CAPC narrows executive director search to 3 finalists

Friday, June 21, 2019

By Samantha Jones

The Eureka Springs City Advertising and Promotion Commission should have a new director soon.

At its regular meeting Wednesday, June 12, the commission met in executive session to narrow six candidates down to three. Chairwoman Carol Wright didn’t name the remaining candidates, but she did address the commission’s process to fill the position during the public portion of the meeting. More than 200 candidates were narrowed down to six, Wright said, who were then interviewed through video calls.

“Those of us who weren’t able to interview in person in the office have watched the recordings,” Wright said. “We asked everybody the same questions. Then, we let the candidates talk about what they know they could bring to Eureka to help us move forward.”

The remaining three candidates will be interviewed again, Wright said, and the commission will keep the public informed every step of the way.

Also at the meeting, the commission heard a request from parks director Justin Huss to reimburse what the parks commission has spent to print new trails maps. Huss said the parks commission was asking for $4,228.89 to print the maps, saying the CAPC has funded such requests several times between 2003 and 2016. Huss said he spoke with former CAPC director Mike Maloney last fall and was assured the commission would help pay to print the maps.

“I thought this would be a line item type thing budgeted this year,” Huss said. “That’s a pretty big spend for us. Really, being that the CAPC advertises and promotes the city … this seems right in that wheelhouse.”

Huss said the parks commission has proved its worth over the past few years, bringing many people to town to ride the new downhill mountain bike trails at Lake Leatherwood City Park.

“The trails are becoming a huge draw for people,” Huss said. “This is something they want to see when they get here.”

Commissioner Susan Harman asked if the commission should consider adding a line item to print the maps, and interim director Rick Bright said there are available funds to do so.

“We do have other funds for a contingency it could come out of,” Bright said.

Wright said she’d like to have a heads up next time, and Huss recalled speaking with Maloney last year about it.

“It’s not something [Maloney] conveyed to us,” Wright said.

“I think that’s part of the problem here,” said commissioner Bobbi Foster.

Commissioner Terry McClung said he’d like to consider creating a line item for those kinds of expenses.

“We need to probably just make it a line item and put maybe $5,000 a year toward brochures and that be it,” McClung said.

Harman moved to approve $4,200 for the brochures, and commissioner James DeVito said the commission spends a lot of money advertising city parks as it is. The parks commission should pay for part of the printing costs, DeVito said.

“We do a lot of in-kind advertising for parks,” DeVito said. “We pay for your booth rental. We run ads. We pick up the tabs on those. We’re spending a pretty good chunk of change for parks.”

Huss said it makes sense for the commissions to work together.

“It’s a natural partnership,” Huss said. “Both of us bring people to town with advertising and resources.”

Foster agreed.

“I think it’s a beautiful publication and I think it’s a no-brainer,” Foster said. “With everything the Walton Family Foundation has done for us, $4,200 is not asking too much.”

The commission approved Harman’s motion 5-1, and Wright asked Huss to get a proposal for next year’s printing costs to the commission before the maps are printed.

“I would like to entertain the idea that we sit down in the fall to talk about the needs for the coming year,” Huss said.

The commission’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, at The Auditorium.

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