Letter: Editorial board service was valuable experience

We have just ended our four-month stint as voluntary community members on the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s editorial board. We met weekly for about an hour at the Pilot’s offices and participated in the creation of 15 different editorials. Our experience greatly exceeded our expectations, and we would encourage fellow valley citizens to consider devoting their time to this worthy activity.

Yes, we were short-lived members of the editorial board, but we were never treated that way. Each week we were equal contributors to the process of selecting editorial subjects, crafting editorial content and reviewing and finalizing what was published in the paper. 

Our editorial subjects ranged from immediate to long-tern policy questions, including the vote on West Steamboat annexation, the upcoming school bond issue and our community’s future approach to marijuana commercial expansion. We also addressed less controversial but important community matters such as putting a spotlight on the need for greater civility in public debate, acknowledging the vital role that public employees and volunteerism plays in our community and reminding citizens how we coexist in our environment with our often-present bear population.

You would be wrong in thinking we approached each editorial subject with each of us, plus Lisa Schlichtman, the Pilot’s editor, and Logan Molen, the Pilot’s publisher, initially agreeing on what the Pilot should say and recommend in each of its editorials. In fact, we used our time together to explore each subject, understand our differences and find ways to bridge our initial thoughts to reach sensible conclusions and common ground.

The Pilot is our community newspaper. Its editorials are an added voice in political, policy and community issues that matter to us all.  The fact that there is an institutional commitment by the Pilot to ensure citizen partnership in its editorials reflects well on the paper and its leadership. 

We appreciated the opportunity to have a seat on the editorial board and recommend to all readers that, as we said above, if you have an itch to serve our community, this would be a valuable and enjoyable use of your time. And, perhaps like us, you’ll walk away from this experience with a far greater appreciation that many issues are close and difficult calls and that no one advocate has all of what is right on their side.

Steve Hofman and Robin Stone

Steamboat Springs

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