Permitting Elected Officials to Sit on CVB Boards
March 20, 2018 Update
Dan Dean, a member of the Fayette County Board of Commissioners, testified in support, saying it would specifically allow county commissioners to sit on local convention and visitors' bureau boards. That service, he said, allows commissioners to serve in a key role in the community, and in a role similar to their service on county land bank boards, which is explicitly allowed in law. Sponsor Rep. Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick) confirmed with Mr. Dean and other commissioners that they must file ethics disclosure statements that detail their personal financial history.
Andy Herf, executive director of the Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, also backed the bill, saying measure would let the boards operate more transparently and supports local officials' ability to serve on the boards. He said the dual service is no different than state lawmakers serving on the Controlling Board, where they have more oversight over the spending of funds they have already appropriated. Mr. Herf added that the bureaus are audited regularly and that their audits are available online.
John Leutz of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio and Dave Wilson, a Guernsey County commissioner, also supported the bill.
Mr. Leutz said the dual service is in the best interest of counties and boards, while Mr. Wilson stressed the value of tourism in his county. He said it is important for commissioners to have a good feel for how the industry is doing, and how it is impacting the county.
House Bill 530
Authorizes a local elected official of an entity that has levied a hotel lodging excise tax (or the official's designee) to simultaneously hold the public position and serve on the board of trustees of a convention and visitors' bureau without constituting the holding of incompatible offices or employment. The bill declares that, notwithstanding Ohio common law or any contrary statutory law, the simultaneous holding of those positions does not constitute the holding of incompatible offices or employment.
For further information abut the bill, visit here.