Insanity back home

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I don’t read my hometown newspapers as often as I would like. Therefore, the recent news that the Chamber of Commerce board refused executive director Nicole Robbins’ request for a three month working leave of absence comes as a shock. I know the board members, and I’m left wondering how they possibly arrived at their decision.

From a purely practical standpoint, how long will it take to begin a search for a new director, conduct interviews, and hire somebody? After that, wait for the new director to learn about the community, the chamber members, the state of Grant County’s economic prospects, etc. Three months with a director who is out of town but working is nothing compared to the loss of institutional knowledge and good will among chamber members.

But setting that aside, what kind of example does the board set? By the response expressed by the chamber members who attended last week’s meeting, I would say Nicole has the support of the community. One could surmise that their support was earned. Indeed, I’ve never heard anything but praise for her performance as director. Nicole sought an amicable way of addressing some personal problems while continuing her work for the Chamber. Who hasn’t been a similar position?

The board’s message to its membership is thus pretty straightforward: “When the chips are down, don’t count on us…”