Melfort City Council voted unanimously to abolish the position for a city representative on the board of the Melfort & District Chamber of Commerce.
Mayor Rick Lang told northeastNOW Monday night's decision will likely be permanent.
“The primary premise behind a person on the board was to validate and look after the interest of the city, because of the $30,000 grant we gave to them,” Lang said. “Since we’re no longer giving them that grant, we didn’t see a need to dictate to them that we should have a board member.”
Councillor Tim Hoenmans sat on the chamber's board as the representative for the City of Melfort when the city was giving the chamber a yearly $30,000 grant for tourism. The grant was cut when the city decided to move to its own in-house tourism promotion, and so Hoenmans’ term as the city representative was immediately terminated.
Lang stressed that the business community needs to lead and drive the chamber and decide whether it succeeds.
“The City of Melfort was never meant to be the driver of the chamber of commerce," the mayor said. "We have always been strictly a member of the chamber, but because of the additional money that we were allocating to them we felt that we had to have a dictated chamber member.”
Lang also said there was some desire from the Chamber to put more responsibility on councillor Hoenmans due to his connection to the ciy, which council felt was inappropriate because Hoenmans shouldn’t have been more than a city rep.
The City of Melfort is still involved with the Chamber of Commerce as a member, with councillor Darryl Benson also being a board member through his business.
Despite the city no longer dictating a board appointment, Lang said the chamber could still put a city representative from city council on the board if they chose to.
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