LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — In a four-to-two vote, the London City Council passed the second reading of an ordinance that established a city tourism and convention commission during a special-called meeting Thursday night.
Council members Judd Weaver and Danny Phelps voted against the ordinance noting they were concerned that having two tourism commissions in Laurel County could potentially cause a division between the city and county.
“It is that division that worries me, that is the last thing I want. I want to be progressive and work together. I understand your point, Tom, and I don’t want it to appear secretive. If we have two different organizations we will each hold one another accountable. It is time to do this and especially work together. That concern is pulling me both ways though,” Weaver said.
Councilman Dan Phelps voiced his concern that having two tourism commissions would be “redundant.”
“My worry is that it will become two organizations competing for the same thing. I think it will add division,” Phelps said.
Councilman Bobby Joe Parman then spoke, saying that he had taken phone calls, some people for it and some against it.
“I also had people that work for the tourism commission call me that are concerned for their jobs,” Parman said.
Mayor Troy Rudder addressed the council members' concerns.
“There’s lots of places that work in a cooperative relationship, and we want to do that,” Rudder said. “We want to work with the committee, we want to work with the commissioners, we want to work with the directors, but it’s time that we take control and get involved with the things we have going on in the city.”
Rudder went on to address rumors the city planned to take the three percent transient room tax that currently funds the London-Laurel County Tourist Commission, including salaries for the commission’s executive directors.