Castro Valley Advisory Council Urges County Supervisors To Rethink Chamber Contract

The Municipal Advisory Council thinks the Eden Area Chamber of Commerce should prove that it has lived up to a prior deal that provided it with $55,000 in county support.


Two of Castro Valley's most prominent bodies are having a public spat.

The Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) speaks on behalf of unincorporated Castro Valley in advising Supervisor Nate Miley.

The Eden Area Chamber of Commerce represents businesses in Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, Ashland and Cherryland, and is another voice on behalf of the local community.

Monday night the MAC threatened the Chamber's budget.

Specifically, the MAC advised the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to think twice before it approves a contract that was worth about $55,000 last year to support the Chamber in staging events to promote local businesses.

"In order to do its due diligence in protecting the interests of its taxpayers, the County should delay the renewal of the Chamber contract for one month," MAC member Cheryl Miraglia told Patch.

Miraglia thinks the Chamber has not done what it had promised in return for past county support.

"It would be fiscally irresponsible to throw good money after bad; there needs to be accountability," she said.

Chamber President Dave Wilhite said his group had done all that was required of it and more. He looked forward to renewal of the Chamber's contract with the county.

"We have a 75 year history of service to this community," Wilhite said.

The $55,000 that the contract was worth last year accounted for about 30 percent of the Chamber's $185,000 budget, he said.

Before the MAC made its negative recommendation the Supervisors were scheduled to take up the contract renewal at their February 26 meeting.

Whether the Board renews the contract on that schedule or delays the process remains to be seen.

"MAC is not the ultimate decision maker here," Wilhite said.


Steve Ontiveros February 14, 2013 at 05:52 PM
I would have thought that having the issue go before the Board of Supervisors is public process enough. Do you not trust the BOS oversight of the Chamber contract?
Ashley February 14, 2013 at 06:21 PM
Oh I'd LOVE to see where some of the Chamber money has gone!!!! Lets ask them to show us, okay? And also, the story in the Forum was the one that was completely inaccurate, not this one. I wonder which MAC member actually asked the exec board (who, BTW, is an elected board of members voted upon by other business owners) about these "facts" that were left out?
Ashley February 14, 2013 at 06:27 PM
And @Anneke9, that wasn't the Chamber's "brain child", that was the CV Rotary and the Redevelopment Committee.
Ashley February 14, 2013 at 06:32 PM
Oh, and a quick question for the MAC members; who was it that "complained" about the funding for the Chamber, which is why this issue was brought up in the first place? Minutes from every MAC meeting are supposed to be posted on the MACs website per county regulations and, I haven't been able to read minutes from as far back as January 28th (which is where I stopped looking because they obviously aren't updated often). So where are we community members supposed to look for these hidden minutes? Because it isn't on the county page...
Stacy Poulos February 14, 2013 at 06:50 PM
I have been a small women owned business 28 years. When started making websites (btw I won Best of Web 1999) out I asked the chamber if I could trade services (Also a 4 time award winning producer Telly/Emmys)... help them with their media, i.e. there website etc. As my services moved with the technology. They had no interest. Shortly after they made the same trade offer with a brand new web company (at that time I had been in business 18 years). Who I provided their video production. (I love the guy who did the website and he's just a businessman doing what he does, and had no baring on my situation with the chamber). If you don't nurture the companies, even the ones that can't afford the services, they will never grow to afford the services. (BTW my clients included; PG&E, KRAFT Foods, Eden Hospital (Actually helped them get their Trauma Center), Chabot College, Pyzano's, Krayons, Palomares Cafe, plus 100's of others). ...
Stacy Poulos February 14, 2013 at 06:51 PM
There isn't big business in Castro Valley, I'm surprised any can survive. As far as I'm concerned no ones doing there job. Instead of helping Palomares Cafe get a liqueur license and approve what he needs to get done... there is a tag team of government entities that are making it impossible for him to open his new location. He is improving a eye sore and bring a quality business into Castro Vally, a place that you can go listen to small unique bands have a drink and dinner. The city needs a chamber, but one with open eyes and an aggressive prostitute in business. Not list your name on a website that nobody sees. I know a lot about the business in CV Because I serve a lot of them.
Tom Abate (Editor) February 14, 2013 at 06:53 PM
I did not tell the whole story nor use the entire email from Cheryl, who responded to my query. A story is a summary of events. It is not a trial or a second-by-second record. It should be a reasonable and fair summary. This I believe I did. I did not sensationalize or personalize this dispute. At no point did I state nor insinuate that the MAC wanted the Chamber to fail. Only that the MAC wanted the Board to review the Chamber's past performance. It is suggested that I took things out of context. I consider emails private communications. But if Marc and/or Cheryl wish, I will post my queries to them (I believe they are identical) and their responses. Or they may publish our two-way communication with my permission.
Stacy Poulos February 14, 2013 at 06:56 PM
@Patch you should have a clear facebook "Fan" Button on your website not 'a make a comment box'. Your missing out.
Ashley February 14, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Stacy Poulos is very right! Businesses grow with help from other businesses. The liquor license with Palomares Cafe is having trouble in part by the county ordinance on alcohol and the ability to open new establishments within a certain amount of feet of another alcohol-distributing establishment. However, Chablis has had a lot of help from the Castro Valley/Eden Area chamber throughout the process and I know that first hand as many had supported him and gone to meetings with him to help him get his business going again. Everyone was very sad to see him leave his place in the 580 shopping center, and Castro Valley is in desperate need of more places for the community to frequent without having to go out of the area.
Rob Phillips February 14, 2013 at 08:40 PM
I am in favor of a chamber with open eyes but draw the line at the suggestion they support agressive prostitutes. Shy and demure prostitutes that give you a knowing wink and a beguiling smile, OK. But agressive, never.
Tom Abate (Editor) February 14, 2013 at 08:46 PM
I'll pass on that suggestion.
Jessica Gardner February 14, 2013 at 09:52 PM
Get rid of MAC
Jessica Gardner February 14, 2013 at 09:55 PM
@stacy Really a "prostitutes " is what is needed? Maybe they didn't like you or your design happens, that's how it is so now you bash gem just because they didn't use your services
Stacy Poulos February 14, 2013 at 10:47 PM
prostitutes, Opps reliable dyslexia (I'm the poster child for dyslexia... really). I'm not bashing anyone, one way or another I am a 'small women owned business' 28 years and have never got any support from the community or government of Castro Valley when I needed it most or ever. If that sound like bashing, I'm sorry. I get support from businesses small and large, even my competition supports me. I had a place on Castro Valley Blvd above Lucas Deli. And was told I could NOT put a sign up. How and why would you have a business on the Blvd if you can't put a sign up? I work with many business in Castro Valley alone for 28 years. Many can not move forward. They are with holding a Palomares lic. for what? What ever the rule is it needs to change. They want to charge Krayons and Palomares a cabaret license, for what? Krayons has had Karokie for 20+ years. JOBS and taxes are lost because Palomares is not in business. Of course the people who own the property don't care they get over $10,000.00 a month for rent who cares. Soon the only ones who can afford to be in business are major corporations. Why don't we just move in WallMart in to Mervyns business and call it a day, because they are the only ones who can afford to pay the dings they like to give you. Quit making people run around in circles.
Stacy Poulos February 14, 2013 at 10:52 PM
You've got one talented man, dedicating his life to have a quality business into Castro Valley, and you've got 20 loopholes only attorneys can answer. Work be-gots work people and thats it.
Lisa Ramos February 14, 2013 at 10:55 PM
How does on become a member of the MAC?
Stacy Poulos February 14, 2013 at 10:58 PM
And if you think people hold out from being part of the Chamber, or the Yellow pages, of any other advertising out let it's not because they are living high on the hog. And with holding their millions or holding back their slush funds, it's because they don't have it.
Stacy Poulos February 14, 2013 at 11:07 PM
Ya, I want to be president.
Anneke9 February 14, 2013 at 11:10 PM
Hey Ashley. Thanks for making it clear that the unelected MAC, plus business-owners and their family members "own" Castro Valley. Silly me, I thought I had a voice because I live here.
Daniel Jackson February 14, 2013 at 11:30 PM
75 years in business and as part of the community and Mr. Crawford suggests to let them go bankrupt and spend the money elsewhere. Where do you suggest we spend the money Mr. Crawford? Funny how one can "claim" to be supportive, but be the first one to step up and say "let them go bankrupt!" Good thing the MAC is an appointed position because you sir would not get my vote if you had to be elected.
Tom February 15, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Why in the world is the County giving public funds to a private organization? That smacks of misuse of public funds. Perhaps the California Attorney General's office should look into this.
Stacy Poulos February 15, 2013 at 03:16 AM
@Ashley it's great that the Chamber helped him. It's a ridiculous rule that needs to be changed immediately. There is a liqueur store on one side and a bar on the other, I don't see having a high quality establishment being a problem. There was never any issues at Palomares with the law, ever not even in the past when It was a fine Mexican food establishment.
Stacy Poulos February 15, 2013 at 03:41 AM
Further more @Jessica the point of asking to help the Chamber at the time, was to trade of services was because I couldn't afford their services. It never got to the point that they ever took a look at my work. I offered to improve their media (web etc), to which I am a expert at, to take part in being a chamber member. So it wasn't far fetched. Being a resident at the time ?30 years?, a Vannoy Elementary School graduate, Canyon Jr. High Graduate School, and a Castro Valley High School Graduate. There are programs that help women in business get on their feet in business, Castro Valley isn't one of them. Not that most the programs aren't rhetoric that are supposed to help business.
Stacy Poulos February 15, 2013 at 03:43 AM
Also since you like to point out errors, you might what to fix gem. Peace.
Stacy Poulos February 15, 2013 at 04:13 AM
@Mr Crawford, I would like to make a proposal to the MAC Board to improve the visibility of Castro Valley Businesses through the most powerful medium to date... social media. 1) I would like to propose making a YouTube video about the Castro Valley Businesses whether they are a part of the Chamber or not. The video can be embedded in the companies websites that participate in it. The payment from the companies, is that they have to share the video that includes them. They can earn extra 'airtime' by joining the Chamber. There can either be 5+ short videos by types of buz or by Area... i.e. shopping strip malls, and outer area businesses or one video show. It's a win-win, the healthier the businesses their are the more tax money the city gets. 2) I propose going to each strip mall and making a 360 degree photo of the malls and embedding their logo and contact website in the image. In the caption can be a a list of contact information. All that can be tagged and shared. The streets are improved now. Here is a definitive answer to create a buz around CV that will have a lasting and useful effect. Having just these 2 multimedia tools will give the Chamber, and businesses things they can share through the power of social & multimedia. It will also make the Chambers website or friends of Castro Valley more interesting to browse and the Chamber's website most unique to any other Chambers to follow. I will make one 360 sample to serious inquiries. ©2013 Stacy Poulos
BebeD February 15, 2013 at 05:13 AM
Stacy how can I get in contact with you? I'm very interested in talking to you about the services you offer. You can email me... bdduarte@gmail.com
Marc Crawford February 15, 2013 at 07:04 PM
@ Stacy, you have some good ideas and Bebe is on the Chamber board and is the person you should follow up with. I would also like to see you more involved in the process going forward. @others, nobody wants to see the chamber fail, but they can only last a couple years while losing $20k per year. If your Chamber survival plan is to attack me, so be it. I am not basing my conclusions on a Patch story. The Chamber situation has festered for years. We have reached a point where it is obviously unsustainable. It is a painful and messy situation to deal with, but one that can no longer be ignored.
Heather Mellon February 15, 2013 at 11:35 PM
Here is a response from the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors: http://edenareachamber.com/blog/2013/02/15/107-from-the-chamber-board.
Stacy Poulos February 16, 2013 at 02:22 AM
I will send you a email For those who need media services video / photography / print: http://playback.net/ A sample of 360's (Andronics's, Out doors +) http://www.supergeniuswebsites.com/360photographyservices.html Photo / print sample: http://www.playback.net/art/samples/food_photography.jpg http://www.playback.net/clients/pyzanos/double_parelle_fold.htm http://www.playback.net/html/ser_photo_com_samples.htm Video http://www.carh-inc.org/about_carh.html http://insidethebake.com/ Social Media http://www.girlpagesnetwork.com/ Web www.eliosdining.com
Stacy Poulos March 15, 2013 at 12:20 AM
@Tom Abate, This is what is so disappointing about this town. You asked me to respond to Babe as well as her, sent her a email and I never heard anything back. You put people in positions to help this town, and there you have it. Zipo happens.


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