At the Geary County Commission meeting Monday, commissioners Keith Ascher and Brad Scholz signed a resolution establishing the Geary County Convention and Visitor’s Committee. Commissioner Charles Stimatze abstained from all discussion due to conflict of interest.

According to Resolution 8-24-2020, the committee was established to make recommendations to the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau director for programs and activities which promote conventions and tourism for and within Geary County.

Scholz said the creation of the committee was not in response to the article published in the Junction City Union Aug. 9, 2020.

“Myself, along with Commissioner Asher discussed this way before we even knew an article was going to come out,” he said. “That can be verified, and fact checked through the former commissioner Florence Whitebread and Adam Wilkey both who were prior board members.”

Ascher said that there have been meetings

“There's been a group of lodging and businesspeople meeting,” Ascher said. “Adam Wilkey, I know is one and Florence Whitebread and then some lodging people, and they invited separately to meet with me and to meet with Brad to bring this subject to us, and then run with it.”

A set of by-laws had been created and approved during the meeting.

“Councilor (Steve) Opat and I have been working on the bylaws for close to a month,” Scholz said. “And we went back to the 1978 resolution by the county commission establishing the CVB for oversight purposes.”

Scholz said there is more the commissioners plan do to.

“So, one of the things we plan on doing is speaking with them also,” he said. “Now that they have been created, a policy and procedure manual for lack of a better word, to give better directions and definition with regards to what are appropriate expenses and so on and so forth.”

He said that his hope is to have the committee in place by the end of September.

“We hope to have it as soon as possible after the vetting process,” he said.

Scholz said the committee will be appointed by the commissioners and are looking for lodging and business owners interested in being a board member.

“If they want to be looked at as an appointee, they can get a hold of either Keith or myself,” he said.

The committee will be made up of 10 members and six of those members must be representatives from lodging establishments in the area as per K.S.A. 12-1695.

“And that, in a small community, and the limited number of lodging properties we have in the community, that’s going to be tough,” Ascher said.

Anyone interested in being considered for the Geary County Convention and Visitor’s Committee can contact Brad Scholz at Brad.Scholz@gearycounty.org or Keith Ascher at Keith.Ascher@gearycounty.org.

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