Oversight Needed In CVB And Chamber Of Commerce Spending

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Hamilton County Commission adopted a resolution that requires that all taxpayer-supported agencies receiving 25 percent or more of their annual operating income to adhere to Hamilton County purchasing policies.  For the commissioners that voted to protect the public tax dollars, you get an A plus in elected representation. 

It is about time that the CVB and Chamber of Commerce had some degree of oversight in spending of public tax dollars.  For years, these organizations have taken $7 million and $1.2 million, respectfully, in annual income from the taxpayers, and with a high brow stated, “we are not subject to open records.” 

The purchasing policies of Hamilton County are determined by Tennessee Code Annotated and developed by the state government. The purpose of having purchasing or procurement policies is to ensure that taxpayer funds are spent in an appropriate business manner. 

In the old days, the standards for local government was to obtain three quotes on all purchases under $10,000, with latitude for purchases under a few thousand, and to advertise for bids on purchases over $10,000.   This is a very reasonable standard that good business practices demand.  I get many quotes for work at my home, because quotes can vary. 

Then, there are standards for hotel and dining costs in the form of policy.  All organizations I have worked for had reasonable minimums.  Never, has public tax dollars involved luxury hotels and fine dining.  

I was reading this morning that a few county commissioners and the nonprofits object to having minimum standards as prescribed by state law placed on the millions of taxpayers dollars gifted to supported agencies, such as the Convention and Visitors Bureau,  Chamber of Commerce, and the list goes on. 

There is no such thing as a free lunch, and free money derived or forced from taxpayers must have conditions.  This is the problem with the attitude that the state and local government procurement standards are too much for local nonprofits. 

If reasonable business standards are too cumbersome for local nonprofits spending millions in taxpayer dollar, then get your free money somewhere else. 

It is more than disturbing that the CVB and Chamber refuses to allow the public to view the spending records of their tax dollars.  

I cannot imagine $8.2 million gifted to CVB or $1.2 million gifted to the Chamber of Commerce without government procurement rules, or open records. 

April Eidson




Roy Exum: I Am Very Privileged

A California professor who teaches sociology at San Diego State told her students she would give each extra credit if they would participate in a “White Privilege Checklist” the other day. Understand, there is no pass or fail but, the more of the 20 statements you agree with, reveals you are “more guilty” of being white and therefore more “privileged” than those who are not. ... (click for more)

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com; Include Your Full Name, Address, Phone Number For Verification

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to  news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. This includes your home address and phone number. We do not post the contact information, but need it for verification. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more ... (click for more)

Witness Says Morse Told Him "His Emotions Got The Best Of Him" At Triple Killing In Lookout Valley

A witness told a Criminal Court jury on Friday that Derek Morse told him "his emotions got the best of him" at a triple killing in Lookout Valley. Michael Shavers also said Morse told him in detail about the slayings of John "Jake" Lang, Jon Morris and Caleb Boozer and the shooting of Matthew Callan at the Rolling Hills Trailer Park on April 9, 2014. Morse is standing trial ... (click for more)

Prosecutor Calls For "Meaningful Punishment" For Dyer, Brennan In $4.9 Million Swindle

Federal prosecutor James Brooks is calling for a "meaningful sentence" for Doug Dyer and James Brennan, who are charged in a $4.9 million swindle. He rejected arguments that they should receive leniency due to their age and health problems. They are set to be sentenced next Friday at 9 a.m. by Judge Travis McDonough. Prosecutor Brooks said concerning Dyer, "As this Court ... (click for more)

Trojans Score 32 Third-Quarter Points To Crush Owls 42-21

Soddy-Daisy, held to a field goal in the first half, destroyed Ooltewah with a 32-point third quarter Friday night at Robert Talaska Stadium and went on to hand the Owls a crushing 42-21 non-region loss. The shocking turnaround enabled the Trojans (4-2) to snap a six-game losing streak to Ooltewah and enjoy homecoming festivities on the same night. Soddy-Daisy had won just ... (click for more)

Baylor Wins Big Over CCS 42-8

Baylor's Mike Benning rushed seven times for 104 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead the Red Raiders to a 42-8 win over CCS on Friday.  Baylor scored 21 points in the first quarter and 14 in the second to take a 35 point lead into the third quarter.   Benning rushed for touchdowns of 48 yards and two for four yards.  Baylor quarterback Lorenzo White ... (click for more)