Joe Bird, a Craig City Council and Craig Chamber of Commerce Board member, said he’s concerned about the perception of having three council members on the Chamber board.
“I wondered if people would be able to recognize that it’s Craig Steel, (Colorado Northwestern Community College) and Cook Chevrolet representing the Chamber and not three city councilmen,” said Bird, referring to council members Don Jones, Gene Bilodeau and himself, respectively.
Bird, a former Chamber board president, was elected to the city council earlier this month.
Hoping to avoid the perception issue, Bird submitted a letter of resignation to the Chamber board at its regular meeting last week.
Board members opted not to accept his resignation and tabled forming a nominating committee to find his replacement.
Bird said he submitted the resignation letter, which was contingent on him winning a council seat, to board president Mardi Anson in March.
Anson said the board will likely make a formal decision on the resignation at its May meeting.
If Bird stands by the resignation, the board will move forward by forming a nominating committee for the open seat.
Bird said he is not planning to withdraw the letter.
Anson said Chamber officials hope to keep Bird in the fold because of his personality, which was often helpful for mediation.
“He was the outgoing president, and I think everybody has a lot of respect for his opinions and what he does for the board,” she said. “It’s hard (to think) that he has to quit something he’s good at to be part of something else he’s giving his time to in the same community.”
Bird said there are other committees the city wants council members to participate on and he will find other ways to contribute to the community.
“My wholehearted attitude in this is not to vacate something because I got something else, it’s to protect both sides from any accusations,” he said.
Anson said she believes concerns over open meeting laws stemming from the 2011 State of the County event last month played a part in Bird’s decision.
Bird said the Chamber’s unwillingness to let him go is flattering.
“That in itself makes me appreciate what we built last year,” he said. “Whether it be with me or without me, I know the board and the staff is strong enough to carry on what we built last year.”
Bird said he’s planning on maintaining his ties with the Chamber and will help the organization when he can.
“I completely believe in what the Chamber does,” he said. “I am very passionate about the Chamber and what they represent in the community, and they know that.”
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