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CVB board to consider shrinking

Posted: April 8, 2012 - 12:02am

The Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors might soon shrink.

CVB Board Chairman Surinderjit Singh recently called a special meeting set for Wednesday to consider bylaw changes that allow for just seven board members appointed by Columbia County commissioners, said CVB Interim Director Shelly Clark.

Currently, the board consists of 12 members – three hoteliers, three hospitality industry workers, three at-large members, one county commissioner, one Grovetown representative and one Harlem representative – recruited by CVB personnel or other board members.

County Commissioner Bill Morris, who joined the CVB board this year as the commission representative, called the current makeup too unwieldy.

“My observation on it is that it was a little bit disjointed. ... I just think it was too large,” Morris said.

Following his early experience with the CVB board, Morris said he approached commission Chairman Ron Cross and County Administrator Scott Johnson to rethink the recruitment process.

Morris said commissioners, who allocate 40 percent of the county’s lodging tax revenues to the CVB each year for operating expenses, then approached CVB officials about making the change.

The plan, Clark said, is for Cross to appoint three CVB board members and each commissioner to appoint one. Those appointments then must be renewed each year.

If the CVB board opts to change the bylaws, Morris said commissioners might make their appointments as early as next month.

Once the new board takes office, they then choose their chairman.

One of the first orders of business for the new board, Morris said, should be to hire a permanent executive director to replace Beda Johnson, who resigned six months ago.

Hopefully, Morris said, a executive director will be in place by summer.

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