Sunday, January 23, 2011

Current Watch: Tourism Contract 2012, The City of Glenwood Springs City Council oversight and a sharing of email from a follower"

The following is an email from a follower that we are asked to not cut down to a capacity that fits comment character allowance.

Sure.  We are happy to do that for you. Verbatim as received:

“The key to this stranglehold on the AC tax and our revenue generating tourism promotion could be said to be in the details that stand when all else falls away.

In the over 20 years the chamber has been the sole source vendor for promotion, there has never once been anyone in true control of the promotion contract funded by public tax except the unprecedented allowing of the vendor.

Nobody cares if the vendor is the chamber or the guy down the street.  They care where officials put the marketing contract that gives peak performance and public accountability for that performance.  The only ones who seem to care about the chamber being the hired help are the ones who have made this about personally supporting one individual within the chamber and a political popularity contest for the powerful who are run by that individual.  The citizenry has never bought into it and we have been listening to it for years. 

During that 20+ years, somehow the hired help vendor has developed into controlling all  information,  handed a contract and a check for the entire amount of the contract and  spend that without anything except weak control  from their own board.

It’s only been because of friction from citizenry for more than 18 years, that the chamber board handling this contract has moved in the last three out of 20+ years to being even partially not hand-picked by its own employee. An employee that no one can possibly argue with as being the most magnetic polarizing force the community has ever encountered. It’s only because of the yearly repeat of that friction that awareness of a problem continues to grow hits the public eye. 

During the past five to six years, the detail that refuses to be lost in the mist is the truth. 

There is no employee plot.  There is no lack of money. There is no economic factor that put the community here.  There is no lack of cooperation or lack of enthusiasm to make big ticket things happen in our town. There is no incompetency in who gets hired within the subs or employees of the hired help.  There is no elected official not friendly to the hired help.  There are no persons unknown not touched by the hired help, there is only an entire community helplessly in tow of the hired help’s agenda to not part the mists.  There are no consequences for the mists of the chamber board, there is now only one apparently very private citizen that apparently did nothing more to get caught up in this than to tell the powerful to take hold of their problem and leave her out of it.  Two years or more ago according to public record, yet the mists have not parted, they instead have been turned into a concrete wall using the mother of all excuses that it is OK because they are, the hired help that cannot be fired.

There only remain the two components of the truth that never die. 

1.  There is a complete shirking of duty on the part of the chamber board in not governing the accountability and transparency of their entity, because they refuse to lay down the public fear fueled by not showing the hired help’s intent.

2.  The hired help has convinced elected officials that no matter what the hired help does, the hired help is apparently above ethics, law and is infallible. So much so, elected officials and powerful business now have moved the citizenry from the possibility of belief that even our prosecutor and law enforcement might be approving on behalf of the hired help that anything goes, the public only has to look at the public record and the obvious to know for certain that the hired help has put our prosecutor and his investigation methods into public concern. I resent deeply our prosecutor and our law enforcement being placed in this position but also clearly see the verifiable of public record that duty followed would not have them there.  Knowing the hired help  as well as they do, the citizenry may have some hope of their concerns over our prosecutor and our law enforcement being alleviated from taint as the mists continue to part.  But the verifiable that we  have any citizenry, including the private one and all associated with her left hurt and unprotected is as zgnative says, horrifying.

The smaller details remain kicked under the rug even though when combined they are the bulldozer that knocks down the wall are easy to spot.  Just pick up the rug and let the bugs scurry.

  • A good deal of talk of big things and big change from the chamber with no performance showing the turn-around of this supposedly different chamber board in charge.  
  • After 3+ years of that big talk, there is still nothing but double speak on what the real numbers are. Leading up to this time the community, despite incredible assets, remains one of the poorest displays of performance in the state. When the citizenry objects, we can believe our eyes and ears and watch where that is brushed over by our own council still letting the hired help run the show.
  • There is no itemized break-down of the tourism contract spending because when it suits them, the board still says they are a private entity that now, apparently claims full ownership and control over what our public funds bought and if fired, we can't have our own assets.
  • During the past 20+ years, there has never once been any report that tied the lodging sales to the sales tax sales. The city does the sales tax sales, the chamber does the lodging sales. There is no municipality in the state (maybe even the nation) that allows the hired help control over the books when public funds are involved.
  • To make this even more alarming, this same vendor has been allowed to co-mingle what they do with a clear and direct tie to being the head of all of our small business in the area.  If we were to place a vote of confidence before voters in the way that Aspen just did that earned a voters confidence approval to actually raise the lodging tax in Aspen, it would landslide fail.
  • During the course of this massive failure within the AC tax, the downtown has polarized away from everyone and we spend more money to help it.  The elite few (not unlike what happens right now with skico) have prospered so much that no one has even blinked an eye yet at the outrageous admission from the chamber retreat that they want an attractions tax added on to the burden of the people so there can be more uncontrolled money to spend.  Those elite few are the attractions that have had their advertising budgets paid for by the promotion of what is supposed to be global 81601 tourism.  While the small businesses within 81601 have suffered for almost three years from all eggs being in one basket.
  • Even knowing they have no confidence from the population, when it suits hired managers, elected council and stroked tourism board members to not tangle with the chamber because it’s too much or fear of ending up like we are right now verifiably in personal harms way; the chamber/hired help hides behind some cock and bull concept that they are a private entity, owner of the brand and all with it that public funds hired and paid for. 
  • To further that embarrassment of insult to the citizenry’s intelligence, this dancing by the hired help is not being done by a private business, it is being done by a held at high standard non-profit in position of trust.  Who highly likely should never have been put in this position in the first place if we are to look around the country at the state of failure our chambers of commerce are in.

On a logistics level, it does not matter if all the above is wrong.  The citizenry is neither blind nor dumb.  We are not stupid.  We will vote out the weak, keep on carrying the load and believe in a democracy that eventually will change all of this.

On a moral level, any individual in the community of 81601 who does not see the magnitude of this entire situation, that feels no concern  that our foundation is cracked and marred forever now by the hired help, will remain my community but is no longer  a neighbor of my household, my professional services and my firm. You ask too much of me and my own to participate in this.

As for all of us  raising our public voices, under the circumstances of the obvious, be wise enough to remain closet expressions and err on the side of prudence.  I know I am.

As for the private citizen who still has not spoken a word according to public record, but whom I hear from sources I trust deeply really is a very good person who no one could ever say is not vocally forthcoming if asked and whose intent shows on every aspect of her being; you have my deepest prayers and most heartfelt wishes that your life is not ruined beyond hope of any repair.  

As for the verifiable others falling daily in harm to the obvious and verifiably no prosecutor or law enforcement in front of them, I honestly do not know what to say.

As for what sits on that dais calling itself my friends and my leaders, think again."