In regard to recent media editorials about leadership positions within our community, I have the highest respect for our media and their ownership in this community. I have attended countless meetings, and been a part of interviews and articles with both The Signal and KHTS executive and amazing support teams. I am impressed with the culture and passion of both organizations. I think it is time we look at the issue that arose out of the recent City Council and Parks and Recreation position assignments, and focus on the true issue, not any centrifuging of the issue. Some 50 people signed the application for the City Council position, and assuming they did their homework, were well aware of the fact that by putting their name in for a City Council position, they were pledging an extraordinary commitment to our community. Trust me, I thought long and hard before I signed that application. I don’t know how many applied for the Parks and Recreation position, but my thought is that it was equally committed individuals. I know the “mom from Newhall” I had written a reference letter for, and I know how sad she was when she saw that the person recruited into the position had not initially even thought to apply. My biggest fear in our community is what we have seen as the aging and spreading thin of many of our boards and committees, and the challenge we all have as chairs and members of various boards and committees in attracting new, energized people to serve our community and our causes. If you go to a major fundraiser in our community, there is a good chance that you will see many of the same people attending the events, and many of our board members are involved in many local boards and committees. We need to explore ways of inviting more people into community support. The recent concern that important positions are essentially assigned, versus earned, creates a major red flag for people interested in joining our community leadership. Hearing that the City Council position, perhaps, already had a ringer lined up did not sit well with me. As an applicant, I felt that I had wasted an extraordinary amount of my time preparing for and committing myself to the personal and financial impact that this role would have on me, my family, and my company. My family and business partner were behind me but, likely, had I received the position, I was going to need to retire from my position as CEO at AMS Fulfillment, and possibly give up my role in the two organizations that I chair. These are commitments, after thinking long and hard, I was willing to make. Personally, I am not bitter. I will continue to have plenty to do with the areas of our community in which I am involved. I’ll just leave the politics to others. It’s the other people I worry about. The applicants who felt they did not have a chance to have their voices heard, and resolve to not try that again, and the even bigger community of individuals who read the recent editorials and turn to their significant other and say – “This is why I don’t bother getting involved in this community.” The Signal and KHTS – your hearts are in the right place. Please continue to use your wonderful voice for our community to share how people can get involved. And to our political leadership – please look for ways to encourage and embrace our citizens into leadership positions. We truly have a wonderful community, and we need to open our doors to the extraordinary talent that resides in the Santa Clarita Valley. This is not an issue we “divide and conquer,” but instead one that we all must address together.