Some councilors concerned with tourism board process |

Some councilors concerned with tourism board process

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Glenwood Springs City Councilor Leo McKinney and Mayor Pro Tem Dave Sturges are calling for more oversight regarding the Glenwood Springs Tourism Board and the taxpayer funds it’s responsible for.

“It’s not a personal issue of any person or business, but it’s more of a process issue and accountability,” McKinney told Council at Thursday’s meeting. “If we are going to be giving out this kind of money, I think there ought to be more strings attached.”

The discussion arose after McKinney and Sturges voiced concern with the process at Council’s March 4 meeting. McKinney said that he was uncomfortable with the process and asked that Council hold off on two appointments of nominees to the Tourism Board.

The item was removed and discussed at Thursday’s meeting. While Council confirmed the appointments of Myrna Green and Christina Kornetzke to the Tourism Board, in a 5-2 vote, it was not without debate.

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“Some compromises have been made relative to the use of the taxes that are collected and expended by the Chamber, but under the direction of the tourism board,” Sturges said. “I’ve never been very satisfied or very comfortable with that particular arrangement.”

Sturges said that he would like to discuss a system that would provide more accountability of the Tourism Board regarding funds received from the city.

“I think there are options to look at and I think we need to discuss that,” Sturges said.

McKinney supported Sturges’ opinions.

“I remain uncomfortable with this process for all the reasons that have already been said,” McKinney said and added, “When I look at the make-up of the existing board, it does not seem all that diverse to me.”

McKinney pointed out that the lodging industry has a significant amount of members on the board however, he said, that he does not have a particular problem with that but more with the lack of oversight.

“I do have a problem with not having proper oversight,” he said. “Especially given the amount of money that we give them.”

Council also removed a recommendation from the Financial Advisory Board regarding awards of Tourism Promotion Grant funds from Thursday’s consent agenda for further discussion as well.

Council previously set a June date to discuss the sole-source Tourism Promotion contract with the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. The chamber received $600,000 for the tourism contract for 2010. The Tourism Board determines in part how those funds will be distributed to promote Glenwood Springs.

Council expressed that the June date may also be a good time to discuss the oversight issue as well.

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