Friday, July 2, 2010

Current Watch: Glenwood Springs Chamber of Commerce. City Council Stands Firm and Moves Swiftly to Get Oversight Board in Place

...either uninformed or simply being misled.."

"...has been on table for a year..."

"...not appreciative of the fear mongering.."

"...we have a moral and ethical need to act.."

"...yes.  We are ready to move this forward tonight.."

And so they did.  The comments above are all from sitting council members.  Not from the visibly shaken current President and CEO of our Chamber of Commerce.

In a historic first time ever show of firm resolve, our City Council held firm last night and pushed into a long session to make minor changes in language to the new ordinance designed to protect the money flow of our Accommodations Tax revenues.

Very minor changes to language in the new Ordinance #12, Series of 2010 were decided upon and authority given by council to the city attorney to have rewrite in place for the next council meeting's approval.

smalltown7 remains wanting answers to all questions in our summary post below. 

We also feel completely confident that never again will the loopholes that have allowed for only in house oversight of themselves by the Chamber/Marketing Vendor be allowed to surface.  Future accountability is going to be in place.

This is a major win for the citizens of Glenwood Springs.

The fact that it was blatantly obvious the usual full court press was visibly shaken and highly uneffective in swaying council; did escape our local press coverage.

Again, smalltown7 takes the win.

The future of the largest revenue base Glenwood Springs has will now be in the hands of a diverse board. 

It is up to the citizens of Glenwood Springs to empower themselves now and make it a strong and autonomous from the marketing vendor, board.

Where will our Chamber of Commerce and it's Board of Directors end up as the now empowered city and citizens rise? a very good question, indeed.

After the display we watched last night, our guess here at smalltown8 is a continued attempt at more full court pressing to keep the Chamber's stranglehold on the revenues in place.

With a Chamber President and CEO under investigation, a very poor showing of gimics and flashy power point presentations on the quarterly marketing report that was completely lacking in actual numbers and returns for our money,  and a visibly missing show of physical supporters of old in the room; our guess is the new Tourism Board will be looking hard for answers and asking some very tough questions.

Thank you, sitting council of 2010.  You have a clear path ahead of you now and have done as asked.  Awakened and taken charge.

It will be very, very interesting to watch the next two weeks unfold for our council and our citizens as the end of an era dissolves.


Former Chamber Lady said...

Former Chamber Lady said:

Thank you, safe.

Let's keep the lines from being blurred further by fear mongering:

Ms. Kaup:
Visitor Centers are normally the function of any Chamber of Commerce and they are paid for by member dues which is normal revenue for a Chamber.

In Glenwood Springs case, you authorize yearly for our tourism accommodations tax to pay through the nose, to the chamber and via the 20% expense dipping into the Tourism Marketing Contract. Supposedly "rent" the Chamber has as an "expense" to house the Visitor Center.

Reality is that the Chamber lives rent free at 1102 Grand. The County owns the building and donates it. Reality is that the Visitors Center will continue on forever if the members of the Chamber of Commerce have anything to say about it.

Here's a simple solution if you do not care for taking away this easy flow of cash to the Chamber:

Have the Chamber apply for a Tourism Grant each year to supplement their maintenance of the Visitors Center.

To fall prey to the hype from the Chamber that you must put language to protect them into this ordinance is ludicrous.

newcastle2 said...

What an eye popper that meeting was last night.

Anybody who is still blinded to how hornswaggled Marianne Virgili can twist and spin better than anyone, has got to be blind.

" said the chamber had the contract through 2011..."

"..I have been calling you all day and have talked to most of you.."

(bat eyes) "...but Leo. I like your haircut..."

"...I was shocked at the speed of this...had no idea until today.."

1. The Chamber has the contract only through 2010. Anyone with a marketing background, of which the new RFP's this board will and should immediately put in place; can put together a budget. And one without double and triple deeping the fund for expenses.

2. Leo's haircut is fine. The "fear mongering", deliberate misleading and spin tactic, the obviously not what it used to be "full onslaught of badgering and calling of cronies" is not appreciated just by council. This citizen does not appreciate it either. This issue has been on the table for years and discussed deeply for the past year.

3. Come off it. The pounding on the local commentary for the past few days since smalltown7 started posting (June 29th forward)shows the "I had no idea" theory to be false. And how many years now has the agenda for meeting not come out on the Monday before?? Puhlleezze...

Real issue is somebody counted on council to be in a stupor still and trying to push their way out of Virgili's layers of spin. Thank you, council.

Great job and let's get moving even faster.

There's a contract for 2011 coming up and from the looks of that pathetic and typical display of meaningless charts and diagrams last night; we need some sound numbers and competency.

Anonymous said...


Control is coming over millions of bucks in revenue.

Now, council.

Answer the rest of safe place's list.

Former Chamber Employee said...

Former Chamber Employee said:

This is a long time coming and we must have this oversight in place.

This board has been given very broad powers and now our council must insure the people that strong enough to handle the backlash from the Chamber Board are in place.

Watching last night, with a group of friends and loved ones, I felt as though the last 12 years of emotional turmoil has started to draw to a close for me.

It is very difficult to look across at InterestedGWS last night and have her look up, catch my eyes and feel what I was thinking. Very difficult, knowing that starting today, there is no turning back from the anger and sick rage of backlash she will now face. "She has ruined my life as I knew it", was the comment from Marianne a year and a half ago. We all now know that in Marianne's world, only vengeance is all she can see as an answer.

The understanding and grace,in Interested's eye contact with me last night, gave me the last insight into myself this experience has exposed me to.

I've always been the more timid one. A coward in lots of ways.

InterestedGWS/ab22 is right.

There are far too many good things that will come out of this, if we only trust in the justice standing before us.

It's great to decide as a team to take this win and be done with all but the details.

It's wonderful to be able to focus on clearing the life of a wonderful person who has done so much for me.

Thank you.

Good wishes to our City Council and our new Tourism Oversight Board. Glad to finally have you on board at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Not enough, smalltown.

Keep going and don't stop now.

Your the only ones in this town's history to get anything accomplished with this systemic corruption.

Don't stop now.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

battlementmom said...

battlement mom said:

We are on watch out here and you are not alone.

I swear, if any further harm comes to you at these women's hands; there won't be any stopping so many women and their husbands out here who support you.

This attack on you has gone on long enough.

And last night there could not have been any better picture painted for the region, than what Virgili showed in true colors at that meeting.

Shameful. Disgusting. Appalling outright attempt at manipulation.

Thank God most of that city council sees right through her, thanks to this group's persistence and patience in staying on point.

To InterestedGWS:
All of this that's not yours will clear off you so that you can clear and defend what is yours. If it looks like it isn't going to turn that way because of what will likely be a hell storm at you from the Chamber now; then all these politicos and officials need to be prepared for a hell storm they don't want, right back at them.

Your in our thoughts and prayers.

1of12Firms said...

Very well done.

I appreciate all that has gone into this sacrifice and gift to my community that I love.

Let's get the bend rounded now and head down the home stretch.

Anonymous said...

We couldn't watch the meeting on video last night but heard from others who did.

No surprises except for Kaup. Vacilating and trying to stay the popular one just as soon as the heat from Virgili started. I heard from someone in the audience that Marianne even went so far as to try the alligator tears act.

How many times in the past 25 years has that card been played?

Glad this is over. There is no way anything could sway the men on that council now.

This will pass next meeting.

Anonymous said...

So sorry for all the backlash to you.

We are horrified. Having family members within 9th Judicial we are aware that you have a lot of validity on your part.

Be well, stay safe. We wish you the best.

Thank you for this. On behalf of a community that at heart is a good community; thank you.

Anonymous said...

Please send me the information on where to donate to the defense fund. I have watched this story for weeks now and want to help.

I guess you get my info from the registration I just filled out. If I don't hear back, then I will email you as the site requests.

Anonymous said...

This is terrific news! What a great end result for the efforts of this group!

Thank you.

I wish you the very best in your efforts to help clear away the dross and assist in getting fair representation for your friend.

sweetcountrygirl said...

I have no idea where anyone in this town got the idea that there is even a social registry and that it's head is Marianne.

There couldn't be anyone less respected.

Anyone who does, does not know her at all.

Give me the low life any day.

Anonymous said...

I would agree with City Council to put a representative of our Chamber of Commerce on this new board.

If we had a Chamber of Commerce.

What we have is the supplier to the tourism industry.

How can they possibly want or put a current Chamber rep on this board and call it a separate seat from the tourist related industries?

Anonymous said...

We cannot afford for the current contract to stay unattended.

Here their griping and groaning about taking a hit and we are in the hole because of them.

Tell her to take a loan out on the McMansion and pay back all the years have given her.

Anonymous said...

How in the hell is birthday cake going to get us out of the hole?

Anonymous said...

How could Kate Collins stand up and defend this?

Oh, that's right.

She didn't.

She stood up and was talking about past numbers under her hand.

Pretty smart strategy to show her stuff to council.

Who has their eye set on an RFP?

Anonymous said...

This board change is the best thing that Glenwood could see right now. Private enterprise mixed with our tourism industry. The old argument and screams from tourism, like Sunlight, the pool, and rafters doesn't hold up and never have. If this heads in beds tax was supposed to be just lodging tax then there shouldn't have been all the promotion aka free advertising being hopped on board by Sunlight bikes, the spas, the caverns, Canyon Resort, Summit Mountaineering. They aren't hotels. It's always been a bogus argument and the loudest screamers are the chamber board of directors. Why not? We all heard Virgili the other night that her board is upset with the change. Of course they are. Their the bankers and realtors who have suspicously turned blind eyes to no ethics and let the money flow through the help's hands like water. Sooner or later, this town is going to get the money back. Maybe this new powerful board will get that done.

sssungirl0 said...
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Anonymous said...

I want to make sure this board passes. Can anyone tell me when the next council meeting is so I can watch it?

Anonymous said...

Have followed this blog since it's first couple of posts.

Good job.


SafePlace Blog Author said...

SafePlace Blog Author said:

Next council meeting is the 15th of July. Go to the City of Glenwood Springs website on that evening at 7:00 and click on the live video feed link. Thank youo for watching.

Anonymous said...

To hell with the bday cake promo.

Lowered the rates and then still give away free nights at a fire sale.


And these people call themselves marketing professionals???

They must be. They sure as hell aren't business people.

God help us.

Anonymous said...

22's recommendations for citizen seats is great.

We get people like Sharrill Hawkins and Jason Carey on this thing and there won't be any stopping the potential. We can have big things and big draws if we get control of the money flows and get rid of the waste gimics.

Who wouldn't want to slow down the pace a bit of the small stuff that's doing us no good long term and build some bigger things?

Man, if we could even get focused on World Kayak if it's not too late, we'd be better off. The brainwashing hasn't been just because of the chamber's agenda. It's been done for so long the outlook from people in charge is always what we can't do instead of what we could do.

I say remedy is right.

Clean house on all of em.

Anonymous said...

Felt sorry for Lewis the other night.

Way too inexperienced and young to be put in that position.

Put this thing out for RFP and a lot of excellent marketing firms are going to run circles around the chamber.

Really glad to see that day is coming.

Can't believe how noisy the death of the era, as you guys are calling it; is.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this.

Anonymous said...

Sick to death of you guys.

Go away now, please.

Thanks, but we're done now.

Anonymous said...

Where are all the comments from t he last few months?

Anonymous said...

I've worked on and off for the chamber for years.

This is the best thing to happen right now.

I hope it keeps all of you out of the line of fire, you've been through enough.

It'll take longer now because this board has to feel it's way. And your right. It's a move made to keep politicians happy and looking good. Puts the heat on the industry and citizens. But it will get done because there is no room for closed door manipulations.

Under investigation and she openly admits at the podium she has spent the day pulling together her usual got your back crowd.

If the public and the politicians only knew how many favors Virgili has greased palms with and stroked backs to get that crowd over the years; they would send her an application to get an award for it.

Got to hand it to Marianne.

She is the best at what she does.

Maybe re-suggest a retirement party, parade and full media presentation again. Let all those politicians stand and smile for photo ops while in their mind their wondering about the answers to your questions, safe.

Now that would be a true legacy to this reign.

Thank you, great job, good luck in all of this that remains.

Anonymous said...

Been watching this from Canada.

Great job, congrats and kudos.

SafePlaceBlogAuthor said...

Blog Author said:

For close to 8 months now, we have made the conscious choice to not release the 1,768 comments that have been made on various posts.

Many of you are upset by that. We get your emails.

Our reasoning is sound.

All along, the only reason smalltown7 became smalltown8 with InterestedGWS/ab22 giving us the anonymity; was because we had tried for years to get officials to listen. We are not interested in airing the dirty laundry of Glenwood Springs, we always try to allow for the local media in place to report fair and balanced and our officials to act as they should.

When our power from this blog grew to such heights that it has, we made the call to use that power if need be.

And so we do.

When media is so biased and outrageously incompetent journalists. When our elected officials insist on remaining in a stupor or sticking only to forced politics upon the people and infringe on our civil liberties to the right to speak without fear; we use our power now.

We hope it is turning out for the good. We think it is and has. We are very conscience oriented in trying to make sure we do not abuse.

Your comments are archived in hard copy on file. Thank you for writing in. Some of you have been contacted personally because you asked to be. Yes, we will always keep your confidence here in this SafePlace unless you tell us otherwise.

We feel it is time to let your voices be heard for a bit. We know we have at least one sitting Councilman who pays attention to all of us. We are grateful to him for that and do not mention his name only because he is afforded a SafePlace the same as you.

Please feel free to email or with your concerns.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

You know, I used to buy into the crap going around about this debacle. That somehow it just couldn't be possible that our Golden Girl Marianne and team at the Chamber would ever do any of this.

Then I started really reading all the posts and this blog. Council minutes and watching video counsel.

Comparing the Post Independent to other medias nationwide reporting on this.

I'm writing in for the first time ever to say to your group, that I get it. I finally get it. Your pounding the facts into front and center for what..2 years now? Finally, I get it.

There's no complex spin going on here and the fabricated bullshit tale of this group being figments of imagination with an agenda towards the just that. Bullshit.

It's a simple conclusion getting to that.

For 25 years, Marianne Virgili has managed to tap dance no accountability, zero transparency, write her own media articles, talk her way out of at least 3 whistleblower sessions, hand pick her own oversight on 2 boards, dance the cajones of law enforcment and elected officials around until they can't see straight and just ignore tens of millions of dollars flowing through a "non profit 501c6 corporation"...into a broadway show instead of a respectable, legit Chamber of Commerce.

By all means, peeps.

Give her the award she craves for all that.

Anonymous said...

You know what I found the most sickening about watching the chamber ladies at this meeting?

Arrogance. Lewis hasn't come any further since that youtube video of her and Marianne waving bye bye to go to China.

Lindsay can't say a word without approval or whatever from Marianne and the look on Marianne's face in this video gives a person the creeps.

Same arrogance at this council meeting from Virgili. And watching Lindsay sitting, she appears to be learning same from a master.

Put it all together with the pandering to Kate and Joannie in the audience, it was really an eye opener.

Ladies, you really need to come down out of the glass tower and rub elbows with the people for awhile.

Your really obvious.

Thank you from this guy to smalltown8 for making it possible for Glenwood Springs to move on from something we no longer want around.

As for the Chamber Board, you can count on a forensic audit.

Anonymous said...

What was with Sturges?

Guy looks like he'll cave and they haven't even started the pressure washer hose out of the chamber yet.