Town Council should weigh in on chamber

info@islandpacket.comMarch 4, 2013 

Skip Hoagland's ongoing issues with the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce has captured my interest. In its recent editorial, the Packet clarified the legal situation by citing the relevance of the state's accommodations tax law and the Freedom of Information Act and whether the chamber is a public body or a private nonprofit organization. All of this, of course, is about the legality of things, and I am sure it will all be sorted out.

But I don't think our focus should be on the legalities. Our focus should be on what our Town Council thinks about this situation. After all, the council is spending our money and is responsible for it being spent wisely. The council does not need any legal finding to ask for whatever information it wants from any organization it does business with. No information, no more business. It's that simple.

So what is missing is not a Supreme Court opinion. What's missing is something from our Town Council. We need a statement from the council that the money going to the chamber is being spent wisely, that the town has reviewed all of the information it needs to reach this conclusion and makes this information public. The council's silence on this issue is strange. Some would say it's not only strange, it's also suspicious because the silence seems to support the chamber's position.

Ed Macho

Hilton Head Island

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