I just finished reading the editor's opinion of "Change in Room Tax Increases Responsibility" (Oct. 20 edition), and I have this compelling need to respond in order to set the record straight.
You did a great job of explaining Measure 12-43. I, too, endorse the passage of the measure and hope it passes, but want to clarify a few things.
Yes, the Chamber does receive money to operate and promote tourism form the Transient Room Tax, but tourism is not the only reason that the Chamber exists, as you stated in your article.
If the employees of Blue Mountain Eagle were to attend our meetings on regular basis, get involved and volunteer (without having a monetary motive) you would experience what we are all about.
I realize that you are entitled to your opinion as I am. To be fair, the author should have also written about Blue Mountain Eagle's hidden agenda.
What the article doesn't say is that Blue Mountain Eagle strongly disagreed with the Chamber of Commerce for entering into an agreement with Green & Christoffersen Marketing, who by the way, have done a fantastic job and continue to do so.
Blue Mountain Eagle figures that they could and should do the marketing and advertising instead of Green & Christoffersen and have made this fact known to a few directors and members of the Chamber. The real issue is monetary, so the Eagle is criticizing the Chamber for not awarding the marketing dollars to the Eagle.
Thanks to Brian Gardner of LanGard MicroDevelopers, the Chamber of Commerce has one of the best Chamber Web sites in the state of Oregon.
The Web site had over 25,000 hits this last month. A great deal of those hits were to lodging, real estate and recreation. We try to list all businesses in Grant County including their address and telephone numbers. It is not a requirement that they belong to the Chamber of Commerce. That in itself is great advertisement for the businesses and it's free.
Local events are listed and updated and there is a wealth of information on the Web site regarding history, land, communities, trails, hunting, museums and general information about Grant County.
Perhaps the Eagle staff should spend some time browsing through the site.
I make a motion that we leave the marketing of Grant County to the professionals; the publishing of the Eagle to its staff of professionals; and the workings of the Chamber of Commerce to its dedicated staff, directors and members.
If you don't agree with the Chamber of Commerce, then you are cordially invited to become an active member.
Director, Grant County Chamber of Commerce