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Opinion

CAVANAUGH: A reminder of the chamber's role in Marseilles

To the Editor:

In response to an article in the Feb. 8 Times with the headline, "Attorney General: Marseilles broke state law," and the comment by Mayor Hollenbeck, “until I feel the chamber does something for us and they want to work together with us, which they don’t.”

I need to remind the mayor that the chamber does not work specifically for the city of Marseilles. The chamber works for its membership, which includes a substantial number of businesses and individuals in the region, including those in the Seneca area. The work performed by the chamber is under the direction of the board, comprised of its membership.

At no time during my tenure as chairman, has the city of Marseilles asked for representation on that board. And the chamber has, on several occasions, encouraged the city to submit a candidate for the board membership.

As the chamber performs its work, the city of Marseilles will benefit, regardless of membership status. The work includes, but is not limited to: the promotion of the area to businesses and individuals, which includes the distribution of an area booklet, serving as a clearing house for prospective businesses and residents and staffing the Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial from April through Veterans Day.

In the past, the chamber has prepared a downtown redevelopment plan, dated June 1, 2004. An economic development brochure was created, also included on the city’s website. The chamber had prepared a plan for the development of the I-80 interchange, proposed a businesses park on the west side of Marseilles. The downtown redevelopment plan and the proposed business park were incorporated with the city’s comprehensive plan, wholly or in-part.

If current work and past work hasn’t been recognized by the mayor or city council as being part of the city of Marseilles, they suffer greatly from myopia.

ED CAVANAUGH, Chairman

Illinois River Area Chamber of Commerce

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