Tourist Development Council

Monday, May 24, 2021

4:00 p.m.


Present:               Carolyn Ford, Chair-Person of Tourist Interest

                                Jeff Dubree, Tax Collector

                                Brenda Holt, County Commissioner 

                                Decorkus Allen, Havana Council Member

                                Keith Dowdell, Quincy City Commissioner

Peter Patel, Tax Collector

Linda Dixon, Tax Collector – appeared by phone





Staff Present:    Ed Dixon, County Administrator

                                Georgette Daniels, Assistant County Administrator

Leslie Steele, TDC Director

                                Clayton Knowles, Attorney

                                Marcella Blocker, Deputy Clerk



  Brenda thanked everyone for coming back.



  Asked for moment of silence; led in



  Leslie said meeting was properly advertised; sad to report John Garcia passed away; Decorkus Allen will replace Cathy Johnson.


  Have had many discussions on hiring marketing firm.



 Introduction Overview

  Georgette Daniels said been looking at current balance to see where they were.  Pandemic affecting Gadsden County tourism.


Carolyn Ford appeared at 4:19 p.m.


She said tax revenue was down. 


  Currently only $8,000 been spent from operational, portion of Leslie’s salary comes from TDC money. 


Keith Dowdell arrived at 4:24 p.m.


   Holt said when discussing numbers, need to be looking at the numbers. 


  Leslie said report was run as of Friday was $179,341.00.


  Ford said budget was $179,341.  Seems like when ended last year, where did they pick up


  Patel said could not work up anything until know what had from last year. 


Ford said paid part of Leslie’s salary, paid


  Ford asked how much money left in bank account.


Daniels said did not know was going to be asked.  This meeting was to give overview of where they are right now and where would like to go next year. 


Holt said can meet again and info be sent by email and will have chance to look over.


  Jeff said maybe should consider to try to establish where want to go as TDC-are they ready to jump into tourism right now, start promoting events?


Holt said some venues being funded through State, if getting funded there, may not need funding from TDC because revenues not where need to be.


Jeff said one thing as far as funds go, will have lower revenue coming in as opposed to last year.


  Daniels said when budget developed last year, looked at trends of revenue coming in and things Board wanted to spend money on.  It was decided will pull little bit from savings and put that with what getting from revenue and would be enough to cover all things had planned in budget, including marketing campaign and special events, salaries.  Can scale back budget and not pull from revenue.


  Jeff said should have funds because did not spend anything last year. 


  Ford said will not have as much money because of pandemic.  Need to know what have left and once do, can make sound decisions.  Need to get events going in community.


  Patel said only 3 months left in this year; only used $8,000.


  Daniels said have not transferred out Steele’s money or money for attorney yet.


  Holt said need fund balance; revenue and expenditure amounts.  Holt asked when shut down, do they pay attorney.  Knowles said have not had meeting and so have not billed anything.


  Leslie said Expenditure Budget shows fund balance $27,380.


  Holt asked where Mr. Price was-out sick today.   


  Leslie said still need to figure out RFP for marketing firm


  Ford asked why he said 20%; Leslie said he walked them through budget last year and they kept asking him to remove things. 


Leslie said did not spend money last year on marketing firm.  Still have $90,000 in account.


  Holt asked when meeting again.  Leslie said scheduled to meet June 21st unless want to meet before then.  Was told need another workshop.


  Holt asked for Knowles to bring back any statutes regarding spending, etc.  Asked if they wanted any ideas for events, etc.


Jeff said to see about bringing in marketing firm. 


  Ford asked if could have marketing info in 2 weeks.  Leslie said would have to do RFP.  Leslie said marketing firm had, they quit. 


Holt asked who had with County now.  Do lot of marketing with Media 4 and Sachs.  Jeff said Sachs was marketing firm long time ago.   Leslie said may could piggy-back “Love Where you Live” campaign till end of fiscal year.  


Jeff said only problem saw with piggy-backing was short period of time and then


  Leslie said wanted to see them do it and do it right.  Council can help her in identifying events


  Ford said before pandemic said would have marketing firm come in and help plan.  Does council want to do events


  Leslie said another budget workshop in 2 weeks.  Have next budget workshop June 7th at 4:30 p.m.  Patel asked that all information be emailed before the meeting so can be better prepared. 


June 21st for regular meeting.  Need to work out date with Ms. Daniels to work on 21-22 budget.

Steele will work with attorney for RFP for marketing firm and will do press release for process for special events.

  Holt said felt need to include events in along with every day travel. 


  Ford asked when marketing, could the market their own hotels to keep people here and not go to Tallahassee. 


  Holt said if major event, get hotels to hand out brochures. 


  Leslie said TDC will have big part to play in 200-year anniversary for County.


  Holt said have in area everything that people would want to come see; black, white, Indian, slavery, war fights, etc. 


  Ford said was known for family reunions and could set up and have big contests to bring as many people as can.  Need to identify who we are. 


  Jeff said one marketing firm used way back, first thing they did was have branding workshop. 


Leslie told Grace would have more information for her and she would be able to speak at the next budget workshop. 


  Leslie said other thing to consider, if staying in Gadsden County, show room key and get discount or some type of gift.  Also spoke with Asst. Administrator, she is baseball Mom, and when had tournaments, had to stay in hotel that was sponsored with tournament.  Ford said may could associate with fishing tournament.  Need to figure out niche. 


Leslie said will come back in 2 weeks with their assignment and asked they start thinking about events that would work for TDC and what can start doing for 2-year birthday.


  Holt said to google red Indians, black Indians, Hispanics and can pull red, black, etc. together.    


Leslie said they will take note and will bring back.



 2021-2022 Financial Outlook


Summary Highlight

         i.            Revenue/Expenditures


       ii.            Fund Balance


     iii.            Tourist Development Grant/Special Events Funding


     iv.            Marketing Firm



Next Scheduled Meetings

Monday, June 21, 2021

Monday, July 19, 2021

Monday, August 16, 2021



Adjourned at 5:31 p.m.





Place mini panel

Select format:   WMA/WMV   AAC/H264
  For mobile devices: Auto restore player panel
  Special mode for Android