This comes as a result of the city taking over the hotel-motel tax
collected in Lincoln. Members of city government determined to
overhaul the organization to change and improve how Lincoln and
Logan County are promoted as a tourist destination.
At last week's
meeting, Alderman Tom O'Donohue was on hand, representing the city.
After the regular business of the bureau was conducted, discussions
turned to how the board would move forward.
After the city expressed interest in being more involved and
potentially taking over the city's share of the hotel-motel tax, the
tourism bureau's executive director and later several board members
By midsummer the members on the roll call were Charlie Ott as
president, Gail Apel-Sasse as vice president, and members Andy
Anderson representing the Logan County Board, Shirley Bartelmay,
Darlene Begolka, Alberta Hellman, Ron Keller, Tom O'Donohue and
Barbara Stroud-Borth. Ex-officio members were Brian Bergen, Sue
McLaughlin, Bill Hoagland and Andy Meister.
On and off the roll call was Jean Bruner-Jachino. Bruner-Jachino
had been a board member representing the hotel-motel industry as an
employee of the Hampton Inn. When the sitting board members reviewed
the bylaws of the bureau, it was determined that Bruner-Jachino
could not be on the board because she was not a resident of Logan
County. In August there was discussion to amend the bylaws to allow
Bruner-Jachino as an employee of a Logan County business, but the
board decided not to do so.
In November, the city of Lincoln asked the Logan County Board to
establish the members of the tourism board effective with the Dec. 1
transition. On the list were Andy Anderson of Lincoln and Andy
Meister of Mount Pulaski, each continuing to represent the Logan
County Board; Darlene Begolka; Jean Bruner-Jachino of the Hampton
Inn; Andi Hake of the Lincoln/Logan Chamber of Commerce; and Tom
O'Donohue and Keith Snyder, both representing the city of Lincoln.
O'Donohue told the group last week that this board was a starting
point for the tourism bureau and that new members would be added. He
said the board should include a representative from both Lincoln
College and Lincoln Christian University, as well as one more member
from the hotel-motel industry.
He added that anyone who is interested in serving on the board
should contact Mayor Snyder so that consideration can be given by
the city council.
O'Donohue noted that the bylaws will be changed to accommodate
the appointment of Bruner-Jachino and allow area businesses that may
have employees living outside the county to participate as well.
O'Donohue said that with this exception, there would be very few
changes to the bylaws of the bureau at this time.
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The group also talked about what the city was going to do to
impose payment of tax. It was noted that there is at least one motel
in the area that does not report and pay taxes. O'Donohue told the
group the city was aware of that, and their first action to combat
this has been to impose a late fee on noncompliant businesses.
O'Donohue also told the board that the money collected from the
motel in Atlanta would still be going to the county for
At the September meeting, interim executive director Leslie
Hoefle had said that she would be taking vacation in October. She
expressed that upon returning, she did not want to assume the role
of interim director but would be willing to stay on as a part-time
employee and assist with those duties.
Last week, Ott told the board that while on vacation, Hoefle had
changed her mind and did not return at all. Nancy Saul had been
appointed as the interim director because the bureau has to have a
director in order to receive some of its grant funds.
It was also noted that Saul and the one other part-time employee
of the tourism bureau had received word from the city that they
would retain their positions through the end of the year. O'Donohue
clarified this by saying the two would not necessarily be unemployed
come Jan. 1. The city had issued the letters to assure the employees
of their position during the transition period.
Begolka, who currently serves as treasurer for the tourism board,
expressed a new concern. The bureau requires two signatures on
checks. She said that with the establishment of a new board, she did
not have a second signer. She said the first concern would be for
issuing payroll checks on Dec. 15. O'Donohue said he would address
this on the city level and that the new board should expect to have
their first meeting prior to that date so these kinds of details can
be worked out.
At the end of the evening, some of the departing board members
took time to express their appreciation for being a part of the
board, and several talked about how long they had served on the
Of the departing members present, Charlie Ott has been a member
of the board since its inception over 40 years ago. Gail Sasse said
she had been on about 25 years. Ron Keller said he had served 10 or
12 years; Alberta Hellman, nine years; and Barbara Stroud-Borth had
served 1 1/2 years.
The night ended with Keller saying it had been a pleasure to
serve on the board with all of them, and Sasse noting that she felt
the same way. She added that in her time on the board, she had
learned a lot about tourism and marketing and that it had been a
[By NILA SMITH]