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Chamber won't sell city image in 2010

The city has to find someone else to do its marketing in 2010 after the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce informed the city on Friday it doesn't want to renew its contract.

"The board felt it was more than (executive director Vicki Maples) had time for; it was too much of a drain," chamber board chairman Bill Littlejohn said on Tuesday.

City Councilor Walt Schubert, also a chamber member, said he was the lone dissenting vote at Friday's board meeting.

One reason cited was the time and effort required by Maples to oversee the contract, Schubert said.

The other was a feeling that overseeing the Sequim Marketing Action Committee is outside the scope of what the chamber should be doing, he said.

"I do feel it should be a chamber function, and not doing it leaves the contract wide open for people who aren't qualified," Schubert said.

At its Dec. 8 meeting, the city council had decided to issue a request for proposals for a marketing coordinator with a contract beginning in March 2009.

But the council decided at its Dec. 15 meeting against seeking a 2009 marketing coordinator for 2009.

Instead the council extended the $11,000 contract with Pat McCauley and InsideOut Solutions for one year while the city studied requests for proposals issued by other cities.

McCauley resigned effective April 30, saying it was in the best interests of both her and the city.

The council then approved a $7,333 contract with the chamber to provide marketing from May 1-Dec. 31, 2009.

The 2009 city budget includes $11,000 for the city's marketing coordinator and $53,234 for tourism-related advertising expenses associated with the contract.

The funding comes from the city's $140,000 in annual hotel/motel taxes, which come from 0.4 percent of the sales tax paid by visitors to the city's hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and other lodging establishments.

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