Thursday, February 24, 2011

GV Chamber Notes

GV Chamber of Commerce Board Meeting
February 10, 2011

Co-President Diane Caughlin opened the meeting at 5:30 p.m., in the downtown Crouch Community Hall. She reiterated the Chamber’s desire to help provide improved insurance solutions, especially health care, for Chamber members.

Caughlin then turned the discussion over to Lee Sells, for his findings presentation related to health care insurance developments and alternatives. Some of his main points were ObamaCare and that state law precludes a Chamber association-type of health plan. The choices basically come down to employer policies and individual/family policies, but no group association policies.

However, because ObamaCare is scheduled to be implemented in stages over the next two years and there are moves in the new Congress to amend it in a variety of ways, much uncertainty surrounds the whole subject of health care, particularly from the perspective of the health care providers. Lee was scheduled to present and elaborate at the following member meeting.

Per discussion, neighbors may soon look for the new "Chamber Meeting Tonight" sign on the second Thursday of each month, in front of the Community Hall.

Officers now moved across the street for
The Regularly Scheduled Monthly Member Meeting

Treasurer, Vicky Burford, presented the Treasurer’s Report and noted member dues are due by the end of March.

Diane Caughlin:
• Reiterated to Chamber Members that Chamber dues are due by the end of March. A schedule of payments can be arranged, just contact the Chamber Treasurer, Vicky Burford, to set it up.

• Noted that John Cottingham is the overall 4th of July Celebration coordinator; John Jauregui is the parade coordinator; and Tami and Kate are running the duck race. Volunteers are usually needed for the Chamber booth, but others chimed in that it might be too much and would require a $20 payment to the City, for a city vendor’s permit. The same applies to a booth for upcoming the Spring Fling.

• Also mentioned that John Jauregui is heading up October’s Halloween Trunk or Treat event. John noted he will be dressed as a Predator looking for volunteers to make the event memorable for all.

Unfinished Business
From the Chamber “Light-Up-The-Town” initiative, there remain four strands of store front lights, available for sale at $18 per strand.

New Business
Lee Sells presented his findings related to the desired goal of helping Chamber members improve their health care insurance options. Some important points include:

• The Chamber used to have an association health care program provided by the Treasure Valley “Blues”. Problems with this included not enough members and too much turnover to make it a viable program.

• ObamaCare requires employer programs with two or more on the payroll working a minimum of 20 hours per week, to be qualified for coverage, but covers children up to age 26 and no coverage maximum limitations.

Entitlements and mandates result in increased premiums. Thus, premiums will go up, not down. Pre-existing conditions and waiting periods are gone. Preventative care services such as Wellness Checks will be covered 100%.

There will be more coverage options for 2011 health care programs. You can design your own program. ObamaCare left out the issues of tort reform and competition across state lines.

Most important, there still remain many unknowns and uncertainties in the ObamaCare legislation. Bottom line is there are no provisions for association type health care programs which would address the Chamber’s desired goal.

Member Updates

Mike Tomlin, School Superintendent:
• Discussed the Republican Party sponsored Lincoln Days (now cancelled).

• Presented an outline of points related to the planned supplemental school levy.

His points included:
o The levy is a local tax to supplement state funding of local school districts.
o Only registered voters in the school district can vote. All the money stays in the district. All the money goes to the schools.
o The purpose is to maintain current school programs.
o Idaho state budget has been reduced due to the extended economic down turn.
o The levy amount is set at $225,000 per year for two years.
o The school budget is being reduced by reductions through employee retirements, decreasing administrative costs, combining some positions, increasing some elementary classes, making Pre-school self-supporting, etc.
o The levy cost per household will be 4 to 13 dollars per month, depending on the appraised value of the voter’s property.
o The vote is scheduled for March 8th.

Sales: Mariann Steen announced The Red Rooster was having a Valentine’s Sale with 30 to 50 percent off winter wear.

Due to the time, a planned Job Creation /Retention Council game plan update presentation was deferred to another date, and Diane Caughlin adjourned the Chamber meeting.

Members in attendance:

John Jauregui:
Diane Caughlin:
Julie Leslie:
Oii Silk:
Mike Tomlin:
Jerry McLain:
Red Rooster (Ken & Mariann):
Tami Smith:
Lynne McKibbin:
Gloria Sells: L_and
Vicky Burford
Anjali Angel:
Diane Carlson:

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