No editorial board can function without the candid input, frame of reference and dedication of volunteer community members who season the stew of debate by providing a wider spectrum of points of view.
The Idaho Statesman has been served well throughout its history by dozens of men and women who help us shape opinions that we hope stimulate thought among our leaders about what is best for Boise, the Treasure Valley, Idaho and the West.
Whenever we make changes to the Idaho Statesman editorial board, I like to make you aware of them. That’s because, chances are, our community members are among your friends, neighbors and associates. Today I want to note some arrivals and departures.
I am delighted to announce that Mike Wetherell and Bill Myers accepted our invitations to join the board as community members for at least a one-year term.
Wetherell, of Boise, who retired last year after a distinguished career as a judge in Idaho’s 4th District, has also served on the Boise City Council (including as president), as chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party and as a candidate for a number of state offices. Wetherell, who grew up in Mountain Home, has a lengthy list of community service that covers an amazing range of local and regional boards. His community connections, judicial knowledge and broad range of experience will enrich our group discussions.
Myers, also of Boise, is a partner at the law firm Holland & Hart and has received numerous “Best of” accolades from his legal peers. His previous achievements include serving as solicitor of the U.S. Interior Department during the George W. Bush administration. He was the chief legal officer and third-ranking official in the department, where he supervised an office of more than 300 attorneys nationwide. Myers is well versed in many of the contemporary issues our board faces, including natural resources, the environment, energy, public lands and American Indian law.
After more than a year of great service and counsel to our board, former Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa leaves us — sort of. Ysursa’s sense of Idaho legislative and election history, along with his keen instinct for fairness, have been invaluable during his tenure as we deliberated many sensitive topics. He has left me with his phone number, email and Basque blessing. He will remain among a long list of community member “emeritus” personalities on my “contacts” list.
So, moving forward, our editorial board will be yours truly; Idaho Statesman Publisher Debra Leithauser; and community members Wetherell, Myers, Martin Peterson, Angela Nelson and Sophie Sestero. We have our work cut out for us as the Idaho Legislature begins to wrap up its session and as we contemplate a year of elections at all levels.
We most often meet at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays at the Statesman — though that can change in order to accommodate the schedules of stakeholders we wish to visit with and interview.
Throughout the past month a number of citizens have accepted our open invitation to join us during one of our meetings. If you would like to join us, contact the publisher’s assistant, Heather Harradine, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speaking of elections, and letters to the editor endorsing candidates ...
▪ We’re looking forward to Idaho’s first opportunity to vote in 2016 — the March 8 GOP and Constitutional Party presidential primaries. This nominating event is a closed election for the GOP, which means you must be a registered Republican in order to vote. You can register with the GOP the day you vote. The regular Idaho primary for all other offices/races is May 17.
▪ When the March 22 Idaho Democratic caucus rolls around, Democrats, unaffiliated voters and those of other parties will be allowed to participate as long as they did not vote in the March 8 primary.
▪ Watch for our 2016 Online Voters Guide, which will evolve throughout the year.
▪ All letters to the editor endorsing candidates or issues will be limited to 100 words. Even though our online letters submissions template allows for up to 200 words, we will publish only up to 100 for election endorsement letters, beginning today through the November general election, simply because of the volume.