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Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Thursday, May 25, 2017

May 25, 2017
12 Noon
City Hall, Medford Room
411 West 8th Street, Medford, Oregon
1.     Travel Medford
 May 25, 2017
  Medford City Hall, Medford Room
411 W. 8th Street, Medford, OR
The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 12:00 p.m. in the Medford Room of the Medford City Hall on the above date with the following members and staff present:
Acting Mayor Michael Zarosinski; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson (via phone), Kay Brooks, Tim D’Alessandro, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Kevin Stine, Kim Wallan
City Manager Brian Sjothun; City Attorney Lori Cooper; City Recorder Karen Spoonts
Mayor Wheeler was absent.
Travel Medford
Staff is seeking Council direction on the following areas:
  • Negotiate a renewal of existing agreement with Chamber
  • Make-up of contract negotiations team for City of Medford
  • Advertise a competitive request for proposals seeking Destination Marketing Organization services
Eli Matthews of Travel Medford introduced staff: Kristy Painter, Tammi Mendels, Angela Wood, Brad Hicks, Andrea Childreth of Spotlight Marketing and Rick Brewster, CPA, PC.
Rick Brewster presented the audit report.
  • Two separate books (Chamber vs. Travel Medford)
  • Chamber year is now aligned with the City
  • 25% comes from transient lodging tax (TLT)
  • $738,000 spent – 90 days after the money received must be spent per contract
  • Promotion, cost of promoting community, personnel that work for Travel Medford and a few shared employees from the Chamber
  • Audit reports are in agreement with contract
  • Auditor is independently involved
  • All money in fiscal year must be spent, hard to predict
  • Complicated commitment level not knowing if contract with the City would be approved
Mr. Matthews presented history:
  • 1975 - Chamber started; levy of 5% tax
    • 25% used for promotion
    • 2001 - TLT increased to 8%; 5-year contract (previously yearly contract)
    • 2003 – State 1% collection
    • 2006 – TLT increased to 9%
    • 2012 – Travel Medford born
    • 2016 – Two year extension on contract
  • Currently hotels taxed at 9%; 25% to Travel Medford
  • Travel & tourism trends - $11.3 billion total direct spending in Oregon, $547.9 million in JC
  • Bump in the road
    • Financial fiscal year to align with the City
    • Political Action committee – separate than the Board (no TLT or Chamber dollars used for this). Eleven members who raise money to endorse candidates.
      • Communication/transparency – monthly Travel Medford update
    • Governance structure – Ad Hoc group of 10 people; started Tourism Council (13 people). Not required to be a Chamber member. Board oversight; Travel Medford Advisory Committee (TMAC) is no longer. Members selected by Tourism Council.
    • TLT subsidizing - $27,000 for shared salaries, rent and operation
    • Community support/events – Travel Medford birthed many events, such as Jazz Festival, Art in Bloom, Medford Cruise (this year budgeted $30,000 for in-kind)
    • Chamber members – Do not have to be a member to be considered for service; support everybody. Over 1,300 members in Chamber, this is one of the largest in the state.
    • 42 year partnership with City (successful history/performance; excellent community oversight; business community leadership)
    • Request contract renewal
    • Goal is not to put a cap on TLT spending
    • Tracking those who come to Medford/target audience
    • State statue - 25% goes to TLT (community promotion)
A break was called at 1:08 p.m. and returned at 1:18 p.m. with same members present.
Council discussed:
  • Council requested a QuickBooks vendor list, Chamber list
  • Tightening up contract/adding measurables (Councilmember Wallan would like to be involved drafting the contract)
  • Not want to do in-house
  • Well entrenched in the community
  • More transparent
  • Chamber does not give money to those running for Council
  • Proven track record
  • Forming a TLT Commission
  • Hospitality community not been represented
  • Travel Medford needs to be accountable with tax dollars
  • Council needs to be accountable
  • Travel Medford has promoted the community
An AIC will be brought to Council on the June 15 Council meeting; Council will choose between continuing with Travel Medford with an improved agreement, or a RFP.
The meeting adjourned at 1:40 p.m.
Karen M. Spoonts, MMC
City Recorder

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