Escambia County Attorney Alison Rodgers visited the Tourist Development Council to do a little housekeeping today. She recently became concerned that the TDC’s membership was not holding to state statue, which governs the body’s composition.
“Under state law, it’s very specific,” Rodgers explained.
According to the state statute, TDCs must be comprised of a certain number of elected officials, members of the lodging community and other persons having an interest in tourism. In addition to two city council members and one county commissioner, the body is suppose to have at least three, but not more than four, members of the lodging community who collect a bed-tax and the remaining members—either two or three—are to be people who have a stake in tourism but do not collect the tax, such as someone from the restaurant community.
Earlier this year, County Administrator Randy Oliver had the TDC board members fill out forms which detailed their particular designations.
“When we took a look at it, I became concerned,” Rodgers said. “Some of the names didn’t seem to be designated to the correct designation.”
It seemed the TDC had the correct make-up of members, they just needed to shuffle around their designations. Rodgers gave the board’s chairman, Denis McKinnon, as an example; she said that while his company, Coldwell Banker, formerly owned entities which collected a bed tax, that was no longer the case.
“The county still has him as a motel/hotel owner,” she explained.
Rodgers said the board was receptive to straightening out the designations.
“They took the time out and filled out the form right there,” she said.