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Shawnee, chamber of commerce at odds again

After appearing to reconcile in January, the city of Shawnee and the chamber of commerce appear once again to be at odds.
by Andrew Knittle Modified: May 8, 2013 at 6:47 pm •  Published: May 9, 2013

— After appearing to reconcile in January, the city of Shawnee and its chamber of commerce appear once again to be at odds.

During a recent city commission meeting, elected officials decided not to renew the chamber's contract, which expires in June.

Commissioner Steve Smith, who represents Ward 6, asked that the approval of the new contract be postponed until an audit is performed on the Greater Shawnee Area Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber is apparently having trouble finding a firm to perform the audit after its longtime auditor opted not to do it this year.

Nancy Keith, president and CEO of the chamber, said many nonprofits and similar entities are experiencing the same issues.

“We were able to maintain the same auditor for over a decade, but he and his partners, as most auditing firms, find our type of organization very time consuming,” Keith said. “The chamber has been hesitant to use outside auditors, as we have traditionally used those that are members of the chamber.

“While waiting for all (bids) to return, time simply got away from us.”

Smith said he recommended delaying the contract renewal because city policy demands that all “vendor” agencies, like the chamber of commerce, be audited each year.

“We've done this before with other vendors,” he said. “It's just a rule.”

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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