By Debby Woodin
The Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau advisory board is continuing to operate with a shortage of members.
Though the bylaws for the board designate four seats for people in the hotel and motel industry, representatives are not stepping up since a disagreement took place over whether more convention business should be solicited by the CVB.
The last four hotel representatives on the board resigned during disagreements in 2010 and early 2011, and so far no other hotel or motel representatives have offered to take those seats.
Now the City Council is talking about what to do.
In addition to the four hotel posts, the board has two members whose terms expire June 1. They are Mark Williams and Lori Jones.
Council members at a meeting Monday made appointments to fill some of the open seats on city boards and commissions. The council appointed Tom Mourning, Chad Carroz and Chris Tucker to assume the two expiring terms and one hotel seat.
CVB Director Patrick Tuttle said that even with those appointments, the net gain will be only one board member. There are 11 seats on the board and seven are currently filled, and the lack of board members sometimes prevents the board from having a quorum to take votes on business.
The council decided to advertise the open seats. If necessary, there may be a future discussion about changing the board’s bylaws to allow more at-large members or other residents to fill what have been the hotel seats.
“We’re not changing the title of those four seats yet,” said Tuttle. “They still remain hotel seats.”
Though the council did mention the possibility of a future change of the board makeup, “We’re not going to change the bylaws (yet), but because we have a problem making a quorum, we will use at-large members to make a quorum,” Tuttle said.
As for the vacancies, Tuttle said, “It’s not a matter of us not asking the hotels. It’s a matter of them choosing not to be there.”
Members of the board are Paula Callihan, representing attractions; Mark Lynch and Mark Williams, at-large; Vance Lewis, media/advertising; Lori Jones, retail; Ginger Lamar, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce; and Donnie Bennett, restaurant.
The last hotel representatives to serve were Chris Beyer and Sara Stevenson, who resigned in February 2011; and Denise DuBois and Randy Shippy, who resigned in March 2011.
Pete Hall, of the Southwest Missouri Lodging Association, said that he would have to talk to members of the association’s board to determine what response they have, if any. No comment was made to the Globe regarding the association’s boycott of the board.
The City Council agreed to advertise that more volunteers are needed to serve on the CVB board.
Other council business
In other city appointments, the council tabbed Fred Roesel to the Board of Adjustment; Becky Heffren, Health Board; Matt Page, Enhanced Enterprise Commission; Brad McIntyre, Joplin Redevelopment Commission; Zachary Tussinger and Greg Dammer, Parks and Recreation Board; Jim George, Police and Firemen’s Pension Board; Nancy Warren, Solid Waste Advisory Commission; and Chris Tucker, TIF Commission.
Reappointed were Mike Shade and Vicki Christensen to the City Tree Board; Nancy Morton, Design Review Commission; Kevin Welch, Joplin Sports Authority Board; and Robert Loudermilk, Police and Firemen’s Pension Board.
Additionally, Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean made appointments for council liaisons to boards and commissions.
Former Mayor Mike Woolston will assume her place as liaison to the University of Missouri Extension Center.
Other appointments: Trisha Raney, Downtown Joplin Alliance; Jack Golden, Joplin Sports Authority; Bill Scearce, Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center; Gary Shaw, Harry S. Truman Council of Governments; Mike Seibert, Joplin Museum Board; Morris Glaze, Region M Solid Waste Advisory Board; and Benjamin Rosenberg, Joplin Redevelopment Corp.
The mayor is an ex-officio member of the Police and Firemen’s Board and she also will serve on the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce board.