Calexico Chamber Still Seeks City Funding After Tuesday’s Meeting

By Mario Conde
The Calexico City Council will look for new options to fund the Calexico Chamber for the next fiscal year.
Calexico Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Hildy Carrillo, sent a letter on September 20th to the City requesting consideration by the City of Calexico.
“The City of Calexico and the Calexico Chamber of Commerce have a long history working together. The Board of Directors wishes to continue this harmonious relationship in promoting the business community in our City.” Carrillo said.
The Chamber asked funding in the amount of $75,000 that would be used for the Mariachi Festival, Public Relations, and having the City as a top sponsor. The Chamber requested $30,000 for the City to become a Diamond Sponsor that will allow the City, among other things, to have a Permanent Advisory Position on 2011-12 Calexico Chamber Board of Directors that includes participation in Executive, Closed and Committee meeting. Another $30,000 to have the City as a Co-executive producer for the 21st Annual Mariachi Festival Sin Fronteras, and $15,000 for public relations, advertising, promotions, business attraction/retention, and Consumer Affairs.
Carrillo said that the Chamber will be looking for new avenues for them to be self-sufficient by June 2012. In the past, the Calexico Chamber used to get it funding from the city’s bed tax but then the city decided to absorb it to its General Fund. The City then decided to use RDA funds to support the Chamber.
“The Chamber of Commerce is valuable to the Community, “said Chamber Treasure Dan Fitzgerald “We want to continue and evolve. The days of RDA allocations are over.”
Chamber President Monica Ketchum said that they want to help business to move the business community forward. “Our goal is to build a better community by serving our members and our customers.” She said.
The Calexico City Council took on this issue at their Tuesday meeting. The agenda item was placed as anticipation for funding through Measure “H” funds. The Measure H Committee, however, voted 5-0 last week against the use of funds to be given to the Chamber. After some discussion and by motion by Councilman Bill Hodge, the Council voted to dismiss the item on the agenda that would fund the chamber via Measure “H” funds. Councilman Hodge and Moreno will work on a subcommittee to find ways to fund the Chamber with General Fund money at least until January 2012.