CLEARFIELD – Bylaws, the Web site and increased tourism topped the Clearfield County Recreation and Tourism Authority meeting yesterday.
A copy of the new bylaws was presented to the board members for review.
Chairwoman Terry Cunkle noted that the change from a five-year term to a three-year term was abandoned because that change requires an article of amendment, according to Solicitor Andrew Gates.
Board members reviewed the proposed bylaws and a discussion was held regarding terms.
Each board member is restricted to two five-year consecutive terms, and then must sit out a term before they can be on the board again.
Cunkle said she and board member Bonnie Robinson Harper will be ending their first term soon, as they started under the old bylaws.
Questions about when terms begin for the new members and staggering terms came up.
Board member John Shugrue asked how the terms would work when some members were appointed to fill unexpired terms and also asked if staggering terms would be a good idea. Board member terms used to be staggered on CCRTA.
The board agreed that those serving out unexpired terms would then be eligible for two five-year terms, and that they would start staggering terms beginning next year.
Cunkle will bring the changes to Gates and revised bylaws will be presented next month.
Director Josiah Jones also raised concerns about the Web site provider used by the tourism authority, www.VisitClearfieldCounty.org.
He said that the authority had paid $10,000 to have the Web site constructed and hosted by The Web site Marketing Agency from State College and $100 per month.
Recently he contacted the company about adding some things to the Web site and was told the cost was $50.
Later he called to have some other things added and asked what their hourly rate was so that he could plan on cost, and was told to send what he wanted to the company and then they would give him a price.
Jones said there have been other difficulties and now he is being told that the company “doesn’t have time” to do the requested work.
Jones asked if VCC should look into another provider, and suggested one he has worked with in the past that charges less for Web site creation, $25 per month after that and a number of free updates per month.
Cunkle asked about the contract and Jones said he hasn’t been able to find one, only a proposal.
Cunkle and Harper then said they were certain there had been a contract in 2015 but could not remember for certain and then Cunkle wondered if there had only been a proposal.
She added that she did remember they were to have free updates as part of the agreement.
After some discussion, Harper said she would contact the company, as she has worked with them in the past, and try to smooth things over. Meanwhile, Jones will look for the contract and the board will consider doing a request for proposals.
Cunkle noted that a tourism Web site is much more involved than most business Web sites and in 2015 the proposal from The Website Marketing Agency was the least expensive.
The board also heard updates on recent staff activities. In addition to attending events in Coalport and DuBois and a State College Spikes game, Jones was at the Elks High Country Arts and Crafts Fair in S.B. Elliot State Park this past Sunday.
He said he met people from across the state and some were staying two or three days and asked him what else there was to do in the area. He said he handed out several boxes full of the new travel planners.
He is making a point to meet with the general managers of hotels and has met with those in Clearfield. The meetings went well, he said, and he plans to meet with them regularly and improve communication and information sharing.
He and Assistant Director Sue Swales-Vitullo attended the Pennsylvania Bus Association annual meeting in Corning, NY. They spent time building relationships with the various bus companies in attendance, with Swales-Vitullo giving them fact sheets about the county and what the tourism authority can provide. Already they have been contacted by one of the companies about planning a visit for about three days in 2018.
Also, statistics show that more overnight stays have been recorded compared to this time last year and the numbers keep going up. Jones credited more widespread advertising and the hard work of staff.
A 20-minute executive session was held early in the meeting for legal matters, but no action was taken.