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April 07, 2011 7:19 am

EDITORIAL: Stable leadership needed for Merc and chamber

Written by Don Amend

The coincidental firings of both the director of the Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce and the manager of The Merc in the same week is troubling.

Both positions have been unstable in recent years after long periods of stable leadership. Kim Dillivan, who was hired only last spring, is the third director of the chamber since 2007, and JoAnne Anderson is the third manager of The Merc to be terminated in fewer than 18 months.

Neither the chamber board nor The Merc board would give any reason for its action, which is customary and proper in personnel matters.

Chamber board president Dan Hadden, however, provided some insight into the termination, when he spoke of the chamber’s “downhill slide,” indicating that the board feels the organization has been moving in the wrong direction and needs to seek more input from its members. While no similar comments came from The Merc board, it could reasonably be assumed that it was also due to concern about the direction the store was taking.

Whatever the reasons for the dismissals, the twin vacancies at a time when the economy is still shaky are a concern, because both organizations are important to the Powell community.

Establishing The Merc required a leap of faith and a major commitment by members of the Powell community, and its success is an example of what a town like Powell can do to help itself. It is important to the community because it fills what would otherwise be a big hole on Bent Street and provides an alternative for shoppers. Just as important, it serves as a symbol of Powell’s belief in itself as a community.

For its part, the chamber plays an important role as the face the community presents to businesses and individuals interested in relocating and to those who pass through Powell during the travel season. Just as important, it provides a mechanism for the business community to cooperate in promoting itself and work together for the common good.

Because of their importance, both The Merc and the chamber need strong, stable leadership, and we hope that the recent actions of both boards will enable them to find that leadership in the near future.

1 Comment

  • Comment Link April 07, 2011 9:52 am posted by Disgusted taxpayer

    The entire town needs better stable leadership.Too many "good old boys,and gals" have run this town for too long.Many good people have left Powell because of it too.

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