Six-of-seven TDC Funding Panel members replaced

A change in requirements adopted by the St Johns County Tourist Development Council for members of the Arts-Culture-Heritage Funding Panel, making ineligible persons serving as officers or directors of not-for-profit organizations who apply for funding, led to the resignation of all but one member of the former Category II funding panel when their terms expired.

Through the May 11 deadline, the St Johns County Board of County Commissioners accepted applications to replace six of the seven-member group; whose purpose is to review and evaluate grant request proposals from not-for-profit organizations to produce and market events of a “cultural, artistic or heritage nature” that will attract visitors and are enjoyed by residents.

“The Funding Panel’s deliberations include scoring each proposal on its merits, then recommending a level of funding for each proposal to the Tourist Development Council,” Office Manager Dena Masters told Historic City News today.

Additionally, the Funding Panel reviews the application process at the end of each funding cycle and may recommend changes to the Tourist Development Council and Board of County Commissioners.

“The role of the funding panel is critical to the success of the Arts-Culture-Heritage funding program,” said Scott Bartosch, Chairman of the Tourist Development Council. “The Funding Program plays an important role in St Johns County’s development as a cultural and heritage travel destination.”

According to an announcement distributed to media outlets previously, three of the panel members “will be representatives from the tourism and hospitality industry and two representing the arts, culture, and heritage industry segments. The two remaining seats will be professionals with knowledge of cultural and heritage tourism development and promotions.”

Eric Doten is the only Funding Panel member to be reseated. Selected during yesterday’s process were Adam Shockey, Kerri Post, Barbara Sarvis, Scott Adkins, Trudy Wild and Cyndi Humphrey.

The newly reconstituted panel will waste no time getting to work. They will convene next week to begin review of thirty-seven applications; requesting over $1 million in bed-tax money — of which only $500,000 has been budgeted for this category of funding.

In July, the Funding Panel will forward the results of their scoring to the Tourist Development Council for their consideration. The TDC may amend those recommendations before they are submitted to the Board of County Commissioners as part of the 2013 budget.

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