by Larry Lemmons
Amarillo, Texas - The musical drama "Texas" has seen its share of drama the last few years, beginning with the sacking of the Lone Star Ballet's Neil Hess a few years ago, through the "Legacies" era, and last week, the abrupt firing of executive director Bill Anderson.
Several board members resigned on Tuesday in protest over Anderson's firing. Their resignation was a reaction to what they saw as an injustice regarding his termination.
Dale Williams, former Board member says, "Bill Anderson was doing everything you could ask of an Executive Director and to fire Bill for cause without any opportunity for debate or any input on his part was the wrong thing to do."
Bill Anderson says he's "very concerned about the future of Texas."
"He is hands down the best Executive Director we've had," says Wales Madden Junior, an honorary life member of the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation, which operates the show. Madden has been involved with the show from the beginning and says it was an organized attempt to remove Anderson. "It was a cabal composed of Joe Batson and Ben Bynum and others. That's my opinion. I don't have evidence. I have pretty close to evidence. And why they wanted to get rid of him, I think they felt like he was independent of him."
The Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation says the finances were not so clear cut. Shawn Twing, spokesman for the Foundation says, "There's a lot of ways to look at the finances of an organization."
Joe Batson says he pledged a million dollars to the foundation five years ago. He tells us, "It's sad that they resigned. There's been a split on the board...an impasse...in which no consensus could be obtained."
Madden says, "Mr. Batson will be hearing from me pretty shortly...it's easier to talk under oath in court."