Camarillo is the new Compton: Paying the Chamber to hear the mayor speak on the State of the City




Editor’s Note: Resident Jeff McVicker emails an L.A. Times writer on Camarillo’s upcoming State of the City and having to pay for the privilege of hearing Mayor Little speak on the subject.  Couldn’t agree more.  It should be in an open forum where every resident can attend without cost.

From Jeff McVicker:

I really appreciated and liked your article in yesterday’s L.A. Times concerning Compton’s State of the City speech that had a non-profit fundraiser tied into it. While I know your beat is in and around South Los Angeles, I think that you would find Camarillo’s State of the City speech interesting when compared to Compton’s situation.

As you can see from the email below, Camarillo’s State of the City speech is and has been a Chamber of Commerce fundraiser event. And in order to hear our Mayor, we have to by a ticket! At least Compton had a free alternative, such as it was, to hear its mayor. And to add insult to injury, we have pay $10 extra if we aren’t a Chamber member. The speech isn’t even publicized to local residents by the City. I only know about it because another Camarillo resident forwarded me this email. It also isn’t listed as an event in the City’s city scene newsletter that goes to all city addresses.

On top of all that, the City pays the Chamber an annual $6,500 as a sponsor of the Mayor’s speech PLUS the City buys tickets to the event. This is on top of the $70,000 a year that the City gives to Chamber for “Chamber Services”. Exactly what Chamber Services are for I don’t know, but I do know that I haven’t heard the Chamber oppose anything that the City Council wants to do. The Chamber does speak at City Council meetings. Is that what the City is paying for? To have its council members opinion parroted back to themselves as “independent” opinion?

I’ve enclosed all of the payments that the city has paid to the Chamber over the last six plus years. This came from the City after a Public Records Request.

At least in Compton, some of the money is benefiting kids. In Camarillo, at least in my opinion, it’s just about Crony Capitalism.

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