Clearwater and District Chamber of Commerce has taken a step towards hiring a manager to help take care of its business.
“When you do everything on a volunteer basis, you get what you pay for,” said outgoing president Merlin Blackwell during the Chamber’s annual general meeting last Wednesday evening. “Volunteer burn-out in this town is huge. Paid staff would mean less grunt work for the members. Even 12 to16 hours a week would make a big difference.”
Blackwell said other chambers in the region had tried hiring a manager. Some had succeeded, others not. Who was hired seemed to be the determining factor.
Cheryl Thomas pointed out that several years ago the Chamber was badly in the red or in debt. Through years of disciplined work the situation was reversed so that today there is a cushion adequate to keep the desk at the Infocenter going for a short while even without grants.
The financial aspect of the proposal is the big question, said Shelley Sim.
Part of the new manager’s job would be to write grant applications to pay for his or her own position.
However, it was felt there needed to be seed money present beforehand. Otherwise the new manager would spend all his or her time writing proposals and not doing work for Chamber members.
On the suggestion of Jack Keough the proposal was referred to a committee to investigate the proposal fully and report back at a later meeting.
Constitution to be reviewed
A committee also was struck to review the Chamber’s constitution.
“We have more directors than Kamloops (Chamber of Commerce) does,” said Blackwell. “It’s nice to have a lot of people available but it they all are in the room it makes for a long meeting.”
He suggested reducing the number of directors from the present 11 and amalgamating the secretary and treasurer positions into one.
The changes could not be made at the annual general meeting, however, as adequate notice had not been given.
Drake Smith, who has worked on the constitution before, noted that the constitution is registered federally. Having the Chamber registered provincially as a society would be simpler, he felt.
Smith noted that the present constitution is 51 years old and needs review.
New board elected
The meeting chose Jeff Lamond to replace Merlin Blackwell as president.
Other executive election results were: Denis Greffard, vice-president; Joanne Ovenden, treasurer; Goldie Krawec, secretary.
Marilou Roy, Ted Richardson and Sharon Chaytor were chosen to be two-year directors.
Cheryl Thomas will be a one-year director.
Next regular Chamber meeting was set for Monday, Jan. 9.