The board for the YMCA of Southwest Washington in Longview has several meetings with members set up over the next eight days, where they plan to discuss the merger of the facility in Longview with the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette, based in Portland. In a letter sent to members late last month, Mike Claxton says that the local Y has been engaged with the national YMCA organization, working on a strategic plan over the past year. During that process, Claxton says that they discovered that the Longview Y has been “operating on auto-pilot,” and hasn’t been working to stay current with program and service offerings. As a result, the Y board decided to take what they call “a somewhat aggressive approach to renew the organization,” re-examining the facility and organization from top to bottom. They also determined that aligning with the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette will bring in access to updated programs and services, along with access to services in fundraising, grant writing, human resources, marketing and advertising and in accounting. Claxton says that the Y of Columbia-Willamette has a demonstrated track record of “getting things done,” running clean and efficient buildings while offering a dynamic array of programs and services that evolve with changes in member demands. A series of membership meetings are planned to discuss this merger, starting today at noon and 6 pm. Additional meetings are set for 9 am tomorrow morning, and on Wednesday, the 17th at 10 am and 7 pm. Contact the YMCA on 15th Avenue in Longview if you have other questions.