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SEDA to cease partnership with S'side Chamber

The Sunnyside Economic Development Association (SEDA) has decided to not continue a partnership contract with the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber President Ruben Carrera made the announcement during the Chamber of Commerce board meeting held this past Friday. Carrera said that SEDA President John Smiley notified him of the decision last week.

Under terms of the partnership, SEDA and the Chamber shared a paid Executive Director, Rado Harrington, who resigned on Sept. 13.

Since then, both groups have been without an Executive Director. Smiley said he wasn't able to comment at this time on why SEDA opted to end the partnership. "We're in some planning stages at this point," he said.

Carrera said at the Chamber Board meeting that the group will begin advertising for its own director and expressed hopes one could be hired by early November.

Carrera was optimistic regarding the future of both SEDA and the Chamber.

"We share the same office and we have similar goals," he said. SEDA, he noted, has economic development as its goal while the Chamber is aiming to bring in new business.

He later noted, as an example, "If SEDA brings in a new industry, that's going to create jobs, which will help support businesses in Sunnyside."

Harrington is still in the area and on Friday was announced as a new Chamber member. He later expressed hope that by remaining active he might help facilitate unity between the Chamber and SEDA.

In other Chamber news, Carrera and the board discussed changing the length of service for some officers. The Board is considering the move as a way to increase the commitment and training for positions such as Vice President.

The Chamber Board next meets on Friday, Nov. 4, at noon in the Denny Blaine Building.

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