It is a sad but real situation when you find and report an act that is or appears to be improper. That I reported on the somewhat irregular dealings between the Bayview Chamber of Commerce and the Bayview Community Center Foundation as wrong, and tried to in detail and through several interviews of persons that were present,I have been counter attacked.
Somehow, in the embarrassment of doing wrong, several members of the board and their supporters, have sent letters to the editor, vilifying my objectivity and my motives. One such letter will soon appear in the paper. In the quest for objective reporting, the Spokesman-Review prints letters to the editor. That,in and of itself speaks to the idea of fairness.
I have spoken on this blog, and again in print through my columns in the Spokesman-Review, about the miss-handling of the July Fireworks raffle. This is fact, not supposition. A further development, as previously chronicled in this blog, suggested an improper allocation of fireworks funds to another related organization, the Bayview Community Center Foundation. It appears, for the first time in public, that those funds have been returned to the Chamber. That was only learned from one of the angry letter to the editor.
I had hoped that the issue was settled, although there were thoughts of an investigation. Those thoughts were laid to rest when the Foundation board returned these funds to the Chamber. Unfortunately, some of the parties to this action chose to retaliate. That is alright, because that then gives those who disagree with the letter to the editor, which I understand will be published shortly, to voice their opinions, both pro and con.
At this point, I choose, having retired from the field of battle, to rest with the knowledge that I helped avert not one, but two misadventures,To cease, pending future developments, to address this issue. Reporters are not allowed the privilege of reply to those that express their opinions. That, however, does not apply to those that disagree with the letter of intimidation sent to the paper. For me, lacking cause for further action, I have no personal animosity with those that have vilified me through either the remarks on this blog, letters to the editors, or private e-mails, which I received en mass from some of the players that represent the board of directors of the Chamber of commerce.
Those that volunteer for public positions are always subject to review and criticism by the people that elect them, whether as governmental politicians, or community groups. It is time for openness discussion and truth in all dealings, else wise this organization will sink into oblivion, a thing I would truly hate to see. Perhaps it is time for all of us to look into our hearts to discover truth. Not ego trips, not slanted truths but an all working together kind of thing.
It isn't important that we all march in lock step, it's only important that we respect each other and openly communicate. If a board meeting of one or another organization is being held, and the public is invited, is is important that these organizations publish both the times, dates, and agendas of these meetings, so that all interested parties can attend. Setting up votes outside of the formal meetings is wrong, if indeed that happens. If some of you reject cooperation between other community organizations, I will oppose you. Cliques are even though not formal are an abysmal thing. It has been brought forth that nobody wants to serve, thence here we are, doing the best we can. I challenge that premise. I know of several stalwart community members that happen to belong to other organizations that would love to participate, if only the in crowd would make way.
The old saw,"we can hang together, or hang separately" is as true today as it was back when those words were spoken, during the debate to declare independence, in 1776. Backbiting, while not a real problem in large cities, becomes a horrendous problem in small towns and villages. When one moves into a small rural area from the city, they need to modify their standards to a different set of circumstances.Those that can't seldom stay very long.
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