Friday, October 23, 2009

Tales of Tourism Tangles

Sam Pendleton, a member of the Florence City Council since 1992, has never been shy about speaking his mind. Now he is speaking out on the standoff between Lauderdale County and the City of Florence over their joint appointee to the Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Board.

Our October 8th blog spotlighted the disagreement between the county and city governing bodies. At that time we asserted our view that the two sides could work out any differences of opinion; however, 15 days have passed, and there have been no changes in the stance of either side. Now, Mr. Pendleton has suggested that, unless the county becomes more accommodating, Florence break away from the 15 year-old tourism board and form its own organization with which to attract visitors to the city.

A second point of contention is the exact expiration date of Bill Hunt's board membership. Members of both the county commission and city council have presented the position as essentially vacant, stating that Hunt's term expired in September. In actuality, Hunt assumed his membership on the board as a replacement for a member who resigned due to ill health.

According to a copy of a memo Mr. Pendleton forwarded to us, Hunt's term on the board is legally four years from his installation, making his last day December 11, 2009. We believe Mr. Pendleton's take on the matter to be correct. This allows seven more weeks for the Lauderdale Commission and Florence Council to come to an agreement over the joint board member.

We're not sure what reservations any Lauderdale County Commissioners have concerning the city's nomination of Jan Ingle, but, barring any new revelations concerning the Florence businesswoman, we suggest Ms. Ingle will be an asset to the board.

It's Here! - Tonight marks the first of seven days for the 2009 Ghost Walk. Meet Florence author and historian Debra Glass at the Handy statue in Wilson Park at 7:30 p.m. for her exciting and informative tour. Admission is only $10.00. See you there!