Sequim chamber severs dialogue with opposition group

SEQUIM — The Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce board will communicate no more with its loudest critics, board president Walt Schubert said Monday.

“We’re done,” he said of the Concerned Chamber Committee. “We’re going to move forward.”

To Schubert, moving ahead means mailing out ballots for the election of seven new directors. The ballots may go out to chamber members at the end of this week, Schubert estimated.

The new officials will join him and the four others who could be called the chamber’s old guard.

For the past nine weeks, the board has been under fire from the CCC, an opposition group that has demanded more responsive, financially accountable chamber leadership.

It erupted from the early January firing of Executive Director Lee Lawrence, a former Sequim Citizen of the Year who held the post for fewer than six months.

Some 150 people attended a March 20 meeting during which interim board members Hattie Dixon, Annette Hanson, Mike McAleer, Deborah Rambo Sinn, Ron Gilles and Schubert won their own election.

The vote was 84 to 69 to keep them. After the balloting, Sinn announced a slate of 21 nominees for the open board seats.

Chamber members were invited to nominate other candidates, and seven petitions had come in by the midnight Sunday deadline, Sinn said.

She declined to name the candidates, saying the board still had to verify that they — and those who nominated them — are chamber members in good standing.

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