POLITICS IN ST JOHNS

Funding panel releases scores, TDC will recommend funding

July 10, 2014 | By More

FED-450_071811_0748Although Historic City News readers will not know the amounts of funding, if any, that each will be awarded, the ACH Funding Panel heard 3-minute updates from 40 organizations who are vying for a share of millions of dollars collected each year in tourist development tax, for their arts, cultural and heritage facilities, enhancement programs and re-enactments, development of new programs as well as funding for ongoing programs.

The Panel, appointed by the St Johns County Board of Commissioners, previously evaluated and recommended funding levels for Category II funds to the Tourist Development Council — a volunteer board, also appointed by the Commission.  After critical failures under supervision of the St Johns Cultural Council, the Council revoked that responsibility from the lower Panel; amid allegations of arbitrary, widely-varying assessments, favoritism, and lack of overall integrity in the process.

GLENN L HASTINGS

GLENN L HASTINGS

The Tourism and Cultural Events Director, Glenn L. Hastings, who claims a $106,915.23 annual salary for his services, plus benefits, directs the volunteer panels and manages the operation of paid county staffers who support the department, a contract to operate the largest recipient of bed tax money, the Visitors Convention Bureau, and a controversial six-figure contract with the privately-operated St Johns Cultural Council.

This year’s applicants, who made the April application deadline, began meeting with the new funding panel members, Wednesday. July 9 at 9:00 a.m. in the St. Johns County Auditorium.  Panel members had the opportunity to ask questions before each application was scored.  Each applicant was required to have a representative available to answer questions from the panel.

Applicants requested a total of $950,000 in funding for the 40 projects; however, Hastings said that it “is not likely” that they will each be fully funded at those levels.  The Tourist Development Council will hear the scores at their meeting on July 21st, but they will not make the decision on who-will-get-what.  Rather, they will use the scores to determine what they feel is appropriate funding, and then send those recommendations on to the five-member elected Board of County Commissioners.

The scores, organized from all categories from highest rated to lowest, follow:

COSA – 450TH COMMISSION- CELEBRATE 450!   95.8
COSAB – BEACH BLASTOFF   93.8
FL HERITAGE BOOK FESTIVAL   93.2
FLAGLER COLLEGE -FIRST AMERICA   92.2
FL LITERARY ARTS COALITION – OTHER WORDS   91.0
COSA – TAPESTRY   90.8
BRITISH NIGHTWATCH   90.8
SJ CHAMBER – PV AUTO SHOW   90.6
LIGHTNER MUSEUM   90.6
COSA – FIRST CITY THROUGH EYES OF THE MASTERS   90.4
SA LIGHTHOUSE AND MUSEUM   89.8
FIRST COAST OPERA – CRYSTAL CONCERT   89.4
ROMANZA – CELTIC FESTIVAL   89.0
SA FILM FESTIVAL   88.6
COSA – CONCERTS IN THE PLAZA   88.6
SA ART ASSOCIAITON – A&C FESTIVAL   88.6
HISTORIC FLORIDA MILITIA – SCHOOL OF THE 16TH CENTURY   88.4
EMMA – ZUCKERMAN/MOSCOW   88.2
SA MARITIME HERITAGE FESTIVAL   88.2
EMMA – FIESTA 450TH   87.8
HISTORIC FLORIDA MILITIA – CHANGING OF THE GUARD   87.0
LIMELIGHT THEATRE   87.0
LIMELIGHT THEATRE – 450 THEATRE CELEBRATION   86.6
SA BEACH – MUSIC BY THE SEA   86.6
EPIC – TASTE OF SA   86.4
SA HISTORIC INNS  – B&B TOUR   86.0
HOLY TRINITY -GREEK FESTIVAL   85.8
CULTURAL CENTER PV BEACH   85.2
ROMANZA – ST PATRICK PARADE   83.8
SA ART ASSOCIATION – NATURE AND WILDLIFE   83.6
ROMANZA – 4TH ANNUAL FESTIVALE   83.4
EASTER PARADE   82.2
MIDDLE PASSAGE/PORT MARKER   82.2
SA BEACH – BBQ & BLUES   80.0
FRIENDS OF SA AMPHITHEATER – CHILDREN’S ART FESATIVAL   80.0
SA MUSIC FESTIVAL   79.8
SA YACHT CLUB – HOLIDAY REGATTA   79.6
SEA -RAILS TO TRAILS FESTIVAL   76.6
FL CHAMBER MUSIC PROJECT   76.2
STAR – PASEO PASTEL   75.6

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Category: Government

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