It's time for "Full Disclosure"

I think that's the name of a movie, isn't it? Anyway, this editorial is to allay fears that I am doing subversive, secretive work in the Valley. No, I am not trying to sell my half-acre parcel to Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, nor am I running for city office.

But that is not the real reason I titled this editorial "full disclosure." Last week, during an interview between Ben Cape, our illustrious reporter, and Ed Carlson, North Bend City Council member, a comment was made that yours truly, me, had a conflict of interest stemming from my position as Chamber president for Snoqualmie Valley and writing editorials. Hmmm, I thought long and hard about that and even called Ed back to disagree with him. It is nice that Ed and I can disagree and still have an interesting conversation, at least from my point of view.

Ed was concerned that people might not know that I am the Chamber president and that my point of view might be affected by serving as president of an organization that is pro-business.

So let me fully disclose that, yes, I am president of the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce. This 200-plus member business organization was formed for one vision: to promote business in Snoqualmie Valley. From that vision comes an emphasis on tourism, governmental affairs and a network of businesses helping each other to survive and prosper. I fully support the mission statement of the Chamber in my capacity as its president.

Small businesses are the largest employer in the United States and have long been a backbone in this community. When Little League makes the rounds for sponsorship, it is many of the Chamber businesses that provide donations to assure that the next season can happen. When the high-school booster club needs money for a piece of equipment or wants donations for a fund-raiser, it's these same small businesses that are there to pitch in and get things done. I would venture to say that donations typically don't come in for these types of charities from the big-box stores.

With that said, it also needs to be disclosed that I have opinions, as do most of you. In the newspaper, I try to keep a broad understanding of issues and illustrate things on a larger scale. But as Chamber president, my message will be clear and unwavering: Support local businesses.

Honestly, Councilman Carlson and I had a good conversation and I fully respect his position, which is likely echoed by several other council members. I think we can disagree and still respect the other's input. The purpose of editorials within the pages of the Valley Record are to raise questions and concerns for many things, including government, environmental issues, economic health, employment stability, etc.

Remember, an editorial is an opinion by the writer and nothing more. If it instigates thought and discussion, then it serves its purpose. Editorials should never be taken personally, nor should any response to an editorial. That's one reason we limit rebuttals on the editorial page because at that point, parties usually are getting personal and it resembles peeing in the wind.

While I am disclosing, maybe it should be noted that I am vice president of the Mount Si High Alumni Association, a member of the high school's vocational advisory committee, board member of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and a coach of middle-school football. I could disclose the things that I have been a member of in the past, but that would be kind of boring. Heck, a list of things I am still involved with might be kind of boring.

I hope this clears up any confusion and fully discloses my involvement in any secret activities.

Seriously, we need to focus on the issues rather than the players. Opinion isn't focused on what individual did what, it's focused on issues or concerns reflected in the community.

By the way, if you are a business and not involved in the Chamber, give me a call. It's a great group of people.

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