Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Who is really in Charge of the Dowagiac DDA and Chamber?

Funny thing--every time somebody complains about the Chamber, the City's answer is: "the Chamber is not part of the City of Dowagiac". This statement is not exactly true.

A few years ago, we questioned how the Chamber Director was paid, and the City explained it this way: The City of Dowagiac cuts the entire paycheck for the DDA and Chamber, and the Chamber pays the city back for the Chamber portion of the Director's salary.
When we requested a copy of the paperwork, we found out that the Chamber was well behind in their payments to the City. This means that, at that time, the City was paying for both salaries, along with health care for this part time city employee.

The line between these two jobs is so small, it may not even exist. If the Chamber does something good, the City praises the Director for a job well done. If the Director does something that residents don't like, the City says that was done as the Chamber Director and that they have no control over that.

The City needs to get another DDA Director, or the Chamber needs a different Director. The way it is, this not fair to residents at all. There is no way to hold the Chamber Director or the DDA Director accountable when the city can't decide if it was a Chamber or DDA issue.

A good example of this, is the issue with the former queen. The city said they had no control of the Chamber, yet all letters sent to the queen were on City of Dowagiac stationery.

Why should Vicki Phillipson be the only PART-TIME city employee to get health care from the City? This summer I am sure that the City will hire some part-time employees, who have families, and they will not have ANY health care. If the City has decided to pay the health care for the part-time DDA Director, they should also give health care to every part-time City employee.

I will end this with these questions: If the Chamber and DDA are two separate jobs, why do they share the same letterhead? If they are two different positions, why would the City of Dowagiac allow a private business share the City of Dowagiac letterhead. Who is paying the cost of printing that letterhead?

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