Chamber no-brainer...

Monday, October 01, 2012

Chamber no-brainer...

Why the Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce Halloween Parade issue ever became an issue will probably only be known to those on the inner circle of the Chamber's Executive Board of Directors & Officers.

This was breaking news on 27East within the hour:

Westhampton Chamber Reverses Course, Agrees To Host Halloween Parade

I suspect that there was a great deal of misformation going around about this matter... hey!, that's one of the dubious "charms" of our little Village... but I place the bulk of that squarely in the lap of the Chamber for the way they man­aged the information so that they came out looking like the Grinches that stomped all over Halloween.

(Read the commenters to the initial 27East story.)

But the powers that be, instead of wasting time which no one really has, on "spin control," convened and made the matter right for all the little darlings to dress up and march in a full-size parade, Gawd-willin' and the weather plays ball.

(Given the extended "Dogs Days of August" we just ex­per­ienced, there could well be a foot of snow the after­noon of October 31st! Weather won't be right 'til they put the rocks back on the moon!)

I do feel for the odds and sods who run the Chamber, hav­ing served in that capacity for six years in the mid-to-late '70s... it's a thankless job, and at time the frustrations would make the Reverend Cary curse.

The prevailing attitude among many Chamber members is, "Look, I paid my dues, but don't expect anything more from me... I'm trying to run a business!"

I remember once in '75 or '76 the Chamber was attempting to put an omnibus half-page advertisement in The New York Times the Friday before Fourth of July weekend; it was to feature all the restaurants who were members, and the first week of June we sent notices out to all those who qualified for inclusion, asking for updated information.

(Gawd forbid anyone's days and hours of operation were published incorrectly!)

[Pffftt!] The response was less than whelming!

'Phone calls were made... "O, were we supposed to give you something? Sorry... I'll drop it off tomorrow."

And that was when we could reach someone!

With less than a week before the Times' deadline... the expensive space was already committed to... I set out around 6:00 pm on a Saturday evening to corral in­for­mation from the non-responders in person.

That did the trick, though Peter Lenz, proprietor with his chef wife Pat of A Moveable Feast, gave me a hauty and Teutonic "Could you come back later?" that made me want to immediately reconvene the Nuremberg Tribunal.

The advertisement was completed timely and published... whether it aided anyone's bottom line that weekend or later, I had no idea because no one said anything about it.

But it was the last time I agreed to wrangle such a program, and a year or so later, the Chamber wisely decided to em­ploy an Executive Director.

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