Thursday, October 8, 2009
THE GUARDIAN read with interest today the article by Mike Butts of the local paper "COUNCIL WILL INVESTIGATE CLAIM AGAINST CHAMBER". The brouhaha stems from the allegation by Scott Wallace of Copy Cats and Shipit businesses in downtown that he was put on notice by a customer that they would not be able to do business with him in the future because he was no longer a Caldwell Chamber of Commerce member. Mr. Wallace took this as a strong arm tactic by the Chamber management to force him into the fold and pay membership dues.
Here is the deal with the Chamber of Commerce. Members support members is at the core of what the chamber is all about. Their functions are for networking of members and support of their local businesses. They also set a lobby agenda for each legislative session every year. This is not NEWS! It is simply part of their mission statement and agenda where they exist.
On the local level, the fair city of Caldwell pays for memberships for the Mayor and city councilors so they can keep in touch with what is on the collective minds of chamber members. City and County elected officals attend the Chamber Governemental Affairs meetings and participate in various chamber functions. Memberships to the Chamber are paid for by taxpayers via a check from the City of Caldwell and County.
The front page headline COUNCIL WILL INVESTIGATE CLAIM AGAINST CHAMBER sounds just plain silly. The Chamber of Commerce is a 501 C-6 non-profit entity and their stuff is not public nor should it be public. Their agenda again is to support members and grow businesses in Caldwell and lobby government entities to the benefit of their membership.
The letter from Mr. Wallace to the city councilors is just plain silly when you think about it. And for the Caldwell City Council to say they are going to investigate this is even more silly. This is nothing more than crybaby posturing on the part of Mr. Wallace. It is not front page news for the local paper. And forgive me here, but who is the mystery person delivering the arm twisting from the Chamber? The local paper usually prides itself on being able to produce witnesses and statements "on the record".
Wikipedia on the Chamber of Commerce..
"A chamber of commerce (also referred to in some circles as a board of trade) is a form of business network, e.g., a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community. Local businesses are members, and they elect a board of directors or executive council to set policy for the chamber. The board or council then hires a President, CEO or Executive Director, plus staffing appropriate to size, to run the organization"
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 10:22 AM