Earlier this evening was my first meeting on the Sandy Valley Citizen's Advisory Council. It was a well attended meeting (read there was something contentious on the agenda). The young people who run Sandy Valley Motocross were at the meeting to present information about their pending application for new terms in their business permit.

For some background look at this story. The letter says a lot. So while I don't know it will be heeded, here is my advice to businesses who get off on the wrong foot.

The most critical thing is don't issue hollow apologies. I'm not saying that they aren't heartfelt, but they are hollow. It is very difficult to eat crow gracefully. It is impossible if you want to maintain you are right and have been wronged by those who you are apologizing to. It is impossible to apologize and say in the next breath somebody else is wrong if you want them to believe you. The proper thing to do is to say you are sorry. And to continue apologizing. If one were to say I'm sorry and we won't make those mistakes again, and keep saying it, they might be believed. When the message is I'm sorry, but you're just as wrong, you're not building credibility.

This "negative" could become a very positive outcome if handled properly. It would take Kit Stokes sitting down with members of the community. If Stokes would take it upon himself to meet regularly with the community and to do it in a way that respects other's opinions a lot could be accomplished. It is not as simple as some in the forum suggest. It's not possible to just buy your way out by making a token payment to a local school.