Although there was some heat before Tuesday night’s Stephenville City Council meeting, the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) resolution was approved with one vote against.
However, the council said further discussion is needed as far as the creation of a Tourism and Visitors Bureau.
Mayor Kenny Weldon wrote the proposal and explained, “The council has been working to ensure taxpayers’ dollars are spent wisely. We just need to have a plan in place and I’m not really looking for a decision at all, just a discussion so we can have something in place by January.
“What I’m suggesting is that we bring the policy piece of this together. (We) didn’t have a policy in place to validate.”
The establishment of a 90-day task force was in the proposal, but wasn’t discussed in detail at the meeting since City Administrator Allen Barnes — who would chair the force — is currently out of the country.
Before the meeting city councilwoman Carla Trussell said she was perplexed by the mayor’s statement regarding HOT.
But during the meeting Weldon said, “Carla and I had a discussion and we’re in agreement that we’re moving in the right direction and we want to do what’s in the best interest of our community.”
Councilman Alan Nix, who voted against the motion, said he was uncomfortable with the last sentence of the resolution that talks about creating a Tourism and Visitors Bureau.
“I’m uncomfortable with that,” he said. “I’m not sure the city should be in charge of it. The resolution itself is good, but that particular phrase at the end troubles me.”
City Attorney Randy Thomas said the phrase doesn’t obligate the city. Weldon added that the resolution talks about creating a standalone organization.
“I think the intent was just to get the ball rolling and try to get some initial procedures in place,” said councilman Brady Pendleton. “I move to adopt the resolution as is tonight and then have a plan come January 2.”