The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.
When the Greater Warrensburg Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center (GWACC&VC) responded to my most recent request for documents, they also invited me to meet with the respective presidents of the Chamber and the Tourism Advisory Board. I met with them on 9/12; unfortunately I didn't learn much more. However, they were interested in why I, who neither belong to the GWACC&VC nor collect their tax, spend time and effort pursuing information about the tourism tax. So why do I?
Now, I did receive some documents and learned a few things. First, the City of Warrensburg has received and placed on file only the annual report from the Tourism Board; they do not have copies of meeting minutes, interim financial reports or other documents. The most recent Annual Report is for the year ending 9/30/00, so I won't fill up space discussing it. Their audit, conducted in August 2000 did not provide answers to my questions on the anomalies in the financial reports (which may not have been available at that time). The GWACC&VC did not, as promised in their cooperative marketing contract with the State, survey attendees at events or guests at lodging facilities in order to determine effectiveness of their radio advertising (see my letter of August 9). Information provided to lodging establishments consists of their standard brochures, without any of the additional information they've previously talked of.
The City Ordinance setting up the tourism tax required that the 2001-2002 budget and the Annual Report were due to the City by September 15th. Once I see what these include, I will post significant documents and my analysis at this site.
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