During a meeting of the Cumberland Tourist and Convention Commission on Tuesday, commission member Reecie Stagnolia questioned if a recent $500 donation to a basketball tournament held at Harlan County High School fell under the commission’s spending guidelines.
He said the commission’s spending must promote tourism in the Tri-City area.
“We wanted to show unity for tourism all over the county,” said Director Tracy Bailey. “Evarts voted to do it, we voted to do it and Harlan voted to do it. Everyone paid $500 each.”
Stagnolia asked Bailey if she was confident this donation came under the commission’s spending guidelines.
“Yes it does, as far as I know,” said Bailey.
Stagnolia said he recently heard that all tourism commissions will be audited in 2014. He said when expenditures are done that “doesn’t fit Cumberland Tourism,” such as spending in other parts of the county while collecting revenue from the Cumberland area, he wasn’t sure it was within the commission’s spending guidelines.
“I understand this was a call vote and I wasn’t called,” said Stagnolia.
Bailey told Stagnolia she called four other members of the commission and they all agreed to make the donation, so she didn’t call anyone else since she had a quorum and believed Stagnolia to be out of town.
“I have a cell phone that works in Florida just like it works in Cumberland,” said Stagnolia. “And, I wasn’t out of town. I like to be on the record where I can vote yes or no. We discussed this once before.”
“I was just trying to be considerate to you,” said Bailey. “This was sprang on us. This was a spur of the moment call to us. There used to be a format we used where the request had to be made before our meeting so the whole board could vote on it. They gave us a page in their program and this tournament was bringing people into our county. There were about 2,000 to 3,000 people every night. Literally, it was tourism and our guidelines would cover that. It was inconsiderate of them to call for a donation the day before.”
Bailey reassured Stagnolia she will contact him in the future, even if she has a quorum.
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