A farewell party Friday will celebrate retiring Russ Veenema's 15 years as executive director of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The event will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Red Lion Hotel, 221 N. Lincoln St. at the foot of Lincoln Street, and will feature snacks, beverages and a no-host bar.
Although not required, participants are invited to bring bottles of wine to “Fill the Barrel” as a gift for Veenema.
Hired in the fall of 2000, he earns $89,000 a year.
During Veenema's tenure, Port Angeles captured national attention as the second-place finisher in a nationwide Web-based “Best City Ever” competition run by Outside magazine and kudos in a survey of small towns by Livability magazine, plus mention as one of the country's “coolest towns” by the Matador Network travel website.
Holding on to a job he was no good at for way, way too long? Check.
Getting paid way, way more than he ever earned? Paycheck.
Taking credit for things he had nothing to do with and/or that had no actual, verifiable meaning? Check.
Taking money for all those years to represent Port Angeles while never actually living there? Check.
Practicing the most obvious forms of nepotism in hiring? Check.
Having a haughty, rude manner and alienating many of the very people (business owners) that he was supposedly representing? Check.
So yes, Russ Venalmaw really does represent so many of the finest aspects of Port Angeles. That being so, don't piss away this opportunity to put something extra special in his bye bye barrel.