In addition to approving the CVB’s budget at its Feb. 5 meeting, the council said it wants to direct the group to reexamine its bylaws and look at potential options for an increased downtown CVB presence. The council also brought up concerns on how the CVB plans to engage various stakeholders and how to hold the group accountable to those plans.
For example, the group’s policies and procedures currently state that those allowed to participate on the CVB advisory board must be members of the NACC, unless appointed by the mayor and city council. Some council members said that that strong overlap limits who can be on the CVB board, narrowing the pool of potential stakeholders involved.
I’ve not kept up on this issue of delinquent payments to the Northfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (a department of the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce) and their request for information from the City of Northfield.
I do wonder, though, whether the delinquent payments are related to the angry reaction from local hoteliers to the City’s hiring a Hampton Inn-connected consulting firm for $9,600 which ended up saying that a Hampton Inn and conference center was warranted for Northfield. See my Jan. 2010 blog post and the attached 47 comments: On deciding to spend $9,600 for hotel market study.
On the advice of city attorney Chris Hood, the city initially declined to release the data, saying it was private and couldn’t legally be distributed. But by the second council discussion, city officials realized that some of what the CVB had asked for could be made public. That information, which includes the total delinquencies of more than $11,000, is enough to help the CVB move forward, said Feldbrugge.
I know, I know, the print version is the main thing and it’s distributed about town. But why not make it easy for Northfielders to email it, blog it, tweet it, and post to their Facebook Walls about it so that their non-Northfield friends and colleagues take a look at it? It costs virtually zero to do this. Plus, the thing is full of great photos, BTW. Heh.
So allow me to do my part. Here’s the PDF version, courtesy of LoGroNo. Here’s the Flash version, courtesy of Hayes Scriven and the NHS. Go forth and multiply it, by which I do NOT mean what Brits mean when they say go forth and multiply.
I’m not ready to argue that conducting a study is a bad idea. I’m questioning the process. It seems like the Council should be involved in a public discussion about an expenditure like this, especially one that’s likely to ruffle the feathers of local business owners. According to the Nfld News, City Administrator Joel Walinski said study was done to facilitate the conversation among local developers and hotel owners. Seems backwards to me.
The Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has a newly revamped website for VisitingNorthfield.com. At first glance, there’s a lot to like. A second glance, however, makes me grumpy. But I’ll save my critique (mixed reviews) for the comment thread. What’s your reaction? (Full disclosure: 1) I was asked to bid on the project and I declined; 2) several of my photos were used for the site with my permission.)