TDC gets an earful at forum

Published: Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 05:09 PM.

District 5 County Commissioner Cindy Meadows, who was the only elected county commissioner present, admitted she doesn't have all the answers.

"I know there are spring break issues here and we have 5,000 houses listed for rent on VRBO. There are street signs falling down for people spending $10,000 a week to see. There's no maintenance on bike paths where it should be pristine. We're all in this together. I think that instead of marketing heads in beds, we need to focus on the quality of experience for people who live here…” she said.

Sandy Luchtefeld feels we need better enforcement in the form of ordinances, ticketing, and arrests.

Others tried to separate the missions of the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce and the TDC.

“There is a conflict in the TDC marketing our area and the chamber's role," Bill Bard said. "It should be a chamber function to get people here. I don't understand the difference in the roles between the TDC and the Chamber of Commerce… What's the distinction?"

Tracy Louthain worked for the TDC for six years and she said there is a disconnect between the TDC and the community. She believes there should be more workshops held and that the TDC needs to invest in opportunities like art and things outside the beach — with less focus on destination marketing except in shoulder seasons and more on management.

Residents also keyed in mass transit, suggesting a 30A tram service and a bus route designed to bring people from the north end of the county to the south.

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