Claremont Insider: Sorry State

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sorry State

The Claremont Chamber of Commerce is hosting the second annual "State of City" luncheon 11:30am today at the Candlelight Pavilion on Foothill Blvd. The Gas Co., Golden State Water Co., Southern California Edison, and VVS, Inc., are co-sponsoring the event.

The Chamber's website had this information:

State of the City Luncheon
Thursday, July 15, 2010, at 11:30 AM
Candlelight Pavilion
455 W Foothill Blvd.

Cost per person is $35 RSVP's to Marlene at 909-624-1681 or Marlene(at) with "State of the City" in the subject line.

We'll probably get the sanitized spin on how well the city is weathering the recession because it's in the Chamber's self-interest to justify the $40,000 per year the City pays them to attract businesses and visitors to Claremont. There will probably be no mention of those 140 foreclosed residences on the market or the empty commercial space around town.

There's been an ongoing argument, in and out of City Hall, regarding the Chamber's real usefulness. Is that money really all well-spent, or would we be better off hiring a professional firm to market the town. Of course, the buy-in for a credible marketing campaign would be much, much more than $40,000 a year. The question is, would a larger expenditure result in a higher return for the City?

One thing is for sure, the Claremont 400, who are without shame, are well-represented in the Chamber. The Chamber's immediate past chair is former mayor and Preserve Claremont organizer Paul Held. The chair-elect is failed council candidate Bridget Healy. And former mayor Sandra Baldonado, current mayor Linda Elderkin, and official council photographer Sonja Stump are among the current board members.

(By the way, Healy, whom the 400 have also welcomed into the ranks of the Claremont League of Women voters, will almost certainly be back for another run at the council once her resume plumping campaign is complete. Fool us once, shame on you; fool us twice....)

With the Chamber, you might just be getting what you pay for.