August 6, 2011 9:23:00 PM
The Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau board will review its finances and vote on upcoming festivals Monday at a retreat.
The board retreat, which is open to the public, runs from 8 a.m. to about 2:45 p.m. at the new Fairfield Inn.
After breakfast, the board will enter its regular meeting at about 8:30 a.m. and will vote to fund several festivals, including Juneteenth, Caledonia Days and Croppy USA.
The board is also expected to clean up and streamline the process by deciding festival funding criteria.
Funding for festivals has tripled since 2005, when the CVB gave out $33,725 in five local grants. In 2010, the board awarded $101,000 in 12 grants, with the largest, $20,000 grant going to the Tennessee Williams Tribute.
At the retreat Monday, board members will also discuss marketing strategies from about 9 a.m. to 10:40 a.m., and their budget from 10:40 a.m. to noon.
The board''s budget is recovering now from several recent strains, including a move to a new, $753,637 office space at the intersection of Third and College streets.
The board only had about $15,000 available in June, board members said then.
According to budget records, the CVB estimated it would bring in almost $1.39 million this fiscal year, but would only have $2,363 in net income, or income after expenses.
Another item that may be discussed is the search for a new board director.
Interim Executive Director Nancy Carpenter, who has been serving in the position since James Tsismanakis left for another job earlier this year, has expressed interest in the position.
With the board''s coffers still empty, a search could be delayed until more money becomes available.
After lunch Monday, the board will discuss other topics until 1:30 p.m., when Mississippi State University public policy expert Sumner Davis will outline laws that apply to the board.
Davis was called in after questions were raised about possible violations of open meetings laws and former board member David Sanders'' law firm -- Mitchell, McNutt and Sams -- returned $17,320.50 in legal fees to the CVB for work he did while on the board.
iam4columbus commented at 8/7/2011 12:12:00 PM:
I just read, in today's Dispatch, that there is the possibility that the search for a full-time Executive Director "could be delayed until more money becomes available."
You know, it seems as if the CVB Board will do anything to delay hiring a full-time Executive Director. First, it was because the ninth member had not been appointed; then, last month, the matter was tabled because one of the Board members was absent. Now, the delay is due to a lack of funds. What next, do we delay finding a full-time Director because this is not a leap year?
Is there some other reason why the Board is dragging its collective feet in hiring an out-of-town search firm to conduct a national search? Inquiring minds want to know!
hope commented at 8/7/2011 2:24:00 PM:
@inquiring minds----------the board retreat, which is open to the public, runs from 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Monday at the Fairfield Inn. If the public are allowed to participate, that would be an excellent time to present your question.
shinealightonit commented at 8/7/2011 6:42:00 PM:
"According to budget records, the CVB estimated it would bring in almost $1.39 million this fiscal year, but would only have $2,363 in net income, or income after expenses."
You've got to be kidding me! Where in the hell is the other $1,387,637? How can they possibly justify that kind of spending?
Sounds like somebody should call for a state audit!
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