Chamber Request for Supplemental Funding Denied

The Chamber asked for an additional $25k for a new website and organizational capacity building initiative.

Written by VINCENT WEI / Published February 24, 2011 

The city council recently voted to approve the annual contract with the Temple City Chamber of Commerce, but denied their request for an extra $25,000.

The Temple City Chamber asked for the additional funding to build a new website and organizational capacity at the July 19, 2011 city council meeting.

However, the Chamber faced a setback when Councilmembers Cynthia Sternquist and Vincent Yu voiced opposition to the supplemental funding.

“I had a little bit of heartbreak when we approved that amount in the past,” Ms. Sternquist said, referring to the city’s annual $70,000 contribution to the Chamber.

She said that it was “the Chamber’s responsibility to enhance their website” and that the city already was supportive of the Chamber.

“We are one of the few cities in the San Gabriel Valley that does not charge the Chamber rent,” she stated.

Mr. Blum, who favored the additional funding, stated the extra money was an investment. He also said that the city had to support the Chamber’s efforts to change, just as the city was changing.

“As we’re defining what role we should have, we need to work with the Chamber for them to define what their role is in conjunction with the city,” he said.

“I’ve sat through many board meetings. I know that they’re struggling on what direction they want with the city,” Councilmember Blum added.

Chamber President and C.E.O. Linda Payne echoed Mr. Blum’s comments.

“We are changing what we’ve done for the last 40 years,” Payne said. “Everything we’ve been doing has been social services, community representation.”

She also stressed that the Chamber needed the city’s assistance.

“Right now, we’re hanging on for dear life,” Ms. Payne stated.

Mayor Tom Chavez also voiced support for the additional funding.

“They need the tools to do that,” he said, in regards to the extra $25,000.

“They are willing, at least to the next year, to make those sacrifices, to stay or keep up with what we’re doing as a city. I’m willing to take that leap of faith with them,” Mr. Chavez said.

A motion by Mr. Blum to approve the annual contract with the supplemental funding failed on a 2-2 vote. Councilmembers Sternquist and Yu voted no.

“The hallmark of high performance is doing more with less,” Mr. Yu said before the first vote.

A second vote to just approve the annual contribution of $70,000 passed with a 3-1 vote.

Mr. Yu again voted no.

“It doesn’t quite fit what I just said with doing more with less,” he said.

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