Robert Ehlert: Idaho Statesman editorial board welcomes new volunteers

rehlert@idahostatesman.comFebruary 11, 2014 

Since my arrival here 10 months ago, I have been blessed with serving alongside some excellent community members on our editorial board.

In addition to getting out into the community, Publisher Mike Jung and I reach out to regular citizens/readers to serve six- to 12-month terms on our editorial board.

We depend on these volunteers:

- To alert us to issues and initiatives going on in the state and region.

- To help us form our positions for the "Our View" editorials that appear in these pages.

- To remind us of contemporary and historical circumstances that should guide our role to inform the public.

This week we are officially transitioning two new members onto the editorial board: Rob Perez, president of Northwest Bank in Boise; and Angie Nelson, director of community relations for Les Bois Credit Union operations in the area.

We got to know Rob while he served on the Greater Boise Auditorium District Board. He has an impressive grip on financial matters and a heart to serve his community. In addition to GBAD, he has been in leadership positions with the Saint Alphonsus Foundation Board and Feed the Gap.

In Angie Nelson we knew we would be working with someone plugged into the community: in her community relations work with the credit union, but also through her volunteer work with Idaho National Guard Family Programs Youth Services and the YMCA State Youth Government Program. She is also a member of Boise Young Professionals and the Leadership Boise Class of 2015.

Martin Peterson's term with us has been interrupted but will resume when he returns, perhaps sometime in March. Marty, who recently retired as the interim director of the James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research at the University of Idaho, has been active in Idaho public affairs for much of his life. We look forward to his insight as the Legislature winds down and during the upcoming May 20 primary elections.

Becky McKinstry, who came from Meridian to join us last August, will transition off the board later this month. She has been invaluable in pointing out growth and development issues facing Meridian and other points West, and educating us about some of the unmet needs of Treasure Valley senior citizens. She and Marty have a disarming way of asking pointed questions — and demanding complete answers — of the political leaders who pay us a visit. Thanks for your service, Marty and Becky.

In recent weeks we've taken the opportunity to visit with past community members such as Steve Ahrens and Hal Bunderson to ask about the Idaho Statesman's editorial role during the time they served — and even before.

As the Statesman looks ahead to its 150th birthday in July, we want to tap the institutional knowledge of those who were there when big decisions and big political endorsements were made through the decades. Please drop me a line if you want to share a story about how the Statesman's editorial pages played a part through the years.

Robert Ehlert is the Statesman's editorial page editor: 377-6437, or on Twitter @IDS_HelloIdaho.

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