Chamber Seeks to Increase Input With Government
The Camarillo Chamber of Commerce will take an outspoken and proactive approach to local, state and federal legislative issues in the coming fiscal year, according to the head of the group’s newly elected executive committee.
Local businessman Gary Cushing also said the chamber will try to maintain close communication with other local chambers of commerce to present a louder Ventura County voice to government officials.
“We want to get all the chambers’ legislative committees together to be a larger voice throughout the state,” said Cushing, president and chief operating officer of GSMC Inc., the franchise owner of three Marie Callender’s and two Tony Roma’s restaurants in the tri-county area.
“It’s becoming more and more critical that we work together,” he said. “There are certain things like the [possible conversion] of Camarillo State Hospital that affect the whole county.”
Cushing is one of nine officers who began serving their 1996-97 terms last week as members of the chamber’s board of directors. The 460-member chamber, which has 24 board members, operates on a fiscal calendar that begins July 1.
Other newly elected executives include Ron Grant, owner of Camarillo Mortgage; Scott Gibb, assistant vice president with Channel Islands National Bank; Phyllis Boynton of Boynton & Assoc.; Susan Duxbury, vice president of Camarillo Community Bank; Mary Howard, general manager of Conejo Mountain Memorial Park; Sherry Cole of the Pleasant Valley school district; Dave Fowble, owner of Trophies, Etc., and Tony Trembley, an attorney with Nordman, Cormany, Hair & Compton.
Much of the legislative activity will fall to Trembley, who will head up the chamber’s legislative review committee, as he did in 1995-96.
“Last year, we looked at several regulatory reform measures, sales and use taxes, reform of the environmental quality act,” Trembley said. “We’ve taken a pretty wide-ranging look at pending legislation and have not been shy about communicating our recommendations.”
This being an election year, Trembley said, it is even more important to educate the business community and the public on governmental activities.
“The focus of the chamber, as I see it, is to promote business development in the community and to promote the community itself,” he said. “By focusing on legislative issues and also on economic development, the chamber is fulfilling its purpose.”