Some angry public comments expected during TDC meeting

300-GLEN-HASTINGS-BOCCWhen the Tourist Development Council holds its regular business meeting tomorrow, Monday, July 15, at 1:30 p.m., Historic City News local reporters are expecting some public comments in support, and some in protest, to ratings given by the funding panel as to how $550,000 in bed tax money will be spent next Fiscal year.

Chairman Bill Hughes will call the public meeting to order in the St Johns County Auditorium; located inside the St Johns County Administration Palace at 500 San Sebastian View in St Augustine.

One major item on the agenda, the 2014 Marketing Plan, whose pages are said to number in the hundreds, may not be presented in full, according to Executive Director Glenn Hastings.

“The individual category marketing plans arrived in my office later than anticipated,” Hastings informed members of the Council. “We will not be seeking approval of the 2014 Marketing Plan on Monday, but rather have the team give an overview with key highlights as they relate to the budget. We will seek additional feedback and ask for approval at the August meeting after sufficient time has been given to review the full document.”

Having written that, Hastings is asking the Council for action on the Fiscal 2014 proposed category budgets; including approval of the Arts, Culture and Heritage funding panel grant funding recommendations, as well as their 2014 program budget request, budget for leisure, recreation and beach, as well as administration and the special uses budget.

Another controversial topic on the agenda will be an evaluation of both the St Johns County Visitor Convention Bureau and the St Johns Cultural Council presented by Hastings — each is a private agency that has a contract coming up for renewal, and a substantial budget from the Tourist Development Council.

Millions of dollars are collected in bed tax which supports the operation of the Council; however, recent criticism has arisen that only a minor portion of that money is returned to community-based deliverables in tourist development — the overwhelming majority of that money is sent out-of-town, consumed with administrative salaries, retirement benefits, rental of privately owned facilities, and commissions on advertising placed by the captive VCB advertising agency.

So, who were the winners in the $550,000 TDC funding lottery?

Sponsor and Event

Asked

Scored

Award

Artbreakers – Auld City Gaelic Festival

60,000

91.0

60,000

City of St Augustine 450th Commemoration – 450 Years of the African American Experience

60,000

88.4

57,000

St Augustine Lighthouse and Museum – Sea Your History Weekends

60,000

85.4

57,000

Flagler College – Race in the South: St Augustine in Context

60,000

77.2

51,000

Florida Heritage Book Festival – Book Festival and Writers Conference

44,045

72.4

35,236

Romanza St Augustine – Romanza Festivale

30,000

74.0

25,500

St Augustine Regional Council – 2014 St Augustine Chalk Walk

25,000

89.6

25,000

St Augustine Music Festival – St Augustine Music Festival

24,000

86.8

22,800

St Augustine Historic Inns – Bed and Breakfast Holiday Tour

18,000

79.8

15,300

City of St Augustine – Concerts in the Plaza

10,000

91.4

10,000

Committee for the Nightwatch – British Nightwatch

10,000

87.6

10,000

SEA Community Help Resource Center – SEA Community Annual Festival

10,000

75.6

10,000

Ft Lauderdale Int’l Film Festival – St Augustine Film Festival

10,000

88.4

9,500

Epic Community Services – Taste of St Augustine

10,000

85.2

9,500

Historic Florida Militia – Searles Sack

8,500

89.0

8,075

Historic Florida Militia – Colonial Grand Muster

8,500

89.0

8,075

Friends of St Augustine Amphitheatre – Gathering of Friends ‐ Childrens

10,000

73.8

8,000

St Augustine Beach Civic Association – Music By the Sea

10,000

73.6

8,000

St Augustine Maritime Heritage Foundation – St Augustine Maritime Heritage Festival

10,000

72.8

8,000

EMMA – 35th Concert Season

10,000

71.6

8,000

Historic Florida Militia – Drakes Raid

7,000

88.0

6,650

Historic Florida Militia – Changing of the Guard

6,000

90.0

6,000

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