David Jerome, secretary of the moribund Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce, called a meeting of the general membership on Monday, May 13, to begin the process of disposing of Chamber assets. The Chamber no longer has a board of directors authorized to act on behalf of the membership.
With the same indifference that characterized an April 29 meeting called to decide the Chamber’s fate, the general membership, other than for a few, were no shows. Jerome had called the meeting to create a Chamber committee authorized to dispose of tangible Chamber assets, such as its bus and Harmony, the town monument.
Gary Kuscher, Art Alliance of Idyllwild president, attended to express his organization’s interest in securing the Chamber bus. Jerome said Charlie Wix of the Idyllwild Rotary had previously indicated his organization’s interest in taking possession of and responsibility for maintaining the town monument.
Rotary should have a decision this week, according to Jerome. The Idyllwild Area Historical Society would be interested in having Chamber file cabinets and shelving, according to Bob Smith.
“Whatever furniture or office supplies are left at the end of the month, could be stored in the bus,” Jerome said.
Only two general members, Smith and Marge Muir of the Idyllwild Association of Realtors, attended in response to Jerome’s call for a committee. Local innkeeper Chris Singer and Idyllwild Town Crier Publisher Grace Reed had previously told Jerome they would serve on the dissolution committee. Chris Titus, previous Chamber president, could not attend but has been asked to serve.
Jerome has continued, in the face of members’ lack of interest, to perform Chamber dissolution functions in accordance with Chamber bylaws and state law. He said the next step is to convene the committee and, assuming there are nonprofits interested in receiving Chamber property, dispose of it by the end of the month.
In reviewing Chamber financial books, Jerome discovered balances of $600 in checking and $700 in the monument account, with no outstanding bills and a likely final utility bill for the Chamber office of $400. The small group present discussed giving any remaining cash to the HELP Center.
The Chamber office closes on May 31. Titus, Jerome and Singer had jointly funded office rent for May.
There was a time when there were two Chambers in town. Now there is no organization charged with representing and advancing the interests of town businesses. Longtime resident Muir advocated for a successor organization to perform functions vital to town business. But, if the slow death of the Chamber and the disinterest of the general membership in the organization’s survival or asset dispersal is any indication, an immediate successor to this Chamber seems unlikely.
Death by lawsuit and dissolution by default are sad ends to an organization that once appeared healthy, committed to the community, staged rollicking mixers, had a full board of directors, and had optimism about Idyllwild and its role in promoting it.