CAPC hears from staff at workshop

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

By Samantha Jones

The Eureka Springs City Advertising and Promotion Commission dedicated its regular workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 27, to the staff that works under retiring director Mike Maloney.

Maloney will be leaving the CAPC in April, and commission chairwoman Carol Wright said she wanted to hear from the staff about the kind of person who should replace him. Wright said the commission will have a similar workshop for the public on Wednesday, March 6, saying she wants to hear from the staff first.

“We want to listen. We want to hear good and positive things and take suggestions for things that could be changed for the better,” Wright said. “As employees, is there something in your job description you’d like to change? Are there extra things we can do to help you move forward in your careers and make you successful here?”

Employee Karen Pryor said she appreciated being included in the process.

“No one’s ever asked us,” Pryor said. “We appreciate that.”

Wright said a change in directors could be positive or negative.

“We want to make sure we make a really good transition but also we’re supporting you and giving you the things you need,” Wright said.

Commissioner Terry McClung said he wants the new director to instill positive change at the CAPC.

“The things we’re doing now … maybe we could be doing that a different way,” McClung said. “That’s what I’m really looking for as far as the director goes. Whoever is hired is somebody who needs to be the boss and follow through with that and make sure you have what you need to do the job to the best of your ability.”

“I think it’s important to keep the staff in the loop,” said commissioner James DeVito, “because they’ve worked with the director more than any of us commissioners. They understand what the role of director is.”

Commissioner Bobbi Foster said she hopes to improve communication between the commissioners and staff.

“I come to meetings sometimes and I feel blindsided, because it’s like, ‘This is what we’ve done,’ “ Foster said. “Really? Should we not be informed? I think we can do a lot better. How we can do better is probably open to discussion, but I think we can do better. I’d like to see us do better.”

Wright said the director will need to have a background in advertising, promotion, tourism and management.

“Everybody wants the city to be successful. We know digital media is super important,” Wright said. “A lot of it is how do we spend that money? Where do we spend that money?”

DeVito said the commission should cater to everyone in the city, not just tax collectors.

“Just because you’re not a tax collector doesn’t mean you’re not part of the discussion,” DeVito said. “We are unique as we’re a town that thrives purely on tourism.”

Pryor agreed.

“I would like to see us become more aware that Eureka Springs is a whole lot more than tax collectors,” Pryor said. “We should start working together. Everybody says they want to do that, but it doesn’t always happen.”

Pryor asked the commission to continue to keep the staff in the loop, saying it makes everyone’s job easier.

“I hope that y’all help us as staff, because we’re the ones that get the phone calls and we’re the ones who people see when they come into the office,” Pryor said. “These things are not going to happen overnight. There are going to be people out there who don’t understand why they don’t happen overnight.”

Foster suggested working with an agency on some projects to streamline everything and help the staff. Eureka Springs is a special place to visit, Foster said, and the CAPC should reflect that in its promotion.

“People are looking for an experience, and we have everything anybody could want to experience here,” Foster said. “We should really look at how we’re presenting ourselves and get some expertise to present that in the right way.”

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