Hispanic Chamber Asks Council To Renew Funding 8/20/13
CBS 7 News
August 20, 2013
MIDLAND-Earlier this month, a citizen committee in Midland recommended not to renew funding for the Midland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Today they went before the city council and asked for another chance, the midland Hispanic chamber came before council to say why they should renew their funding.
The Hispanic Chamber asked for a renewal of the $60,000 dollars a year they received last year from the council.
"We submit our financials every month to the city, so they have those,” Said Chairman of the Chamber’s Board Lupe Villanueva.
Questions arose about financial reporting when the citizen committee that recommends funding said no after the chamber submitted its proposal. One concern was that the chamber was using the city money to pay for its salaries, the city says it is comfortable with how they are spending the money.
"They've obviously made an effort to adjust how that we need to justify spending the taxpayer's dollars,” Said City Council Member Michael Trost.
A spokesperson for the chamber could not say if they used money last year for salaries.
“That I don’t know,” Villanueva said.
According to financial documents provided to CBS 7 -- the Hispanic Chamber used just shy of $34,000 of its incubator money for the salaries of its two employees.
One woman who attended the meeting said she wants to see proof of how the money is used.
"All public funds should be accounted for publicly,” said Midland Resident Mary Mabry.
Most of the funding is used for its small business incubator--a number of people in the incubator told the council it's well worth the money. We asked what would happen if the funding were cut.
"It means we’ll have to cut back on some of the services we provide in the incubator,” Villanueva said.
No official vote or recommendation was taken today, it won't be until September or October when the city sees an actual contract that they can approve or deny the funding.