About this time last year, Shaun Sutner, of the Worcester Telegram, wrote an expose on the sad state of the Worcester Chamber of Commerce’s finances. In the expose, he painted a picture of finance set adrift and a rapidly dwindling cash reserve.
But since the defection of the Westboro-based Corridor Nine group in 2003, the chamber has seen its savings bottom out to nearly zero and membership numbers shrink to 2,500. The group has frozen salaries, renegotiated its lease in the Sovereign Bank tower and looked for help from other business groups, according to tax documents and chamber officials.
“The (chamber) has declining membership and community support,” Michael P. Angelini, chairman of the law firm Bowditch & Dewey and a former member of the Choose Worcester marketing group, wrote in a confidential report last fall on the city’s major business and economic development organizations. “Its financial viability is tenuous.”
Mr. Angelini’s report came as City Manager Michael V. O’Brien and Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray, a former Worcester mayor, pushed for consolidation of the far-flung business groups to – in their view – streamline and strengthen marketing efforts to capitalize on development projects already under way in the city.
The document, which was obtained by the Telegram & Gazette, circulated in inner business circles and set off jockeying among leaders of the organizations, including Richard B. Kennedy, the 69-year-old president and CEO of the chamber.
According to the article the current President makes $157K. Murray is set to get 27% more than that figure per year.
The question then is, where did they find $200K to pay Tim Murray?