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media letters

Dec 14 2011

Chamber Presentation to ATAX for Additional Funds

SUBJECT : CHAMBER PRESENTATION TO ATAX FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDS The recent request for additional funds by our Chamber is for supplemental above the 30% they currently receive. 30% is over $1M – the additional supplemental request totals $358K. Susan Thomas’s recommendations need to be approved by a separate CVB Board made up of local media members, not the current Chamber Board we now have. Since the ATAX committee is not entirely made up of marketing professionals, the committee needs to feel comfortable that public funds are being used and approved the right way. This cannot happen with the Executive Chamber Board we now have and with the abuses that have already been identified.

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Nov 3 2011

All local Media Companies

To Members of the Media:

I am writing, as a business owner and past Chamber of Commerce member, to share my concern about the growing trend whereby the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce and other Chambers / CVB’s nationwide are increasingly competing with media members, rather than supporting them according to their original mission. This is an unacceptable abusive practice, plain and simple.

Competing with local media directly violates the charter of every Chamber of Commerce, which is to support and help business members prosper within the community. On the most fundamental level, the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce has an unfair competitive advantage because of its status as a 501(c)(3) non-profit funded with bed-tax revenue and member dues.

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Oct 30 2011

Chamber of Commerce Concerns and Abuse

I am writing to share my growing concerns regarding how the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber is currently being operated and managed. As a local business owner and past Chamber member, I am troubled by the waste, mismanagement and failure of leadership that are taking place on a number of levels.

I believe it is time we all take a deep look at how our Chamber is being operated. The Chamber should be using our membership dues wisely and responsibly, with total accountability and transparency regarding how revenue is being used and spent. We need to look deep at fiduciary responsibilities of Board Members and abuse of spending public funds and members’ dues. I am sure many local lawyers will be looking at all this.

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We want to hear from you!

Send your responses to stopchamberabuse@hargray.com and state if you wish to be private or if your email can be published to this website.

You've Raised Very Serious Questions

I feel that you have raised some very serious questions about how our Chamber is being run and where the money is being spent to market our island and the businesses that support our Chamber.

Additionally, your questions raise the possibility that the Chamber board is a "hand-picked" board that continues to perpetuate the abuses alleged in your complaints. As such, an independent committee, made up of chamber members, needs to be chosen and convened to address your concerns immediately.

Those are my thoughts and you may advertise them as such.....

Kim D.