Colorado Boulevard obtained minutes from the June 8, 2023, meeting of the San Gabriel Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and from the June 20, 2023, meeting of the San Gabriel City Council.
By Cheryl Cabot
Chamber of Commerce:
Within the minutes of the June 8 meeting, some startling facts have come to light, specifically regarding the financial situation of the San Gabriel Chamber of Commerce and the salary of Executive Director Sandy Rosco.
Paul Cheng, board member, “How much (money) do we currently have?”
Shelly Chia, treasurer, “Actual balance is $78,000 Negative.”
Paul Cheng, “What is Sandy’s salary?
Shelly Chai, “Accounting places the expense of Sandy, salary [$7,500] and benefits at $9,000 per month.”
She continued, “I would like to update you on the status of 2 grants that the Board asked me to apply for. The first grant we applied for is $10,000 relocation grant through the City of San Gabriel. We submitted our application back in May. For the second grant. $20,000 Economic Development Grant, offered by Los Angeles County. There was a delay in applying for this grant due to the uncertainly of where our offices were eventually to be located.”
Paul Cheng, “Do you know, based on your assessment, when the $10,000 and the $20,000 should be coming?”
Shelly Chai, “Grant representatives were unsure as to the timing for release of funds.”
Paul Cheng, “The City granted $23,000 yesterday… for City Level Membership in the San Gabriel Chamber. Will that come through in July?”
Shelly Chia, “I hope. Talking about the Los Angeles City Grants, I would like to make a motion to have the San Gabriel Chamber of Commerce issue an invoice to the City of San Gabriel for the $23,000 membership.”
Alexis Salamanca, “2nd.”
Paul Cheng, “Shelly has the first, Alexis has seconded. I don’t think there are any no’s, just take the money.”
It was at this same meeting that then-President Joanna Jimenez asked to have a “financial audit completed by June 30, 2023, as required by the (Chamber) by-laws.” Her motion was removed from the agenda by the Board of Directors, at the direction of Paul Cheng.
At the June 20, 2023, San Gabriel City Council Meeting, Councilmember Denise Menchaca requested that “All city monies to the Chamber should cease and not be distributed until the Council deliberates and votes on this Agenda item. City Monies includes any grant funding.
“I suggest the item be brought back in two to three months so Staff can gather information so we can deliberate and allow the public to also view the material.”
Menchaca also recommended that the Chamber provide the Council with a complete profit and loss statement. She also wanted an explanation of the denial of an audit as required by the Chamber bylaws.
The motion to delay the distribution of funds to the Chamber passed with a vote of 3-2, with Councilmembers Denise Menchaca, Tony Ding and Vice Mayor John Wu voting yes, and Mayor John Harrington and Councilmember Eric Chen voting no.
The bottom line is that the San Gabriel Chamber of Commerce is deeply in the red financially, and relying on funds from the City is not a viable option.
The next meeting of the San Gabriel City Council is Tuesday, July 18.
[This article has been updated to adjust the amount of monthly salary from 9,500 to $9,000. July 19, 2:00 pm]
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