|There might be better.|
So I thought I should ask.
The reaction I received to my question was not what I'd hoped for, however. Scott Hettrick, just so we are perfectly clear, is the CEO of the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, he also publishes the self-described "Arcadia's Best" blog. A name that, depending on your perspective, might be cause for debate.
|Scott as he appears on his blog|
The current City Hall run campaign to put another draconian UUT increase measure on the ballot, and for the 3rd time in six years no less, has gotten nothing but extremely supportive press from the MVN. In my opinion this makes it more a local establishment booster publication than newspaper.
For the record, The Sierra Madre Tattler has never accepted money from anyone. Even to the point of turning down advertising. Whatever gets said here is completely free of any possibly corrosive influence from someone else's money. You might not like what we have to say, but you can read The Tattler happy in the knowledge that we don't sell our opinions for cash.
Even your cash.
So here is the very brief question I dared ask Scott Hettrick.
We'll get into that in a minute.
Hettrick also unleashed a rather pointed email at me personally. Which is fine. I get that sometimes, though not quite as often as I did a few years back. It does go with the territory. My assumption is Scott was upset by what I'd asked and didn't want to reply to any of my follow-up questions in public.
Here is a portion of Mr. Hettrick's wonderful example of e-mailed indignation.
Now was that really necessary? About as long and grumpy a non-answer to a perfectly innocent question as you will ever get, all while claiming he was too busy for that sort of thing. And this was only a part of it.
But who knows, maybe he was having a bad day a work. Or someone found a peacock in the prize spinach artichoke fondue at some Taste of Arcadia event.
Where Scott may have drifted a little off to sea, however, was with his initial response to that pithy question I posted on his blog on the 18th. Here is the portion where his personal bridge over troubled waters may have gotten all wet.
Much more information than was required. And that 20% figure is a little hard to figure. Especially when you consider that, and despite Scott's snarky remarks, I did do my research on this matter. What I turned up is as follows.
The City of Arcadia pumps a lot of money into Scott Hettrick's two person Chamber of Commerce. And, judging by his unwillingness to respond to my questions in a sunny manner on his blog, it could actually be a much larger sum than he wants anyone to know about.
What follows is two portions of the Staff Report describing the cash agreement between the City of Arcadia and its Chamber of Commerce.
Please note that the City of Arcadia gives the Chamber of Commerce $73,761 per annum, plus $40,000 a year (actually $120,000 spread over 3 years) for capital improvements to the facility where the COC offices. The Chamber pays $400 per month rent for that place, which is fully owned by the City. Its true rental value is probably closer to $3,000 per month.
Here is a portion of the Staff Report detailing that generous money outlay.
|Scott as he looks today|
They must run some really effective bake sales.
These could all be legit numbers. I am not privy to the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce's internal budgets, so we are going on pure gut instant here. I wouldn't bet my semi-sustainable Chevy Volt on any of it, but who knows? Stranger things have happened.
But I also believe that what we're talking about here just may back up the spirit of my original question. That being Arcadia's Best might very well be little more than a de facto compensated publicity vehicle run with the needs of the City of Arcadia and its big McMansion development agenda (examples: link and link) in mind. And not what most of us would refer to as an authentic or real blog.
At least that is my opinion. I'm sure there are others.