Onaway Fourth of July fireworks in jeopardy

The Fourth of July celebration in Onaway (especially the fireworks) has been a success because of the involvement of the Onaway Area Chamber of Commerce. That organization has done a lot of positive things for our area, and I am grateful for their participation. However, I am writing this letter to inform the current members, and general public, about a disturbing trend that has started to occur regarding the operations of the chamber.

The bylaws for the Onaway Area Chamber of Commerce are being violated by some of the board members. In Article 3 the chamber is prohibited from taking any part in elections, and this was certainly violated when the chamber sign was used to advertise a political meeting during the recent recall issue in Onaway. Article 6 calls for an organizational meeting to be held in September, and Article 9 states that the board of directors will be elected at that meeting. It has been a few years since that has happened, and I wonder whether they are a legally functioning board?

In Article 6, there is also a reference for monthly meetings being held, and there certainly haven’t been many of those in the last few years. Article 14 calls for a financial report to be given at all meetings. When is the last time that the chamber saw a complete financial report?

The biggest concern that people should be aware of is in regards to our next Fourth of July celebration. Our usual fireworks display spot is in jeopardy, because the current property owners will not allow the fireworks display to take place unless some of the current board members step down.

I hope that all of the chamber members are concerned enough to start asking questions regarding these matters.

Bernie Schmeltzer

Onaway City Commissioner