Steven Hofman and Nancy Spillane: Best job in town

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Best job in town

Having just served a four-month term as citizen representatives on the Editorial Board of the Steamboat Pilot & Today, we are writing to thank the newspaper for the opportunity to serve in this capacity and, most importantly, to encourage other members of our community to volunteer for this role.

Twice a week, through its editorial column, the Pilot & Today voices its opinions on issues of consequence to the community. Some are locally based, some are not. The Editorial Board is made up of four members of the Pilot & Today - Suzanne Schlicht, the paper's publisher and general manager of WorldWest LLC; Editor Brent Boyer; city editor Mike Lawrence; and longtime reporter and columnist Tom Ross - and the two citizen representatives. The Editorial Board meets once a week for about two hours.

Being community representatives was a terrific experience. We had the opportunity to voice our opinions as members of the board; we contributed editorial ideas and specific comments on editorial recommendations. We found the process to be highly collaborative, despite board members having different viewpoints owing to their unique experiences, knowledge and philosophical views. The board, including us, represented the full range of political and policy viewpoints from left to right.

In our meetings, no ideas or thoughts were pushed aside. The process of pulling together six opinionated and knowledgeable people, so that differences around the room would dissolve and be resolved, did not produce false or lower-common denominator compromise. Instead, each of us felt that we learned much from our colleagues, and we felt that our voices were equally respected and valued by the permanent board members.

We came to this task believing that the Pilot & Today is a vital institution in our community. We found that the commitment to a sophisticated editorial voice was the foundation of the Pilot & Today's role as a significant member of the Steamboat community. We like to hope that this commitment is not unique among those in the journalism profession. But whether it is or not, we appreciated seeing it work so well from our temporary perch as insiders. We enjoyed keeping our seats warm for the next citizens who will represent this community's voice in the Pilot & Today's thoughtful editorial process.

Steven Hofman

and Nancy Spillane

Steamboat Springs

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