Chamber Drama: Part III

So, the West Covina Chamber of Commerce had a five-hour closed door board meeting yesterday. I stopped by at noon on Thursday to see if I could go inside in meeting or at least get an agenda, and had no luck with either.

The board members did not tell Exectuive Director Gary Lawson and Marketing Director Monica Cabrera what happened in the meeting. Instead, Lawson and Cabrera received a letter via fed-ex this morning. The letter informed them of their reinstatement, and also that they would both be suspended without pay pending further legal advice. (Read here if you are lost.)

Still no word as to the reason for their firing, reinstatement or suspension, though Lawson is convinced it has everything to do with a restraining order he, Cabrera and part-time employee William Medina filed against board member Luis Chacon.

Since Lawson and Cabrera are the only two full-time employees of the six-person staff, it kind of makes you wonder who is going to be picking up the slack. Also, part-time employee Medina said he is considering quitting over the whole ordeal.

Board members refuse to return calls. While the board is a private agency, it does receive some public funding. This year, it got $75,000 from the city of West Covina, Lawson said.

This is just me talking, but once a private agency receives public money — your money — it seems that those agencies should strive for some sort of transparency and accountability to the public — even if that means returning a phone call or distributing an agenda. I’m not the only one that sees it that way, either.