Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Chamber Promotes Commerce


Last updated 8/7/2018 at 11:31am

In reply to “What is that Stench at the Chamber?” headline in the last issue of the Borrego Sun, to the other Letters to the Editor and articles in the Sun, Facebook posts and comments, emails, voice messages, phone calls, and in person comments, please be assured, I have heard you and the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors have heard you.

As many have privately shared with me, we are saddened by the level to which some have stooped, but I cannot say it was not to be expected. There are extremists, loud, angry, mean, rude, unreasonable flame throwing voices at the far reaches of any argument, and that includes Rudyville. Many impassioned and good people have maybe spoken out of character, that is for them to decide, not me.

I have also heard many more voices of reason, some agreeing with the Chamber Board, some not, but all so very much appreciated for the respectful tones and absence of personal character attacks. And yes, I respect and understand why so many of you choose not to go public with your support of the Chamber Board’s voice, or the Planning Commissioners’ for that matter. Opening oneself up to such assaults to your character and accusations of a plethora of nefarious innuendos is not pleasant.

The Chamber stands for commerce, for economic sustainability, for our eventual growth to a year-round population of 8,000 – 10,000, in exchange for a 24-hour, 365-day urgent care center and for access to pharmaceuticals’ in Borrego, for development over a reasonable time of 3,000 to 5,000 state of the art net zero energy and water-efficient dwelling units to house more year-round and seasonal residents, for development of businesses to economically sustain the above noted growth.

We need local medical care, jobs, good paying jobs, increased property values at least on par with the rest of the county, for property owner rights, for an increased tax base, for an improved infrastructure, for a less disadvantaged educational system, for a thriving year-round and globally recognized authentically exceptional tourist destination of high value, for commerce. This is the Chamber’s role. We do it for the good of the community of Borrego Springs, its residents, businesses and investors.

We leave to the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, that we do love, and its stewards and numerous environmentalists that the park endears, to speak for the park’s environmental sustainability.

Its 1,000 square miles are well protected and spoken loudly for.

Our Board’s primary focus is the Chamber’s primary focus, which is the economic sustainability of the community of Borrego Springs and most specifically today on supporting economically sound development and management of the less than 50 square miles of private holdings that the Chamber can and should have a voice in supporting, as we also continue in our well established and proven leadership role as catalyst for Borrego Springs tourism.

I am most proud of the courage and integrity the Chamber Board of Directors have all displayed with their Rudyville votes, and with our Executive Director’s integrity and grace under fire.

Board Member Brad Tidwell, as our longest tenured Board Member voted against the majority and made his vote known in his Letter to the Editor. Brad remains opposed to Rudyville and we fully respect his position.

David Cragoe chose not to vote, resigning from the Board instead to stay out of the politics of Rudyville.

The rest of this all-volunteer Chamber Board – knowing full well they would be and are out of favor with some of their friends, neighbors and customers – did stand and do stand together, resolute, despite the pressure and hostility they have been dealt.

Their vote for Rudyville was a vote for more commerce in Borrego Springs through development – whether a shovel ever touches a single inch of dirt in Rudyville – with an eye toward a strengthened and sustainable economy; and, without taking their eye off their vision for a thriving year-round Borrego Springs that is globally recognized as an authentically exceptional tourist destination of high value! They stood for Borrego Springs! They still do!

In closing, I take the liberty of celebrating the role of the Borrego Springs Chamber in driving and performing its mission since at least 1930.

The Chamber has a mission to provide leadership and act as a catalyst in creating a vibrant economic environment that supports business growth and attracts people to visit and live here.

That is who the Chamber is. That is the dedicated Executive Director, its staff and volunteers. That is this Chamber’s Board of Directors.


Patrick Sampson

President of the Board of Directors

Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center

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