Saturday, September 4, 2010

Current Watch: Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association: "Whistle Blowers spanning over a decade finally achieve victory in Glenwood Springs, Colorado"

On September 2nd, 2010, the Glenwood Springs City Council authorized the seating of nine individuals, who will now make up the first tourism oversight board in the history of Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

While very disappointing to see that back-door politics have allowed three Chamber of Commerce seats to be held instead of ordinance required one seat.  To see three directly associated tourism industry seats to be held instead of ordinance required two seats.

While very encouraging to see two seats held by common citizens who are strong enough individuals to lend balance to the board.

The undeniable fact, that never again,  will there be any ability for zero transparency and accountability to the largest tax generated revenue base in the County of Garfield and the City of Glenwood Springs; is a victory that belongs to six women spanning the years of 1998-2010.

Tourism Business Representatives and Chamber of Commerce Board Member:
Steve Beckley
Ken Murphy (current Chamber Board of Directors)

Lodging Representatives:
John Bosco (Hot Springs Pool)
Peter Tijm (current Chamber Board of Directors)

Chamber Representative:
Carl Moak (current Chamber Board of Directors)

Citizen Representatives and current previous Tourism Board member:
Ian Exelberg (moves from long held seat on disbanded tourism board to new board)
Scott Hemmen
Don Gillespie
Judith Wilson

Collectively here at safeplace, we feel the chosen mix on the board will encounter a tougher road in attempting to bridge the chasm of the two factions that make up small business in the 81601 zip code.   This was a critical time to make appropriate choices that hold up under scrutiny. 

All on this board are good people.  It is the imbalance of weight in the carry-over of proven eyes that refused to see, proven ears that tuned out and proven courage that could not withstand coming under fire that will ultimately be the burden of the community to continue to carry. 

We also remain feeling that the small businesses and common citizens on the side of the rift that ultimately bears that burden are no longer at disadvantage.  The field is leveled now.   It just may take more time than your wishes shared with us hoped for.

In what started out as one voice almost twelve years ago, that raised collectively to global watch-dog attention today; the voices of the small have locked in awareness. 

When one believes in the power of good people unafraid to use the front door instead of the back, ultimately the good people win.

Good wishes, from the avatars of smalltown7 as this historic new board steps up.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Current Watch: Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association: "City council prepares to seat new tourism oversight and promotion board"

And their up!

Names of the candidates for Glenwood Springs historic new tourism promotion and oversight board are released:

Two of the following from tourism-related businesses:
Steve Beckley
Ian Exelbert
John Bosco
Trent Blizzard
Ken Murphy
Rob Jankovsky
John Zalinski

Two of the following representatives from lodging:
William Knapp
Peter Tijm

One from the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association:
Carl Moak

Four from the common man category:
Cindy Svatos
Don Gillespie
John Duven
Scott Hemmen
Judith Wilson
Darron Cloud

smalltown7 recommends the following:

From the common man category:
John Duven, Scott Hemmen, Darren Cloud. We also give a very special nod to former whistle blower on the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. Cindy Svatos came forward, with two other employees in the 2005 era of whistles. Cindy has played a part in bringing about this long awaited change of oversight, accountability and control to Glenwood Springs.

Lodging and the chamber are chosen simply by the numbers. We feel lodging is very well represented and we believe Carl has a great deal of experience he can bring to the board that has potential to make the transition in ease.

Tourism sector:
Ken Murphy and Trent Blizzard.   Glenwood Springs, for better or worse, is currently entrenched in viral marketing. All eggs pretty much in one basket. A double edged sword that has put us, when it's used effectively, into the world class destination resorts category.  Trent Blizzard helped create that viral juggernaut, we need him to help us keep what is good and eliminate what is not. Trent is also a good business man who cares deeply about all sectors of small business in our community. Ken Murphy, in our eyes, is the only tourism sector candidate strong enough to usher out an old era. Ken also has the potential to ring in a new one with calm, steady support and a wealth of experience. Ken is also a fair guy with a backbone. He has good potential to be the glue that meshes all sides into the best promotional team Glenwood Springs has ever seen.

smalltown7 give good wishes to our city council as they prepare to seat this historic board.

At this time, the latest announcement from safeplace is that Commissioner John Martin, Councilman Leo McKinney and Jeff Hecksel, City Manager were spoken to, via email, by smalltown on Sunday, the 29th of August.

In our email, we brought both city and county up to speed on where we are at with the Current Watch on the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.  

Yes, we retained your anonymity as that is our word to you, but we did share your ongoing concerns.

We also lent clarity to what we support and what we will remain not supporting.

One of the areas we will remain supporting until we can see how strong the new board truly is, shall be the Current Watch on the chamber. smalltown7 stands on our position spoken here a few months ago that the time has come to cut off the past and move on to the future here in Glenwood Springs.
Never has that been more clear than seeing the release of the disappointing revenue numbers over the past year. Where the new board will look to promoting the future and gaining control over what is left from the past; our concern, along with many other citizens, is what appears on the surface to be missing.   There are some gaping holes that potentially add up to a lot of dollars that could be in tourism promotion for the future.   Bottom line is that until we know, we cannot as a community move fully forward.  We also must meet our obligation to you.  Our decision is to continue the same pace we have had over the past 3 months or so.  It seems to be working.

Yes, we were straight up in expressing what you have expressed to us.  We tried to cover as many appropriate bases as we could without running the risk of alienation. 

At this time, we say to the folks that you now have security in controls over the future and it may be a wise time for diplomacy within reason.

So far, our officials have not given any consideration whatsoever for laying the concerns of the people to rest.

Transparency is easy.

Such resistance is worrisome. Especially when that resistance spans decades and millions of dollars in public revenues.

Our email on Sunday reiterated what some already knew. We want nothing more than to be proven wrong.

We spoke again of our belief that now that control of funds and power is in place with the city ultimately in charge; ours is a quiet watch. At least as quiet as the high global exposure and credibility we have earned here at safeplace can make it.  We hope that very soon, we can go dark on the Current Watch on the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.

We spoke at length of our support  of both city and county and how pleased we are for the future aims.

We also spoke of our disappointment that such lengths, spanning such a long period of time, have been forced upon the folks yet still there is no forensic audit or accounting anywhere for them to lay their concerns down upon and move forward. We reminded that our community is in their hands and the need to even have a 'safeplace' is appalling to us.

Yes, we applied a little bit of your pressure. That application was done with the highest interests of all in mind.

You did good! Your new board has some fine applicants.

...just sayin...