History, unfortunately, sometimes repeats itself.

In the mid-80s I was the executive director of the Salida (then Heart of the Rockies) Chamber of Commerce) and had several great years of helping to re-invent our former mining town.

Richard and Terry Rule moved to Salida and got themselves elected to the board of directors. Terry began micro-managing me and bad-mouthing me to the board members.

Even people who had known me and worked with me for years fell under her spell. She clearly wanted my job with its huge salary of $12,000 per year. Rather than fight for my good name and a job I loved, I quit.

Soon Richard became treasurer. My family moved to Colorado Springs. About a year later I learned that Richard had been convicted of embezzling from the chamber. He and Terry split up and the chamber eventually recovered.

Recently, Kathi Perry was involuntarily retired as executive director of the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce while away on a well-deserved vacation.

This was done at the direction of relative newcomer Michael Sorrels. Like the Rules, he rode into town on his silver tongue and took Kathi’s formerly loyal coworkers under his spell. He has allegedly stolen large sums of money from local businesses, and has now disappeared, with a couple of felonies from other states chasing him.

Hopefully, the chamber will recover. I finally did. Kathi will as well. But do you – the board, the chamber members and the town of Buena Vista – realize what you have lost? Kathi brought an irreplaceable and priceless passion to her job and to the community.

Getting conned by a professional con man is understandable, but making no attempts to rectify the situation is not. You should be ashamed.

Judy Green

Buena Vista

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