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Council Criticized for Fund Cutoff

August 28, 1986

This is with regard to what has got to be the most amazing admission in the history of municipal politics in the entire state of California. I am referring, of course, to the admission by three members of the Lawndale City Council at the Aug. 18 City Council meeting.

They stated publicly and for the record that they did not know the issues before the Lawndale Chamber of Commerce. Then they voted to completely cut the subsidy of what would have been over $58,000 to the chamber.

Councilman Harold Hofmann and Councilman Dan McKenzie, in response to a direct question from the floor, admitted that they did not know what was at issue before the Chamber of Commerce. Then, in their sublime ignorance, they took the unprecedented action (in the city of Lawndale) of de-funding the chamber. Councilman Larry Rudolph was kind enough to volunteer his total ignorance of the issues--even from the beginning of the problem--before he joined the other councilmen in voting to close the doors of the Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber of Commerce was never notified by the city of Lawndale that anything whatsoever of any nature at all was in fact wrong with the fulfilling of the contract with the city by the chamber. Most all observers in the city have remarked that 1985-86 was one of the best years that the city-chamber partnership had ever had.

Never was the chamber given notice to make any sort of presentation to city staff or to the City Council on any matter. No list of problems, accusation, grievances or any other form of communication was ever made. In July, the council had verbally told the chamber to "get your act together in the next 30 days." No definition of that warning was ever given. Then in August, the chamber was de-funded when the councilmen voting against the business community and its organization, the chamber, couldn't tell what was at issue.

Any fair or right-thinking person has got to be wondering what could possibly be the real issue. I can't be the only one who would like the city councilmen to come clean about what they based their votes on.



Editor's note: The writer is the wife of Douglas Beaver, who was chamber president in 1984-85.

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