Friday, May 28, 2010

Current Watch: Glenwood Springs Chamber of Commerce: City Council Meeting Set to Decide Fate of Tourism Board

Today's post to SafePlace is authored by (2) former employees of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. 

This post is dedicated to the group now widely known as smalltown8.

"Over 12 years ago now, we were the first employees of the Chamber to start the rise upward to expose a corruption that at the time was just becoming obvious.

A little over 12 years later.  Coming along behind (3) additional episodes of more whistleblowers coming forward; the many who have had the courage to stand up have finally accomplished the goal of public exposure to protect the tourism tax revenues of our community.

The efforts span 12 years of rising public view. 

They span at least 8 to 10 years of public concern in quieter ways prior to public view.

 In summary, close to 20 years of concern over the lack of true and fiscally responsible oversight of one of the largest revenue bases in our community. A fund that has generated an estimated 18 to 20 million dollars of revenues into our city coffers.

On the 3rd of June, 2010, City Council sits down, with the eyes of a community and now unfortunately a minimum of additional 48,000 eyes and numerous  world news feeds, to determine the fate of the tourism fund.

For the first time in the history of the Tourism Fund, there is no ability to make decisions on these funds without answering to the public while doing so.

Council, on the surface has supplied rhetoric that they will final determine what type of accounting oversight there will be on these funds. 

Council, on the surface has supplied rhetoric that there are many issues and concerns over the relationship with the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association and Tourism Board.  Those issues to be thoroughly analyzed and the fate of the relationship and it's oversight is to be determined.

Council, on the surface has supplied rhetoric that the long standing non compliance City Council has indulged itself in by not putting the Tourism Marketing Contract out for RFP (Request for Proposals) each year is to be thoroughly analyzed and ear marked with a mind for acceptance to non compliance of standards (or) placed into compliance with all other contracts of this magnitude.

What Council has not yet done is provide a commitment to the public on transparency of all funds issued to the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association to date.

This upcoming commitment from our City Council is a major win for the community of Glenwood Springs.   

Finally seperated from a single organization, the marketing portion of the Tourism Tax revenues now stands a chance to be tightly held and all of it's strength focused on the good of a community.

It is by no means all that needs to be done.

It is our hope, as (2) of the small voices who have managed to bring this win, that the rest of what needs to be done will see fruition as well.

Long standing change is at now at hand at the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.  Still yet another high employee, in Kate Collins VP of Tourism Marketing at the Chamber, resigned on May 5th, 2010.    Marking another of so many of us who have fallen by the wayside.  Kate's path did not follow whistleblowing.  For that, we are glad for her.  This is not a road to be wished on anyone.

A recent public cry rose up for the City Council meeting of June 3, 2010 to also hold discussion of securing the current contract now with the Chamber Resort Association.

There is no doubt in our community that scandal rocks, with more to come that pulls the Chamber of Commerce into public view.

For us, the avatars known as formerchamberlady and Former Chamber Employee, we join that cry to protect what may be remaining within the contract for 2010.  Gone are the excuses always cried out from the Chamber that there would be no one to run it.

There is now.

The creator of our Tourism Marketing, known as the Marketing Guru, Kate Collins and her new firm Write Brain Left, Inc. should now be available to safehold the Tourism contract for 2010.  It's a great fit as City Council makes plans to change.

You'll notice a change to the look of SafePlace today.

There are a couple of reasons for that.

The first, is that the clean up of a vile, malignant infection that has followed so many who go up against the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, is in process.  A clean up that began with us, (2) employees over 12 years ago.  That clean up remains supported fully by smalltown7 at a SafePlace.

The second is that we have decided as a group, to take the major win of public eyes forever now on the Tourism Tax revenues and their handling.  And to let the Glenwood Springs Chamber move on.  We feel strongly that we have managed to protect an asset of Glenwood Springs and the public can now join in our watch dog on City Council and City Management's stewardship of that asset until the time comes it is proven to be in good hands.

Here are the visual changes to the blog that you now see:

First, we are leaving only a few selected posts, specific to relevant events within clean-up of lives damaged. 

One is the post of Marilyn LaMont, aka bigtown1, in her "Free Speech and the Unalienable Right to Protection by Authorities" post.  Marilyn is one of two owners of a local business that has now seen the 'best' of our community.  We remain welcoming Marilyn and Keith to the business community of Glenwood Springs and are also very glad to hear of the recent upsurge in day to day sales as the community we love and know reaches out to them, hoping that they stay with us.

The second post archive available to you is the post speaking to you of the real County of Garfield and City of Glenwood Springs and the love we all have of our community.

Good wishes to the Glenwood Springs City Council as they sit down on June 3rd, 2010."