The Starke County Commissioners are struggling to fill out the county’s Convention and Visitors Commission Board of Directors. The nine-member panel was established according to state guidelines, which outline the political balance and other qualifications to serve.
Knox Mayor Rick Chambers is the city’s lone representative. The other eight members are appointed by the Starke County Commissioners. State law requires a simple majority, in this case 5 members, be engaged in convention, visitor or tourism business or be involved in promoting conventions, visitors or tourism. If available and willing to serve, at least two members must be engaged in the business of renting or furnishing rooms, lodging or accommodations as described in state law. Additionally, not more than one member may be affiliated with the same business entity, and no more than a simple majority of members may be affiliated with the same political party. Also, each board member must live in Starke County.
The county council adopted an innkeeper tax in 2005 in order to fund local tourism promotion. However, the ordinance to populate the CVB board was not passed until 2011.
At this time the county commissioners are looking to fill four vacant seats on the board with three Democrats and a Republican. If possible, at least two members must be innkeepers. Prospective members can submit their letters of interest to the the Starke County Auditor’s Office as soon as possible. The CVB board meets quarterly.