Gwinnett taxpayers give over $1 million per year to the Gwinnett Chamber. In return for the millions of taxpayer dollars given, we were told that the Gwinnett Chamber brought 280 businesses to Gwinnett, created 12,000 jobs, and generated $800 million in economic activity. Where can I get a list of those 280 businesses, the companies that hired the 12,000 employees, and what methodology was used to determine that the Gwinnett Chamber generated $800 million in economic activity?
The Gwinnett Chamber has a registered lobbyist who regularly lobbies for issues that benefit their members, including the failed TSPLOST referendum. Who lobbies for Gwinnett taxpayers?
The marketing people behind the Untie Atlanta advertising campaign would never be able to figure out how to untie all of the tangled relationships between the Gwinnett Chamber and the elected officials who give them taxpayer money. Can someone please explain why the following relationships should give taxpayers comfort that our leaders are only looking out for our best interests?
The school superintendent sits on the chamber board. The school system pays the salaries of chamber employees with tax funds designated for education. The total to date on a no contract, no bid basis? Over $900,000.
The chamber CEO sits on the board of the Gwinnett Conventions & Visitors Bureau (GCVB), which gives $100,000 per year to the chamber. The GCVB CEO sits on the board of the chamber. A county commissioner sits on the board of the GCVB.
The county commission gives $500,000 per year to the chamber, and the commission chairman sits on the chamber board.
These are just a few examples of the tangled relationships. There are many more…
I have been asking questions since February. I haven’t received any answers; only comments such as, “We’ll work on it,” “We’ll look into it,” “We’ll get back to you," “Thanks for asking,” and, “Those are good questions.”
If those are good questions, why are there no good answers?
What is the most politically influential group in Gwinnett County? The Gwinnett Chamber. Who among our political leaders is holding the Gwinnett Chamber accountable to the taxpayers? No one. Where are Gwinnett’s leaders? Nowhere to be found. The silence is deafening.