Summit Chamber polls members on upcoming Home Depot decision
December 2, 2005
SUMMIT COUNTY – The Summit County Chamber of Commerce won’t take a side on the Home Depot issue, but it’s asking members to. An opinion poll sent out Thursday seeks to gain a countywide pulse on the upcoming decision. Constance Jones, executive director of the Summit Chamber, said the Chamber felt a responsibility to poll its 600-plus members because of the potential regional effects of the Home Depot decision. “We are a business organization,” she said. “And this will impact our members both pro and con.”Jones did not specify possible pros and cons, but said the Chamber had no intention to influence the vote one way or the other. “This is an emotionally-charged debate,” she said. “We’re doing our due diligence by checking in with our membership.”Only Frisco residents may vote on Dec. 13, but Summit Chamber vice president Ken Deshaies said Chamber members are concerned about the countywide ramifications. “There are enough people in the county that feel that decisions made in towns have impacts beyond local borders,” he said. Results of the poll will not be released until after the Home Depot vote. Deshaies attributed this decision to “a strong effort by the Chamber to not take stands on divisive issues like this.”Jones also expects the Chamber to maintain a neutral stance before the vote. However, she said the results of the poll may affect the actions of the Chamber after the vote.”We’re looking toward the future and how we should approach legislative issues as an organization,” she said. “We want to get a sense of our membership and whether or not we should take a stand on these issues.”The Chamber has weighed in on less contentious issues in the past. It supported the C and D referenda as well as the improvements to the I-70 corridor. Deshaies said these issues did not divide Chamber members like the Home Depot decision. The results of the Summit Chamber Opinion Poll will fill an information gap on the Home Depot issue. Jones said that no other organization had polled its membership at this time. This includes the Frisco Chamber, which held a series of three informational forums instead of directly surveying its members.”People are very loud in their opinions or hesitant to come out with one,” said Frisco Chamber director Kathleen Kennedy. “A lot of business owners don’t want to alienate their customers.”However information is gathered, Jones said the important thing is that all aspects have been examined.