Wednesday, May 5, 2010

John Musolf: Asks--"Why Obsession With MTCVB, TREO Funds?

John knows from whence he speaks. Here's his Explorer letter.

Why obsession with MTCVB, TREO funds?

On Nov. 18, the Town of Oro Valley council voted 5-0 for the suspension of all community funding for 2010/2011.

This cut-off of public funding deeply concerned two "special interest" groups: Metropolitan Tucson Convention &Visitors Bureau and Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities that were under community funding.

Not to worry. A different approach might be found to continue the tax "earmarks" for these "special interest" groups.

On Jan. 23, Mayor Loomis stated that funding should be included for MTCVB and TREO in the fiscal 2010-'11 budget under economic development.

On Jan. 27, Mayor Loomis made a motion, seconded by Councilman Al Kunisch, to add a study session for a "revised" economic development process.

At the March 24 study session, "special interest" agencies MTCVB and TREO appeared to "testify" that they needed tax "earmarks" under a "revised" EDA process to get their funding restored for fiscal 2010-'11.

At the April 7 town council meeting, a resolution was passed to create a separate line item in the economic development budget through which the council could allocate funding to economic development agencies if they so choose. This option would remove the allocation of funding for economic development agencies from the community funding process, thereby providing council the discretion to allocate funding for these agencies during the annual budget process (MTCVB and TREO were these agencies).

On April 14, a balanced budget was presented to the mayor and council. It did not include any funding for MTCVB and TREO.

At the April 24 budget study session, Mayor Loomis raised some questions. One question concerned fiscal 2010-'11 funding for MTCVB and TREO. The discussion was moved to the April 28 budget study session.

Why the obsession with MTCVB and TREO funding?

Assuming that economic development agencies are critical to the town operations and funding can be found, then the economic development manager, could advertise for competitive bids (request for proposals) from economic development organizations for developing business and tourism growth. MTCVB and TREO should not be awarded automatically.

John Musolf, Oro Valley

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