I've been active in Tourism affairs for more than 20 years in Bisbee. It has been an long struggle to build business support, collect data, advocate for budget monies, and generally promote tourism as the economic engine that propels Bisbee, so I gotta say it is disheartening to be still talking about this per council agenda #7.
The council meeting on Tuesday reflects an opportunity to see where each of the council members as well as the interim CM, are at regarding Tourism. Either they support going forward, as the majority of the business community would like, or they will vote to go backward and do things as in the past. To me it is incredibly short sighted that we even have to discuss this.
The larger issue is about the economic value of Tourism. Although ambulance money comes into the city also, it goes directly into the general fund. However much of the money that percolates throughout Bisbee is Tourism money-and indirect consumption spending 2, 3, or even 4 times-spent at hair salons, auto shops, hardware stores, remodeling contractors, second hand stores, food stores, in addition to restaurants and bars. At least half of new people coming to town to live and/or buy houses hear about Bisbee because of Tourism marketing. At least half of the sales tax revenue paid to the city is because of tourism. It is by far the largest employing industry in town. Tourism marketing and a tourism division does not cost residents anything because it is paid for primarily by bed tax money and not out of the general fund.
Did I say this is a no-brainer? Let's get a tourism director, a professional person paid commensurately, and move beyond the outdated visitor center model to establish a tourism division that supports the town.
Go forward. Attend the meeting, voice your opinion.
Regular Council meeting Tuesday May 21 7:00 915 S. TOVREAVILLE ROAD background here: www.bisbeeaz.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_05212019-302 Of Interest: The agenda is always good for seeing what events will be happening withing the next six months. For instance a permit for a community dinner to be held on Erie street is up for approval. The sponsor is Step UP and the event is setting up one long table running down the middle of Erie St. local chefs preparing the dinner for 100-200 people all sitting at the same table. Other than the usual spending and permitting and minutes approval... Item 3... the council voted to accept a decision by the AG's office that they violated an open meeting law. The penalty is $500 and OML training for the council. The assistant attorney general who rendered the decision has been employed by the AG office for a year, and has been practicing law for 1 1/2 years, as best I can tell. The council did not back our city attorney's opinion that they did not break the OML. Item 4... Because of differences between some members of the council and the mayor, potential appointees for the Design Review Board have been challenged and not been appointed so the DRB has not had problems mustering a quorum in the first quarter. Consequently permit requests were not heard or approved leading to a backup from residents requesting approval for home/business alterations. Lotsa bitching has transpired. Read about the problems in the letter. (However if the council accepts the appointment up this meeting, the DRB should be at full strength) Item 6...One applicant in three months for the city attorney position. Early this year some council members were voiced dissatisfaction with legal representation for the city and voted to not renew the legal contract with the county in an effort to "see what is out there.' The city attorneys took this a refutation of their work and withdrew their application for renewal. So the council finds themselves in a predicament of their own making with legal representation stopping at the end of June. Item 7...a few council members seem opposed to paying a higher salary to attract a professional tourism director, as the iBisbee committee and many business people have advocated. This item is in direct response to that concern. The squabble is important less for the director salary, than for differing visions for Tourism in Bisbee. For those of us who have worked for years to gain recognition for the economic importance of Tourism this vote indicates a difference between going forward or going backward; between realizing the economic importance of Tourism or not. I hope all business people turn out in an effort to convince the council that a professional tourism director with commensurate salary is imperative. We need to go forward, not backward ................... INVOCATION: A Moment of Silence PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE MAYOR’S PROCLAMATIONS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS: CALL TO THE PUBLIC THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WILL BE DISCUSSED, CONSIDERED AND/OR DECIDED UPON AT THIS MEETING:
GENERAL BUSINESS: 1. ACCOUNTS PAYABLE: Subject to availability of funds 2. Approval of the Consent Agenda A. Approval of the Minutes of the Special Session of Mayor and Council held on May 14, 2019 B. Approval of the Minutes of the Special Session of Mayor and Council held on May 7, 2019 C. Approval of the Minutes of the Regular Session of Mayor and Council held on May 7, 2019 D. Approval of the Minutes of the Regular Session of Mayor and Council held on November 7, 2018 E. Approval of the Minutes of the Work Session of Mayor and Council held on October 16, 2018 F. Approval of the Minutes of the Regular Session of Mayor and Council held on June 19, 2018 G. Approval of the Minutes of the Work Session of Mayor and Council held on May 10, 2018 H. Approval of the Minutes of the Work Session of Mayor and Council held on May 2, 2018 I. Approval of the Minutes of the Work Session of Mayor and Council held on April 25, 2018 J. Approval of the Resignation of Deborah Crow from the Parks and Recreation Committee. K. Approval of the Appointment of Benjamin Lepley to the Design Review Board. L. Approval of a Park, Facility and Right of Way Use Permit for Outstanding in the Field for the use of Erie Street for Bisbee Community Table event to be held on Monday, October 21, 2019 from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. M. Approval of a Special Event Liquor License Application submitted for an event to be held on Erie Street, Bisbee, Arizona on Monday, October 21, 2019 from 3:00 pm to 8:00pm; Grady Meadows, Applicant.
OLD BUSINESS 3. Discussion and Possible Authorization to Sign and Return a letter from an Assistant Attorney General Finding an Open Meeting Law Violation for Unauthorized Disclosure of Executive Session Information and Requiring the City to pay a $500 Fine and the City Council and Staff to Attend Open Meeting Law Training. Britt Hansen, City Attorney
NEW BUSINESS 4. Discussion regarding the Design Review Board letter to Mayor and Council that they would like to read into the record at the Council Meeting. Leslie Johns, Councilmember Ward I, Joni Giacomino, Councilmember Ward II 5. Discussion and Possible Authorization to accept Grant Funding from the Tohono O’Odham Nation on behalf of the Bisbee Healing Arts Center, if funding is awarded. Leslie Johns, Councilmember Ward I Joni Giacomino, Councilmember Ward II 6. Discussion and Possible Direction to Staff on how to move forward with the City Attorney position. David M. Smith, Mayor 7. Discussion and Possible Direction to Staff regarding the Visitor Center Manager/Tourism Director position. David M. Smith, Mayor 8. City Manager's Report:
Other current events (No Discussion) COUNCIL COMMENTS OR FUTURE AGENDA ITEM SUGGESTIONS: Councilmember Hansen would like to announce the activities for Memorial Day at the Evergreen Cemetery and Memorial Cemeteries. She would also like to announce the Pool Opening.
Some of the stuff I've come across that may help you this summer...
With airlines charging more for checking baggage (usually $30 1st, $40 2nd) some enterprising travelers are sending their bags to their destination via traditional shippers or a variety of new shippers that offer door to door. Prices, especially for short trips and if you do not need the tiems you are traveling with, are often lower than airline pricing. Obviously some drawbacks but an expanding areas.
I've mention Slash Auto previously and it has save me more than $600 over the past few years for car rentals: autoslash.com
CITY OF BISBEE FINANCIALS BROKEN DOWN
If you go to cityofbisbee.com there is lots of info about the financial situation of the city. Some is not quite up to date to 2019, but it has historical spending info from 2011 through 2018, and lots of current info. To get there go to cityofbisbee.com scroll down on the left side of the page at the very end of the 26 item listing is 'Transparency Panel'. Click it. It will take you to a page explaining how opengov.com works. Go to the bottom of the page and click on https://bisbeeaz.opengov.com/ that will bring you to a page that you can look at various kinds of budgeting information. It is a bit confusing cause of the plethora of info, but explore it. On the left side of the page are various clickable selections including , balance sheet, current transactions and some questions such as 'what are Bisbee's revenue sources'. click on that and you will get information portrayed in graph form. On the upper right there are 5 different graphing displays such as pie, line, bars, stacked. click on one of them to display the information you have selected on the left side. The treasurer puts out a monthly report detailing the current month spending and revenues as a percentage of the budget overall and for each department. For instance it will tell you that the... "Information Systems – At 88% expended. This is slightly above projections due to move of City Hall but should end the year within budget." or "Building Maintenance – At 266.4% expended due to repairs of Tovreaville Rd. building. A year-end budget adjustment will be required to make up for this budget shortfall. Excess is available in the Admin& Gen Govt. department to make up for this." To get to this report, on the left side of the transparency panel there is balance sheet, current year, transactions. Click on transactions and go to the bottom of the left column and click on April 2019 trans. and it will open an Adobe pdf. That is the report. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
ECONOMIC IMPACT OF TOURISM:
$22 billion spent in 2017 Although the major portion of this article is about Phoenix area tourism-often conflating Arizona with Phoenix-it is a worthwhile read.
"According to the Arizona Office of Tourism’s research, visitor spending directly supported 187,000 jobs in the state in 2017, and those tourism-related jobs generated $6.9 billion in employment revenue.
“These record numbers are a testament not only to Arizona’s appeal as a visitor destination, but to how effectively our state’s tourism community — at every level, state and local, public and private — markets Arizona to the rest of the world,” says Arizona Office of Tourism Director Debbie Johnson."
The entire article is here: https://azbigmedia.com/arizonas-success-in-tourism-helps-boost-all-business-sectors/
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN SEDONA With 75% of sales tax revenue paying for services, Sedona wants to manage tourism better. Bisbee, smaller and much less visited, can still learn from the city of 10,000, that has 3,000,000 visitors a year. Their plan... "... includes four pillars ....balancing and enhancing residential quality of life, protecting fragile lands, creating memorable visitor experiences and growing a strong economy.
In particular, the plan calls for: — Spreading visitation more evenly through the year to reduce crowds, traffic, and environmental impacts during peak seasons of spring and fall — Investing in infrastructure improvements and public transit to reduce congestion — Sensitizing visitors to the delicate Sedona environment and small-town quality of life — Encouraging sustainable experiences for tourists, such as carbon footprint reduction and 'voluntourism' environmental maintenance and cleanup projects — Developing new visitor experiences that emphasize sustainability as a Sedona value' — Deepening engagement with residents to improve understanding of tourism benefits and impacts — Using technology to reduce traffic and congestion, such as apps that deliver live parking information and "Sedona Secret 7," a website that promotes lesser-visited sites."
"Other initiatives included in the plan are aimed at lessening light and noise pollution; increasing recycling, water, and energy conservation; and improving sustainable business practices at Sedona's hotels and hospitality businesses."
29 INVESTIGATIONS INTO TRUMP'S LIFE https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/05/13/us/politics/trump-investigations.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage
CBD This article is a summation of what is known about CBD. It focuses on epilepsy, but many sidetracks about other illnesses as well. an interesting read. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/05/14/magazine/cbd-cannabis-cure.html?fallback=0&recId=1LIV2SX8eye4az4XFi15mTyNtcT&locked=0&geoContinent=NA&geoRegion=AZ&recAlloc=top_conversion&geoCountry=US&blockId=most-popular&imp_id=597180904&action=click&module=Most%20Popular&pgtype=Homepage