Letter to the Editor, Feb. 19, 2014
A math lesson
EDITOR: Recently Commissioners McLinko and Miller announced their intention of withdrawing Bradford County from the Endless Mountains Visitor Bureau. I side with them in believing we can do a better job of spending Bradford County's hotel room tax revenue. Their reasoning certainly appears sound, as they noted Bradford County sends between $400,000 and $600,000 annually to the Endless Mountains Visitor Bureau while only an approximate 30 percent is returned. If we look at the smaller number, it means a lowly $120,000 comes back to Bradford County, while an astonishing $280,000 doesn't! Well, you might ask if the EMVB spends money here by having an office in Bradford County. Nope! Does it employ, at the very least, one Bradford County citizen? Not that I know of! Well then, where does the rest of the money go? You'd have to ask EMVB, but I suppose it's being used to promote other counties! Sounds like a pretty lopsided deal to me.
Commissioner Smith took it upon himself to chime in and express caution. (Apparently he wants to THINK about getting the shotgun, while the fox continues to raid the henhouse!) He stated in a recent Daily Review article that he was concerned about "all the revenue it would take," to administer a tourism agency on our own. I believe Commissioner Smith needs a math lesson.
Bradford County would have, at a minimum, $400,000 with which to create and administer our homegrown tourism agency. (A figure as large as many township budgets!) Even before the first tourist dollar is spent in our county, we would employ two or three Bradford County citizens, have brochures printed by Bradford County businesses, have a website created by a Bradford County business, pump advertising money into Bradford County radio stations, spend money with Bradford County newspapers, distribute money to Bradford County events, and the list goes on and on and on. The math lesson is simple. More money into Bradford County means more prosperity for Bradford County citizens.
Let's suppose for a minute that maybe our newly created Bradford County Tourism Board doesn't do any better than EMVB is doing for us. At the very least we'd still have $400,000 being pumped into Bradford County and Alparon Park would be correctly mapped as being in Troy, as opposed to EMVB's map which shows it to be in Des Moines, Iowa!
Kurt D. Lafy