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Chamber short-handed as Cinco de Mayo celebration kicks off

As Sunnyside prepares for a very busy Cinco de Mayo weekend, the local Chamber of Commerce has found itself a little short-handed.

On April 25, marketing and events coordinator Carrie Stone was let go.

Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce and the Sunnyside Economic Development Association Rado Harrington explained that Stone was still in her three-month probationary period when she was let go.

"She was in a probationary period and it didn't work," Harrington said of why of Stone was relieved of her post.

Stone worked at the Chamber office for nearly two months.

Harrington said while Stone was with the Chamber her role as the marketing and events coordinator was to be in the office working on different community events, as well as to spend time outside of the office working to promote business.

"Our ultimate goal is to promote business," Harrington said of the Chamber.

He further noted that every event that takes place through the Chamber has one or two volunteer event chairmen, who work with the Chamber to put together different events. He explained that the Chamber's role is simply to help those volunteers administratively.

Harrington said he made a decision under the advisement of an executive board member to repropose the position Stone filled as strictly an events coordinator, which would be part time. Harrington did note that although the position would be part time, the person filling the position would get paid for all of the hours they worked, including all of those that go into organizing a large event like Cinco de Mayo.

Harrington said he made the proposal to Stone and "...she chose to accept it or not accept it."

To help fill the void from Stone's departure, Harrington said the Chamber has hired student Jose Lopez to work in the office part-time to help answer phones and field questions.

"It's just a temporary fix," Harrington said.

He explained that at this point the Chamber of Commerce and SEDA are looking at different options when it comes to what to do next.

Chamber of Commerce President Ruben Carrera said the board will be discussing what to do next during its May 13 board meeting.

Harrington said the Chamber is looking at several options, including hiring someone to fill the role left by Stone or even subcontracting with different individuals.

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