Democracy through Transparency
Last Updated 26 Sept 2018
September - Learn important details Wickenburg Chamber as our Town visitor services contractor
A recent letter was to the Wickenburg Sun clarifying some misconceptions arising from the Chamber's work as a Town Contractor. As part of our effort for transparency, in association with this letter we are publishing a number documents relating to their work for the Town, including their Agreement, Amended Agreements and Funding Agreement, as well as financial reports showing an overview of financiaqls for 2016-18 (to date). We hope these will bring light and better understanding to the general public as to how the agreement between the town and the Chamber works.
We wish to be crystal clear, we ONLY Question the Chamber's activities as a town contractor, and do not wish to criticize their work for their members. We continue to emphasize that the Chamber is a private organizationn and as such does the best for their paying members. However, as a town contractor, they have an obligation to all town residents to conduct themselves as an honorable contractor.
The letter below was sent to the Wickenburg Sun, September 21, 2018, in response to a number of letters that were printed over the past issues:
I now understand. You defend the Chamber because they pay for advertising. Money talks. Got it!
Carol Wallace – Be truthful. The Chamber is not some great benefactor to the town. In 2017 they received $58,637.73 in bed tax for advertising, plus additional funds for odds and ends, $28,993.30 from Prop 302 Arizona Office of Tourism, and free town employee/services for their events. A probable total value +-$100,000. Except for Gold Rush, I don’t remember seeing checks coming back to the town. We advertise, they profit. Check out their tax returns!
Let’s concentrate on visitors who can fill our tax coffers. Like the Germans. In fact, let’s talk about the Red Sparks, the German group coming beginning October. Don’t believe the Chamber’s talking points, this was not something they instigated. They just answered the call as the town’s Visitor Center representative. If you don’t believe me, ask the Red Sparks organizers. Or better, ask the Mayor and his wife who used their own money to go to Germany to close the deal. Mayor Sickles and his wife, Patty, have become a great help to the Red Sparks who are counting on them to ensure things run smoothly despite some sabotaging by the Chamber. Did you notice the Wickenburg House was not included in the program, despite all the activities they have planned? Shame on you, Chamber!
Pierre Prouty - Says the Chamber has every right to join in politics, and he is correct, but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. His example of the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington is not valid. He forgets they are not a government contractor, only a registered Lobbyist. Our Chamber walks the fine line between both. Paid by the town, yet lobbies on behalf of their members. Now they are running campaigns for Stander and Macias, as well as being ground zero for the “umpteenth” Mayor Recall. Why? To stack the council in their favor and to get rid of the one person that has the balls to question their antics – our elected Mayor. At a recent “meet the candidates” we asked if council members should recuse themselves when voting on Chamber matters if they or their family were members. Only Stander disagreed (Macias was not present); the others said yes. Remember this on election day!
Historic Depot – The Chamber does not own the Depot, let’s never forget this. They only rent it for $1 p/yr. I believe they are hiding money. Donations received from grants and citizens to renovate the Depot should be open for public review, as should a full accounting of all the work done, and a view at that interest-bearing account at Edward Jones. Why the secrecy, and why is our town council so terrified of asking for full disclosure? Those funds are ours to renovate our Depot, not some private organization’s clubhouse. I believe this is the smoking gun. IRS are you watching? We are!
August - Wickenburg Chamber opens the door to outside political meddling
The Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce has allowed an outside democratic political operative, Strategies360 (S360), to meddle in our town business. This is not a local organization, their goal is to change small town politics to their advantage.
We have acquired a number of communications from Wickenburg citizens who do not agree with current Chamber tactics. We ask you read this glimpse into the Chamber's thought process, an organization who should, for all intents and purposes, remain unbiased because they profit from a substantial amount of Town funding.
The Chamber's Governmental Affairs Committee, under the joint guidance of Julie Brooks and S360, took on the responsibility to manage Councilman Ruben Madrid's recent (failed) attempt to recall Mayor Sickles. Strategies360 provided documentation, and guidance in this effort, including advising the Chamber to pay for canvassers to collect signatures.
On June 11th, we have proof that S360:
Our town, our ideals and our issues are our business. At this local level we should not be concerned with party politics. Whether Republican, Democrat or Libertarian, Wickenburg issues are apolitical, as should be our Council.
Stop the Chamber from allowing Strategies360 to continue managing their preferred candidate campaigns, collecting campaign donations and attempting another Mayoral Recall.
Stop the Chamber from letting an outsider meddle in our elections!
To view and over view and each individual document, CLICK HERE TO PROCEED to view The Proof.
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