Andy Anderson is one of two county board representatives on the
tourism board. He recently contacted Lincoln Daily News to offer an
update on the tourism bureau and the ongoing search for a new
The position was vacated in April by Geoff Ladd, who
resigned shortly after the city of Lincoln began talks on taking
over the hotel-motel tax revenues, currently collected and
distributed to the tourism bureau, Main Street Lincoln, Looking for
Lincoln and various historic sites by the Logan County Board.
Shortly thereafter, the city made decisions about what they would
do in the future. The Lincoln City Council voted to take over the
administration of the tax revenues that come in from Lincoln hotels
and motels, beginning in December. At the time of this decision, the
council also voted to make no changes to the current funding
structure or operations of the tourism bureau for one year.
The council decided on a set of expectations for the bureau and
shared that information with the tourism board.
At the end of the first year, the city will look at the bureau
and determine if it is successfully promoting tourism in Lincoln. If
so, no changes may occur; if not, the city has the option to
redirect the funding to other entities.
The city does not, however, have the ability to dissolve the
tourism bureau, and the bureau does have revenue streams other than
the hotel-motel tax.
Anderson said that it is the concern for these other dollars that
prompted the board to appoint Hoefle as an interim director. He said
right now there are two pending payments from the state that the
bureau cannot collect because it doesn't have a working director. He
said with this appointment, that money will now come forth.
In addition, there is a grant for 2014 that needs to be written
through the state tourism bureau. Anderson said that representatives
from that state agency have offered to assist Hoefle in getting the
grant written, and Hoefle is expected to begin her duties with a
trip to Springfield to get the task accomplished.
In regard to the ongoing search for a permanent director,
Anderson said the board has gone through the process once and failed
to find someone they feel is the right fit for Lincoln and Logan
Anderson said there were interviews recently with three
candidates who read well in their resumes, but when they each
arrived for their face-to-face interviews, none of the three stood
out as someone who would represent tourism in the manner the board
wants the agency to be represented.
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Anderson said the interview process had been an intricate one,
with each candidate visiting three "stations" or panels for
The first station consisted of tourism board representatives.
Anderson said he and county board member Andy Meister represented
Logan County on the panel. For the city, Mayor Keith Snyder and
Alderman Tom O'Donohue were present. The panel was completed with
tourism board members Darlene Begolka, Charlie Ott and Gail Sasse.
The second station consisted of a panel of representatives from
other agencies. Andi Hake represented the Lincoln/Logan Chamber of
Commerce; Brian Bergen was there representing the Lincoln & Logan
County Development Partnership; and Bill Hoagland represented Main
The third station panel consisted of local businessman David
Lanterman; Damon Priddy of the Hampton Inn, representing the
hotel-motel industry; and Bill Thomas, representing the Atlanta
Anderson said that Elkhart and Mount Pulaski were also asked to
send representatives for this panel, but no one was available on
that particular day.
The interviews were conducted between 9 a.m. and noon on a
Saturday. When all three candidates had completed their interviews,
the three panels from the various stations came together to discuss
Anderson said that among the three candidates, none stood out as
the one person who would serve the tourism bureau well.
Consequently, the panel decided not to recommend any of them, but
instead recommend that the search continue with a new set of
Anderson said the bureau intends to continue its search for a
full-time permanent director, but with the appointment of an
interim, the pressure is off them to get this accomplished quickly.
The bureau will continue its day-to-day operations under the
guidance of Hoefle, who has been a part-time employee of the bureau
for a while and is familiar with the daily operations.
The board will continue its search for the right person to fill
the position permanently.
[By NILA SMITH]