Corinth tourism council board removed, breach cited

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

CORINTH – All seven members of the Corinth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau/tourism council were removed from office Wednesday in a joint action of the Alcorn County Board of Supervisors and Corinth Board of Aldermen.
The joint boards – also referred to as the supercommittee – took the action because they say the tourism council is not complying with the line item budget the joint boards approved as the fiscal year 2013 tourism council budget.
Ward 1 Alderman Andrew “Bubba” Labas made the motion, seconded by District 3 Supervisor Tim Mitchell. Board members present who voted in favor of the action included aldermen for wards 3, 4, 5, the at-large alderman, and county supervisors for Districts 1, 4 and 5. Ward 2 Alderman Ben Albarracin voted against the motion, and District 2 Supervisor Dal Nelms was absent.
The state statute authorizing the tourism council, Senate Bill 3219 passed in 1997, says tourism council members may be removed for “any breach of the duties of care and loyalty normally required of corporate directors” under state law which is “reckless or intentional.”
In making the motion, Labas said he “no longer (had) confidence in that board” due to its “intentional overspending on some line items.”
Wood also said that although he had initially voted against passing the supercommittee’s revision of the tourism council’s budget in September, once the budget passed, the tourism council was bound by it.
Whether or not the tourism council was bound by the supercommittee’s line item budget or could adjust its spending to achieve the $250,000 reduction the supercommittee sought, has been the basis of the tension between the supercommittee and the tourism council.
In tourism council meetings following the supercommittee vote to reduce its budget, council members said the supercommittee did not confer with them prior to setting the budget to find out what contractual obligations the tourism council already had before making the budget revisions. Nevertheless, the tourism council was staying within the $283,700 allocated for its FY 2013 operations budget.
The tourism council is apparently in limbo pending appointment of new board members, which Labas confidently said Wednesday should not be a problem since there are many qualified people from which to choose.
No tourism council matters were discussed during the city board’s regular work session or meeting Wednesday evening.
lena.mitchell@journalinc.com

orinth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau/Tourism Board Line Item Budget
Approved by Alcorn County Board of Supervisors and Corinth Board of Aldermen
September 24, 2012

Income FY 2013 submitted by CVB FY 2013 Revised by CVB FY 2013 Approved by Joint Committee
Beginning balance $40,000 $40,000 $40,000
Sales Tax Allocation $492,000 $504,000 $504,000
Interest $200 $200 $200
Tourism surplus $10,000 $20,000 $20,000
Green Market/Red Green Market $13,100 $13,100 $13,100
Crossroads Chili Cook-off $4,900 $4,900 $4,900
Special events/projects income $1,000 $1,000 $1,000
Other income $500 $500 $500
Total income $561,700 $583,700 $583,700

Salaries and benefits
Administrative: From three full-time to two full-time $103,324 $79,324 $60,000
Administrative: Retirement $6,199 $4,759 $3,600
Administrative: Medical insurance $13,500 $9,200 $9,200
Administrative: Dental insurance $2,201 $2,201 $0
Administrative: Part-time salary $11,200 $11,200 $11,200
Total salaries and benevits $136,424 $106,684 $84,000

Administrative expenses
Administrative: Accounting services $4,500 $4,500 $4,500
Administratie: Technical services $1,000 $1,000 $0
Administrative: Legal services $0 $0 $0
Administrative: Other services $2,000 $0 $0
Administrative: Insurance $3,520 $3,520 $3,520
Administrative: Payroll tax $10,000 $7,500 $7,500
Administrative: Museum for weekend coverage $3,750 $0 $2,000
Administrative: Workmen’s compensation $585 $585 $585
Administrative: Office supplies 45,500 $4,000 $2,500
Administrative: Equipment $3,000 $1,000 $500
Administrative: Telephone
Bellsouth telephone: $6,100 $6,100 $3,500
Cell phone allowance $1,560 $1,080 $750
Administrative: Utilities
Electricity: $3,000 $3,000 $3,000
Gas and water: $1,000 $1,000 $1,000
Administrative: Rent
Office rent: $8,400 $8,400 $8,400
Storage rent: $1,000 $1,000 $0
Administrative: Lease agreements
Copy machine rental: $4,801 $4,801 $2,000
Postage machine rental: $3,150 $3,150 $3,150
Administrative: Maintenance
CARE Garden: $6,000 $2,000 $6,000
Office cleaning: $2,340 $2,340 $1,500
Window cleaning: $840 $0 $0
Exterminating: $734 $734 $734
Miscellaneous maintenance: $500 $250 $250
Administrative: Postage $5,000 $4,000 $4,000
Total administrative expenses $78,280 $59,960 $50,239

Bureau projects
Wayfinding/signage $4,700 $1,000 $1,000
Sports/Recreation Committee $20,000 $20,000 $20,000
Arts/Culture Committee $10,000 $10,000 $10,000
Heritage/Preservation Committee $15,000 $15,000 $15,000
Special Events Committee $35,000 $15,000 $20,000
Green Mmarket/Red Green Market $12,500 $12,500 $12,500
Grand Illumination $6,000 $6,000 $6,000
North Mississippi Film Festival $1,000 $0 $0
Chili Cook-off $4,879 $4,879 $4,879
Crossroads Arena $0 $150,000 $250,000
Total bureau projects $109,079 $234,379 $340,879

Memberships/Subscriptions
American Bus Association $475 $475 $475
Bank Travel $395 $395 $395
Mississippi Tourism Association $500.30 $425 $425
Tenn-Tom Tourism Association $150 $150 $150
Mississippi Restaurant Association $190 $190 $190
Mississippi Hills Heritage Association Dues $10,000 $10,000 $0
Tennessee Motor Coach $275 $275 $275
South Central Motorcoach Association $200 $200 $200
Mississippi Agri-Tourism Association $200 $0 $0
Local clubs, organizations $605 $605 $605
Southeast Tourism Society $425 $425 $425
Mississippi Heritage Trust $50 $0 $0
Daily Corinthian $140 $140 $140
Daily Journal $137 $137 $137
Mississippi Economic Council $250 $0 $0
Miscellaneous memberships $300 $250 $250
Total memberships/subscriptions $14,292.30 $13,667 $3,667

Trade shows registration
American Bus Association Marketplace $1,195 $1,195 $1,195
Bank Travel Conference $1,395 $1,395 $1,395
State Motorcoach Marketplace $900 $900 $900
MS/NY Picnic in the Park $450 $0 $0
Travel South Showcase $1,855 $1,855 $1,855
Miscellaneous sales opportunities $1,000 $1,000 $0
Total trade show registrations $6,795 $6,345 $5,345
Continuing education
Mississippi Tourism Association Governor’s Conference $1,200 $1,200 $1,200
MTA Board Retreat $75 $75 $75
Mississippi Rural Tourism Conference $285 $285 $285
Southeast Tourism Society meetings $990 $990 $990
Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College $795 $795 $795
Educational Seminars for Tourism Organizations $720 $720 $720
Sponsorships $1,000 $0 $0
Total continuing education $5,065 $4,065 $4,065

Travel
Travel: Lodging $8,500 $7,500 $2,000
Travel: Meals $2,000 $2,000 $1,000
Travel: Mileage $8,000 $8,000 $1,500
Travel: Other $2,000 $1,000 $1,000
Total travel $20,500 $18,500 $5,500

Advertising and promotion
Promotional items $5,000 $4,590 $3,590
Photography $500 $500 $500
Print/Internet media $87,765 $65,000 $42,000
Radio/broadcast advertising $13,700 $12,160 $8,565
Miscellaneous advertising $5,000 $2,000 $2,000
Mississippi Tour Guide $10,350 $10,350 $7,350
Daily Corinthian tourism insert $1,500 $1,500 $1,500
Printing/Production $24,000 $22,000 $12,000
Website design, maintenance $1,500 $1,500 $1,500
Website hosting $500 $500 $500
Research $2,000 $2,000 $0
Media contract/media familiarization tours $15,000 $1,000 $1,000
Group, meeting sales incentives $15,500 $15,000 $7,500
Total advertising and promotion $182,315 $138,100 $88,005

Community relations
Mississippi Tourism Association legislative luncheon $500 $500 $500
Refreshments for office $700 $250 $250
Logo items for employees, volunteers $500 $0 $0
Miscellaneous expenses $250 $250 $250
Business meetings $1,500 $750 $750
Public relations, sponsorships $5,000 $0 $0
Floral for community partners $500 $250 $250
Total community relations $8,950 $2,000 $2,000

Total expenses $561,700.30 $583,700 $583,700