To my town:
I joined the chamber because I was involved in the business community and I love this town. I wanted to bring town businesses together, I wanted it to be fun like it used to be, where the business owners were a close-knit community who looked out for each other and worked to make Idyllwild the best it could be. I have not done that and for that I am sorry.
Being on the Chamber has taken a toll on me, financially as well as emotionally. I don’t really care about the money end of it, but I do care what it has done to my soul.
I really try to believe this world is a safe place to be. I came to Idyllwild 19 years ago, a broken shell of who I am with two small children to raise on my own. Idyllwild healed me. This town held me up and gave me a safe and loving place to be. I grew into the person I am today because of this town and the people in it. This is my Safe Harbor, my Home.
I am trying with all my heart to believe that this still holds true. It’s very hard when I am constantly having to be on the defensive and worried that I may be sued just because I am a member of the Chamber of Commerce.
This is not even because of something I have done directly, but because of something that took place over five years ago. I don’t understand how someone can be so angry and hold on to that for so long, then use that anger to destroy.
This has almost destroyed me. I don’t have the energy it takes to harden my heart to fight this evil anymore. I don’t want to cry about this anymore. I don’t want to walk around trying to hold on to my anger about the situation because that is the only way I can get through the day without breaking down. I don’t want to be a part of the Chamber anymore, but I don’t believe it is right to walk away and leave everyone else holding the bag, so to speak.
I will stay on for the time being, just long enough to figure out what we are going to do and to get it done. We had a good Chamber Board a year ago, but we are now down to three. This has taken a toll on all of us and some had no choice but to resign.
I am writing this because I want you all to know that this lawsuit has hurt us. We are just good people trying to do some good for this town and we have had to spend the majority of our time and energy fighting something that has to do with a grudge from years ago, which we were not even involved with.
I don’t understand how this can be right. I don’t want to spend another second wasting my energy on this silly thing. I want to concentrate on my business, on my friends, my family, all the people I love and who love me back. I want to laugh, I want to smile and I hope I make some difference in a life now and then.
I don’t know what is going to happen with the Chamber at this point. We are always waiting for the next shoe to drop and with no one wanting to get involved, its future looks bleak. I do know that I am going to try to continue smiling. I am going to laugh and enjoy this beautiful place I live. I am going to hold those people I love close and let them know what they mean to me every single day.
I am going to tell you, the people in this town, that I love you and you make this place special. I am going to stand here in front of you all with my soul bared and if someone wants to shoot arrows at me, so be it. I accept that. Last but not least, I am going to forgive the person who has hurt so many of us. I will go to sleep at night with a light heart and a bright soul, I truly hope you can too.
Chris Titus, Chamber president
Editor’s note: Chamber directors Gary Taylor and Peter Buhl have resigned. This news reached our office close to press time on Tuesday. Watch for a follow-up article about the Chamber in next week’s paper.