Chamber moves forward with board election

Amid continuing controversy, the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce is pushing ahead with an election for seven seats on its board of directors.

According to interim chamber president Walt Schubert, ballots were sent to all chamber members in good standing on April 7. Returned ballots must be postmarked by April 15. Dave Wiitala of Sequim Bible Church, acting as an objective third party, will count the votes.

There are 25 candidates running for positions on the board. Chamber members could be nominated by submitting a petition with at least 10 signatures from fellow members by March 30.

The election was announced during a March 20 chamber meeting where members were asked to vote on chamber matters, including removal of the standing board. The membership voted 84-69 to retain the board, which is seeking to fill seven vacancies.

Following the March 20 meeting, members of a group called the Concerned Chamber Committee, which had requested the special meeting, claimed that some attendees were ineligible to vote and some nominees were ineligible to run for the board. According to Schubert, under the guidance of chamber attorney Alan Millet, the board made the decision to move forward with the election. The Concerned Chamber Committee was formed in January following termination of former executive director Lee Lawrence. Gil Simon, spokesman and co-chairman of the committee, was unable to be reached for comment.

Schubert said the board also is moving forward with a financial audit — as requested by the membership — which will specifically look for fraud. The audit should be completed in six weeks. According to Schubert, board secretary and treasurer (and past president) Hattie Dixon is compiling a list of the chamber’s current expenses, including $600 for a stenographer for the March 20 meeting and payment to Millet, who also was present. Schubert said both were necessary.

“It was necessary to have our attorney there so we didn’t jump off a cliff,” Schubert said.

The Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce board nominees are: Dale Barrell, Ron Bell, John Carson, Scott Clausen, Jacques Dulin, Robin Ferre, Ron Ferre, Dorothy Gonzalez, Allen Grant, Liz Beth Harper, Linda Harvey, Bill Head, Bill Humphrey, Damien Humphreys, Bill Littlejohn, Charles Martin, Deena Poole, Stephen Rosales, John Rosaschi, Gil Simon, Karen Spence, Bill Thomas, Keven Wall, Matt Wech, Emily Westcott.

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