No Coverage of State of City Address

One event that I look forward to regularly is the State of the City Address sponsored by the Simi Valley Chamber, presented by Mayor Paul Miller. In better economic times, I recall being very moved and excited about the months to come. While the economic climate has shifted and the city recently adjusted for a $3 million budget reduction, I’m just as eager to hear what’s going on. Considering my recent “interactive” nature, I’d like very much to bring my camera and microphone to share the event with the people who subscribe to my content. But it’s not going to happen. Here’s the scoop:

The Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce will once again host the Mayor’s State of the City Address. The Annual State of the City Address will be presented to the Chamber membership on Friday, February 20 at 11:30 a.m. at the Grand Vista Hotel. The Mayor’s address will provide an overview of City Departments and City Projects. “We appreciate and look forward to the opportunity to present the State of the City and to share in detail how our City is doing. We are all facing challenging times and this event will allow the City Council to provide information and to gain input from our businesses and residents to ensure that we are doing our best job to meet the challenges on behalf of the community,” said Mayor Paul Miller.

There are lots of people who are interested in what goes on here and want to witness it for themselves.  These events cater to elite members of the community, business owners and members of the Chamber of Commerce, so the average Simi Valley citizen cannot attend this middle-of-the-day event.  I think it’s important to see and hear these things for yourself, to be present for tone of voice and hear quotes in context.  But most people most directly impacted by the state of city affairs, the citizens, will be hard at work at their day jobs.

Sponsorship opportunities are available at the following levels: Table Sponsors – $600 for a table of eight or $350 for a table of four. Sponsors will receive preferred seating, table placard, acknowledgement in the Chamber’s Mid Month Mailer and the event program. Tickets are $40 for members and $55 for non-members.

As a business owner and member of the Chamber of Commerce, I’ll invest the $40 to learn more about where things stand with the City of Simi Valley.  However, I’ve tried to bring my camera and microphone to Chamber sponsored events, and it’s a no-go, so unfortunately, most of the rest of us will have to read about it in the newspaper.  If you plan on being there as well, please let me know and perhaps we can meet up afterward to discuss.

6 thoughts on “No Coverage of State of City Address

  1. Being charged to hear our elected officials speak isn’t fair unless he plans to give the same address elsewhere for free. Although I support much of what the SV Chamber does, by definition they are a special interest group.

    The idea that a special interest group will get the full address and we won’t isn’t a good idea.

    Mike, call the Chamber and ask. Then tell us who at the Chamber ordered the speech not to be recorded. I bet many Chamber members want it recorded.

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  2. The Chamber doesn’t necessarily order that the event not be recorded. They just prefer that I not show up with my camera and mic. Events like this are ways to generate revenue, both for themselves and their members. The candidates forum was video taped by another Chamber member by exclusive contract apparently, which he used as an effective method to drive traffic to his website. I do understand the opportunity there as well as the desire to be profitable, so I can’t be overly critical about that.

    As a member, I also support their efforts generally. But these things do frustrate me, admittedly. As an average citizen, you can read in the paper that the city is cutting $3 million from the budget, but if you want to hear it in context in the setting of the State of the City, you need to take a day off of work or an extended lunch and pay $55.

    I maintain the position that we’d have much more active and informed people in Simi if these forums were more open.

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  3. Mike,

    While an open and transparent government is a great goal it isn’t the natural inclination of those in power to invite more people in.

    The last forum was recorded for a website to drive traffic? I never saw any video of the event and I haven’t seen anyone discuss it. I guess it isn’t a website for the general public, just like hearing our elected officials isn’t for the general public.

    They are charing and admission price to hear the state of the city address and then don’t want it recorded? That isn’t open and transparent government.

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  4. Mike,

    Although the local chamber does many great things keep in mind they are technically an interest group. How is it that an interest group gets the exclusive speech and rights to the video of OUR elected officials? To add to that they don’t even post it on their website?

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  5. Yeah, I know. Like I’ve said before, I’m not exactly inclined to bash the Chamber in a public forum because I am a member and they did serve my business well in the past.

    However, the more this kind of thing happens, the more I start to wonder if I’ll ever get through to anyone. I do not believe the city wants anyone asking questions if their not a part of the inner circle, at least that’s my impression.

    I have a handful of projects planned for 2009, all free community services, all moving forward with the intent of assisting our community in what is sure to be a tough fiscal year. I wanted to bring some of these before the Council for their approval or input and have since reconsidered and have decided to go at it alone.

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