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August 26, 2013

Tourist commission wants united partnership with city

Looks to new marketing strategies

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —

The London-Laurel County Tourist Commission met Tuesday and spoke briefly about the city’s establishment of its own tourism and convention commission.

Commission Chairman Tom Handy said he had met with Judge Executive David Westerfield the previous week.

“I asked him how everything was going and he said he had no complaints, that the commission is doing good,” Handy said.  Handy added Westerfield had spoken with the department of local government and found that the city cannot take away the methods in which the commission has been receiving funding.

Handy went on to tell the commission he had sent a letter to Mayor Troy Rudder and the London City Council regarding the newly formed city tourism and convention commission.

The Sentinel-Echo filed an open records request with the Mayor’s Office for a letter sent by Tom Handy to Mayor Troy Rudder and London City Council members. The letter, dated Aug. 12, reads:

“I continue to be concerned with the new tourism commission and feel a need to continue a discussion we had at the council meeting.  This represents my thoughts and not that of the London-Laurel Tourist Commission (LLTC).  Suggestions in any new operating procedure would also have to be approved by the Laurel County Fiscal Court.

I regret our commission was not brought into the discussions earlier for we have decades of experience that would have been to your advantage.  We see ourselves as representatives of everyone in London and Laurel County with no boundary distinction.  I respect your authority to create a new commission and we will always do what is best for our community.  The past and present actions of county and city governments have proven that one voice in industrial development, college park development, united charitable endeavors, festivals and other activities has proven to benefit all.  We should strive to make these two commissions as unified as possible and also, from the initial organization, seek a procedure that will avoid inefficient duplication, direct competition and public disagreements.

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