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



The Dollar Value Of The Trump Administration

Roy Exum: Swimming With Jim Morgan

Senator Alexander: A Reasonable Proposal To End The Government Shutdown


I wanted to add to Roy Exum's "reveal" article helping us all understand just what the cost of running the government is. I went just a bit further this morning asking this question, what is ... (click for more)

I’ve never talked much about this – it is too close to bragging – but in my teenaged years I was a good swimmer. I loved being in the water and maybe the greatest compliment back in the day was ... (click for more)

A government shutdown is always the wrong idea. It is the wrong idea under President Trump, just as it was the wrong idea under President Obama. Members of Congress should first remember that ... (click for more)


Opinion

The Dollar Value Of The Trump Administration

I wanted to add to Roy Exum's "reveal" article helping us all understand just what the cost of running the government is. I went just a bit further this morning asking this question, what is the president's staff and about what does it cost the taxpayers each year? Now assume you are very satisfied with Trump no matter what the cost, then this article will only bolster that support. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Swimming With Jim Morgan

I’ve never talked much about this – it is too close to bragging – but in my teenaged years I was a good swimmer. I loved being in the water and maybe the greatest compliment back in the day was when new UT swimming coach Ray Bussard offered me a ‘full ride’ with the Vols. Are you kidding me … by then I was into tobacco, alcohol, convertibles, and girls in angora sweaters - there ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Angry City Council Wants Answers On Incident Caught On Video Of Man Being Beaten By City Police Officer; Asks DA For Independent Probe

Angry City Council members said they want answers on an incident caught on camera of a Chattanooga Police officer shown beating a man after a traffic stop. The council on Tuesday night voted to ask District Attorney Neal Pinkston to carry out an independent investigation of the incident from last March. Councilman Russell Gilbert said, "I want to see a change in our ... (click for more)

"Financial Predator" Gets 43-Year Prison Sentence In Dalton

Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris on Tuesday sentenced Cara Ann Williams (also known as Kaesarea Williams) to serve a total of 43 years without the possibility of parole on 16 total counts including aggravated identity fraud, forgery, financial transaction card theft and false statements. The sentence will run concurrent with a five-year no parole sentenced ordered by Judge ... (click for more)

Sports

CCS Beats Boyd-Buchanan With Houge Hurt

Chattanooga Christian coach Eddie Salter knew that his Chargers would be in for a battle when they went to Boyd-Buchanan Tuesday night for a key region basketball game. The challenge got even bigger when CCS big man Michael Houge went down in the first minute of the second quarter with an ankle injury and didn't return. The Chargers missed their big man after he had scored ... (click for more)

Hixson’s Crowe Honors Brother Through Basketball

This wasn’t the way Hixson’s Christian Crowe envisioned his senior year unfolding, especially on the heels of a career-best performance last week. But Crowe has learned how to process disappointment and heartbreak, something he and his family have cultivated over the past seven years. Along their difficult journey, though, they have also come to understand how gratitude and thankfulness ... (click for more)