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Supervisors critical of City Council

By Nicholas Grube

Triplicate staff writer

Some Del Norte County Board of Supervisors criticized the Crescent City Council Tuesday for its lack of support of the Visitors Bureau.

During Visitors Bureau Chairman Jim Strong's presentation to the board of www.exploredelnorte.com – a new Website that markets Del Norte County – both District Five Supervisor Dave Finigan and District Three Supervisor Mike Sullivan expressed their frustration with the city council over the group's reluctance to help fund the bureau.

"It's like pulling teeth with that other group (the city council)," except they have no more teeth to pull, Finigan said. "They're gumming us to death, for crying out loud."

Finigan in part referred to Monday's Crescent City Budget Workshop in which the council directed its staff to draft a budget that includes $50,000 for the Visitor's Bureau in the coming year. This money, however, is not guaranteed and might not be appropriated in the final 2007-2008 budget.

"It's very discouraging that they're more interested in piling up a bunch of money that everyone committed to (the Visitors Bureau) a year and half ago," Sullivan said. The county made a minimum of a three year commitment to help fund the bureau and that he expected the city to do the same, he said.

"There has been a commitment in the past," Sullivan said after the board meeting about the city's $100,000 initial investment in the bureau. "I'm shocked and surprised that they're tinkering with the investment into our future ... we expect the city to fulfill their obligation."

Finigan echoed Sullivan's frustrations – and his own – in an interview after the meeting. "You think when you agree on something once, you think that should be enough," he said. "Once you agree to do something, use your energies to move forward."

Strong said one of the reasons the City Council was hesitant to commit to any amount of money was because of budget woes and the desire to eventually fund the Visitors Bureau with private money.

"They really wanted to have government get out of the business of funding tourism," Strong said.

No City Council members were at Tuesday's board meeting.

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