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A true challenge: Act as a region

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It is not a new observation, but it may be the most valuable insight provided by the “sustainability committee” of experts appointed to advise the city of Wenatchee: This is one region. We are one community. To solve our mutual problems we need to think as a region, and most importantly, act as a region. Rather than continue as a splintered conglomeration of rival municipalities, we need to recognize what we have in common and “work together to ensure our collective long-term economic sustainability.”

That would be the beginning, the foundation. The committee of experts was appointed by Mayor Frank Kuntz to give advice on the city’s fiscal future, and recommend a course of action that could sustain the region’s municipal services over the long term. Rarely have so many powerful financial minds come together — investor and actuary Bart Clennon, PUD manager and risk analyst John Janney, Stemilt Growers President West Mathison, Eagle Transfer owner Mike Walker, attorney Clay Gatens, Cashmere Valley Bank President Ken Martin and Confluence Health CEO Dr. Peter Rutherford. Few of the committee’s observations, and few of its recommendations were new. Taken together, and recommended by this influential group, they become breathtaking in scope.

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