My editor suggested I write a goodbye column — this column you’re reading. I said yes to one last newspaper deadline.
That’s because I’m stepping away from more than 20 years as a journalist, including more than five years with The Columbian, and heading into an exciting new career in communications.
My family and I will stay in Camas. We love this community.
What to write for my farewell, though?
I thought about all of the knowledge and anecdotes and memories I’ve piled up over the years covering numerous beats in different towns in Washington and Oregon — everything from local, regional and state governments, and land-use, transportation and environmental issues to private businesses, public ports and publicly traded companies.
Too much to say about all of that here.
Better over a beer.
So I’ll say what I think I need to say. And that’s this: There are few tools more important to a journalist than sunshine laws designed to enable the public to seek public records from the powerful public agencies that operate in their town.
Public records are the paper trail on which potentially life- and community-altering decisions are made.