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Island County commissioner Price Johnson heads Joint Tourism Committee
Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson was elected to chair the Island County 2 percent Joint Tourism Committee in 2012 at the committee’s monthly meeting held Jan. 5 in Oak Harbor.
Also elected to one-year terms were: Vice Chairman Chet Ross, Secretary Joanne Lechner and Treasurer Dianne Binder.
Beginning this year, according to a news release from Island County, an elected public official must chair the full tourism committee in order to comply with the new interlocal agreement and to meet state government requirements. The 18 member joint 2 percent Tourism Committee was founded in 2004.
Joining Price Johnson on the committee are, representing Camano Island, Melanie Ford-Bissey, Camano Island Lodging and Karen Daum, Camano Island Chamber of Commerce; representing Oak Harbor and North Whidbey, Jim Campbell, city of Oak Harbor, Jill Johnson, Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce and Zane Platt, Oak Harbor Lodging; representing Coupeville and Central Whidbey, Dianne Binder, town of Coupeville, Marshall Bronson, Coupeville Lodging, Lynda Eccles, Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce and Mitch Richards, Unincorporated Coupeville Lodging; representing Langley and South Whidbey are Chet Ross, Freeland Chamber of Commerce, Sherry Jennings, Langley Chamber of Commerce, Gary Gabelein, Clinton Chamber of Commerce, Jim Pinsiero, Langley Lodging, and Joanne Lechner, Unincorporated South Whidbey Lodging.
Also on the committee is Ron Nelson, representing the Island County Economic Development Council. Two positions are currently vacant, one representing Unincorporated North Whidbey Lodging and one representing the city of Langley.
Treasurer Binder reported at the meeting that lodging tax collections are up 15 percent from where they were one year ago. According to Sherrye Wyatt, the committee’s PR and marketing manager, the 15 percent increase is significant since many innkeepers actually reduced their 2011 room rates in order to remain competitive.
The committee is funded solely from lodging taxes which are paid by overnight visitors to Island County.
For more information about the work done by this committee visit www.whidbeycamanoislands.com.