Ronda Gottschall: ‘In shock’ over MCTA

To the editor:

I’m in shock over the Moffat County Tourism Association again.

After having one director convicted of embezzlement, wouldn’t you think that would show the organization it needs to do a better job of managing its directors?  

Two directors later, MCTA is doing the same thing and a board member even publicly admitted she was signing off on purchases without paying attention.

Does this board actually do anything? Do they report to anyone who should be holding them accountable for what they do or don’t do?

And now it looks like MCTA is letting the newest director do the same thing — personally benefit from taxpayer dollars.

At the first meeting with the new director, the MCTA board voted to spend $3,000 with the Craig Campground, the current director’s employer.

And, the board voted to merge the MCTA website with the Craig Campground’s website.

That is a private business. Why is MCTA using tax dollars to promote a private business? I checked the current website, www.moffatcountytourism.com, and didn’t think there was a thing wrong with it. There’s a lot of good information there.

The Craig Campground’s website doesn’t seem to be any improvement, so why is MCTA merging with it? Again, the current director’s employer.

Someone needs to do something. Three directors pulling the wool over an entire board’s eyes should show someone that this board isn’t capable of monitoring an employee or making any decisions that aren’t self-serving.

I understand the biggest single investment the board made was with the Craig Daily Press (approximately $30,000 in 2010). And the board is on track to do it again this year.

Ask the county for a list of MCTA board members to see which one benefited from that.

MCTA is funded by our tax dollars.

Am I mistaken, or isn’t it the job of the county commissioners to see that our tax dollars are spent wisely? Have they ever really looked at what the money is being spent for?

If not, I think they should.  

Ronda Gottschall

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Comments

Melody Villard 2 years, 8 months ago

Ms. Gottschall, I would like to first thank you for your interest in our County and the Tourism Board in particular. I would like to personally invite you to attend our meetings on the first Wednesday of each month to gain a better understanding of how our Board operates. I think that you will find that your questions will be adequately answered and we can always benefit from the public's input. I would also be willing to meet with you personally to answer the questions that you have asked. Our single most important goal, outside of marketing Moffat County to increase tourism opportunities and ultimately the tourism dollars that benefit our communities, is to make sure that we have open communication with the communities that we serve. We welcome all levels of involvement in our tourism Board and although we do not currently have any openings on the Board we welcome public participation. All of the Board's records are a matter of public record and any member of the communities we serve are welcome to request that information so that they are able to have educated discussions and make informed opinions. I would be willing to walk you through that Open Records process if you would like.

I am sorry that you do not see the value of having more than one avenue of information accessible regarding all of the opportunities that are available in Moffat County. The sites, however, will not be merged. The five pages that the MCTA has within the shared site with the Chamber and the CMEDP is a very valuable portal. The advantages to being able to utilize the www.visitmoffatcounty.com site as an interactive marketing tool in addition to those pages are great in number. While the marketing company we have contracted with continues to gather statistical and historical data to assist us in our marketing strategies for the future we will continue to move forward with sharing as much information about our County in as many ways as we can. Any time we can do that for as minimal cost as we have the opportunity to do currently we would be remiss in ignoring the potential. One overall goal is to give the best customer service to the visitors that we can. The visitors to Moffat County do not care about the political climate here, only what to do while they are here. That has to be our focus to ensure our success. "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to create them - Albert Einstein" It is certainly time to refresh our relationships and work together for the benefit of the communities in Moffat County that we all call Home! We need to think Cooperative instead of Competitive.

My role as Tourism Director for the Moffat County Tourism Association will get the same dedication and passion that I have put into any other endeavor that I have agreed to take on.

I would again welcome your attendance and participation at our meetings as a valuable voice in our community.

Thank you, Melody Villard

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colorado_22 2 years, 8 months ago

There is so much that is wrong with this letter I don't even know where to start... First of all, Mrs. Gotchall clearly reads the paper (as this is a letter to the editor,) but obviously this person consistently skips over the MCTA meeting announcements that are always printed. I always see announcements for their PUBLIC meetings in which they invite the community, just like the commissioners meetings, city meetings etc. You asked, "Does this board actually do anything?" By the way, not only was that a completely vague question, but it is also open for interpretation. If we both attended a board meeting, your views on whether or not they "do" anything may be different than mine (which I will assume we would indeed have varying opinions.) I suggest that you attend one (or all) of these meetings to be the judge yourself. If you don't feel that the board accomplishes an appropriate level of goals, voice your opinion with our county government, who oversees the MCTA. Heck, since you clearly think you could have done a better job, why didn't you apply for the recently vacant Director position? With your lack of research prior to sending this letter to the editor in mind, I will assume that you have neither the education or experience to qualify for such a position. They also had an assistant to coordinator position available, did you think about applying for that to make a difference in this organization? Look, I understand that the town of Craig has many issues, but the blatant ignorance gets really old. I think the person who wrote this letter should be embarrassed for their lack of research and general awareness. Also, I think the accusational statements in this letter are borderline libel =/

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