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Tourism Development Board seeking leaders
Newman, Ben 2016CMYK.jpg
Ben Newman

McMinnville’s Tourism Development Board will be seeking individuals to oversee its endeavors. The original administrative agreement between the city of McMinnville and Warren County Chamber of Commerce has come to an end.

The TDB was created by the city in 2017. At that time, officials approved $75,000 to the Chamber as an administration fee to reimburse Chamber employees for their extra duties in providing services to plan, direct, and coordinate supportive services of the TDB.

When the Chamber submitted its 2020-21 fiscal year allocation request from the city, that request did not include $75,000 to oversee TDB activities. 

The city Finance Committee did provide initial approval for $108,700 to the Chamber for the upcoming year, but none of those monies were earmarked as a TDB administrative fee.

TDB members met Monday to consider its future support staff needs. 

“When we first created Tourism Development Authority, later called the Tourism Development Board, it was anticipated that there would be enough work for it to be a full-time job,” said Mayor Ben Newman. “We started out moving forward with some projects and then, as we’ve moved along, we have realized that it’s not necessarily a full-time job. Sometimes there is a lot to do and sometimes there’s not a whole lot to do.” 

TDB members earmarked $30,000 within their budget for 2020-21 for administration.

“With the budgeting that we have, I think that it’s better to have a part-time position for this and do this by contracting with someone to take on that role,” said Newman. “If we hired an employee, whether that’s full time or part time, there’s a lot more expense that goes into that – probably hiring an accountant to do payroll, withholding, recording and everything else that we would have to do on that. We are not an organization that has a massive amount of revenue. It’s relatively small.”

According to TDB records, cash on hand as of Monday was $66,389.

“If we pay out the money it would require for a full-time staff, then we would just be paying staff and we wouldn’t have any money to do any projects or events, to an extent,” said Newman. 

He suggested contracting with two individuals: one to oversee the general administration of TDB activities and one to spearhead current and future projects proposed by TDB members. 

Christy Ross suggested generating job descriptions, which Katie Kemezis offered to construct and submit to the board for consideration. 

Chamber Executive Committee chair Dayron Deaton-Owens said the Chamber still has a desire to partner with TDB activities and may consider stepping into one of the two roles after reviewing the job descriptions. 

Tourism Development Board members unanimously approved generating two job descriptions, both contract labor. When those are available, a meeting will be called.