Aldermen appoint 4 new tourism board members

Published 3:29 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2016

NATCHEZ — Natchez aldermen appointed four new members Tuesday to the Convention Promotion Commission.

Ward 6 Alderman Dan Dillard made the motion to appoint four members of the tourism management advisory committee, Mimi Miller, Jo Ann Brumfield, Wayne Potter and Christine Tims, as commissioners on a temporary basis lasting no longer than Sept. 30.

Aldermen unanimously approved the appointments.

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The commission seats have sat empty since last month when the aldermen asked for the resignation of the commission and terminated tourism director Kevin Kirby following ongoing personnel issues at the convention and visitors bureau.

Tricentennial Director Jennifer Ogden Combs, who is serving as the interim tourism director, said she was excited a quorum of the commission is in place.

“We are taking care of business,” Combs said after the meeting. “A month or so ago, (members of TMAC) offered to serve in this role because they have knowledge and experience of the tourism industry and have served in this role in the advisory committee, some of them for a long time. So I’m thrilled.”

Dillard said he included the four members in his motion because they represented a variety of tourism-related businesses in Natchez.

“The (commission) has a quorum by which to operate, but this also will allow TMAC to maintain a quorum of six members,” he said. “So this is not to disable one commission or committee for another.”

Ward 1 Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis voted against a similar motion by Ward 3 Alderwoman Sarah Carter Smith at the aldermen’s April 26 meeting, but voted in favor of the measure today.

“The first time, I had no list of names, and I didn’t know what positions they were with,” Arceneaux-Mathis said.

After conferring with other aldermen informally and gaining information about who was on the advisory committee, Arceneaux-Mathis said she was more comfortable choosing the interim commissioners.

“They know they got to go back to TMAC once they’re done, they’re not going to be part of the CVB unless they want to come back and apply,” Arceneaux-Mathis said. “We still got that whole set of applications we’re going to go through. We might even want to open it up for more applications.”

The applications, she said, could be used in the next administration to choose a more permanent board.