Lawndale : Council Halts Chamber Aid

The City Council, on a 3-2 vote, decided this week to stop funding the Lawndale Chamber of Commerce, jeopardizing the future of chamber-sponsored events such as the Miss Lawndale Pageant and the Youth Day Parade.

Councilmen Dan McKenzie, Larry Rudolph and Harold Hofmann outvoted Mayor Sarann Kruse and Councilman Terry Birdsall to cut off the subsidy, which provides more than half of the chamber's budget. The city gives $25,000 to the chamber directly and provides another $33,600 raised with a 25% surcharge on business licenses.

The councilmen said they feel that the city should provide its own publicity rather than rely on the chamber, but City Hall sources said the councilmen may have been punishing the chamber for keeping a friend off the chamber's board..

Chamber President Frank Anderson declined to comment, saying only that the chamber will continue to function with the smaller budget while seeking other funding sources.

City Manager Paul Philips said the city will provide chamber employees with up to three months' pay if the chamber is forced to eliminate jobs.

Philips said city commissions will evaluate the various events the chamber has sponsored and decide which the city will take over. He said the Miss Lawndale Pageant and the Youth Day Parade will probably continue.

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