In Other Words

Chambers of Commerce Have to Tighten Their Belts; Arnold’s Big Publicity Stunt

CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE LATELY in Imperial Valley have come under the heavy scrutiny of City Councils in their respective cities.
We could say heavy-handed scrutiny of Chambers, but some of them have lightened up on the deep cuts they want to make to these august bodies.
Why are they making cuts? Well, the same old reason: “We don’t have any money!” How come they don’t have any money? Well, because “we don’t have any business!”
How, I wonder, is a  city supposed to get new business if it limits the amount of funds the business gathering entity gets? Or it plans in a shortsighted manner for an event to draw people that is underfunded and held in a bad location?
Those things have happened during the last several months and you can tell the people who are putting forth the best effort to keep their organization in the back.
Brawley increased its contribution to the Chamber by $15,000 for the next fiscal year. A welcome relief, we’re sure. I’ve always had a special place for the the Brawley Chamber because I served on their Board of Directors for three years. It was generally a good experience.
But you knew big cuts were coming when Nicole Gilles was dropped as the Chamber Director.
What had been a four person office with a fifth person operating the Economic Development Commission, has been turned into a two person office. Granted, the people are topnotch with Ron Hull back from retirement. But with only two people, you know the quality of events is going to diminish or even disappear completely. Anybody hear anything about the Sweet Onion Festival lately?
Over in Calexico, they are looking at alternative sources for finances, including sponsoring “big-money” bingo. That’s bingo with lots of major jackpots that is tied into other games throughout the state of California. That proposal is still pending.
Perhaps these bodies could take some lessons from Holtville, which doesn’t have to worry much about cuts from the city. It never got much to begin with. Most of its money has come from membership dues, the Carrot Festival and donations.
With only $10,000 a year donated by the city for a Chamber of Commerce, there isn’t much to operate with unless they stay on the good side of a lot of businesses.
The city did front the cost of the $20,000 electronic sign which graces Fifth Street at Holt Avenue. Meaning there is a little more than average relations between the two bodies.
But, if the cities want to actually grow their economy they need more than lip service and penny-pinching budgets. That need an all-out effort to compete for dollars and attract industry. So far, the cities, and the county, are batting a very low average at this. Limiting the Chambers isn’t going to help anything. Let’s hope this nonsense started by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, comes or an end soon. The whole state is on the verge of economic collapse thanks to Arnold.
ARNOLD , MEANWHILE, DECIDES HE WANTS to get back into movies and what better to do that than create a scandal around yourself.
His announcement of a child he fostered while married to Maria Schriver sent media types scrambling like a pack of hornets  around a honey pot. This swarm proceeded to treat the story almost with the same zeal as the killing of Osama bin Laden. Somebody needs to calm these TV folks down and tell them this isn’t the story of the century, In Hollywood, it’s almost routine. And Arnold has been fooling around for over 30 years.
Why all the huff and puff? Who knows? Maybe its been a little slow since bin Laden was brought down. We wish the pack of rabid dogs, however, would reign itself in before they hurt each other.
Let’s get back to some real news. Like whatever happened to Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton? Britney who?
GRADUATION IS ALMOST UPON US. San Diego State University had its graduation last week and the schools in the Imperial Valley are wrapping up the school year as we speak.
It will be a long, slow summer for young people, since there won’t be any summer school or programs  directly associated with the schools. Another legacy for Arnold.