I want to recognize, and commend, all the Fairfield City Councilmen and the Mayor for the work they have done in setting a budget for the City for the coming year.

As Editor, I lost count of the numerous workshops held while Council members hammered out a way to squeeze every drop they could from each penny they had.

Every department, every program, and every organization receiving City funds was asked to bring a “bare bones” budget, and then asked to find even more ways to cut expenses.

They were asked about the benefits the organizations provided to Fairfield citizens.

Then, they were asked about what was being done to find alternative revenues, whether through grants, sponsorships, fundraisers, and more.

Councilmen heard from the Police Department, the Fire Department and Fairfield EMS.  They got the run down from the City Administrator about water, wastewater, streets and garbage.

They listened to the Market Days Director, the Chamber Director, the Library Director, the County Museum curator, and members of the Fairfield History Club, who serve as custodians of the historic Moody-Bradley House.

They talked to the Eagle Club about basketball tournaments, the Arts Council about musical events, and a special needs group about BBQ Cook-offs.

Through it all, I was impressed, and proud, to hear of all the work being done by so many of our citizens, in making my hometown the awesome place it is, all while trying to be good stewards of funds invested by the City.

Perhaps that is why I was so disheartened when reading last week’s Letter to the Editor that attacked one such organization, the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce.

Having served as a Chamber Ambassador the last several years, I have come to learn first-hand how much the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce does for our city, and how vital they are to our town.

The Chamber of Commerce is an organization made up of members with a keen interest in encouraging economic prosperity in the communities, as well as fostering the entrepreneurial spirit.

Fairfield’s members not only include business owners and professionals, but community organizations and churches, as well.

Chamber Board members, along with many volunteers, work with the City of Fairfield to host several annual events, including the Show of Wheels, Boo on the Square, Old Time Christmas Celebration, Eggstravaganza, and more.

Without the Chamber volunteers, the City would have to fall back on paid employees to host these events, which could very well be cost-prohibitive.

In Fairfield, the Chamber of Commerce building also serves as the city’s Visitor Center, welcoming tourists and new residents.

Every day, the Fairfield Chamber office provides referrals and information about such things as rental properties, utility hook ups, and the best place to buy flowers and chocolates (an actual inquiry).

Every call or visit provides an opportunity for the Chamber to promote the Fairfield community and its businesses.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to the benefits the Chamber brings to our town.

I am proud of what they do, and all they have accomplished for Fairfield.

The precious funds they receive from the City is money well spent.