David Spelich raised the issue of fees at the town council meeting on May 21. Specifically, why the Chamber only pays a special use permit fee of $50 to the town to host the fairs while others – such as Concours in the Hills – pays a fee of $7,000 for its event. He also highlighted the proposed public safety fee of $185 the town is considering for all residents.

The point being, why isn’t everyone paying their fair share to the town, particularly given the budget issues in Fountain Hills? The fee arrangement with the Chamber is based on “legacy” agreements with the town. Isn’t it time to reevaluate them?

Sharon Morgan spoke at the council meeting and was unable to articulate a compelling reason the Chamber doesn’t pay a fee. Rather, she implied they would charge the vendors more to pay the town if a fee were imposed. Why? The Chamber has an operating budget of nearly $1 million and recently paid $70,000 for an adjacent lot to expand. Why? The contract was awarded to council member Dennis Brown. Isn’t this a conflict of interest?

How much does the Chamber charge vendors for electricity? Since the Chamber isn’t a utility company, is this authorized in accordance with Arizona Statute? How much does the Chamber charge a business for a ribbon-cutting ceremony? The Chamber operates as a Nonprofit Tax Code Designation: 501(c)(6) – created for the improvement of business conditions. What specifically has the Chamber done to improve business conditions in Fountain Hills?

I support David Spelich’s suggestion that the legacy agreements be rescinded and the Chamber start supporting the town it is supposed to be serving.