Thursday, September 17, 2009

Coast News: ENC Chamber of Commerce misuse of city funds

ENCINITAS — The Chamber of Commerce released the results of a long-awaited financial review late Wednesday afternoon to the City Manager’s office. Among the findings are a pattern of co-mingling of funds, diversion of specific-use funds and providing financial benefit to a board member.

Specifically, former CEO Gary Tucker and Marketing Director Mike Andreen were accused of mismanaging funds. Andreen also served on the board of directors.



  1. For some reason, this does not excite me. We knew it all along.

    Mike Andreen was a hired bad breath fat gun for Danny Dalager and Jerome Stocks. Glad to see even the fat gun gets screwed by those two demons.

  2. and all the knuckleheads on ECR that are "joining" the "new" Enc.C of C with self-appointed Andreen as CEO should run as fast as they can back to the real C of C

    how can Carlsbad have ONE high-functioning C of C and Enc.can't?

  3. No surprises here. Rumors have been circulating for a long time. Let's not forget that there is a strong link going from Tucker and Andreen straight to Stocks and Dalager. Andreen was also the hit man in the dirty campaign against Maggie in 2004. Yet Maggie voted to continue the Chamber funding this year. Only Teresa voted NO and wanted to wait for the audit. Hindsight now shows it was the only correct vote.

  4. My question is "What is the City Council going to do about this situation?" If the answer is NOTHING, what message does it send to the general public?

  5. What a pair! I think the D.A. should hear about these clowns.

    Did you read the part about D.E.M.A. buying furniture from Tucker for $3100, Or Tucker cashing the copier out for $18,000 for cash flow (on both of these read more pay for him and Mike)

    His Spouse paid $3100 for hand me down furniture to help Gary and her friend Mike get an extra paycheck.

    She is in all of Mikes newsletters and email blast, D.E.M.A. has weighed in supporting Mike and the new Encinitas Chamber.

    These guys were selling the farm to pay themselves.

    Where's Turko now?

  6. "His Spouse paid $3100 for hand me down furniture to help Gary and her friend Mike get an extra paycheck.

    She is in all of Mikes newsletters and email blast, D.E.M.A. has weighed in supporting Mike and the new Encinitas Chamber."

    Dody should be investigated as well. Incestuous group of frauds.

    If you call Turko he will screw it up and think they are in the right.

  7. Don't forget the sex scandal at the chamber.

  8. Don't forget Gary fired all the volunteers so they could not witness the as J.P. politly says, knucklehead behavior/

  9. Anon 9:12pm

    You have your facts wrong.

    It was a 3-2 vote with Maggie and Teresa voting against funding. Maggie proposed holding back funding until the chamber hired their new director and completed their audit.

    Maggie also questioned Chamber financing at several 2008 candidate forums and again at the April 15th Council Meeting. Despite her objections, the three guys voted to give more taxpayer money to Andreen and Tucker.

    Check it out for yourself on the City website. View the online video of the Council Meeting. See item 9 on the April 15th Council meeting.

  10. Gee, I thought Andreen would have spent the money to get his teeth fixed, guess he had other obsessions.

  11. What will the DA do about this situation?? Nothing. She won't prosecute a 16 year old speeder on 101 going 85 mph and killing an innocent driver. Don't look for her to do anything against the old C of C crew. Pathetic.

  12. If public funds were used for personal gain they should pay us back. The council should make sure this happens. And, how much of that misused money eneded up in Stock's campaign chest?

  13. Great questions bbond. I really hope that the Council has the balls to investigate this one.

  14. 8:46
    Isn't it immoral to investigate yourself?

  15. Good question Bonddi!!(Technically Diane) I looked on-line and could find not one donation to Stocks from Andreen or Tucker!! I'll go back and look some more, maybe they gave their booty to Bond, Dalager, Houlihan and/or Barth!!!

    The bottom line for me is that ANY Council Member who, after this expose', even though it's allegations rather than convictions, is willing to give one red cent of taxpayer dollars to the Chamber should be RECALLED!!!!

  16. Recall!! Recall!! Recall!! Recall!!
    Demand the City Council put the Chamber / Visiter Center item on an agenda to stop them from stealing tax dollars!!!
    If they won't do it, then let's RECALL THEM!!!!

  17. It's weird that of the 5 Council Members, Bonddi only chose Stocks to slime. Maybe she has a "thing" for him? Very creepy...

  18. You people are missing the point if you think the solution is to stop funding the Encinitas Chamber - that is EXACTLY what Mike Andreen wants! If the Encinitas Chamber loses its funding, then the NEW Encinitas Chamber, run by Andreen, becomes the only game in town. Think, people, THINK. The people who embezzled, lied, threatened, and manipulated for their own gain are GONE. De-funding the ECC would create the biggest irony of all - Andreen and the New Encinitas Chamber would end up benefiting from the very audit that caught him breaching his duty as a board member! He will be at the front of the angry mob calling for the closure of the Chamber. We now have to put all of our energy into supporting the old Encinitas Chamber of Commerce under its new management. We need a chamber of commerce, just not a Mike Andreen Chamber.

  19. Do you really think the "donation" to the campaign would have been recorded, are you that naive. And, I also should have included Bond in my question as they were up for reelection at the same time. And no, I don't have a thing for Stocks, he simply is the most arrogant and self-dealing of all the council and therefore makes himself the biggest target.

  20. Hey, what sex scandal at the Chamber? Don't tell me Gary Tucker ...

  21. Isn't it a crime to steal money that is not yours? Why are we letting them get away with it without a criminal investigation? I am getting more and more confused as time goes by.

  22. I read the Coast News article and the reports and letters that the Coast News web site links to. I couldn’t find any facts mentioned that indicated Mike Andrene did anything wrong. I read about speculations made and questions that the forensic accountant asked but that was all I could find. But Mike sure seems to have accumulated a lot of enemies in this town. Personally, I have found him to be helpful, friendly, etc.

  23. Andreen was overpaid for what he did -- which is stealing. He took the mailing list developed on our dime with him to start his new chamber -- that is stealing.

  24. 9:30
    When they said the Chamber was in bed with the City it meant something entirely else.

  25. If the city is eager to spend $3000 per day to maintain the completion of Hall Park for Carlsbad residents, Andreen's $1500 editorials were a bargain.

  26. thanks, Jerome...uh, I mean T-Bone

  27. Bonddi writes:
    "And no, I don't have a thing for Stocks, he simply is the most arrogant and self-dealing of all the council and therefore makes himself the biggest target."
    Those are "thing" words for sure!!
    Hooo Weeeee

  28. well, then I had "thing" for George Bush and Dick Cheney too....maybe I should be calling Dr. Lorri and work out why I can't tolerate inept public servants:)

  29. T-bone-
    Must be a mid day snack for some sitting more than standing and being active. Guess who?

  30. Did anyone catch this quote from Dalablabber about the rip-off chamber:
    Councilman Dan Dalager said he's not interested in internal workings of the chamber as long as the organization runs the center effectively.
    “To me it's a black box,” Dalager said. “I don't care what goes on inside the box; I care about the product that comes out.”

    What an idiot! He doesn't care if public funds are misused and stolen! Unbelievable.

  31. Dalager. The black box candidate.

  32. Why are people on this blog obsessed with Andreen to the exclusion of all else? The ECC, the city, and the Coast News are all in bed with each other, and you're all worked up about one individual, who at least at present is a private businessman? Why?

    Apparently Andreen got paid about $33k per year for doing what appears to be all or most of the footwork of marketing and selling the ECC. For that money, he did all the work on the newsletter, all the work in sales, and I imagine a lot of the work on sundowners and other events. That sounds like a significant bargain to me. So he profited? How horrible. How many of you work for free? I'm guessing not too many. I'm guessing not too many make a living on $33k per year.

    If accounting practices at the ECC were shoddy, how does that fall at his feet rather than at the feet of the accountant, the CEO, and the president of the board? How do our tax funded city officials, tasked with making sure the visitor center is properly run, escape responsibility? Why is an independent contractor, who was not responsible for the ECCs bookkeeping, getting the blame?

    For all the sensationalism of the Coast News headline, no evidence was presented of Andreen's misuse of any funds - only innuendo and anonymous suspicion. I'm guessing many members of the board gained materially from their association with the ECC, while doing absolutely nothing to earn it. Certainly the Coast News has benefited greatly and continues to do so, which is in effect the transfer of business and tax money to a newspaper. Where is the anger for that?

    Whatever happened at ECC, there is filth to go around. I'm guessing there has been mismanagement by a succession of CEOs and Board presidents (or maybe only one Board president), and back room winks and nods from various petty city politicians. So far as I know, Andreen has never served in any of those positions. Perhaps he is seen as a curmudgeon who attracts enemies by stepping on toes, but that is hardly a crime and does not justify the kind of childish personal attacks and character assassination that is so popular here.

    Whatever you think of Andreen personally, at least his new organization takes not one dime from taxpayers and is not in collusion with the local rag newspaper. It's 100% funded by businesses in "New Encinitas" - the El Camino Real corridor and surrounding area. If those businesses feel Andreen's organization is beneficial to them, then what the heck do you people care?

    Regarding the ECC, it certainly can get out of its current mess. The first order of business is to quit its obsessive hounding of Andreen, evident in every newsletter, email blast, and press interaction. The second is to excise the cancer of cronyism. The answer is to disconnect it from city hall and have it get back to its roots - an organization funded by business owners to represent business owners, and answerable to business owners and nobody else. If it serves its clients, it will succeed. If it serves only itself and its pet political hacks, it will continue to fail. It's really as simple as that.

    If he or Tucker are guilty, then let a real investigation be done and let justice take its course. But it better not stop there. Everyone who has served on the board or as CEO, every council member or mayoral hack, and every newspaper publisher and writer who have financial ties to the ECC need to be investigated as well. It seems the dirt, such as it is, goes back a half dozen years or more.

    If you can't deal with an investigation that is FULL, TRANSPARENT, and INDEPENDENT, then you are exposed as a hypocrite, or you have some other agenda that you hide behind anonymous vitriol.

    At least the ECC's motivation is clear enough: trying to kill a potential competitor. The motivation of others is somewhat more murky, but the possibilities are easy to identify: politics, money, revenge.

  33. "and all the knuckleheads on ECR that are joining the new Enc.C of C with self-appointed Andreen as CEO should run as fast as they can back to the real C of C"

    And who are you, high and mighty one, to denigrate ECR business owners as knuckleheads?

    Is your world so small that there is not room for multiple organizations that can compete, and, yes, even cooperate?

    Has not Cardiff had its own Chamber for years, and even has had joint sundowners with ECC? Is not the same true of DEMA? Is there not even a Leucadia 101 organization representing 225 businesses?

    Encinitas is comprised of five distinct communities, as a matter of history, and proudly declared all over the official city web site. Why is it that you feel some of those distinct communities are more special than the others? Why do you pick out New Encinitas as unworthy of having its own business organization that focuses on its own unique interests? Yet, it's perfectly okay for Cardiff, DEMA (Old Encinitas) and Leucadia?

    Is it not possible for a business owner to be a member of more than one business organization? Is it not possible, in your constrained world, for a business to join any and every organization that it feels will enhance its business prospects? Some businesses will only serve one community. Others will serve all of Encinitas. Still others will serve all of North County, all of SoCal, all of the USA, or internationally. Who are you to decide how many representative organizations are too many?

    If ECC best and adequately serves the needs of businesses in New Encinitas, while the New Encinitas CC does not, then ECC will succeed and NECC will not. If it is the reverse, then NECC will succeed and ECC will not. Or both will succeed because they both demonstrate positive value that convinces owners to pony up to join both. Or both will fail.

    None of these outcomes are dependent on your constipated conception of the brain capacity of others.

  34. bonddi said...

    "Andreen was overpaid for what he did -- which is stealing."

    Actually, if he was overpaid for what he did, then good for him and shame on the those who oversea Chamber expenditures (the board president, the CEO, and the accountant). However, you'd have a difficult time making the case that he was overpaid. Perhaps you'd like to propose a bid to do the same work for less money? No, I didn't think so.

    "He took the mailing list developed on our dime with him to start his new chamber -- that is stealing."

    The membership directory is posted publicly on the ECC web site. Anyone with half a brain could convert that into a spreadsheet with about 30 minutes of effort.

    You have a perverse sense of the meaning of the word "stealing".

  35. Being overpaid with public funds is good? This attitude is why CA is BK. $1,500 editorials...give me a break...obviously there was some collusion going on in facilitating this windfall. I looked on the ECC website and there is no mailing list. A mailing list is quite a bit different than a membership directory.

  36. to Andreen at 11:26 pm and 11:47pm ...get a grip

  37. well.. it's like I thought!


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