Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Chamber of Commerce - Pro or Con?

What is the position of the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce on the proposed development of the Woodstock Christian Life Services (WCLS) property and the demolition of Grace Hall (Harrison House)?

At the June Plan Commission meeting, the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce gave sworn testimony that indicated that the Chamber supported the project saying, according to the Minutes, "He does feel this project is in the best interest of the community."

The "project" includes the demolition of Grace Hall.

However, the Chamber Board had never discussed the WCLS project and had never voted on a position which could then be put forward by the Executive Director.

At the July Plan Commission I raised the issue of whether the Plan Commission had heard correct testimony in June.

The next day the Chamber President told me that the project would be discussed at the August meeting. Was it?

The Chamber President admonished me to validate my facts and information in the future before publicizing information about the chamber. On this past Monday I emailed her to ask if the Chamber Board had adopted a position on the project, what the position was, and when it was adopted. That was Monday. This is Wednesday night. In the absence of a reply, I can only assume that the project has not received the blessing of the Chamber Board.

Without that action the June sworn testimony at the Plan Commission meeting remains inaccurate. It may have been the personal opinion of the man speaking, but it was not the position of the organization he introduced himself as representing and on whose behalf he spoke.

The City Council must assume on Tuesday night that the Chamber of Commerce does not have a position on either the WCLS project or the demolition of Grace Hall, and it should disregard the portion of the public record which includes information that may be in error.

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