by: File Photo  - Joe McDonald

   Joe McDonald has resigned as the president of the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. McDonald submitted his resignation last week.
   McDonald expressed no ill feelings toward the organization in his short resignation letter.
   "I have reached a point where I can no longer provide constructive direction for the chamber. I am therefore resigning my position as president, and board member, of the Jefferson County Chamber. I wish you all the best, and look forward to our paths crossing in the future."
   McDonald is the second consecutive chamber president to resign. He replaced J.R. Brooks, who resigned in April, 2010, citing that he was "frustrated with many aspects" of the chamber. McDonald, a realtor, did not want to elaborate on his reasons for departure.
   "Joe stepped into the presidency at an important time for the chamber and provided a lot of stability for us," said Holli Van Wert, the chamber's executive director.
   The chamber's bylaws indicate that the board of directors must choose the organization's president. McDonald's term was to run through the end of the year, and Van Wert said a new president will likely fill that term as an interim president. A mid-October board meeting is planned where the position will certainly be addressed. Laura Crocker is the current vice president.
   The chamber board is made up of 13 members -- seven are elected by general membership, and six are appointed by various government bodies within the county.
   Van Wert said that it has long been policy, written or unwritten, that the president be an at-large board member -- someone who the entire membership has voted onto the board, and not one of the government appointees. However, Van Wert said that doesn't have to be the case.
   Along with McDonald's at-large position, the chamber board has two other openings: the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs representative (which had been Harry Taylor, who no longer represents the tribes after recently resigning his position as Kah-Nee-Ta general manager) and a Metolius City Council representative (which has been vacant for a few months).
   Van Wert noted that the board is assembling a nominations committee, with the idea of garnering a selection of potential at-large board members. From that list, the board, or potentially the entire membership, could select a board member.
   The chamber has a membership of 338 businesses and individuals, up 11 from 2010.
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