County to mute tourism watchdog group

 

We don’t need your advice quite so often.

That’s what Santa Rosa County officials are saying to the volunteer panel of tourism industry leaders who advise them on strategies to grow the area economy’s largest segment.

Members of the Tourist Development Council have been summoned one by one during the past month to meet with Economic Development Director Shannon Ogletree, who is insisting that the group scrap its monthly meetings by going quarterly and also shrink in size.

“They don’t want to listen to us on some things,” said Jack Sanborn, a TDC member who owns Outdoor Adventures Unlimited in Milton.

The group has occasionally clashed with District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson, who oversees the council as a voting member, over promotional strategy and spending. He didn’t return a reporter’s phone call and email requests for comment.

“I’m a team player and I just don’t see how this makes the team stronger,” said TDC member Kyle Holley, who is also a fund raiser for the United Way of Santa Rosa County. Under the county’s plan, the council’s sub-committees of a half dozen each from the north and south ends would be disbanded.

District 2 Commissioner Bob Cole, who said he heard about the county’s plans this week, said the TDC should have a say in its future: “I would like to wait to see what the results of the TDC board are after they discuss it and decide on the direction they want to go.”

For the full story, read the August 4 issue of Navarre Press.  Click here to subscribe for as little as $38 per year.

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