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Mendocino Board passes BID restructure

Independent Coast Observer of Gualala, California

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The Mendocino Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously pass six points creating a new governance structure for the Mendocino County Business Improvement District (BID). The decision comes after an ad hoc committee, steered by Supervisors John Mc-Cowen and Dan Gjerde, spent eight months with the Mendocino County Lodging Association (MCLA), Mendocino County Promotional Alliance (MCPA) and Visit Mendocino (VMC) hashing out changes to the current governance and structure.

"What you've got now is five boards, 56 members and four overlapping contracts," said McCowen of the old structure during the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday afternoon. "And when you've got a third party in the mix they're usually violating one of those contracts just by being party to it."

The new structure reduces the number to a single board with 11 members. The 11 seats will include five lodging members — three large operations, one medium operation and one small operation — to be elected by the lodging community. Both coastal and inland lodging operators will be represented.

The remaining seats would include two Chamber of Commerce members, one winery or winegrower, one arts and attraction representative, one food and beverage provider and one at-large individual.

The points also tackle a change in how lodging assessments are made. The board will eliminate tiered assessments in favor of an across-the-board two percent assessment with a continuation of the 50 percent County match to be applied to all funds. This new assessment will go into effect no sooner than January 1, 2016.

There were neither public comments nor comments from other board members on the changes Tuesday.

The adoption comes after the ad hoc committee met five times through- out Mendocino County, including in Point Arena last week, to discuss with stakeholders the 17 points — which were ultimately boiled down to the ratified six — for feedback.

After requesting to make one minor wording amendment, McCowen moved to waive the reading and adopt the six points as an ordinance. Gjerde seconded the motion.

The Supervisors also unanimously approved this year's BID annual report that was presented to the Board on Tuesday.

"The major goal of the report was to provide a sound historical context," said Wendy Robertson, co-writer of the report.

Robertson and co-writer Pauline Zamboni made suggestions to the six points, believing the BID advisory board meeting should be opened up from among the BID "to create a more balanced board," according to Robertson.

McCowen stated suggestions regarding costs of administration, the Brown Act and appointments were taken into account upon the rewriting of the six points.

Gjerde moved to adopt the resolution and McCowen seconded the motion.

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Original Publication Date: May 8, 2015

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