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Our View: Sorry to see Hall go

With regrets, the News Tribune Opinion page announces today that Becky Hall is no longer a member of the editorial board. Hall chose to leave the volunteer position because she wants to raise money for and more actively support candidates in the Aug. 14 primary election and Nov. 6 general election. That level of political involvement posed a conflict of interest with editorial board responsibilities.

"I don't want to compromise the position because of my activism," Hall said. "I appreciate so much that (the News Tribune) allows citizens' voices in the process (of determining the newspaper's editorial positions), no matter their political perspective. That says a lot about your openness and integrity as an editorial board. I'm a little bit heartbroken that I have to step away."

Hall started what was to be a six-month term on the Editorial Board this month, joining Publisher Neal Ronquist, Editorial Page Editor Chuck Frederick, Employee Representative Kris Vereecken, and fellow Citizen Representative Julene Boe. It was Hall's second stint on the board. She served in 2015 after running unsuccessfully for public office on several occasions. She was active with the Tea Party and was a national delegate to the GOP convention in Cleveland in 2016. She's also a regular panelist on "Harry's Gang," a show on public-access cable television.

The News Tribune announces the comings and goings of editorial board members as part of a commitment to transparency and full disclosure. The newspaper feels readers have a right to know from where editorial opinions come.

Publishing editorials and other opinion pieces is meant to spark and help lead conversations about issues and matters that most affect, and are most important to, our communities. From many viewpoints come the best ideas and, ultimately, solutions. The News Tribune, via its Opinion pages, remains committed to providing a civil and informed forum for all viewpoints.

The Opinion page will consider replacing Hall in a couple of weeks, after endorsement editorials for the primaries are published. If you're interested in serving, send an email about yourself, what you do, your aspiration to join, your political leanings, and whatever else you'd like to share to Editorial Page Editor Frederick at cfrederick@duluthnews.com. The News Tribune strives to maintain a balance and diversity of viewpoints, demographics, and backgrounds among editorial board members. The News Tribune is one of only a few newspapers in the country which seeks citizen participation in determining its stands on the issues.

The News Tribune thanks Hall for her thoughtful and involved service — and her recognition of a clear conflict.