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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Special Favors For Chamber Of Commerce

Six Point Indictment Against New Chamber Of Commerce/City Hall Deal

Emeryville Chamber of Commerce
CEO & Martinez CA resident Bob Canter.
He's managed to make a living
off City Hall for years.
The Emeryville Property Owners Association has issued a six point indictment of an agreement hammered out between the politically connected Chamber of Commerce and City Hall that favors the Chamber but gives the public short shrift.
City Hall is to give the Chamber $25,000 as part of the agreement, the same amount as from a previous agreement between the two entities.  The agreement is meant to support all Emeryville business interests but critics have noted the Chamber only yielded a 5% response from businesses last time, a point the property owner's group highlight.

The new agreement is but the latest chapter in an on-going attempt to prop up the Chamber, a private membership business, with public funds directed by City Hall.
The Tattler has long reported the cozy relationship between certain city council members and the Chamber of Commerce, a mutually beneficial relationship that involves City money and Chamber endorsements at election time.  Since the onset of the economic downturn, Chamber CEO Bob Canter has noted the dire fiscal straights his organization is in as he has appealed for cash from City Hall.  The city council has obliged Mr Canter's requests.

The Emeryville Property Owners Association casts itself as a more legitimate Emeryville business interest group as it represents all property owning businesses in Emeryville instead of simply those who have paid a membership fee as the Chamber of Commerce requires.  Small business interests are equally represented by the property owner's group unlike the primarily big business serving Chamber, a long time complaint leveled at the Chamber by the smaller businesses in Emeryville.

The EPOA website presents six points illustrating the latest corruption that the special relationship between the private business and public entity embodies.

Among the points the EPOA finds objectionable:

  • Public money for the Chamber should not be used to hold closed door business meetings with city staff
  • The Agreement prohibits the Chamber from publicly disclosing information about the city
  • The Agreement requires no performance requirements, unusual for public monies
  • The largest businesses in town, who don't need government assistance, are the primary beneficiaries of the work performed with money from City Hall

For the rest of the story, please click HERE.

1 comment:

  1. Let's just post this comment here instead...

    The City Council voted 5/0 last night to give $22 million of TAX PAYER money to the school district for the ECCL. The public was not informed of this conversation. Total secrecy. Not a single EUSD parent or concerned Emeryville resident, save for Ken Bukowski, there to speak out. There were several other projects that could have used that money including the bicycle pedestrian bridge or the art center. The Council touts transparency but does not practice it. This is our money, WE should decide how it is spent. Where is the public meeting? The public input? Shame on the Mayor and shame on the Council.