Your extreme fear of competition concerning CEDAC’s proposal for a county-wide Web portal voiced in your editorial is unwarranted and has no basis in fact.
It is unfortunate that you jumped on incorrect dialogue during board discussions. If you had been part of the many, many months of discussions with a broad range of community groups and organizations, you would have realized the Web portal proposal has absolutely nothing to do with advertising. None.
After much research trying to see how other jurisdictions promote themselves in a united way, two glowing examples emerged. Both Seattle and San Diego have portal Websites that drive visitors to all aspects of their communities.
Every incorrect example you mentioned has nothing to do with the portal CEDAC promoted. None. This will be one central site that directs visitors to communities, areas, agriculture, recreation, arts, everything El Dorado County offers. The proliferation of such sites now is confusing. And importantly, the Web portal will not be beholden to specific interests — a major distinction to what is now the case.
Chambers of Commerce can and should promote businesses. Ours do. CEDAC never recommended advertising on the portal. That would defeat the plan to attract visitors to our communities and organizations.
It is important to recognize the definition of a portal — a doorway, a gate, or an entrance — not a marketing gimmick. No self-promotion or advertising there. The idea is to present our county and the communities where economic development begins.
Please try to avoid knee-jerk reactions in the future. Background on every subject is imperative before you form an opinion and share it with your readers. Even your own news articles have provided a more accurate description of the efforts that have culminated in the Board of Supervisors approving this idea.