This has been an interesting week for the Bayview Chamber of Commerce. (Ain't) Elections were held for officers and board members. In the long history of the chamber, these elections were staggered so that only two out of the six board members were up for election each year. This was for the purpose of keeping continuity. That and other bylaws were changed at an ill attended meeting two years ago.
Many in the community felt like the DAC, or Developmental Analysis Committee had grown into something not originally intended. Somewhat radicalized, more power had been concentrated in the committee which then showed a solid front, thereby obtaining total control of the body. Or as an E-Mail circulated by "George," was titled, "DAC Rules." That pretty much defines what went down. Able to split off and become an independent pressure or influence group, they chose to take over and dominate the chamber, rather than go it alone.
Such an action, though I'm sure gave a "team" victory sense to the proponents of the DAC, instead has finished off the chamber as the voice of the community. Shunning others that did not agree with their party line,refusing to let diverse opinions prevail, the so called chamber has been reduced to as they say, "preaching to the choir." While perhaps the other extreme of making the chamber an all business venture was fine for the business owners, it too was perhaps a bit tipped to the other extreme. What could have saved the chamber, sans the power play, was to redefine the group with a more inclusive attitude toward businesses in town.
This leaves business out in the cold from an organization that has the word "commerce" in it, which now is a gross misrepresentation. Perhaps it is time for the marinas and other businesses to form a new group dedicated to furthering growth within the community, rather than the dead on arrival look on the streets these days. Certainly, there is the temptation for some of the business owners to retaliate in kind, since they are the victims of anti-business themes.
I, myself, saw this coming for a while now and divorced myself from the group. I firmly believe I did the right thing as have most others that became fed up with the few that want to control the many. We enter the next year with the chamber losing the one thing they couldn't afford to lose. Their identity as the voice of the entire community.