Melody Villard

Melody Villard 3 years, 8 months ago on Editorial: Shepherds, no sheep

True the current tax rate on top of the room charge is 9.05% (2.25% is City, 2.9% is State, 2.0% is County and 1.9% is lodging tax specifically for tourism promotion). However, the proposed rate would be 14.05% total.

The proposed new tax would be imposed only within the city limits. County establishments would continue to have a tax rate for lodging of 1.9%. The new lodging tax within the city limits would prohibit the collection of the county tax within the city limits. Lodging establishments within city limits would then have a total tax of 14.05% (2.25% is City, 2.9% is State, 2.0% is County and 6.9% would be lodging tax [split as follows "3.0 per cent lodging tax dedicated to capital improvements, .3% community beautification, and .6% economic development and shall report directly to the City Council. 3.0 per cent tax, earmarked for tourism marketing, and also for the hiring and oversight of a Director for that committee."] So the current combined sales tax rate within the city of 7.15% would see an additional 6.9% increase...the county taxes would remain the same.)

Now that the MCTA has a marketing plan in place, increased revenue to carry out that plan would be necessary. Although the final plans for how the tourism portion of the fund would be administered have not been made, Councilman Carwile has suggested the possibility of an inter-agency transfer to allow the MCTA to continue to handle the county's tourism promotion. The current funding to the MCTA would be severely cut if this tax passes, making it necessary to find a way to have funds other than what they would be able to collect from 1.9% on county establishments to implement more than just the initial phases of the plan, which will result in spending down a large portion MCTA budget reserves. The MCTA has somewhere in the neighborhood of just over $300,000.00 to work with to implement the initial phases of the marketing plan as well as operate for the coming year. If we want to continue to increase tourism those plans will need follow through as well as implementation. I would like to see the tourism promotion continue in Moffat County. I would love to see us "Shop Craig First" as often as possible as well. I think having the City involved as oversight would help with that. Spending up to $5,000 in Routt County for team building is an example of where our dollars could be promoting our own local businesses in this economy. While the County would be exempt from paying the tax on the rooms whether they are here or in Routt County, the dollars spent on the retreat could be just what a Moffat County business needs this year to stay a float. We need to think more creatively about how to accomplish the goals we have for Moffat County. We should be focusing on promoting what we have and not building something that we are not!

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Melody Villard 4 years, 1 month ago on MCTA director search down to 2 applicants

Great question! While we were going through the video tape application process at our then 5 year old son's request, since it is his favorite show, we got the following email from another fan who had contacted the message boards...

I would like to clarify the following comment first though…the sheep are not pretty much on their own…My partner in the sheep business (and husband) lives at sheep camp for the entire lambing season. Our brother-in-law, Jim, is also there for the majority of lambing. We do not just turn our livelihood over to the herders. This sheep operation is also not a family run business, unless you include the countless hours that Jim and his wife are by our side.

DOUG WAGONER dl_wagoner@msn.com wrote: …They are pretty much on their own except for a couple full time herders and dogs. The herders check on them everday, But don’t interfere unless there is a problem. It usually takes close to a month for all 1000 sheep to lamb. There really isnt much vet type stuff. We are a family run ranch, so a lot of work is done with the help of friends…..

----- Original Message ----- From: DOUG WAGONER To: Mary Bess Walker Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 7:05 PM Subject: Re: DIRTY JOBS show for sheep docking

Hi Mary, Still working on pictures for you. Since it looks like this will go through, I am going to put you in touch with my inlaws. They are the owners of the ranch and will work with you on all of the final detials. Albert and Melody Villard villardranch@msn.com or 970-824-9302. Thank you very much for this opprotunity! Hope to meet you in person, talk to you soon. Doug.

When we got this email is when we hung up the phone with Pilgrim Films and continued the process online. If there are any further questions you can start with the source this time, my information has been turned over above.

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Melody Villard 4 years, 1 month ago on MCTA director search down to 2 applicants

(continued) I have a very deep passion for this community. I am willing to stand behind that passion. If that has earned the comments from those who have claimed to have occasion to work around and with me, but who are unwilling to put their name behind their passion, so be it. I’m also not sure you can gather a complete view of my background and skills from the article or anonymous comments above. I happen to agree with several points brought forth by cherylinyampa. Your research however is a little off. Only one of the past three directors for the MCTA board has been a “local buy”. The political jockeying over the past six months or better has set progress of the board behind. Instead of working on the tasks at hand, we are still trudging along to even move forward in the least bit. You stated “I would like to know if either candidate has in their professional working history, developed a number of diverse marketing plans and can do conduct a readout of the results after implementing those plans. Can they track the frequency and reach of whatever campaign they develop and can they properly project ROI for the county and track those numbers to each campaign and how my business grew or contracted from those marketing and communication activities?” and “I just want to feed my family and that is why hiring the right person for the position is so important to the county.” I too have a family that depends on the sustainability of the businesses in this county. Tourism should be considered a business and not an activity to that end. I’m not sure one could stay successfully in a business without being able to manage diverse marketing plans as our economic climate changes. Projecting the return and impact on individual businesses in the community relies heavily on those businesses communicating with local entities such as the tourism and economic development boards. I would encourage you to come to our public meetings and address the issues that you have here. I believe that some of the misinformation could be cleared up to your satisfaction, and I know the board would welcome your interest and perspective. I would also welcome anyone with questions or concerns to contact myself or the other capable board members to discuss them. Thank you. Melody Villard

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Melody Villard 4 years, 1 month ago on MCTA director search down to 2 applicants

I think it is interesting how willing people are to say ANYTHING when they are able to hide behind a user name. There seems to be a great deal of interest in this matter. However, not one person has taken the time to contact me personally to ask any questions aside from the reporter of this article. I was informed of the Board’s decision by Brian Smith. I have still not heard from the board, but I would like to make a few comments myself. I did not have a problem with the board hiring a person who they thought was the right person for the job. I fully backed the decision made as I have done with so many other board decisions. Not always because I agreed, but because on a board that is what you do. You come to a consensus and you SUPPORT your board. I wholeheartedly believe in the mission of this board. I made a commitment to the board BEFORE I applied for the position in 2008. I fulfilled that commitment in 2009. From the commissioner’s comments to myself, I was not demoted. They simply wanted to give other interested community members an opportunity to serve their community through this board. Commissioner Danner encouraged her constituents, during her State of the County address, to contact your commissioners with your questions or concerns. I would also encourage any of you to contact the commissioners yourselves if you would like more clear answers. I know from my own personal experience that all three of them are very accessible and willing to share their time with any of you. I would also like to say that I am very proud of the rich history and heritage, and the opportunity to be involved in Moffat County’s sheep industry. Not only through successful ranch endeavors, who we also owe thanks to the generations before us, but through the chance to promote and educate our youth and community through a very successful event centered on that very industry. I would argue that a national television program such as Dirty Jobs certainly wasn’t the driving force behind sheep putting Craig on the map. When the rail lines in Craig were very active we used to be one of the largest wool shipping centers in the world. In May 1956, 500 wool producers in northwestern Colorado, southern Wyoming and eastern Utah shipped 3.5 million pounds of wool from the warehouse in Craig. I would also say that the Dirty Jobs program, Mike Rowe’s many keynote speeches in which he continues to talk about his experiences here, and the online forum that we were invited to be a part of as tradesmen certainly do not hurt in keeping Craig in front of millions of potential visitors.

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