1. Are you still voting “YES” on April 8 for the Branson TCED Tax?
RESPONSE: Absolutely! The Ole Seagull said “Yes” and why in his March 2nd column. Nothing has changed.
2. Even after the column of last weekend?
RESPONSE: Of course.
RESPONSE: That column discussed a potential new possibility for fixing one of the problems that, in an Ole Seagull’s opinion, needs fixing. If there is no tax money for Branson marketing it makes fixing the problem moot.
4. Why didn’t you wait until after the election to publish the column?
RESPONSE: The events in the column happened two days before the column was written and, to the best of an Ole Seagull’s ability, accurately reflect what happened. As is the case with any column he writes, whether the election was two days away, two months away or there was no election, the column would have been written exactly as it was and when it was based on the events that transpired when they did. That was particularly the situation in this case because he has endorsed a “Yes” vote for the tax extension on the April 8 Vote.
5. Do you believe that when all is said and done that the Branson Lakes Chamber of Commerce and CVB will get the Tourism Community Enhancement District’s Marketing Contract?
6. Do you favor that?
RESPONSE: The Ole Seagull has a lot of faith in the direction Leah Chandler, the new Chief Marketing Officer is heading; believes that Branson’s stakeholders should have control of their destiny; currently it is the only Designated Marketing Organization in Taney County that can get about $600,000 in matching Marketing funds from the state; and his belief that Branson presents a unique marketing challenge, in terms of what it offers and the spirit with which it is offered, that is best presented by its own.
8. The TCED has three more chances to get the tax passed if it fails on April 8. Wouldn’t it increase the likelihood that the TCED would be more amenable to change if the tax were defeated?
RESPONSE: That is a possibility.
9. Then why are you voting for it if you want to see some things changed?
RESPONSE: See 3 above and, as he said in his March 2nd column, “in his gut he has reached the belief that if it doesn’t pass this time it increases substantially, for many reasons, the chances that the TCED Tax extension might not get reauthorized which, in an Ole Seagull’s opinion, would be catastrophic.” Simply put, it’s not worth the risk.
10. Then why did you write the column you wrote last weekend?
RESPONSE: See 3 & 4 above.
11. Do you think the tax extension will pass?
RESPONSE: An Ole Seagull has a lot of faith that the voters know how important adequate marketing is to Branson’s tourism based economy and that there is a funding mechanism in place to fund that marketing; will vote to continue that funding and, as to things they would like to see changed or done differently, will give both the TCED Board and the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB “the benefit of the doubt” without risking the marketing funding that is so vital to the future success of Branson.
For what it’s worth, an Ole Seagull believes that the economic future of Branson is at stake in this election. Regardless of your position, isn’t Branson’s economic future worth making an effort to vote on April 8?