Archive for Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chamber of Commerce announces new board members at luncheon

August 10, 2011

Jay Randels, Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce vice president, announced the names of the two new board members, including who would be his replacement, at the monthly chamber luncheon Wednesday at The Lodge.

USD 348 Superintendent Paul Dorathy will take Randels place on the board, while Doug Barth, Baker University director of alumni, will fill the role of Baker co-worker and Baker Executive Assistant Myra Glover.

“They’re both key members of the community,” Randels said. “Doug is the director of alumni there at Baker University and of course Paul is the superintendent at the school. They’ll both provide a lot of insight and help into moving the chamber forward.”

Each board member can complete two, two-year terms and with Randels’ terms ending, he is excited to have Barth and Dorathy on the board. Randels believes Dorathy’s transition into the position will be an easy one for him.

“He knows so many people in the community and I think he has a good connection with a good part of the community,” Randels said. “So he’ll come in and really support and push the chamber, probably as well as anybody.”

The chamber of commerce also welcomed a new member at the luncheon, Mike Detwiler with Kip’s Carpet Cleaning in Baldwin City.

Kansas State Representative TerriLois Gregory was the guest speaker, briefing the chamber members on Kansas’ financial situation and projects for the 2012 session.

Gregory said the projected principle debt in Kansas on June 30 was $4.2 billion. Kansas also has the highest per capita state debt compared to its neighboring states, and is just under the United States average.

“Even though in Kansas we like to think of ourselves as being fiscally conservative, we spent more than we took in revenue four out of the previous five years,” Gregory said during her presentation. “So we have to lean to live within our means and I think the federal government is learning that also.”

Gregory finished the presentation by highlighting projects she has been working on, and will continue to work on in the 2012 session. Those projects included a elder home remodeling tax credit, liquor licenses and the sale of liquor in grocery and convenient stores, a streamline sales tax project and public, private partnerships.

Gregory said the public, private partnerships, which uses private funds for public needs, have worked well in foreign markets, including Puerto Rico, where more than 100 new schools were build using these partnerships.

“There is one private business that has actually taken over a toll road and turned it back over to the government because they were able to complete the payment of that so efficiently,” Gregory said. “And by utilizing the private funds to provide what the public needs, it can be a very good partnership, so we’re going to explore those a lot more in detail.”

The Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce will meet again Sept. 14.

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