Chamber stays in screen shop |

Chamber stays in screen shop

by Nancy Dallas

DAYTON – The Dayton Chamber of Commerce will remain in their new location.

With little discussion, the chamber Board of Directors last evening voted 5-1, with one abstention, to keep their business office at Dayton Valley Screen and Glass.

In July, with a 4-3 vote, the board moved their offices from Sutro Square across Highway 50 to Dayton Valley Screen and Glass, co-owned by board member Jo Cole. Some board members then challenged the legality of Cole’s participation in the vote to move, citing the financial benefits resulting from the decision.

Cole is charging $100 more per month rent than the owners of Sutro Square.

In calling for a vote to reconsider the original decision, Chamber President Wayne Pedlar took responsibility for allowing the prior action to take place with Cole’s participation. Prior to the vote he requested Cole to abstain from the vote and any discussion pertaining to it.

Board member Bill Miles, in voting to not reconsider the prior decision, said “Though I was not here to vote in the original decision, I do support the move because it is more visible on a professional basis. Where we are at is not my first choice, but where we were at was my last choice. It offered a terrible presentation for the chamber.”

Dr. Ann Steinberg was the lone vote to reconsider the move.

“I felt if a legal vote of the entire board was to stay I could live with it. My concern was with keeping the board operating legally and ethically and being a true representative of all member businesses,” Steinberg said following the vote. “The membership must realize they must stay involved to keep the chamber operating.”

Charles Harrall had originally voted in favor of the move, but chose to abstain during last nights decision.

“I voted to move the office for good business reasons. Circumstances since then seem not to be working too well; therefore, I feel we as a chamber should look at our budget, stand on our decision so we may use this facility to serve its members and the community.”

Following the vote considerable discussion took place regarding the feasibility of retaining the chamber’s part-time paid employee.

Referring to the chamber’s budget report, board member Mike Walker felt the chamber could not handle having paid staff and recommended using chamber volunteers to handle day-to-day operations, stating “The $4,000 spent on our part-time employee could be better spent if chamber volunteers step up.”

The board agreed, however, to not make a final decision regarding a paid position until the November meeting and after a full review of the budget was undertaken.

“We need to look at the overall costs of the chamber and see if we can organize better and utilize our paid staff more efficiently,” Harrall said in a motion to postpone a final decision on the matter.

A motion to lay off the paid employee until after the November meeting was defeated 5-3, with members Walker, Cole and Browne voting to suspend pay to Mary McDonald for one month.

Board members present included Miles, Pedlar, Browne, Walker, Harrall, Steinberg, Cole and Lois Storrs. Debbie VanWhy was absent.