The Yuba Sutter chamber of commerce provided a special treat for members of the community on March 20 when they sponsored an evening with financial analyst and news radio pundit, Tom Sullivan. The event was a fund-raiser with proceeds going to the Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund. The event commenced at 5 p.m. with a gourmet dinner buffet and wine bar. There was a brief introduction by our new Yuba College president, Dr. Harrington, and a beautiful performance by the Yuba College chamber singers, performing a composition of love songs as dinner was ending. Tom Sullivan is a certified pubic accountant and the financial anchor for KCRA channel 3; he also has had a successful daytime talk show since 1988. The informative and witty Sullivan, whose topic of the night was the “State of the Economy,” entertained the approximately 200 attendants. Sullivan started off the evening by saying how happy he was to be a part of raising money for the scholarship fund. He explained he was the “posterboy” of scholarships, having gotten through school on them and other programs such as the G.I. bill. Sullivan is known for his no-nonsense approach to financial reporting. He was the first to give reports in an easy to understand, conversational manner, versus the traditional approach of technical reporting. Delving into the economy, Sullivan squelched many of our fears by saying our economy is growing, despite the events of September 11. Sullivan doubts that our economy was ever suffering a recession, but merely experiencing economic “slow down.” The recent “slow down” as he puts it, was different because it had a vast impact on many different sectors of our economy. Sullivan explained that every industry is put into a different category and in the recent slow down, 3 out of 4 industries in the last year and a half have seen a decline in business and employment. “Some people may not think the so-called recession is over because the recovery is going to be so small,” said Sullivan. He went on to say this might disappoint people or lead them to believe our economy is not doing better than it is. When asked about his take on the race for Governor between democrat Gray Davis and Republican Bill Simon, the conservative Sullivan took a neutral stand. He commentated that Simon has been well “schooled” on the issues at hand but Davis has more experience and money. He added that Davis’s biggest disadvantage is that people generally don’t like him as a person. He gave no predictions on the outcome of the upcoming election. Another interesting point he brought up was that Sacramento has the highest employment growth rate in the state, surpassing the previous leaders, San Francisco and San Jose. As a result of Sacramento’s growing economy the areas transportation growth is also skyrocketing. Sullivan touched on what the future may hold for Sacramento. The S.A.C.G. (Sacramento Area Council of Governments) has a transportation plan for 2025 that includes building a third bridge on highway 65 and a connector from Roseville to the Sacramento Airport. There will be construction on highway 70 and 99, and expansions of roads in Lincoln, Marysville and Wheatland are also in the works. When asked if he had any general investment advice for college students, the one thing he had to say was “don’t invest in a credit card.” Credit card debt among college students is rampant and is the number one hurdle to a stable and prosperous financial future. You can tune in to KCRA Channel 3 News every weekday morning for Sullivan’s financial report, and listen to his daily talk show on AM station 1530, KFBK, at noon for all your financial news and advice.