Home Oakley Oops…Chamber President Issues Rebuttal Admitting Mistake

Oops…Chamber President Issues Rebuttal Admitting Mistake

by ECT

Doug Scheer, Oakley Chamber of Commerce President, issued the following rebuttal to my questioning of the Chamber scheduling their Sept. 18 Candidates Forum by checking with a single candidate and then immediately scheduling the event leaving other candidates with the option of either showing up or not.

Ignoring the many misspellings (full text below), the Chamber basically admits to some wrong doing in the process which otherwise would never have been exposed if I had not caught it. The chamber also scheduled this event without a moderator lined up which should not be the case. Having a solid moderator in place is huge to ensure fairness to all candidates.

In fact, there have been times candidates have pulled out of forums based on the special interests of certain moderators showing clear favoritism towards certain candidates. I am not saying the Chamber is doing this, but this is why it’s important to know who a moderator is prior to a candidate committing to promote transparency.

On a side note, Doug Scheer, who is one of my opponents for Ironhouse Sanitary District, provided insight within his response about his record as Chamber President. As you will see below,  he admits that the Chamber is barely breaking even (likely code for losing money), has a lack of chamber participation, and has had to cancel events.

It’s also pretty impressive that even after spending time and money advertising the Citizen of the Year ballot, the 12,500 ballots that were mailed out did not have a single response.

In an organization that is supposed to be positive and promote business, Mr. Scheer has done neither. One has to question his leadership ability and how he would best serve the rate payers for Ironhouse Sanitary District if the chamber has regressed under his time as President.

Now don’t get me wrong, the Chamber does have some good people on it such as James D’Amico, Kristin Mattingly, Jane Crockett, Shirley Darling and Tom Johnson to name a few, but Mr. Scheer has hurt the organization more than help it as the tone of this letter shows how that is the case.

Here is Mr. Scheers rebuttal with Lynn’s response below.

REBUTAL: Oakley community – City Council Candidate Night / Almond Festival / Citzen of the Year

Part of the Oakley Chambers function is to help provide access to anything going on in the city. This year there are three City Council seats. This is a very important election for the City of Oakley.

Six candidates running for office. Many of whom may not be known to the citizens of this community. The Chamber Board, decided to provide a venue for the citizens to meet the candidates – to ask their own questions directly. Recently we hosted the Assembly Candidates, many attended, many liked it and thanked us for hosting the event.

Regarding scheduling this event, the Board decided not to ask each candidate individually. The office staff who works in the Oakley Chambers office – was directed to send out an email to ALL candidates at the same time inviting them to this event.

Kevin Romick, (Oakley’s Mayor) participates in a lot of chamber events, he’s involved with multiple duties and responsibilities. The office staff, however, took it upon herself, thinking as a courtesy, to check with the Mayors busy schedule before sending out the invitation. Unfortunently – This should not have happened; it was not approved or sanctioned by the Oakley Chamber of Commerce Board or Board President. We are dealing with this internally.

The Oakley Chamber Board members look forward to meeting the candidates – in order to make an informed vote.

This event needs a mediator. If you are interested, we would love to have you volunteer. Anyone who wishes to participate and help with the event in other capacities can call us at 925-625-1035.

We are always looking for help, positive volunteers to work with a variety of events. The Chamber Board Members can’t do these events alone.

Response: 2012 Almond Festival and the Citizen of the Year event.
Why the Chamber no longer is hosting these’s huge events. There are multiple reasons why this event was cancelled and some are listed below, mainly due to economics. There is nothing that the Chamber Board is hiding, no hidden agendas – from our good citizens in the City of Oakley. The reasons for cancelling these two annual events are simple – the math.

  1. Financial – we barely broke even.
  2. Lack of Participation. We have partnered with the City to make next year’s event bigger and better. If you wish to participant and partner with the Chamber please come and volunteer.
  3. For the record, for the last Citizen of the year event, we sent out 12,500 ballots in the mail to Oakley citizens. This was to vote for their choice of Citizen of the year. We also advertised in the newspaper and the city board. There were zero ballots returned. Not a one. It was obvious, Oakley is not interested in the event and we cancelled it.

The Oakley Board and I as your President, is open and would hope that any concerns can be voiced directly to us, not through a social media tool. Every Oakley Board Member has jobs or businesses, families to support just like you do. We all work hard on your behalf. With no compensation, but many many hours of service. With the limited funds that are left over after the events, we’ve been able to hire a staff member to work part-time in the Oakley Chamber office.

Remember – it’s not what the Oakley Chamber can do for you – it’s what you as a positive hardworking volunteer and business owner can partner with the Oakley Chamber of Commerce! Together – the Oakley Chamber of Commerce will remain strong and healthy.

If you have any questions – please don’t hesitate to call me directly at the Oakley Chamber of Commerce 925-625-1035, if you get our voice mail, I will call you back after work.

Thank you for your Support,
Doug Scheer
President, Oakley Chamber of Commerce
January 2010 to December 2012

Here is a open letter from Lynn. Note, I did not edit the text, but simply added paragraph breaks so it’s not a single paragraph long response.

To Whom it May Concern — I am speaking NOT as a representative of the Oakley Chamber of Commerce but as myself, an individual who happens to only work at the Oakley Chamber of Commerce.

The Meet Your City Council Candidate evening was created to simply educate the community ON ALL CANDIDATES, not just one! And we were in NO WAY trying to exclude any candidate. We were given one date in September to use the Oakley Recreation Building – September 18th.

In hindsight, MY action to contact the one individual to ask if the 18th worked was an error – I did not think that this would cause some of you to yell, “Conspiracy Theory”. I am actually appalled that in today’s times this would attract so much attention when I believe there are so many other things that would warrant attention.

I apologize for the drama or distrust this has caused and hope everyone knows this is not a reflection on the Oakley Chamber of Commerce. It was simply an innocent communication and not intented to hurt the reputation of the Chamber Board of Directors nor to taint the City Council election. There was no alterior motive to this action. The Chamber of Commerce has only tried to do the Community a service by offering a forum for the candidates to all get together and address questions the community might have.

We have received 5 YES RSVPs to date. I have contacted the 6th candidate 3 times by email and once by phone call and am hoping the last candidate will be able to attend as well.

I have also sent an email to our members asking them to send in questions they’d like the candidates to answer and have received only 2 responses so far. I encourage all of you to submit questions you may have but please realize we only have a little over an hour for questions and your question may not be picked as one of the top. I also encourage all of you to attend this evening (9/18) and ask your question during our Q&A time at the end.

NO CANDIDATE will be given the questions ahead of time. You may submit your questions via email at [email protected] or by FAX at 925-625-4051.

Again, I sincerely apologize for the drama this has caused and take full responsibility.

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JAJAMES304 Aug 31, 2012 - 10:10 am

although I can appreciate what the chamber tried to do in admitting the mistake… round 1 to Burk on this one! The chamber may not want to admit it directly, by their own words and actions they did play favorites which is at no fault to any of the candidates.

This is pretty funny because its cut and dry on what happened. Where is the Times in pointing out what Burk caught?

JimSimmons42 Aug 31, 2012 - 10:23 am

Well I see Burk is making friends again. Although the chamber will not like this post, he is 100% right in what should have occurred as opposed to what did occur.

Mario S Aug 31, 2012 - 11:41 am

I applaud Mike for being a voice for Oakley and brining stuff like this to the attention of residents. He is all about tranparency and I appreciate this. He would be an asset to Ironhouse if elected because I stil have no idea what they do there except my bill keeps getting increased.

Julio-Antioch Aug 31, 2012 - 3:07 pm

It is clear these two individuals need to move on. Neither has the communication skills needed in this position and frankly should embarrass what is left of the Oakley Chamber of Commerce. Members of the Chamber should actively work toward removing these two people.

Former Member Aug 31, 2012 - 3:57 pm

Unfortunatly, this letter is a reason why I quit the chamber in the first place, arrogance of a “me” first” with a we know what is best for oakley philopshy. I won’t go back until Doug Scheer and his wife are gone. I know many businesses feel their is no value under the current president. The Chamber was really good a few years back and went downhill after Steve left.

As someone who watches this blog often, Burk has come up with a name a few months back that is unfortunatly fitting under Doug Scheer “Oakley Chamber of No Commerce”. What I don’t understand is why Burk picks on the Chamber, but still promotes their events.

For pure entertainment value, it would be interesting to see someone so honest in Burkholder have to deal with Scheer and company on the Ironhouse Sanitary District together with the ring leader Tom Williams as Exec. Director. Would make for a good show each month.

burkforoakley Aug 31, 2012 - 4:06 pm

I’d encourage you to use your real name on a post like this. By remaining anonymous, it looks petty and you have sour grapes still. Just my two cents.

B Dunn - Antioch Aug 31, 2012 - 4:35 pm

I would recommend each and every one of you…..come join the Oakley Chamber of Commerce. Only then, will you truely know what it takes to serve your follow Oakley Citizens. Doug and the Board work very hard to accomidate the needs of the people. He’s fair, a hard worker, a good leader, gives up alot of his time, energy, not to mention – his own out of pocket money. Give him and the Board some kind of thank you, a little bit of recognition for the Service they render each and every week! He didn’t have to post anything – but he did. I’m proud that he has nothing to hide that this was done with respect to the viewers and how it happen – it was a simple mistake…..and he got slammed again. I’m embarressed this Burk Character would even post such negative things. I think his initial negative post has some kind of hidden agenda. If must be getting ready to run for something. My question to each of you – Where are you Serving in this Community that gives as much time as Doug Scheer gives of himself ? Move on please with something positive – I surely won’t get on this site again……if these kind of comments are posted in future.

burkforoakley Aug 31, 2012 - 5:03 pm

Not sure how you missed that I called Doug my opponent for Ironhouse. Of course I am running for something.

B Dunn - Antioch Aug 31, 2012 - 5:28 pm

Go figure…..You need some lessons in Serving first in small venues such as the Chamber before you get in with the Big Dogs!

Rob Saw Aug 31, 2012 - 5:46 pm

@B Dunn… if failure of a small venue such as the chamber which is supposed to be positive is any sort of prerequisite for running for Ironhouse, I’ll pick Burk any day of the week.

Is Doug Scheer really a big dog? How so?

Bobby Lott Aug 31, 2012 - 5:11 pm

Burk is no doubt a dick and very arrogant. People know I do not agree with him on a lot of things, but this one was a home run or slam dunk, you pick! At least he offers full transparency which you accuse him of not being. If you remember, its the chamber who was originally not transprant and no one would have even known this had occured if Burk was not paying attention.

The chamber offered two responses and both attempts made them look more stupid than Burks original article. By the way, He called Doug Scheer his opponent for Ironhouse multiple times so that is an oversight on your part.

I can’t stand Burk on his fire kick or promotion of public safety, but he does good in other areas of his blog and this is one of them, by exposing non trasparent things that occur. he will do the same with Ironhouse which Doug Scheer is tied into through Tom Williams on the Chamber. In Antioch, I deel with the same thing with our council. He has also helped promote transprancy with the Antioch Council so I can’t fault him for this piece.

How anyone can defend the chamber after those two letters submitted is beyond me. Some people will remain in la-la-land. Rather than tear down the messager, go question the offenders over at the chamber.

Rob Saw Aug 31, 2012 - 5:28 pm

I see the jokers are getting a good start to the weekend of drinking by blaming Mike for bringing transprancy to an obvious issue that otherwise would have never been known to the public. Some people really do need to look in the mirror. The chamber needs to take off their blinders and see why they have little to no growth or popularity outside their little group of 5. If they were smart, they would get Mike to help them instead of try and fight him.

burkforoakley Aug 31, 2012 - 5:30 pm

For the record, the Chamber and I do not fight, they just don’t like a couple of my posts which is understandable from their perspective, but they sometimes fail to see mine. They are very polite when I show up to take pictures of the Mayors Breakfast and Chamber Mixers.

Tyrone Biggs III Aug 31, 2012 - 11:56 pm

Nah, I don’t believe you. This is a clearly politically motivated, in fact I haven’t read anything on this so-called “calling east county like we see it” that isn’t politically motivated. You make it sound like the mistake was full on malicious and you are wrong! But you really get off on treating people like shit, take a particular twisted joy in messing with good peoples lives. In this instance, when they attempt to explain themselves, well that isn’t good enough either, you think you are so clever. User! And seriously, where do you get these stooges that just go along and say what a great guy you are. I can’t believe this non-thinking gene-pool, have the same twisted sickness you share in your volumes of vomitous vernacular, punk. Get a life gossipy witches.You don’t have the confidence of anyone you aren’t already in bed with, doing their dirty deeds, this hit serves more than your own special interest. Most people don’t trust you as far as they can throw you, want to throw you, no wonder you can’t be a real reporter. Your whole angle from the git-go on this particular affair is slanted. You had the opportunity to contact people from several angles like a real reporter, which you are not, but that wouldn’t suit your endgame. As far as I am concerned you are a chicken-shit. Do you even know what people are saying about you? It ain’t good. You go ahead and play this as passive aggressive as you will because dragging people through shit is what you do, it’s your particular talent, isn’t it Burkholder? You don’t fool me.

And the failure of the Oakley Chamber has a history. I talk to people too, everyone has opinions and perspectives, but not everyone is as needy for attention as you. What I hear, the fall of the Chamber took place under Steve Numb-and-Chuck, a real charmer I hear. If he wasn’t the city’s bitch when they had redevelopment money the chamber could have really been a player for the local businesses. My opinion, the Chamber of Commerce needs to get as far away from city influence as possible. By the way Doug took over as Chamber president because no one else wanted the job. Keep taking pictures and keep telling yourself that people are being nice to you because they enjoy your company. Ha! Now there’s a story.

burkforoakley Sep 1, 2012 - 5:13 am

For someone who apparently a lot of people dislike, they sure talk a lot about me.

Rob Saw Sep 1, 2012 - 11:49 am

Someone has their panties in a twist. Juding by your tone anf foul language, I’d say you are tied closely to Scheer. Is this real reporting you consider the Times? Is it real reporting when it only has your slant?HA! Get out of here you troll. For someone who dislikes this site, why are you even on it and posting comments? Shows how dumb you are.

Who is Steve Numb-and-Chuck anyway? I assume he associated with the chamber somehow? The suggestion of getting far awy from the city is classic, name one chamber who isn’t close with a city? Using your logic, then Doug Scheer is the City’s btich because the only way he could put on the almost festival is with the help of the city because he failed while his new spin is BIGGER AND BETTER next year? Give me a break. Maybe it should be brought up how Ron Borland led the charge of wanting online video of meetings and how it came out Doug Scheer screwed up the city job on taxpayer money?

Sorry for my rant Burk, I don’t want people trashing you for no reason.

Allen J Wilson Sep 1, 2012 - 12:12 pm

As someone who has been on both sides of this and a member of a chamber in Southern California, its obvious Mike has a slant and interest, but the Chamber did screw up. One can’t attack the messenger when the chamber admits to its mistake. Heck, the president then provided more detais than he should have while the staff person puts blame on others for calling her out on the mistake. Sh dismissed it as if its not a big deal. In politics, this is a huge deal!

For the chamber not to realize this was a big deal means you don’t have the right people working at the chamber. Maybe the rhetoric was harsh by Mike, but maybe in the future the Chamber will learn from this and cover itself better next time.

Mike will feel the heat for this from the chamber and its members, but it doesn’t mean he is wrong. If anything, the other candidates should be upset that Chamber staff picked a favorite and ran with it.

Ben Smith Sep 2, 2012 - 8:04 am

Kudos to you Burk! I agree with some of the comments, you are going to take heat for this, but you are right. Keep on preaching man!

Frank S Sep 3, 2012 - 4:14 pm

I’ll give Antioch Chamber its credit, it doesn’t screw up this bad. Being on the outside looking in from Antioch, this wasn’t a big deal until the Chamber and its staff issued such poor explanations to cover their butts and favortism to who I can assume was Kevin Romick. It was their arrogance in their responses where the problem is.

I don’t think Burk did anything wrong with this post because the actions of the chamber was wrong. Those attacking Burk really look stupid to defend an obvious mistake done in writing.

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