Century Chamber Asks Town for $25K; Council President Questions If Chamber Is Even Worthwhile

July 30, 2021

The Century Town Council began budget talks Thursday evening, receiving a funding request from the local chamber of commerce that prompted the council president to question if they are even worthwhile.

The Century Area Chamber of Commerce asked the town to budget $25,000 for three maintenance projects at the chamber building, which is owned by the town. The chamber requested $8,000 for metal roof repairs, $6,000 to replace existing gutters with “commercial style/grade” gutters, and $11,000 to replace the existing HVAC system and add an air filtration system.

But Council President Luis Gomez responded by questioning the value of the chamber to the town.

“I’ve been on this council almost five years, and the chamber has never actually done anything for the town of Century or contributed anything to the town of Century,” he said.

“You know the chamber is supposed to recruit business to the area. I don’t know of one,” Gomez continued, saying that if the chamber has attended a meeting during his tenures, it was for “some side show”.

“If we were to approve any of these things, we would have to do it for ourselves. We’ve got to go out and get bids, not just take that,” councilman James Smith said, referring to the chamber’s written estimates for work on the town-owned building.

The council took no formal actions Thursday on any budget items. They will hold at least two more budget workshops before presenting a final budget in early September

Pictured: Century Town Council President Luis Gomez (left) listens as council member Sandra McMurray-Jackson discusses the upcoming town budget Thursday evening. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.


24 Responses to “Century Chamber Asks Town for $25K; Council President Questions If Chamber Is Even Worthwhile”

  1. David Huie Green on August 2nd, 2021 5:46 pm

    “Hollywood actors are all make believe.”

    This is true. And some do it better than others. There is no surplus of the better ones.

  2. Bob on August 2nd, 2021 1:38 pm

    David Huie Green on August 2nd, 2021 12:44 pm

    Hollywood actors are all make believe. What we see on the screen is not real. It’s all pretend and nothing is real. These people may be great actors but that does not make them great people.

    Just like living in Century does not make you qualified to be on the Century Town Council. Maybe the council members are bad actors in this process?

  3. David Huie Green on August 2nd, 2021 12:44 pm

    “Century needs a Chamber of Commerce like Hollywood needs another actor!”

    I don’t normally get involved in what my beloved Century is doing lately other than for the entertainment value, but that statement bears consideration.

    Does Hollywood need another actor? You might think it doesn’t, but from some movies, you can see there is room for some more GOOD actors. Some get to be good through lots and lots of practice. Others just shine from the start. Harrison Ford, Tyne Daley, Will Smith, Clint Eastwood, Sandra Bullock, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Duvall, Kathryn Hepburn, Tom Hanks, James Stewart, John Candy, Gene Hackman, Shirley Temple, James Earl Jones,…

    Notice many of these have died or aged out. They need to be replaced.

    How this would apply to the Century Chamber of Commerce should be obvious: We need Sandra Bullock, Gene Hackman, and James Earl Jones to move to town and join.

  4. sueb on August 2nd, 2021 8:49 am

    Vote the President OUT!

  5. JODY on July 31st, 2021 8:36 am

    The goal of any Chamber is to help to further the interests of small businesses in a local area. The activities can range from hosting events, to lobbying local representatives to charitable works for the betterment of the community.
    So, is the Chamber doing any of these things? If not, what good are they?

  6. Dave on July 31st, 2021 8:27 am

    @ Just a Nobody
    Yes you are!
    You think you are the only one who has an opinion?
    Lord help this poor chicken who thinks the fence is made for him only to crow on

  7. Miss Jennifer on July 31st, 2021 7:55 am

    @Just a Nobody I actually miss having a good BarB Q place around here and had no problem with the butts. I think someone should do it more often because they were good hot and tasty. I’m not here to make a negative statement but have a question. Shouldnt the city manager and mayor be the ones to present the bids or estimates to the council for approval? Maybe thats the issue everyone else has with this.

  8. Willis on July 31st, 2021 7:41 am

    That’s not unusual.
    People ask all the time if the Century Council is even worthwhile.

  9. Bob on July 30th, 2021 9:33 pm

    Resident on July 30th, 2021 1:01 pm,

    I am confused. I thought you were making comments about the Century Town Council and how they run the town of Century. Does the Century Area Chamber of Commerce really do all that stuff? Where could they have learned how to do all that corruption???

  10. Just a Nobody on July 30th, 2021 6:03 pm

    People, let’s please get the facts prior to making false, misleading statements! Mr. Gomez, why are you questioning the value of the Century Area Chamber of Commerce when the budget request was in reference to the lack of maintenance on a town-owned building? A budget request is an estimate, not an authorization to proceed. Mr. Gomez turned a budget request for maintenance on a town-owned building into a personal attack on the Century Chamber. This is another example of Mr. Gomez’s inappropriate comments.

    It appears that some of the comments posted indicate that the Chamber just pulled a dollar figure out of thin air for the cost of repairs. A licensed, certified building commercial contractor inspected the building and provided the estimate for the repairs.

    Mr. Gomez, how many Chamber meetings have you attended? The purpose of the Chamber is NOT TO RECRUIT BUSINESSES–recruitment is handled through the County’s designated economic development agency.

    To the resident who referenced the need for more Boston butts, please note that members of the Chamber spent hours cooking the Boston butts and preparing barbeque pork lunches and sold them in order to provide ALL of the proceeds as a fundraiser to a Century resident who was in dire need.

  11. Judy on July 30th, 2021 5:57 pm

    Century needs a Chamber of Commerce like Hollywood needs another actor! Shut them down, and use the money saved on something worthwhile…

  12. C Stanley on July 30th, 2021 2:56 pm

    Century does not need a Chamber of Commerce, a Town Council, or a Mayor. Escambia County just needs to take over any governmental issues with the town and call it a day. What would the Chamber do for this little town anyway; there is nothing for tourists or visitors to see, except maybe the beautiful cotton fields when they are in season. Most people come through this area headed for the interstate and never give it a second thought. Maybe if you rename it “Clown Town”, you may get more activity coming through!

  13. Richard James on July 30th, 2021 2:23 pm

    Well say it isn’t so. Im going to have to actually force my fingers to type this. I AGREE WITH MR. GOMEZ. There said it. Ok. And I’m glad someone finally pointed this out.

    @Resident we all know that restaurant and chamber building is the gathering place for the side meetings. The chamber is acting like it’s a town within the town. I think their hand was shown to everyone that read on NorthEscambia.com that the same chamber is looking for ways to weaken Mayor Boutwell’s authority and position. WTH!!

    I wonder if this ONE maintenance project bid was also written on a napkin.

  14. Resident on July 30th, 2021 1:01 pm

    So what has the chamber done for Century and its citizens?

    Well, let’s see. The chamber takes public funding, has closed door lunch meetings (except during the pandemic) and has a good meal. The chamber keeps that big old building nice and cold, but apparently not cold enough, since they want a new A/C.

    They did have a trick or treat thing at the park a few years ago. And they….well, can’t think of damn thing.

    But they take money from anybody that will hand it out. And they spend that money buying food from the president’s restaurant and filling her pockets.

    And now they want $25,000 from the town to upgrade the town’s building? They rent for what, nothing? A dollar? If something needs to be fixed, it’s the landlord’s problem. The town should do the repairs and get the bids. Not hand over $25,000 when the chamber did not even present written estimates, photographs or anything.

    it’s just gimmie, gimmie, gimmie. They must need more Boston butts from the president’s pocket, sorry restaurant.

    What has the chamber done for Century in the past several years? Not a damn thing.

  15. Dewayne on July 30th, 2021 11:10 am

    Escambia County doesn’t want or need Century
    Cant do anything with a dead horse!!!!

  16. Boondoggle on July 30th, 2021 10:38 am

    Seriously…requesting money without written bids by contractors to do repairs.?
    So, I’ll just jot down the repairs we want money for and not go through the requirements to receive such $$.
    I’m guessing the chamber feels left out of not being able to pocket taxpayers cash while the rest of Century’s government is getting away with it.

  17. Bob on July 30th, 2021 10:06 am

    1) The Chamber of Commerce represents the values of the town of Century. Is the problem the Chamber of Commerce or the town of Century? Maybe the Century Town Council should look in the mirror?

    2) The building is owned by the town of Century…I would think that the building should be maintained by the town of Century. Why has the Century Town Council allowed the building to go into disrepair? Isn’t it their job to maintain this building?

    3) Maybe they could use the income stream from all the personal loans given to the board members to pay for repairs. I assume these personal loans have not been paid in full and you could use the income stream for repairs. If this assumption is incorrect I would love to see the documentation on these personal loans.

    4) No point in dissolving the town of Century and returning it to Escambia County. Escambia County government is more corrupt and incompetent than the town of Century.

    5) Due to the facts stated in items 1 thru 4 listed above, I will continue to read NorthEscambia.com every day for my primary source of entertainment. You just cannot make this crap up!!!

  18. mic hall on July 30th, 2021 8:42 am

    When are we going to close down this clown show? Just return Century to the county.
    Could everyone in Century really get any worse than is has been for decades?

  19. JimC on July 30th, 2021 8:22 am

    If the Chamber of Commerce isn’t self-sustaining after a reasonable period of time, then they have no credibility.

  20. Chris on July 30th, 2021 7:58 am

    For once I have to agree with Luis Gomez. What new business has the Chamber been responsible for bringing to Century?

  21. tg on July 30th, 2021 7:27 am

    Its such a big operation they could meet at each others house.

  22. Oversight on July 30th, 2021 7:16 am

    Century has a Camber of Commerce? There is a building, but it is never open. There are no public meetings, and the only time you hear about the chamber is when it has a hand out for money. LOL! Whoever runs the chamber has made it irrelevant, and will soon put it out of “business”.

  23. SW on July 30th, 2021 6:55 am

    The town charter should be revoked and the government disbanded. Why would a business want to come to a tax hole? The town provides nothing but water and sewer; the county provides most everything else. The town does collect taxes and fees. They can’t even manage a budget or a payroll.

  24. sam on July 30th, 2021 5:42 am

    the city government in century is dysfunctional and serves nothing.

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