The move to merge the Southwest Washington Family YMCA with the Columbia-Willamette YMCA in Portland is off the table. In today’s Daily News, the board president for the local YMCA, Michael Claxton, says that they weren’t prepared for the backlash when the proposal was first put forward, and they will end the drive to try and merge with the Portland-based organization. In this morning’s paper, Claxton says that the effort to merge with the larger organization was “a bridge too far.” He says that the local organization was going to lose too much in terms of local support and membership, so the merger proposal was killed. Claxton says that they’re now going to start a search for a new CEO, with a goal of having that person in place within six months. The Columbia-Willamette YMCA will help with some interim management until the new CEO is named. The proposal to merge with the Portland-based group had come up after some significant issues arose, including an embezzlement scandal, the sudden departure of the CEO, declining enrollment and serious capital needs. Opponents of the merger say that some new blood on the board and in the Y’s management should be able to address those issues.