Last week’s Tour and Rec Board meeting presented more agenda items that appear to be taking the board in an entirely different direction than past boards.

The reduction of staff traveling, the attendance of different conferences, shows, and festivals and the desire to change to a digital format seems to be getting a lot of attention by current staff and by residents.

An employee of the Convention Center decided to speak during public comment.

Bunny Hill said, “Mr. Chairman I completely understand that this a public comment and you cannot reply to my questions, I am not on the clock at this time. Recently a resident visited with you regarding the advertisement of Mr. Spears position during that conversation you stated that the rest of the staff would be going also.

“Were you speaking out of term or has this board made a decision regarding staff positions outside of public meeting?”

Hill went on to read her letter stating that it did not reflect well on the board when that kind of statement is made to the public or make for a conducive work environment for employees.

Hill noted that she enjoyed working for the Tour and Recreation board and believed she had done a good job, but expressed her concerns that if her position was to be cut or eliminated that she would have liked to receive notice from Steve Stork and not hear it from a resident.

Stork immediately spoke up saying “I’m going to respond to you Ms. Hill, you made an accusation of me doing that, I don’t know  who you are speaking of, but I never made that statement and I don’t appreciate you standing here telling me that I did.”

Hill responded to Stork by telling him that she would inform him the persons name after the meeting.  Stork, “I’d like to know who that person is,”

After public comment, the meeting moved on to the agenda items. Stork noted that a review of the tentative budget during the budget workshop indicated that the board is looking to change the direction this board has been working  for the past number of years.

“We’re trying to move to a digital platform,  digital way of marketing, if we’re gonna be successful in the job we do then we need to get into the 21st century.  Printing pamphlets and handing them out just isn’t cutting it anymore,” Stork said.

Stork spoke on an agenda item to approve a consulting firm for service.  When Stork began research on efforts to figure out how the board could advance the efforts on creating a solid platform in digital media and marketing he found a consulting firm called NV Consulting LLC.

“Joel Dunn the owner of NV Consulting firm worked pretty much in Ed’s position with Carson City’s Tourism and Cultural Board for a period of five years. And over that period of five years what I found remarkable was he was able to increase room visitor nights, and room revenues upwards of sixty seven percent over a period of five years,” Stork said.

The board after some discussion approved utilizing this firm and to enter into a contract not to exceed $24,999.  This was approved unanimously.

The board went back to an agenda item that revisited the approval of all staff attending Rural Roundup in Tonopah April 11-13.

Stork noted that in light of the action they just took on approving NV Consulting, he felt that the staff needed to be available to assist Dunn by being in the office rather than at Rural Roundup. Bryane Goeringer, Tour and Rec Board member will still be attending, but it was voted unanimously that the rest of the staff would not be approved to attend the event this year.

Approval of a contract for James Beecher to continue as the the boards attorney was approved unanimously. The term is for one year, with a retainer of $6,000 a year, with $500 being paid monthly. This contract includes six hours of legal service a month, and anything over that is a $100 an hour for every hour over 6 hours.  Beecher did note that prior to going over the six hours, he will contact the chairperson to receive direction.

Several members from the public stood up and spoke about the desire to continue having a paper, or pamphlet to reference too.

Other spoke about their parents who were older and traveled, didn’t use a smartphone, so the digital marketing wouldn’t work for them. Other’s spoke about their frustration with the board not sending staff to Rural Roundup.

Ed Spear Jr. said, “I just wanted to give my comment on Rural Roundup. I think that not allowing the staff to go, people that were seasoned, and who understand and have been to those events for years and years,  we’re gonna actually lose ground in sending a board member with minimum experience in handling those types of situations. Where all the staff has been doing this for years? Your kicking yourself in the tail feathers, it’s that simple.”