Yampa Valley Data Partners: Nonprofit organization doesn't take positions on political issues

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In response to the article “Ford ends relationship with Data Partners” (Jan. 9 Steamboat Today), Yampa Valley Data Partners (YVDP) is a neutral, non-advocacy, nonprofit organization with the mission of developing collaborative partnerships and to provide relevant, timely data to decision makers. Scott Ford was an independent contractor to the organization who worked closely with YVDP Executive Director Kate Nowak for four years. During this time, Scott represented the organization in numerous public meetings and reports. Scott often attended public meetings wearing the Yampa Valley Data Partner’s name badge. As time went by, Scott was perceived as a voice for Yampa Valley Data Partners.

Because of this perception, Scott’s choice to lead a position on a politically charged issue was interpreted by many as the view of YVDP. Kate’s subsequent conversations with members of the City of Steamboat Springs and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association were to clarify that any political view was solely Scott’s personal view. YVDP is a neutral organization and will not take positions on political issues.

In discussing options with Scott, he made the decision to leave the organization before the final conversation of “we agree to disagree” came about. In fact, before this final conversation could happen, there was an article in the paper about Scott’s resignation from YVDP.

Scott was a valued member of the YVDP organization. We will miss his contributions to the organization and wish him well in his future endeavors.

YVDP Board of Directors

Terry Carwile, Greg Dixson, Tyler Jacobs, Pamela Kinder, MD, Tom Krabacher, Jack Lewis, Sharon Smith

Comments

Scott Wedel 1 year, 11 months ago

Well, there goes any hope of YVDP standing up for data integrity or the ability of employees to take public positions on issues.

The letter about the sale of the public service did not state that Scott Ford was representing YVDP.

Scott Ford has enough of a history in this region on small business creation and economic development that he has previously not represented YVDP when publicly speaking on issues.

The obvious difference this time is that his political opinions do not match those of the City and the Chamber.

If there was any concern that there was public confusion between Scott Ford's personal positions and those of the YVDP then there was no need or reason for YVDP to talk to Scott Ford about his personal political views. All YVDP needed to do was release a statement saying YVDP does not positions on issues and any positions on issues taken by members of YVDP are their personal opinions and do not represent YVDP.

The only reason for Executive Director Nowak to talk to Scott Ford about this issue was to convince him to stop his political activity. That is disgraceful.

YVDP has sold out it's integrity and the political freedom of its employees to satisfy the political objectives of two of its major funding sources, city of SB and the SB Chamber.

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bill schurman 1 year, 11 months ago

Scott,

Couldn't have said it better myself. Right on.

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Chad James 1 year, 11 months ago

I may be missing some important details on this one...but I'm proud of Scott for not compromising his integrity.

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