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Letter to the editor: Benjamin Nicholls on HBA controversy

Dear Editor,

I write to set the record straight with facts about the recent transition in staff management at the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA). It is unfortunate that a disgruntled former staff member has joined with two long-time detractors of the association to actively seek to undermine an organization that is doing such positive work on behalf of Hillcrest.

First, after numerous performance problems came to light, several board members suggested that our then Executive Director, Sonya Stauffer, receive guidance from a management coach to improve her communications with staff, vendors, and HBA members. Instead of participating in this corrective process, Ms. Stauffer simply stopped coming into work. The HBA has documented emails and text messages that not only document these performance problems but irrefutably demonstrate that Ms. Stauffer abandoned her job.

Second, since leaving the HBA, Ms. Stauffer has lashed out at the Board and joined with long-standing HBA critics to level bizarre and unsubstantiated accusations against the individuals on the board and the organization at large. Her actions since her departure only reinforce the wisdom of the HBA’s decision to bring in an interim Executive Director to move the organization forward.

The hard-working volunteers at the Hillcrest Business Association bring us our most successful events each year such as CityFest and do amazing projects to improve our quality of life – such as the Hillcrest Pride Flag. It is unfortunate that a few critics would be willing to diminish this good work and undermine our community through their misguided actions.

Don't simply believe unsubstantiated accusations, instead give me a call at 619-299-3330 if you have questions.

Benjamin Nicholls
Interim Executive Director
Hillcrest Business Association