CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Recreation and Tourism Authority board dealt with some lingering concerns regarding former employees and other matters yesterday and also heard a presentation on marketing.
The seven-member board has been working to change how the tourism authority operates in many areas and has also been reviewing finances. During yesterday’s meeting the board discussed a bill from the cell phone carrier Visit Clearfield County had a contract with for the employees for $379.92.
Chairwoman Terri Cunkle explained that the former director had a phone through this contract and recently switched carriers but kept the phone. The company then charged CCRTA for the phone. After brief discussion, the board agreed to send a registered letter to the former director regarding the matter.
Also, board member Mark Burnett gave a committee report to the board regarding a financial review. The committee, including Burnett, Cunkle and Bonnie Robinson Harper, reviewed financial reports for VCC , and Burnett said they found significant charges on the VISA card used by VCC, which were not approved by the former board of directors and, while not illegal, were questionable.
Burnett had no further report from the committee. As of November, the card has been cancelled.
An executive session of close to an hour was held with Solicitor Andrew Gates regarding legal issues. No action was taken afterwards, but Gates did have several matters to discuss with the board.
The first was the Memorandum of Understanding between CCRTA and the county regarding employees, especially in regards to hiring, and also for the use of certain hotel tax funds, which will regularly be revisited by the board and commissioners.
The MOU will take effect once the commissioners vote at their Dec. 27 meeting and will be in effect until Dec. 31, 2018.
Gates also asked the board to rescind resolution 2016-1 due to some discrepancies in the language of the resolution, which changes the number of board members from 12 to nine.
He said he talked with Solicitor Kim Kesner and fixed the problems. He then presented a new resolution, 2016-4 to be adopted, and it will also be voted on by the commissioners Dec. 27.
As a result, the commissioners will be appointing new members to the board and are requesting letters of interest. Two seats will be filled as soon as possible and then two more will be filled as two commissioners resign the seats they currently hold on the board in the near future.
The board also voted to eventually move from a fiscal year running July 1 through June 30 to a fiscal year running Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.
The change was originally made several years ago to be in line with the state’s fiscal year, but that is no longer a necessity. The authority will slowly make the change over the next year with six-month budgets and be on the new schedule in 2018.
Additionally, meeting times are now at 10 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month.
Phil Dubrow and Emily Youngdahl, representing WTAJ-TV, gave a presentation on advertising to the board. Dubrow explained WTAJ has an assigned coverage area of 10 counties in the state with 600,000 plus viewers in 277,000 households.
However, the station actually has a greater reach due to its Web site and social media and also partnerships with stations owned by the same company. WTAJ put a package together for three months of advertising by VCC as an example of how a promotional contract would work.
Television ads would air during the news segments in the morning, noon, evening and late night as well as during the Rachel Ray show, Central PA Live and certain prime time slots, especially during NCIS programs. Dubrow said the average person would see about 20 ads in three months and over 200 would be broadcast during that time.
Additionally, WTAJ can use targeted advertising online with banner ads. For example, if the Gettysburg area is targeted, someone would see the ad on their mobile device there, and then also see it again when they get home, reaching beyond the 10-county area. With the partnerships with other stations, advertising can be viewed on television programming in New York, West Virginia, Maryland and other areas
Later in the meeting, the board agreed to table the proposal until staffing is increased and other matters are taken care of.
The board voted to allow acting director Sue Swales-Vitullo to close the office from Dec. 20 through Jan. 3 in order to utilize remaining vacation/personal days. She said recently there has been little to no traffic in the office, which is common during the holidays. The county is currently accepting applications for director, assistant director and administrative assistant on the Web site www.clearfieldco.org.
Several scheduled shows were also approved. The Pennsylvania Bus Association and Maryland Motorcoach Association shows were approved as well as The Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg Feb. 3-12; Deer & Turkey Outdoor Expo in Lansing, Mich., Feb. 16-20; Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sport Show in Oaks Feb. 22-26; WNY Sport Travel Expo in Hamburg, NY March 8-12; and Spring Motorcycle Show in Toronto, Canada, March 24-26.