Tourist watchdog group wins compromise

Fighting off a move by Santa Rosa officialdom to reduce its autonomy, the volunteer Tourist Development Council struck a compromise to keep open communication lines among members and avoid being shrunk.

By a 6-1 vote the watchdog panel, which is authorized by the Florida Legislature to keep an eye on the county’s $2 million in annual bed taxes, rejected a bid to reduce its meeting frequency to quarterly from monthly. The panel also avoided elimination of its north and south sub-committees, which are intended to ensure countywide representation of leisure and hospitality industry voices.

The group managed to thwart the pressure by county economic development supervisors and District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson that some members saw as a power grab and a possible first step toward disbanding them entirely.

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