By Sue Pascoe
Like an architectural time machine, the interior of the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce office on Antioch Street had escaped remodeling for decades.
But thanks to a generous $20,000 donation from Caruso and $7,500 from the building’s landlord, the Lee Family Trust, the space will be updated—losing the wood paneling that was so fashionable from the 1950s through the 1970s, the drop ceiling and some of the historic black-and-white photos that graced the walls.
After spending weeks paring down boxes and boxes of accumulated material, executive director Arnie Wishnick and administrative assistant Marilyn Crawford relocated last week to a temporary space in the Rodeo Realty branch office at 839 Via de la Paz.
“We’re more than delighted to work with the chamber,” said branch manager Nick Spirtos, who is providing the space for free. He joked that after 25 years at the Chamber, Wishnick is well-positioned to moonlight in real estate. “He could become our number-one agent,” Spirtos mused.
But when asked how Arnie was doing after three days at Rodeo, Spirtos said, “He hasn’t sold anything yet.”
Anyone having chamber business can visit Wishnick and Crawford at the Rodeo office between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call (310) 459-7963.
Also donating to the chamber renovation are Elliott Zorensky of Udo Realty (interior doors and light fixtures), Richard Blumenberg of RLB Architecture (time and expertise to draft remodeling plans) and developer Reza Akef (construction).
During the expected five-week remodel, Pacific Union (formally Gibson International) and Union Bank will provide complimentary space to hold chamber board meetings.
According to Chamber President Susan Payne, Wishnick plans to retire this year and become an ambassador to members and the community.
Additionally, the chamber board of directors approved new bylaws in February, and Payne was asked when the membership, according to California Corporation Code 7512, would vote on them.
Payne replied, “Our previous bylaws allowed the board of directors to amend the bylaws at its discretion. No general membership approval is required for our bylaws that were recently adopted. They will not be distributed to the general membership.”
The News had an old copy of the 10-page bylaws and couldn’t find any provision that allows the board to bypass membership approval for a bylaws change.
Responding to an e-mail query from the News on March 27, Payne explained: “The old bylaws are 13 or 14 pages. Previously, for an undetermined amount of time, Arnie provided only the first 10 pages of the bylaws when a member requested a copy or to view them. You may have an incomplete copy of the old bylaws.”
The News stopped by last week to get the missing three or four pages from Wishnick, but he only had the 10-page version.
Members who want to view the new by-laws, which are 33 pages long, can see Wishnick or ask them to be emailed.