Florence City Council decides on tourism appointment - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Florence City Council decides on tourism appointment

The chamber submitted at least 5 different names to consider for one of two positions to be filled.(Source:WAFF) The chamber submitted at least 5 different names to consider for one of two positions to be filled.(Source:WAFF)
FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -

During Tuesday's work session,The Florence City Council voted 4 to 2 in favor of a representative from the business sector instead of the hospitality side. The hospitality side is responsible for a majority of the area's tourism budget through hotels.

Chamber President Steve Holt said the council's move is upsetting to say the least.

"To have your hat handed to you is not palatable. It's not something you want to see happen and it's very, very frustrating that we made no headway with four council members on our position." said Holt.

Holt said his members and members of the hospitality community have been asking the city council to appoint a representative from the hospitality industry to the Tourism Board since January.

"It's like the city council was determined not to put someone on there and it's not okay, it's not okay with us, and that's the way it is." said Holt.

The chamber submitted at least 5 different names to consider for one of two positions to be filled.

Instead, the city council re-appointed David Abramson and selected David Muhlendorf, owner of Paper and Chemical Supply Co.

"To the best of our knowledge, we'll probably be the only active growing tourism board in the state of Alabama, possibly the southeast, that does not have a hospitality representative on the board." said Holt.

City Council President Dick Jordan said he sees nothing wrong with the council's decision.

"Everyone tells us, including Tourism, that they're number one in the state. If you're number one in the state, adding someone is not going to make you any better. I picked the most qualified and that's what I did. I went through the applicants and regardless of what committee they're on or where their from, I picked who I felt was the most qualified." said Jordan.

The tourism board and council have been at the center of debate since earlier this year. Partly over a draft of legislation written by the Mayor giving the county and city more control over tourism.

The draft has since been rewritten and approved by the legislature.

The Florence and Lauderdale Tourism Board will conduct a work session on Sept. 9 at 9 a.m. Items on the agenda are the audit and rental agreement.

The next regular Board meeting will be at 9 a.m. on Sept. 11. Both meetings will be held in the Florence and Lauderdale Visitor Center boardroom located at 200 Jim Spain Drive in Florence and are open to the public.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved.



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