Commissioner Greg Batts told the commission that after a conversation with state tourism officials, the director’s position qualifies for state benefits, including pension and health care.
Commissioner Karla White said, “That makes the job more attractive to potential applicants.”
Last month, the commission voted to offer the new director a salary between $32,000 and $37,000 based on educational background and previous experience.
Commission President John Rufli said, “It looks like we may have between 50 and 50 applications when the deadline comes on July 15. I am going to throw out the suggestion to the commission that we make copies of all of the applications and decide on a procedure to cull that number and select the best applicants.”
Commissioner John Bryant said that during the interview process, the commission should ask about salary expectations of an applicant. “I think we need to ask them how much they will need. It would not be good to say ‘I want you,’ then have them say ‘You’ll pay me how much?’”
Rufli said that he was unsure if the benefits would be in addition to the director’s annual salary or would be deducted from pay.
Batts suggested that the commission could offer an applicant more by closing one of two tourist information centers operated in the Cadiz area. The Trigg County Chamber of Commerce owns the downtown facility, though operated by the commission. According to the commission’s annual budget, no rent is paid, though the facility incurs $4,000 in utility bills.
“If we close the downtown center, we still won’t get $18,000 more to increase the salary to $50,000,” said Commissioner Mallory Lawrence.
Bryant suggested $50,000 might be an attractive salary to lure an experienced and active director to the area. He added, “The one at the interstate is important for visitors who are traveling to stop off and see what we’ve got, while the downtown facility brings people who are already in town to see what else we have to offer. Both are important buildings.”
White said that if the building closed, she “felt like someone would be there to do what tourism does.”
If the commission ceased to operate from the downtown log cabin, the Chamber of Commerce would assume responsibility for the building.
Rufli said, “We’re doing the work of the Chamber of Commerce from that building now. If we leave the building, it may stay empty, as no one would be there to operate.”
Batts suggested the building could be used as a location to display local crafts and distribute tourism information.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.