TDC back and forth on open position

Posted on September 23, 2015 by Mathew Pellegrino

The Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council Board members met in Navarre on Wednesday to discuss spikes in tourism, but mainly focused their discussions on the two spots on the board that will be vacated in October.
There two openings, held currently by Jack Sanborn and Mike Loera, have a 4-year term which begins at the beginning of next month.
At the meeting, board members went back and forth on who should represent the board. The group was already eyeing a total of three candidates, all of whom are in the accommodation industry.
The board previously recommended renewing Sanborn’s term, and also looked at two other interested parties: Norm Crowder and Angie Lee, who both submitted letters of interest to the TDC.
The board had to vote to recommend two of the three individuals for the two positions, which will then head to county commissioners for final approval.
Crowder is the Activities Director at the Santa Rosa RV Resort, while Lee is the Director of Sales at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Navarre.
The board eventually unanimously approved recommending Sanborn’s reelection to the board at the meeting. But members of the board went back and forth on recommending who Loera’s successor should be.
As of last week, Crowder was the only candidate who had approached the board about Loera’s position. But Lee later sent in a letter of interest to the TDC for recommendation.
County Commissioner and TDC board member Rob Williamson was in favor of renewing Sanborn’s term, and ultimately leaned towards bringing on Crowder as a board member at the Wednesday meeting.
“At this point, based on the resumes and the letters, it comes down to who is more involved in the community, from a community standpoint. I’m not sure what Lee has as far as community involvement. Norm has been in a number of leadership positions. The guy is part of the very fabric of the community,” Williamson said. “I would have no problem recommending Norm to that position.”
The positions that the board is rotating out are bed tax collecting spots. All candidates have to meet certain criteria mandated by state law.
Amid the discussion, current member Loera said he felt the Lee and Crowder should have the chance to approach the county commissioners to “present their case” as to why they should be chosen for the position.
“Both of these people were supposed to be here today. One was out of town, one was at an appointment,” Loera said at the meeting on Wednesday. “I think they should come to the board of directors meeting to present their case as to why they should be on the board. That’s the process I went through. That would make the most sense.”
Williamson agreed that it would be a good idea to do so, but was afraid the board would not have enough time to get the two candidate’s schedules figured out in order to have them at the same county commission meeting before the October deadline.
“It would have to be on the agenda for next week’s meeting,” Williamson said. “I don’t know…we want to be respectful of the candidates and not knowing what their schedule is.”
Loera told the board that while it may seem like Lee doesn’t have a lot of community involvement, it only seemed that way because she did not list all of her community involvement activities on her submittal letter to the board.
According to her letter to board members, Lee serves as an active member of the Nnavarre Chamber and Navarre Area Board of Realtors. She also mentioned in the letter her plans to participate in Leadership Santa Rosa Class 30 next year.
The board ultimately voted to have the two south end candidates present their reasons for wanting to come aboard as members at the upcoming commission meeting.