February 12, 2019

Washington Parish Tourism Addressed at Council Meetings

The Washington Parish Tourism Commission was the topic of discussion at a meeting Monday evening (February 11, 2019) of the Personnel Committee of the Washington Parish Council. Discussions were productive with the roles of the relationship between the Parish Council and the Tourism Commission being clarified and commitments being made toward transparency and coordination.

Personnel Committee members Rusty Fornea, Levi Lewis and Perry Talley heard from Tourism Commission Manager Kathi Mayor and Commission Members Cynthia August, Henry Harrison, and Mark Irvine. (Commission members not present were Marilyn Bateman, Ella Rose Bickham, Diane Slocum, and Phyllis Sampere.) The Personnel Committee also heard from other Council members and persons in the audience.

Discussions included the reappointment of three commissioners, how tourism commissioner nominations are received, the role of the Parish Council in approving commissioners, the number of members making up the Commission, and how the Tourism Commission promotes tourism and coordinates with other agencies.

Commissioner Harrison, who has been on the Commission since it's beginning, offered the opinion that, although the Parish Council votes to approve or disappove nominations, the Council does not appoint Commission members. That opinion was determined to be inaccurate. In fact, it was learned that, instead of the Tourism Commission presenting nominations to the Council for approval, nominations are supposed to be made to the Council by private non-profit groups that have an interest in the tourism industry and by other entities.

Commissioner August referred to “misleading information”, apparently about the Tourism Commission, that has been provided by some. No details were given. Councilman Lewis stated that he felt “we have brought the Tourism Committe to trial without even letting them know what the charges are.” The charges he referred to were unclear.

Ultimately, the Parish Council approved the recommendation of the Personnel Committee to approve the re-appointment of Henry Harrison, Cynthia August, and Phyllis Sampere. 

No comments:

Post a Comment