On these pages for 150 years, The Union has regularly advocated and encouraged community members to share their voices through letters to the editor and op-ed submissions, hoping to provide a wide array of opinions on important issues of local interest.
Over the past few months, The Union’s Publisher Jim Hemig and Editor Brian Hamilton have taken steps that we believe will open the door to a more complete community conversation on the newspaper’s Ideas & Opinions pages, as well as with its editorial board meetings.
Since early 2013, when The Union formed an editorial board for the first time in more than a decade, members of the newspaper’s staff have filled more than half the seats at the table.
In addition to the editor and publisher, Community Reporter Cory Fisher, Features Editor Brett Bentley, Sports Editor Walter Ford, Events and Sponsorship Manager Mary Anne Davis, and former Senior Accountant Shannon Cotter have all served as board members.
We thank them all for their efforts in re-establishing The Union Editorial Board and sharing the newspaper’s own voice in the community.
Today, we are pleased to announce The Union is expanding its board membership, and bringing more nonstaff members to the table in order to establish a more community-based editorial board.
The Union has consistently stated on these pages that when the community focuses its attention on local issues, we are often able to rise above the fray of partisan politics because we all so greatly value this beautiful place we call home.
Although we certainly often disagree on issues, and how to resolve them, we believe that through a civil conversation focused on the issue at hand, our community can come together to actually make things happen on a local level.
And to that end, we are about to embark on a bit of an experiment.
Can 15 people, with a wide array of political perspective, come to the table for a conversation not based primarily in their politics, but in what they believe to be what is best for our community?
We believe so.
Both Hemig and Hamilton will remain as board members, along with Davis, as three members of The Union staff. Also remaining on board will be current members George Boardman, Cheryl Cook, R.L. Crabb, Robert Erickson and Lynn Wenzel.
We now also welcome new members Andy Burton, Nancy Eubanks, Rachel Helm, George Horrigan, Stan Meckler, Norm Sauer and Reinette Senum.
In coming days, we will offer our board members the opportunity to introduce themselves to the community in their own words, although certainly some members are more well-known than others, and share why they signed on to join The Union Editorial Board.
We don’t expect to have 15 people come to a consensus on the issues we discuss and present to our community through The Union’s “Our View” editorials.
But we do expect our editorials to examine issues in a way that presents a more complete conversation, including the concerns shared by those members who are not in agreement with the position being stated in a given editorial.
As we move forward with our board members to discuss important local issues, we also continue to encourage the rest of the community to join the conversation in this public forum The Union has provided to our community through these pages for the past 150 years.
This editorial represents the views of The Union Editorial Board, which is comprised of members of The Union staff, as well as informed members of the community.