Letter to the Editor: Keep the CVB accountable

Letter to the editor:

I’ve followed for quite some time the media accounts (both journalistic and social) of the Clermont County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). I also felt that an FC Cincinnati practice facility would be great for Clermont.

I have had a great deal of excellent experiences with large & small CVB’s around the state including Clermont (and east of the Mississippi and Canada) beginning in about ’79 through the 2000’s. But along with that, a myriad of business conflicts and litigation with the Gr Cincinnati CVB.

As tax funded agencies authorized by the State Legislature, they unquestionably should be subject to the open records act regarding their business activities and the spending of tax dollars. 90% of their funding is the lodging tax.

The open records should extend to all of their documents and communications also.

CVB’s serve an important function in generating tourism for their respective counties.

They do bring people into an area for day trips and multi day stays. The hotel used for stays adds the lodging tax onto the nightly bill. Therefore the visitor pays the tax, not the hotel.

However, if CVB’s functions and spending are called into question, or the activities of their executives and board members, there always needs to be immediate and transparent checks and balances.

More so, the CVB entity should be held accountable to and overseen by the county which provides the tax revenue and the State for authorizing the lodging tax funding mechanism.

Christopher Hicks, currently running for Clermont County Auditor, has rightfully raised questions about the Clermont CVB’s operation and the State Attorney General has ruled unfavorably on other practices. Those issues require answers that only can be found with audits and a thorough review of documents and communications.

CVB’s receive a great deal of tax dollars. The Clermont CVB nearly $600,000 a year. The Gr Cincinnati CVB for comparison, $8.5 million a year.

Managing these funds and the CVB’s activities for the good of a County should not be taken lightly.

Chip Hart
Residen of Clermont County