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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Davis Chamber of Commerce is Neutral on Target “After” they Supported It

Forgive me, as a Bush-hater I don’t like to use this reference, but after reading Sherry Puntillo’s response to a criticism of the Davis Chamber of Commerce, I had myself a John Kerry Flashback. (Recall that Kerry in the 2004 Election defended his vote against funding the war in Iraq by clumsily stating: “I actually did vote for the 87 billion dollars before I voted against it.”)

Don Shor wrote a letter to the editor criticizing the Davis Chamber of Commerce for their position on Target.
I have always appreciated the excellent service that Chamber staff provides. I have been a member of the Chamber nearly every year since 1981. But I regret that I will not be renewing my membership now, or likely in the future, because of the Chamber's position on the Second Street Crossing (Target) project… It is bad enough that the Chamber chose to take a position on Second Street Crossing at all. A neutral position would have been more appropriate. But for me, the final straw was when two Chamber representatives spoke in favor of Target at the June City Council meeting. This public support was directly harmful to the interests of many Chamber members.

Debbie Davis then gives her close friend Sherry Puntillo (didn’t we just criticize this in Sunday’s Entry?) the unusual opportunity to respond:

* Editor's note: Chamber CEO Sherry Puntillo clarifies, "When the Davis Chamber of Commerce's position regarding the proposed Second Street Crossing was presented to the Davis City Council, it was in the context of a pending council decision on the project. However, with the council's decision to place the issue on the ballot, the Chamber board decided to take a neutral position on the project."

Yes thank you Mrs. Puntillo for clarifying that—so what you are saying is that you were for Target before you were neutral on it? Yes, that sets everything straight. I’m crystal clear on the chamber position now.

Can someone please explain to me why the Chamber could/ would support the Second Street Crossing when it was a council decision but take no position on it as a ballot measure? That makes absolutely no sense to me.

While I’m at it, it strikes me as very odd that Sherry Puntillo is allowed to respond to this criticism in the same issue, immediately below Mr. Shor’s letter. Of course, it is probably no coincidence that Debbie Davis, Editor of the Davis Enterprise is also a member of the Chamber’s board and furthermore is the very “bestest” friend of one Sherry Puntillo. No, I’m certain that there must be a coincidence because otherwise that might appear to be unethical. I do not recall other members of the public being given a courtesy call and allowed to “clarify” when someone writes a letter to the editor of criticism.

You know I’m sure if someone were to say, criticize the former Chair of the Davis Human Relations Commission inaccurately, Debbie would call up Ms. Escamilla Greenwald and allow her to clarify her actions and position. Oh wait, that didn’t happen.

It is pretty clear who Debbie Davis panders to. Fortunately for us, Puntillo’s clarification makes about as much sense as John Kerry’s and we all know what happened to John Kerry.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting