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To the editor:
I think there has been some misleading information
conveyed about the Unified Organizations Committee (UOC), which is a
group that has been working to unite our local organizations by
combining them into a single, more efficient organization.
There has been much grandstanding regarding financials playing a
part in how the votes for the new organization's board members are
being allocated. Finances are commonly used to represent the size of
an organization or business and can also be an indication of the
scope of programs they administer. Additionally, the current
structure is partially based on similar principles. For instance,
board representation for the Economic Development Partnership (EDP)
is determined partially by funding levels. Would the city of Lincoln
maintain their four seats on that board if they withdraw their
funding? There is no perfect way to divide votes between the
organizations and communities. This was discussed and debated at
length in the working sessions, but consensus was reached on the
method chosen being the most fair and equitable.
I've also seen comments that EDP didn't have enough input in the
process. The last 2-day working session with our consultant yielded
two important takeaways: how to vote for the new board and the
formation of a nominating committee that will evaluate applications
and narrow down the list of candidates to be voted for. There were
14 people in those sessions. 8 of the 14 were either EDP board
members or were invited by EDP - more than any other organization.
The nominating committee consists of five members, three from the
UOC picked during that session, and two from the general community.
The two from the community were each suggested by representatives
from EDP. How much input would have been enough?
It is unfortunate that many of the individuals speaking publicly
about the problems with the UOC have not-so-secret personal issues
with the leaders of some of the organizations involved. Baseless,
overly critical comments are little more than a distraction. I'm not
sure what a "Pac-man defense" or some "reinsurance industry" funding
a super PAC has to do with a group of local people trying to bring
our community together and work more efficiently.
[to top of second column in this letter]
As someone who was born and raised here, lives here now with my
family, and has been active in local organizations for the past few
years, I am invested in seeing our community thrive.
The UOC is simply about a group that wants to ensure we are putting
our best foot forward as a community. Here are a few reasons why I
think bringing the Chamber, Main St., Tourism, and economic
development under one roof has the potential to be a positive
1. One cohesive staff with a focused vision will be more efficient
and better serve our community.
2. The newly formed board with seven engaged members should be much
more effective and accountable than four boards with roughly 75
3. The newly formed organization will eliminate any sense of
competition between existing organizations that are ultimately
supposed to work toward similar goals.Change is difficult, whether
it is in our personal lives, our professional lives, or within the
communities in which we live. Hard questions need to be asked before
changes occur; however, constantly focusing only on the negatives
will hinder our progress as a community. I believe it is possible to
hold leaders accountable while at the same time maintaining a level
of trust and understanding that they are using the information they
have available to make the best decisions they can - and for the
This is a time of year when we have much to celebrate. In a few days
the air will be filled with balloons and the smell of barbeque.
Ultimately, the best way for our community to prosper is to move
forward together in a positive, optimistic manner.
August 15, 2014]
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