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Historical society will cut director's job

To shore up a worsening financial situation, the Southern Oregon Historical Society cut the position of executive director Wednesday as the board of trustees debated whether it has enough revenues to continue operating.

John Enders, who has headed the historical society since 2002, will leave March 15.

"He's gone through a lot," said Terrie Claflin, first vice president of the board. "He's been asked to do a lot of difficult things in a difficult time."

She said Enders said the historical society has cut many positions from the bottom, so he suggested cutting from the top. Existing employees will run the organization.

The historical society has seen its annual budget dwindle from $2 million to about $600,000 after the passage of a property tax limitation in 1997.

Claflin said the board also discussed whether it should shut the doors because it doesn't have sufficient staffing or funding.

After some debate, the board decided it would stay open, she said.

"We're not going to close," she said. "We decided not to close last night."

— Damian Mann