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Questions arise during Chamber meeting

The Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce board of directors has some questions, and last Friday they were looking for some answers from Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rado Harrington.

Chamber President Ruben Carrera opened last week's meeting with questions regarding the Miss Sunnyside float, trailer, float barn and the truck that pulls the float trailer. Carrera said the Chamber's executive board wanted to know who actually owns the pieces of equipment.

Carrera said not only did the executive board want to know who owned the pieces of equipment, but it also wanted to know who was responsible for taking care of things like insurance.

"Who pays for the insurance and the liability we have on that?," Carrera asked. "Is it the chamber, the city or Miss Sunnyside?"

He said he also wanted to know who was responsible for paying for repairs to the equipment in question.

"We need to have all of these questions answered for the next meeting," Carrera said. "If we don't know who owns it, then who is going to pay for all of this (insurance and repairs) ?"

Harrington answered Carrera by stating that he is still new to the Chamber of Commerce. He said it wasn't until recently that he became aware the Chamber even had a truck and trailer. Despite not having an answer for Carrera during the meeting, Harrington said it is something he has spent the past several weeks looking into. Harrington reported that he will bring an answer on the ownership of the float equipment to the chamber during its Oct. 7 meeting.

Members of the Chamber also had some questions for Harrington when it came to the organization's financial report.

Harrington explained that he just recently took over financial duties for the organization and is using a new, more accurate system, to track the Chamber's funds.

Several Chamber members had questions for Harrington about certain line items on the financial statement, noting that more money appeared to have been spent on publications than they remember being allocated.

Harrington explained that he is still working with the new financial system. He noted that although it may look as if the Chamber spent more on publications than was allotted, the most likely scenario is that the Chamber took out a larger ad in a local tourist publication with several other businesses. Harrington said the reimbursements from the other businesses the Chamber partnered with would be listed in another area of the financial statement.

Chamber members asked if there was a way to make that sort of financial issue clearer on the statement. Harrington noted that in the future he will try to group related items together in the budget.

A question that was brought to the general Chamber population last week came from Miss Cinco de Mayo organizer Carlos Maya.

Maya asked the Chamber if it would be willing to take the Miss Cinco de Mayo Pageant under its wing, to make providing insurance for parades more affordable.

Maya explained that through donations and fundraising the Miss Cinco de Mayo program has been able to raise the funds necessary to create its own float. He said although the float is able to participate in local parades, it isn't allowed in larger parades, such as the parade in Spokane. He said the float isn't allowed because the Miss Cinco de Mayo committee doesn't have liability insurance on the float.

Maya said in talking to other royalty officials he learned that most of them have Chambers who provide the liability insurance needed. He explained that the Chamber is able to get liability insurance for the float at a much lesser rate than his committee would have to pay if they did it themselves.

Maya added that his committee would commit to becoming Chamber members if they were granted the liability insurance through the Chamber.

"We have coverage getting to the parades," Maya explained. "But not in the parades."

Chamber member Elner Becker said the only question she had about providing insurance for the Miss Cinco de Mayo float was whether or not the Chamber was allowed to provide insurance for another non-profit group.

Chamber members agreed to look further into it and see if they are capable of providing insurance for the Miss Cinco de Mayo float and how much it would cost to insure the vehicle.

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