“The chamber is getting a quarter of a million dollars from us and we have no idea what is happening with that money,” Hardesty said. “These questions should have been asked a long time ago. We want a full report. When we get a report and flush out the specifics, we’ll go from there.”
In 2004, when the last city council awarded the grant to the chamber, it required them to detail how $160,000 of it would be spent to promote economic sustainability.
However, the three councilors said a report filed by the chamber several months later was too vague to glean what had been done toward this cause.
Ashland Chamber of Commerce information being requested by three city councilors:
• form 990 of the 2004 Federal Income Tax return
• the organizational, budget and expense information provided by other Economic and Cultural Development Grant recipients
• a written report and examples of change how Ashland is marketed to families
• a report of activities and accomplishments of the Economic Sustainability Committee
• a copy of the Rapid Response Team brochure
• business development workshop information
• press releases, ads, etc. for city-funded activities
• a list of postal expenses
• a list of equipment purchases, including their uses
• an itemized report of expenses and income from tuition for business development workshops
• expenses for: Web site design and marketing, Economic Analysis Survey Development, office maintenance/redesign, supplies and accounting
• a report on the progress of contract items that were not accomplished during the grant period