Visitor Information Center agreement on agenda

When Chairman Jack Peter calls the next regular meeting of the St Johns County Tourist Development Council to order at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, August 28th, Historic City News will be paying close attention to Item 9 on the agenda, an item listed with no backup documents provided.

The topic of discussion and possible action is of vital importance to residents who have become growingly vocal over their concern for the balance between how people who live here are treated — compared to those who are just visiting for a day or two.

Tourism and Cultural Development Director Tara Meeks, who is the Executive Director of the St Johns County Tourism Development Council, will introduce an “action required” item concerning a vacancy on the Council; followed by an “action requested” item concerning the renewal of the agreement to manage the Downtown Visitor Information Center.

The Visitor Center is owned by the City of St Augustine. In exchange for certain funding provided from bed-tax dollars, the City has entered into an agreement with the Tourism Development Council, in essence leasing the space to them. The TDC, in turn, has made an agreement, currently with the Visitor and Convention Bureau, to manage the day-to-day operation of the property adjacent to the Historic Downtown Parking Facility.

Got enough hands in each other’s pockets yet? It’s like child support checks changing hands at the Sheriff’s Office on payday.

This Monday, Historic City News reported the announcement that the St Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors & Convention Bureau had decided to part ways with its executive director of the past seven plus years, Richard Goldman. His termination is effective as of September 1.

Next Monday we will know the next move on the multi-million dollar bed tax chess board.

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