial impressions, most clearly understood the problems the church has faced online. The church’s reputation is profoundly damaged, as is that of the diocese and the Episcopal Church, and that damage is getting worse over time. 

Of course, Bob’s efforts to perjure his way to victory on this front simply made things hundreds of times worse for the church. And the efforts to defend its conduct in court simply tell the world at large that Grace remains mired in its own ethical filth.

At least in the JD folks didn’t pull a Jason Roberson and claim that the place is “growing and flourishing.” It is neither, and to claim otherwise, to put it generously, is misleading. Indeed, at a time when the area population has grown by more than 13 percent over the past ten years Grace is barely managing to hold on. And from 2015 to 2018 alone, the parish lost almost exactly $100,000 of purchasing power. If that is Jason’s idea of growth, I’d like to see what he believes decline looks like.

And turning this situation around is going to require a willingness to take a fresh look at every aspect of the church, including how people interact with each other.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Farewell, Amy “Middle Finger” Medrick

Amy Medrick Alexandria

The recent news that parish administrator Amy Medrick is leaving Grace Church is sad, for in many ways she typified the dysfunction in the church.

From her emailed comments that she was not comfortable with Mike Smith having her personal email address (horrors!), to her on-the-fly and inaccurate expositions of canon law (for example, her statement that it had been many months since Mike and I had been active members of the parish, despite the contrary provisions of the national church), to her flipping me the middle finger while I was out protesting the church’s efforts to drag my dying mother into court, Amy personified the problems in the church. Paranoia, arrogance, marginal competence, lack of compassion and thoroughly un-Christian behavior all rolled into one to form a profoundly ugly package. Even her experience with property management and development made little difference—as I posted earlier, even a casual glance at the church reveals multiple facially obvious problems that are being ignored.

To be fair, Amy did finally get rid of the utterly dysfunctional deployment of ACS, the church management software package previously used. While ACS is best in the business, it is pricey, long-in-the-tooth, and the initial deployment and subsequent maintenance at Grace was a total Charlie Foxtrot. In short, exactly what you would expect under perjuring priest Bob Malm’s reign of dysfunction. Indeed, discussions about how to fix that sordid mess were under way in 2011, yet it was not until shortly before perjuring priest Bob Malm’s departure in 2019 that the new Breeze software was deployed — a telling indicator of just how inept things were under Bob Malm.

Fair winds and following seas, Amy. And even when you’re gone, don’t hesitate to flip me off in public. Nothing like truth in advertising when it comes to The Episcopal Church.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Grace Church Still Amateur Hour When it Comes to the Physical Plant, Demonstrates Poor Stewardship

 Burst HVAC line due to non-code compliant underground line, resulting from inadequate supervision of 1994 vendor

Mold in record storage closet due to chronic HVAC leak

One of the things that’s really troubling about Grace Church is the sloppy stewardship it demonstrates when it comes to the resources entrusted to it. This particularly is true when it comes to the physical plant.

Even a cursory review of the outside of the building reveals that the photo cells are burned out on the LED floodlights outside the library and the can lights outside the lower entrance. While the lights are LEDs and thus use relatively little electricity, there’s no point in wasting the latter. Moreover, replacing the photocells is something almost anyone can do, and it’s not expensive.

There’s also evidence of badly done repairs, including the stone cap for one of the buttresses facing Russell Road, which was reattached with cement, versus mortar. The caulking is poorly done in the columbarium using products of varying colors, weeds are rampant, and much of the clearing work Deborah Crabtree and her volunteers did is not being maintained.

Nor has the church maintained a list of vendors. For example, there’s ample documentation on how to reach the mason who originally built the church. He charges rock-bottom rates (no pun intended), since they are repairs for a structure he built, and he redid the slate outside the old narthex back in 2013. Yet when the steps were repaired, no one appeared to know who did the work when the damaged slate areas were recently repaired. Why?

Meanwhile, I’m prepared to bet that the necessary annual maintenance hasn’t been performed on the hot water heater. This inevitably results in rapid failure for instant-on heaters like the one serving the complex.

Of course, there are issues with other deferred maintenance, including:
  • Rotting rake boards and exterior trim.
  • Double-pane windows from the 1994 construction project, all of which are past actuarial life.
  • The two EPDM roofs, both of which are at actuarial end of life.
  • The Merrow Hall roof, which was a half-baked job to begin with, and is at end of actuarial life.
  • The new narthex roof, which is overdue for replacement.
  • The parking lot lights, which are at end of actuarial life and technologically obsolete; replacement with LEDs would pay for themselves within a year.
  • The parking lot and circle, which are overdue to be repaved. I had planned for donations to cover the cost, but stupid behavior on the part of Chris Byrnes made the project impracticable.
  • Original copper plumbing, all of which is at end of actuarial life.
  • Existing original wiring under the choir loft, in the library, and in the nave/chancel. This is old and potentially hazardous.
  • The original elevator, drastically overdue for a rehab.
  • The finish work in the bathrooms, updated in 1994, is at end of actuarial life and looking very dated.
  • The stamped concrete floor in the nave (not actually slate) needs to be resealed.
Speaking of energy efficiency, replacement of the HID lights in the parking lot, including the parapet floodlights; the post lamps in front of the church; and in the auditorium would greatly reduce energy use and pay for the project in less than a year. And while energy efficiency improvements are less dramatic when it comes to fluorescents, deployment of plug-and-play LEDS in the coffer lights throughout the building would reduce carrying costs and energy consumption. In addition, doing so would free up labor for other, more important issues.

Even worse, to my knowledge no one has followed up on David Adams’ recommendation to do a replacement reserve study. As a result, there are still hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of work that will be needed in the next five years, and the vestry and other parish leadership has, at best, an amorphous understanding of these issues. (It’s also worth mentioning that I paid for a professional capital reserve study in 2014 out of my own funds, but did not give it to the church due to bad behavior by Bob Malm, Lisa Medley, Alison Campbell and Jan Spence. Too bad, so sad, but if you’re going to act like idiots, I’m not going to help you.)

Much of this work is of much higher priority than the stained glass windows, but with no formal replacement reserve study, these decisions are made based on the whim du jour. Further, the parish has absolutely no concept of aligning anticipated expenditures with saving—the two are entirely unconnected, and when they converge, it’s a purely tactical event.

What’s particularly troubling is that Amy Medrick has property development and management experience. Thus, as parish administrator, these are the sorts of issues she should be championing. Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time before the completely expected issues with the HVAC systems, which caught the parish by surprise because folks had been wandering around with their heads in the sand, are replicated elsewhere in the building. And while I like Paul Bellantoni and his family, his time would be better spent worrying about the physical plant, versus taking pictures of me.

Of course, this is a long-standing issue with the parish. Much like the flooding in the boiler room for the nave, which was ignored for years and resulted in a section of wall collapsing, the church treats these issues as out of sight, out of mind.

The reality, however, is that deferred maintenance is inevitably more costly than preventive maintenance. In fact, the latter often increases the cost hundreds of times over, like the cost of waterproofing masonry versus allowing it to spall, decay and collapse. Yet the church appears indifferent to the need to be a faithful steward of its resources, despite claims by the church to the contrary.
Spalling and corroding rebar, which will eventually cause collapse 

Nave furnace room flooding and mold

Saturation of interior trim due to flooding resulting in mold
Leaking parapet resulting in drainage three stories below
 Avian nest, fecal material and urine in sacristy ceiling create risk of disease transmission 
Uninsulated sacristy ceiling is profoundly energy inefficient and creates uneven temperature 
Severe molding of dropped ceiling in vesting rooms due to deteriorated/missing insulation on HVAC refrigerant lines

Rust, mold and decaying organic material near air handler

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

See for Yourself: Amy Medrick’s Potentially Defamatory Email

In yet another email, Grace parish administrator Amy Medrick decides to start tossing around allegations of harassment, either without knowing what the word means, or with possibly defamatory intent. 

Newsflash Amy: 
  1. Bloggers enjoy the same First Amendment rights as do other journalists and publications.
  2. Commenting, however often or noisily, about someone’s behavior does not qualify as “harassment.”
Pretty much in keeping with Amy’s false assertions about membership in The Episcopal Church, in which she claimed that Mike and I had “not been active members of the church for many months.” Or her inability to spell my last name.

Monday, September 3, 2018

See for Yourself: Amy Medrick’s Paranoia

Here’s an interesting one. In an email to Dysfunctional Bob and Jeff “Sugarland” Chiow, parish administrator Amy Medrick shows that she’s more than a little paranoid: Horror of horrors, Mike emailed her on her personal account! 

Sounds to me like Amy is feeling some very appropriate guilt over her support for Bob’s campaign of shunning, which expressly included Mike.

And just like the other actors in the ongoing saga of life at St. Dysfunction, the one thing you never see is any sort of Christian conduct on Amy’s part. Yet no doubt on Sundays, as she’s hanging out at St. Clement’s, she believes she’s a faithful Christian.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

See for Yourself: Email from Amy Medrick to Google

Here’s an interesting one, in which Amy Medrick claims I’m harassing the church. Leaving aside the fact that Amy clearly doesn’t know what the word means, you really have to wonder about any parish administrator who can’t manage to figure out how to spell her parishioners’ names.