After nearly a year and a half of vilifying the Santa Clara Chamber it appears the City Council is willing to attempt a form of reconciliation.
The dispute remaining surrounds the mystery of Chamber expenditures that do not necessarily fall within properly documented procedures.
While the Chamber indicates it has some documentation to provide with explanations, the City is being cautious.
However, instead of arguing their issues in court, it appears the two sides are willing to resolve the remaining issues in closed session.
This makes sense.
It seems more mileage can be gained by both sides in profitable discussions rather than bearing the burden of court costs on either side.
The damage done to the Chamber over the much-discussed audit has been serious.
The bad press received by the City has also been significant.
Some have asked why the City didn’t apply a more gentle approach to their working with the Chamber and Convention and Visitors Bureau without just firing them? Perhaps by offering some degree of guidance, reporting and documentation.
Others have suggested the City had a duty to provide oversight of the work being done by the Chamber and CVB, with constructive feedback.
Regardless, what is thought about what might have been done better or differently, that relationship is strained and it will take time to heal.
Right or wrong, the City relied on the work performed by their auditor which was a bombshell to the Chamber and a surprise to the public.
“You can’t fight City Hall” became the reality for the Chamber. The approach and handling of the Chamber partnership may have been a heavy hammer that might have been worked out through discussions and oversight.
Fortunately, City Hall and the Chamber now appear to want resolution of the remaining issues and move on.
The City has selected Spectra as the new Convention Center managers and Spectra selected Mr. Kelly Carr as General Manager.
Carr has been working on a combination of objectives to generate sales for conventions, business guests and visitors.
The replacement of the Chamber has been a monumental task and it will be some time before the missing components are filled in and operating.