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LadyDi, your comments concern me, would you please give me a call. My number is available on the City's website here.
Hondo62, where are you getting your information? That is not what state law says. Please provide Chapter and Verse, so that I can review. The City Attorney and the MRSC feel that providing funds to the Best Western is not a violation of the law.
As near as I can tell, RCW 67.28.1816 does not prohibit distributing the funds to "for profit corporations" (1)(d) does state that an allowable use of the funds is "Supporting the operations of tourism-related facilities owned or operated by nonprofit organizations described under 26 U.S.C. Sec. 501(c)(3) and 26 U.S.C. Sec. 501(c)(6) of the internal revenue code of 1986, as amended." - however nowhere in the chapter does it prohibit providing funds to a for-profit corporation.
The rest of the Chapter is available here.
Please show me where it states that funds must be distributed to a non-profit corporation or show me where it specifically prohibits distributing funds to a for profit corporation.
First of all, economic development is not tourism and tourism promotion in the eyes of the law, hence the rule of thumb that in order to spend LTAC funds you have to show "heads in beds" - unless you are building a hotel, motel, sports arena, etc...you are not increasing heads in beds when it comes to economic development. As for Council placing someone on the Chamber Board, you have got it backwards. If the board requires a seat to be filled by a City of Sunnyside representative then it's the Boards responsibility to request that from the city. As someone who has appointed a number of people to boards and commissions, I can tell you that when a board or commission requires and ex-officio member from another agency it falls to me to reach out to that organization not the other way around. And as for blaming Council for not participating, in 10 years on the Council I cannot recall ever being asked by the Chamber for a Council representative to their board, let alone voting on the issue.
I am familiar with the Chamber's By-laws because recently within the last few weeks I asked Pam for a copy of them so that before I asked for a Council seat I would be aware of the board's makeup. I disagree that having a Council Member is redundant, especially given that we now know that 75% of the Chamber's budget is funded by the city.
Lastly, on the responsibility of the chamber, I guess you and I have a different definition, I follow Webster's definition which states in part, "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." Tourism and tourism promotion might assist in this process to some extent, but it is far from core responsibilities outlined in Article I, Sect. I of the Chamber's By-laws.
I intended to respond to your letter to the editor; unfortunately, the DSN has chosen not to allow commenting.
It's obvious you and I disagree here, and although I am more than happy to discuss this further with you I believe we have reached an impass, if you want to continue this debate please give me a call.
"Off the record: Collectively city council have No restraints on anything" - not sure where you are getting you information; however, you should know that the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) governs and yes restrains us collectively. If we wanted to hear this or any other ballot measure we would have been required by law to invite both sides and allow equal time.
On the issue of tourism, RCW 68.28.1815 defines tourism and tourism promotion as:
"... activities, operations, and expenditures designed to increase tourism, including but not limited to advertising, publicizing, or otherwise distributing information for the purpose of attracting and welcoming tourists; developing strategies to expand tourism; operating tourism promotion agencies; and funding the marketing of or the operation of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists."
I am not arguing whether what the Chamber is doing is or is not tourism promotion, on the contrary, as far as I can see it is tourism and tourism promotion; however, if you re-read the article you will see that was not my concern. My concern was/is that Tourism Promotion is not the Chamber's Core responsibility, Article I, Sect. 1 of the Chamber's By-Laws states, "The mission of the Greater Sunnyside Area Chamber of Commerce shall be to promote the economic interest of the Greater Sunnyside Area involving agriculture, commercial, industrial, cultural, and civic developments." - No where in this mission statement does it say Tourism and Tourism promotion.
I have no problem with the Chamber doing Tourism Promotion, and I am more than happy to vote to provide funding for those events, my concern is that 75% of the Chamber's budget is being funded by the tax payers and they have a right to know exactly where those dollars are being spent.
I tried to reply to you Hondo, but the site is giving me a 403 Error (Forbidden), so I am will place my reply here and hope that it works. I am well aware of Article V Sect. 2 of the Chamber's Bylaws; however, I am not asking for a ex-officio City of Sunnyside representative, I am asking for a City Council representative. As for appointing someone, in 10 years I have served on the Council not once have I voted for a Chamber Board represenative. If this was Council's responsibility I would assume it would part of our appointment process at the first regularly scheduled meeting of the year.
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