05/26/06 — City, chamber meet to discuss dues bill

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City, chamber meet to discuss dues bill

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on May 26, 2006 1:48 PM

Goldsboro City Council will hold a special meeting at City Hall this afternoon to discuss adjustments they made to the Travel and Tourism budget at a work session earlier this month.

They will also decide what role Goldsboro will have in the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce during the 2006-07 fiscal year.

City Manager Joe Huffman said while nothing has yet been set in stone, council members are entertaining the option of moving away from membership in the chamber and toward a system of payment for services.

Mayor Al King was not present for the council's previous discussions regarding Goldsboro's membership with the chamber, but said the initial decision was made as a way to cut down on spending.

"The council I think initially voted to not fund the normal membership dues," King said. "But they have provided information to show that without that money, they will be unable to provide certain services we want."

So today, representatives from the chamber will share their operating budget with council -- to show them what would happen if the city didn't pay its dues.

Chamber President Steve Hicks said the city's involvement with the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce is extremely important to the organization.

"The chamber has been here for over 100 years," he said. "Throughout that time, we have worked closely with city and county governments to make this a better place."

Although the main purpose of the chamber is to improve local businesses economically, Hicks said the organization continues to look at the bigger picture.

"Another purpose is for our members to come together to improve the quality of life for all citizens," he said.

Hicks said he is looking forward to today's meeting. He added that he understands while the city is going through its budget process, officials are forced to cut back on unnecessary spending and to look at maintaining a quality level of service without raising taxes.

Still, he said he believes the city and chamber can continue to provide services for the community together.

"I appreciate everything the city has done for us. I just hope for a lasting relationship between us," Hicks said.