Island County Commissioner Johnson will serve as chair of tourism board

Island County Commissioner Jill Johnson will serve as chairwoman of the Island County Joint 2 Percent Committee on Tourism for 2014.

Johnson was elected in Freeland on Jan. 2 at the committee’s monthly meeting. The committee’s work is funded from a portion of the revenue generated by lodging taxes paid by overnight visitors to Whidbey and Camano islands.

Other 2014 officers include the following: Vice Chairman Chet Ross, representing the Freeland Chamber of Commerce; Secretary Joanne Lechner, representing Unincorporated South Whidbey Lodging; and Treasurer Dianne Binder, representing the Town of Coupeville.

The 18-member Joint Tourism Committee was founded in 2004.  Since its formation, the number of overnight visitors has steadily increased each year.

As of last November, lodging tax collections were 7.8 percent higher than at the same time one year ago.

Other members of the committee are: Melanie Ford-Bissey, Camano Island Lodging; Karen Daum, Camano Island Chamber of Commerce; Gregg Lanza, Unincorporated North Whidbey Lodging;  Jim Campbell, City of Oak Harbor; Marshall Bronson, Coupeville Lodging; Lynda Eccles, Coupeville Chamber of Commerce; Robyn Myers, Unincorporated Central Whidbey Lodging; Bruce Allen, City of Langley; Marc Esterly, Langley Chamber of Commerce; and Matt Costello, Langley Lodging.

Ron Nelson, the executive director of the Island County Economic Development Council, also serves on the committee as a non-voting member.

A position representing Oak Harbor Lodging is currently vacant.


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