GJ City Council Withdraws Membership from Chamber of Commerce
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce recently came under scrutiny from local residents base on their endorsement of City Councilman elect Rick Brainard.
That eventually raised many questions about their political involvement in municipal elections, which is something several current council members said they did not want to be a part of anymore.
"I'm going to move that we withdraw our membership from the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce immediately," said Councilman Jim Doody.
In a 4-2 vote, City Council members said they would not be budgeting the usual $6,000 a year as a member of the Chamber of Commerce.
"I feel that it's a conflict of interest and I have from the beginning," said Mayor Pro-Tem Laura Luke.
Some council members said they believe the Chamber is a political organization that they do not feel comfortable supporting, others stood by the group.
"I feel the particular sting myself of not being endorsed by the Chamber and a lot of money was raised to fight existing council members in this election, but I do not think it's wise to throw the baby out with the bath water," said Councilman Tom Kenyon who voted against the measure.
Sam Susuras also voted against the measure noting that he thinks it's a high possibility that the decision would be overturned when the new council members take their seats.
Protestors in the audience met the decision with applause before taking the stand on another controversial issue, with a petition in hand.
"Apparently 16,700 people from around the country have signed it with different comments," said Rachel Budman, who is supporting the efforts to encourage Brainard to step down from his newly elected position.
Speakers asked the current City Council members to support their cause and walk out of the building during Brainard's swearing in ceremony.
NewsChannel 5 has reached out to the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce and has yet to hear back.
Brainard is still set to swear into his City Council seat on May 6.