Thursday, October 29, 2015

Goodbye, Kelli! You Were Too Good for Them!

 Did you ever stop to think about the difference between a tourism office and a tourism board? They’re not the same thing, are they? 

The hospitality field usually includes restaurants. I can run a pretty big restaurant, at least the operations part, and most of the financial part too. I don’t ever want to have to do that again, but I could. That means I know what to order, how to stock, how to set up bars and tables, all the good stuff. How do you get customers into the restaurant? I have very few ideas. I worked for a chain and our home office always did the advertising, and I didn’t have to worry about it.

So having someone from the hospitality field is really important for the Florence Board? Why?

Many board members for large companies are retired from similar companies. They have the expertise. You won’t find a carpet manufacturer on the board of a steel company and you won’t find the owner of a large computer company on the board of a natural gas company. They have expertise all right, but just not any in the right areas.

So why should the Florence Tourism Board want a member of the hospitality field to come on board when he/she may not know diddley about getting tourists to come to the Shoals? Maybe it just sounds good?

All this is to ask why was Kelli Gaputis not kept on the board? There were two places to fill, so the board could have had both Kelli and a member of the hospitality industry. Is it still men versus women with them? Isn’t the board mainly to make sure the money is spent correctly? A sort of checks and balances thing? Why are these people who meet once a month more important than those who work in the office five days a week to promote tourism and actually know what they’re doing?

Maybe someone understands, but I don’t. Maybe someone understands why the county commission didn’t even interview Kelli. Sure she had been on the board for some time, but not all the current commission members knew her. Didn’t they at least have a few questions about her vision for the next few years? Or did they know already they weren’t even going to consider her? It’s pretty bad when our local governing bodies don’t even feel the need to keep up appearances of impartiality. 


J. Redmon will be bringing us some interesting information on drugs and other problems in local community corrections in the next few days. Any readers with inside information or questions are encouraged to comment.



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