Here’s one I missed in the local media that surprised me:
Nevada County Tea Party Patriots Founder and President Stan Meckler is one of seven candidates running for five board seats on the Grass Valley/Nevada County Chamber of Commerce for 2112/2114, according to a ballot that is circulating to members.
Meckler lists himself as “former owner, Bubba’s Bagels, Grass Valley,” according to the ballot. He opened Bubba’s Bagels back in 1996, according to the ballot.
But he hasn’t been an active business owner for a while. Nowadays, Meckler is active in the Tea Party. Meckler’s son, Mark, is a founder of the national Tea Party. Both are vocal political activists.
“Stan’s business career has been in sales for large and small companies. He opened Bubba’s Bagels in 1996 and spent almost a year working (for free) at various bagel shops from San Diego to San Francisco. The experience taught him that ‘it’s more important to find out what you don’t know than what you do know.’
“He will be stepping down as President of the Tea Party Patriots at the end of 2011. He looks forward to serving as a board member of the Chamber and he respects the leadership and team effort of the Chamber.”
According to the ballot, “In order for ballots to be counted, they must include Chamber Member Name and/or Business and faxed to the Chamber by Nov. 11.”
The other candidates are all current business owners, except one who works for the Fair: Dan Becker; owner of Solar Quest: Sean Gilleran, general manager of the Gold Miners Inn/Holiday Inn Express; Robin Hauck, deputy manager, Nevada County Fair; Susan Rice (the only incumbent) from Nutritional Toxicologist: Jayne Sanchez, owner of MAJR Specialities: and Greg Ward, realtor, Network ERA Real Estate.
The Chamber depends on taxpayer funds to operate. On Tuesday, for example, the county board of supervisors was asked to authorize “$50,000 to be designated for a competitive bid to solicit projects to promote tourism in Nevada County.”
But in a turnabout, the five-member board agreed to award the $50,000 to the Chambers outright, pending a contract that will be discussed at a meeting in two weeks. There was no RFP (“request for proposal”) process as planned.
Exit question: If Meckler is elected to the Chamber board, how will the supervisors ensure that his strong political views and high visibility don’t influence the mission of a taxpayer-funded, nonpartisan organization? Let’s hope it’s a point of robust discussion.