“Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,

and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

But it shall not be so among you:

but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,

but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, KJV)

The word the Athenians used for their Assembly was Ekklesia, the same word used in the New Testament for Church
(and it is the greatest philological irony in all of Western history that this word,
which connoted equal participation in all deliberation by all members,
came to designate a kind of self-perpetuating, self-protective Spartan gerousia -
which would have seemed patent nonsense to Greek-speaking Christians of New Testament times,
who believed themselves to be equal members of their Assembly.)

- Thomas Cahill, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter


Thursday, May 17, 2012


Mr. Floor, as president of the interim parish council, was recently asked by the director of the St. Sophia School at Prophet Elias to hold off on refinishing the gymnasium floor at Prophet Elias until the conclusion of the current school year at the end of May. Mr. Floor disregarded this sensible request and almost immediately allowed work to begin on refinishing the gym floor. The resultant fumes have caused students and faculty at the school to become ill, and have forced the school to hold classes outside in the pavilion. The situation has generally disrupted academics during the final month of the school year. Some parents have been forced to keep children home, have had to readjust work schedules, etc. Further, the Board of Health was called in to investigate and found the fumes to be highly noxious. Based on the health inspector's recommendations, it was required, last night, that the door be opened, and that fans had to be brought in, further that security had to be arranged for - all, in order to help mitigate the noxious odors. Surely, the well-being of people - especially school children! - ought to have taken precedence over finishing a gym floor!

Mr. Floor claims the issue has been "politicized". If it has, it is he - and ONLY HE - who has caused it to be so! There is nothing "political" or unfair in judging the actions and consequences of actions of one who purports to be our leader. Time and again Mr. Floor  has made arbitrary decisions without considering the potential consequences to others or, ultimately, to the community. (We assume, however, he will be magnanimous! He will, of course, be willing to forgive the people who have complained about headaches and nausea, along with a disrupted school year for children and parents, due to his poor judgment!) If this is the stuff of "leadership", may our Lord please spare us from such "leaders"!

It has also come to our attention that at the Metropolis Council meeting in Denver, on May 5th, the assessment of the Archdiocese for the years 2011 and 2012 for our community was discussed.  Interestingly, it appears that $100,000 has been credited to our community for 2011 from the "cushion" the Metropolis holds (by simply assessing all other communities for our community's debts, along with those of any other community whose assessment might be in arrears) leaving a balance of $37,000 for 2011, plus $146,000 for 2012.

Having been present at the meeting, at what point was Mr. Floor planning on sharing this information with the community?  Surely such information warranted a letter, a blast e-mail - something! - to the members of this community? At our general assembly, the budget shown reflected the entire amount of  $137,000 for 2011.  Oddly enough, our weekly bulletins at church inform us of clergy trips to monasteries, yet Mr. Floor cannot manage to include - somewhere, or anywhere - this extremely important information?  

Additionally, it appears that Mr. Floor may have reached an agreement with the executive board and the finance committee of the Metropolis as to how our community's outstanding balance will be paid.  He's acting in haste. It is not yet known if he will hold any position which would allow him to "negotiate" on behalf of this community's interests in such a discussion. If at the moment he has brokered a "deal", would this not also be important information for Mr. Floor to share with the parishioners of this community - those who ultimately will pay this balance?  The stewards of this community deserve to know exactly what kind of an agreement did Mr. Floor reach?

One would think that having been rebuked over and over again for his past oversights, omissions, mistakes and transgressions, ones that would have compelled in our parents' and grandparents' day a resignation, surely Mr. Floor would have been more circumspect in his judgments and more transparent in his actions. Apparently, not. Clearly we can expect the same old secrecy with Mr. Floor's re-election.

Phill Floor now claims, along with candidates: Mr Mylonakis, Mr. Priskos, Mrs. Kiriev (who should not be allowed to run since her spouse serves as Deacon, but only at P.E.), Mrs. Manatos-Shand, and Ms. Zambos, to be UNITERS

All along the record shows that these particular nominees have worked TIRELESSLY to DIVIDE, NOT UNITE, our communit
y! Let us consider these circumstances when we vote. Let us remember persons who are not in any way supportive of UNITY for our beloved Greek Orthodox Community of Greater Salt Lake.


Alethia Bapis Chatzis said...

As a precaution, we had to relocate the last session of the Saint Sophia Mommy & Me class because of the unfortunate decision Mr. Floor and the "board" made not to wait until after the school year to refinish the gym floors. We were advised that the toxic fumes could be especially harmful to babies toddlers and pregnant moms who participate in the program.

Bill Rekouniotis said...

My understanding is the Health Dept Inspector found no "noxious fumes" with his equipment. Unless someone has a copy of his report that states different. The Inspector did say the doors should be left open at night and with the fans running.
2nd as an expert on "conflict of interest", I was not allowed to run for re-election 17 years ago by Metropolitan Isaiah, because I was an employee of the church. Only once in 4 years did I ever encounter a time where I had a conflict, and that was when a motion was in the middle of year to give me a raise, I abstained. So Margaret Kiriev has every right to run for the Parish Council, her husband Deacon Anatoli is not a paid employee but a volunteer, as far as I know. She will not and cannot vote him raise or enhance his position. Don't believe everything you read or hear.

Elaine Bapis said...

check with the school's principal for the full report. You will find that air quality levels were way beyond what is considered standard for an environment for children, especially since several of them have respiratory conditions, not to mention the harm for adults with similar conditions. Not sure how the health department could have changed its original information given to the principal when she did a walk-through with him.

Bill Rekouniotis said...

I was told by one of the staff at P.E. that he walked through the building with the Health Inspector and that levels were not unsafe. I had no idea about the principal doing a walk through. The bottom line is it should have never been done, more thought and consideration for the safety of all should have been the top priority.