Arlington’s DABA ushers in new board

ARLINGTON — The Downtown Arlington Business Association ushered in an almost entirely new Board of Directors on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

With the resignations of Chris Bateham and Chris Mirante occurring in the months prior, the resignations of four other Board members — M.J. Drush, Debora Nelson, Julie Tate and Mary Andersen — were accepted at the Sept. 19 DABA meeting and made effective immediately.

In their place, DABA installed remaining Board member Marilyn Bullock as the new president, Nola Smith of “The School Box” as vice president, “The Purse Lady” Debbie Whitis as secretary/treasurer, Rich Senff of Action Sports in Board Position 1 and Tyler Moore of Pepperjack Home in Board Position 2. These new officers were nominated under DABA’s rules of order.

Contrary to word that had circulated previously, Mary Jane Harmon emphasized that DABA will not be dissolving on Wednesday, Oct. 3.

“As valuable as volunteers are to any organization, when they decide to resign, we must let them go,” said Harmon, managing director of the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce, under whose umbrella DABA operates as a committee of the Chamber. “We want to thank the previous Board members for all the time and effort they invested in DABA this year.”

Harmon also reassured the Arlington community that DABA-supported events such as the October Hunt, Hometown Halloween and Hometown Holidays “will be the wonderful events that Arlingtonians have loved for several years now.”

During a discussion of expenditures at the Sept. 19 meeting, Senff moved to freeze expenditures until the new treasurer could review DABA’s financial situation, and the motion was passed. At the same time, that meeting’s committee reports included Whitis’ notes that the October Hunt is still scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 13, in the City Hall parking lot, and Smith’s solicitation for ideas to contribute to Hometown Holidays, which are still planned for the first weekend in December.

“Everything is and will continue to be transparent,” Harmon said.

Drush reflected on what she deemed DABA’s great accomplishments over the past few years — including the Clock, the Gazebo and “the characters that line the streets during different seasons” — while acknowledging what she saw as strains between DABA and “its parent organization,” the Chamber.

“Sometimes the best thing about goodbye is good,” said Drush, who specified that she spoke only for herself, and not for her fellow former Board members. “When the vision of the parent is different than that of the child, it is a constant struggle and it wears you down.”

Drush questioned the Chamber’s decision to conduct its fall soiree on Camano Island, rather than Arlington or Smokey Point, and contrasted this with what she saw as the former DABA’s practice of doing business with Arlington people.

“It remains to be seen if those who align themselves more with the Chamber’s vision for downtown Arlington will be successful,” Drush said. “For the sake of the town and merchants, I do hope they are. I will continue to shop and eat downtown to support my local small businesses, and be grateful to those who choose to offer goods and services here, when they could relocate elsewhere.”

In the meantime, DABA’s October Hunt will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 13, this year with a giant bouncy house and a complete section for kids with its own booths, where they’ll be able to sell or trade their toys for Christmas money. These booths will cost $5 each, with all proceeds going toward Kids’ Kloset in Arlington. Call Whitis at 425-508-0435 for more information.


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