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Chamber Director Says City-Chamber Relationship Needs Work


The Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce is asking for more cooperation and less conflict from the city on some undisclosed issues. 

Chamber Executive Director Lauren Sackett told city officials they're hoping for better communication...

"During the last several months, issues have emerged in which the Chamber and the City seemed to have been pitted against each other. Due to these issues on more than one occasion our non-profit has had to pay for legal fees for issues that could have been worked out through communication. Communication has been rare. Scheduled meetings have gone on unattended and most recently our chamber report(to the council) has been removed from the council's agenda..."

Sackett says she's asking for more collaboration with city officials...

"In the coming weeks there are projects I would like to work together on. I've asked the city administrator and the mayor to be the city's representation during the Department of Tourism's Destination Assessment Task Force. Destination Assessment will offer our community a process designed to find a path to maximizing our strengths, create a destination appealing to visitors and potential residents and outline the development necessary to increase the impact of visitor spending..."

The City and Chamber are in discussions concerning the allocation of taxes collected from visitors called the Room Tax. Sackett says the task force sessions should set up a framework to find a conclusion to the room tax issue...

"..The chamber board and I personally, don't want another year of turmoil and hostility. The time and energy we've spent resolving these issues being in conflict with each other could have been spent on building new things together and focusing on where we want our community to be..."

Sackett's comments came during a public comment section of the agenda, so city officials could not legally respond within that section.

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