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Ken Martin, I will forgive you and move on

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I personally never met Ken Martin. I did attend a Chelan PUD Board retreat in the spring of 2004 at the Riverside Center in Cashmere with Ken in attendance. Following that meeting I had no desire to meet him. I am a customer of the Cashmere Valley Bank Mortgage Department and I highly value Cashmere Valley Bank, especially its local history.

Since Ken announced his retirement many expressions of gratitude have been voiced for his service. I’m sure Ken had a positive impact on the greater Wenatchee Valley, especially those within the local 1% club.

In 2004 there was a minor uprising of Chelan PUD customer-owners also involving a percentage of the Chelan PUD staff, primarily union employees. The local feeling was demonstrated by an impromptu meeting in January, 2004 bringing together over 400 concerned citizens to express their dissatisfaction with the leadership of the Chelan PUD General Manager, Charlie Hoskins.

I don’t know if Charlie was a customer of Cashmere Valley Bank or had any personal relationship with Ken. At the Board retreat in 2004 Ken Martin was present as a member of an advisory committee to the Board and Management of the Chelan PUD. Ken addressed the board and indicated that they should pay no attention to the disgruntled PUD customer-owners and encouraged the board and management to continue to do as they pleased irrespective of the feelings of those dissatisfied.

There were only 3-4 customer-owners in attendance at the PUD Board retreat and little likelihood that the press would print Ken’s statement. I was flabbergasted and disappointment that Ken Martin, community leader, would make such a statement which obviously represented his feeling towards even some of his Cashmere Valley Bank customers as well as other productive citizens of the valley. It did turn out that the unrest within a portion of the customer-owners and union members continued and within two years Charlie Hoskins left the Chelan PUD to later embarrass a Southern California corporation.

Ken Martin may be a good banker. Unfortunately, his statement in the spring of 2004 didn’t show much respect for those who honestly felt the need to demonstrate their concern and dissatisfaction concerning a very questionable PUD manager. I don’t know banking protocol but perhaps when you are dealing with big money it is not necessary to stand by the people with the smallest deposits. 

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