The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.
Several interesting situations involving the Greater Warrensburg Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center (GWACC&VC) have recently come to my attention. Some of these, naturally, involve tourism, while others involve CMSU.
I have come into possession of some emails in which CMSU promises to pay a part of the GCACC&VC dues for up to 100 faculty/staff members. The emails say that CMSU President Patton will pay half the $135 dues, and the remainder is authorized to come from department budgets. While CMSU is certainly a key part of the local community and should encourage its staff to participate in community affairs, my objection is to spending public funds in an era of cutbacks and substantial tuition increases. Whether Dr. Patton is paying from office funds or personal funds is not made clear, but the objection applies to the department share in any case.
Turning about, the GWACC&VC co-sponsored a concert at CMSU. If room tax funds were used for this, I'd hope the lodging establishments were surveyed to determine if occupancy increased for that night. At least they're finally getting around to meeting with the lodging establishments that supply the money.
Speaking of tourism funds, we visited the state's Tourism Info center at the Truman Sports Complex a week ago. Warrensburg continues to lack any representation at this important regional tourism location - nary a brochure there for many a day. We did pick up 2002 Missouri Vacation Planner, including the statewide event schedule. While the schedule lists several Warrensburg events, the county fair and county rodeo aren't among them; it does include the specious claim that Warrensburg has Missouri's only night-time Christmas parade - a claim listed right under notice of Butler's evening parade (not to mention at least 7 more cities).
Finally, I see that the GWACC&VC will charge people requesting relocation information for the chamber guidebook. Really. They justified the charge because Boulder Colorado charges people who want to relocate. I'd say the circumstances and needs of that area are so different from ours as to make a comparison ludicrous. A more valid comparison would be with policies followed in Sedalia, Clinton and Blue Springs. I hope this isn't another stealth operation of the tourism room-tax fund.
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