S. Shore chamber turning its attention to politics


By Kathryn Reed

Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce is about to become a lot more political.

That was one of the proclamations by CEO B Gorman at Thursday’s annual breakfast meeting.

“The board made a courageous and progressive decision at their retreat. They have decided to create a Government Affairs Committee,” Gorman told the group assembled at Tep’s restaurant on Jan. 31.

Criteria for what issues or political races are worth taking a stand on are still being developed. The framework is expected to be completed in April.

The chamber is also going to start tracking elected officials’ votes primarily as they relate to decisions that affect businesses. Gorman said the chamber would then be able to share with the 643 members how politicians have voted – basically if they are business friendly or not.

In many ways the chamber is already political. In 2006 it put together a Regional Plan initiative to help direct how the TRPA’s final document would look.

“We provided TRPA policymakers with information about how they impact you as a home owner, business owner and employee,” Gorman said. “We were responsible for 150 people showing up at TRPA meetings.”

The website that the chamber set up to provide people information as the bi-state planning agency went through the process to update its Regional Plan will remain active as the document begins to be implemented.

This year, the chamber is going to focus on economics and relationships.

Following up on the October economic forum will be a workshop (March 5, 5-8pm, Embassy Suites) to look at what happens next. People will talk about what they are working on – from the city’s recreation master plan, to Tahoe Regional Planning Agency area plans, to Vail Resorts, to Lake Tahoe Community College. The public will help identify the gaps – what isn’t being done.

Implementing the plans, ideas, goals – that’s the next step.

With the wayfinding signs installed on the California side of the South Shore, the chamber is going to try to do the same in Nevada.

Another goal for 2013 is to up the 84.3 percent membership retention rate to 86 percent.

Today the chamber’s new website is expected to launch.





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Comments (6)
  1. Steve says - Posted: February 1, 2013

    Just what we need, another Political Action Committee trying to sway government. Like the public employee unions.

  2. Bob says - Posted: February 1, 2013

    It seems though they could bring more transparency to local gov’t. Most of us 9 to 5’er’s don’t have the time to follow up on promises made by City Council, TRPA and the like. This GAC could be a good thing.

  3. TheTruth says - Posted: February 1, 2013

    California voters should carefully review recommendations made by the Nevada-based Chamber of Commerce. The City of South Lake Tahoe provides generous subsidies to Nevada corporations, through, for example: our airport, the welfare we provide to their poorly paid workers (the casinos and their vendors recruit people from out-of-state who choose to collect from California rather than Nevada), the low-income housing we provide, and the Heavenly Village.

    Ask yourself if the Nevada-based Chamber rates California-side political candidates according to their willingness to subsidize Nevada-side businesses, or according to their plans to make our town a better place in which to live.

  4. tahoeadvocate says - Posted: February 1, 2013

    Steve— You’re correct that public employee unions sway votes. We wouldn’t have the recent decision to implement paid parking at privately supported as well as public beaches if the 4 union represtatives hadn’t pleaded with the Council to find $$$$ to pay them.

  5. Local says - Posted: February 1, 2013

    This is nothing new, the Chamber has always been political. They have influenced local politics for a long time. Many City Council members have been elected with their help. I remember Mike Bradford telling the Chamber board members that if we don’t get our people elected to the city council we can forget about getting anything done. The Chamber needs to stay out of politics.

  6. Tahoe78 says - Posted: February 2, 2013

    On a different note please stop the parking meters at Regan beach! I just saw it was on the agenda for Tuesday and am very disappointed. Use of this park will dramatically decrease by local residents and it will not help the concessionaire in that location where local residents stop by for lunch.