Letter needs clarification, chamber says

I would like to clarify some misinformation Randy Martin has (Letter to the editor, Courier-Herald, Oct. 14) so that he can better understand our role as a leader in this community.

You are correct, Mr. Martin, many cities do not have their Chamber of Commerce run their Visitor Information Center. However, Enumclaw is one of the fortunate cities to have this opportunity. With the $26,000 we receive for an entire year, staff and volunteers are able to assist over 6,000 visitors from Seattle to Europe who come to or through our town; host a Web site 24/7 promoting our community; and refer visitors and residents to local businesses (not just chamber member businesses). Any city government or organization would be hard-pressed to run a six-day-a-week Visitor Information Center for only $26,000 annually. The relationship between the city and the chamber is a tremendous value to both entities and this community. And yes, we do have a representative at many of the council meetings.

I applaud the MRIBA for taking over the Christmas parade. For nearly a decade the chamber hosted the event when the Downtown Partnership closed its doors. Due to the economy we made the decision to focus more on the needs of the business community and host fewer events, thereby removing the parade from our list of responsibilities. This decision was made by the chamber board of directors at our planning retreat in November. Budget announcements weren’t made until December. So, no, the chamber didn’t drop the parade due to budget cuts. We passed it along to a completely capable organization to carry the torch and they will do a wonderful job. I hope Enumclaw celebrates the fact the parade continues and be sure to thank those that host it.

Mr. Martin, if you wish to see change, be part of the solution…volunteer to be on a committee.

The chamber did not take an official stand on the proposed logo. We did share the information with our members for input. The Branding Leadership Team has tabled logo discussions for now so more important issues can be addressed.

The Chamber of Commerce is a 501c6 nonprofit and we are not a part of the city government. Our monthly board meetings are not open to the public. Members are welcome to attend by invitation. The board does have the right to invite the best liaison they see fit for our organization to sit at the table. That spot was awarded to City Councilmember Liz Reynolds by the board. It is not a city-appointed position.

Mr. Martin, I hope this clarifies things for you. I welcome you to visit the chamber office and Visitor Information Center and see what all we do to promote Enumclaw and its businesses.

Cathy Rigg,

executive director

Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce

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