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Editorial for June 12, 2008

Getting it wrong

The Husum-BZ Corner Community Council -- and council members Jim Fritchey and George Mesereau in particular -- deserve an apology.

In the lead editorial in the May 29 issue of The Enterprise ("Resolve voting process"), I wrote that these two incumbent council members had retained their council positions after last November's elections were postponed. (Those elections were put on hold due to confusion over who was living within the Community Council's newly-drawn boundaries, and because Klickitat County went to all-mail balloting -- when that happened, it necessitated changes in the way the various community councils elected their council members.)

However, we have since learned that the two council members -- Mersereau and Fritchey -- had removed themselves from Community Council deliberations.

"We haven't served on the board since the end of December," explained Fritchey. "We've been there in the meetings, but sitting in the audience. We have not served in any manner since our terms expired."

I don't like to get the facts wrong, and I want to set the record straight on this. Writing that they had retained their council positions was in error, and I apologize to both men and to the Husum-BZ Community Council.

Beyond that, on a further note, we want to point out that those who serve on community councils do not get paid for their time. These people are volunteers, and they take time to work on issues that can often become controversial. No matter which direction a council takes, there will be those who disagree. As a result, council members sometimes take a lot of heat, and it's not always fair. Yet they work hard and to the best of their abilities in communities such as Husum-BZ, Trout Lake, Snowden, Glenwood, Lyle, Dallesport, and many other places around Klickitat County.

Members of these councils generally don't get much recognition for their work, although they certainly deserve it.

There is a related update on this particular story: The Husum-BZ Community Council has now sent out ballots for the two open seats on the council. There are three candidates for the two positions -- George Mersereau, Jim Tindall, and Jim Fritchey. The top two vote-getters will be elected to serve on the council. Those living within the Husum-BZ Community Council's boundaries have until June 27 to return their ballots.



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