Community Relations & Public Affairs CommitteeCouncil Present:
February 17, 2010
12:00 – 12:55 p.m.
Chair Andy Ryder, Jason Hearn
Greg Cuoio, Scott Spence, Troy Woo, Scott EggerPresentation of Lacey-Minsk Sister City Association 2009 Annual Report and 2010 Work Plan
Scott Spence, Assistant City Manager, stated that under Resolution 941, which authorizes the establishment of Lacey sister cities, the Lacey-Minsk Mazowiecki Sister City Association (LMMSCA) is required to submit an Annual Report and Work Plan to the Community Relations Committee for review.
The 2009 Annual Report includes a review of accomplishments and successes of the program, events and activities, bi-lateral exchanges and a summary of expenditures for the past year. The 2010 Work Plan outlines activities, exchanges, and events for a twelve month period; a budget identifying all revenues and expenditures for the calendar year; and a formal request for funds. The Work Plan must include an annual meeting, two program activities, and 25 dues-paying members, or extensive public participation in association activities to gauge public support.
Steve Dobosz, President of the Lacey-Minsk Mazowiecki Sister City Association, joined the organization in June 2009. He reported that a planning session was held in November to discuss ways to increase membership and revenue. The Association will increase its visibility by participating in the Lacey Fun Fair Parade, a Cultural Diversity Fair, Lacey Community Market, Craft Fair and Sand in the City event in Olympia. Steve noted the Association bylaws have been revised to broaden its membership base to attract more members.
Steve reported that several Polish students and teachers are visiting Lacey, and the support from host families, the North Thurston Public School District, New Market Skills Center, St. Martin’s University and Evergreen State College has been incredible.
Steve announced he will visit Poland this year, and plans on discussing opportunities for NTPS students to visit Minsk during the school year to participate in their classes. He added that Minsk is interested in an immersion program where all classes are taught in English, and this may be an opportunity for students and retired teachers to assist. Councilmember Jason Hearn suggested one option would be for American and Polish students to participate in classes via the internet.
Deputy Mayor Virgil Clarkson stated that he has participated in the Sister City Association since its inception, and was fortunate to visit Minsk in 2006, and noted the experience was very memorable. Virgil stated over the last five years, members of the Sister City Association have participated in the International Youth Camp. Steve remarked that this is a great event, but the timing does not always coincide with travel arrangements. He said the Association will continue to explore other summer activities in Minsk that may be available to North Thurston Public School students.
Scott said the procedure for Committee members is to review and approve the Sister City Annual Report and Work Plan. In addition, each member of the Community Relations Committee is encouraged to attend one Sister City event each year. Councilmember Hearn moved to accept the Lacey-Minsk Mazowiecki Sister City Association’s 2009 Annual Report and 2010 Work Plan. Councilmember Ryder seconded. Motion carried.
Scott Spence, Assistant City Manager, briefed the Committee on the status of the Lacey Wayfinding Signage Project. The VCB originally envisioned uniformed tourism signs to guide visitors to Thurston County points of interests, such as the State Capitol Building, Tumwater Falls, and the Regional Athletic Complex. After several meetings, it was decided that each city would benefit from its own community project instead of a regional one. This would allow each city to use distinctive signage recognizing their unique attributes.
Scott stated in 2009, the City entered into a Professional Services Agreement with Illium Associates to finalize the preliminary work on the Wayfinding project for a total of $27,000. The scope of work included a Master Plan to identify specific locations for signage and the development of a unique Wayfinding sign for the City of Lacey. Funding came from the Lodging Tax Funds.
The Lacey Wayfinding project was to be completed by the end of 2009. As a result, funds were not carried over into the 2010 budget. Less than $3,000 needs to be expended. Public Works completed their review of the proposed sign locations and sign standards. A final meeting needs to be held with Illium to endorse the Lacey Wayfinding Signage Master Plan. The plan will be used as the blueprint for the installation of future Wayfinding signs within the community. The fabrication and installation of these signs is a future phase that is not funded.
Staff requests authorization to complete the Lacey Wayfinding Signage Master Project, and to approve a year-end budget amendment to the Lodging Tax Fund by $2,667.84.
Councilmember Ryder moved to authorize staff to complete the Lacey Way finding Signage Master Plan and to amend the LTAC budget by $2,667.84 to complete the Wayfinding Project. Councilmember Hearn seconded. Motion carried.
Scott noted that members of the Community Relations Committee will be asked to make a final decision on the color and shape of the Wayfinding signs. Olympia, Lacey & Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau (VCB)
Councilmember Andy Ryder reported he met with Mike Dexter, VCB Director, to discuss the City’s allocation of $57,000 to the VCB and what services the City receives for its investment.
From this meeting, it would appear that the City of Lacey is the least represented through VCB promotional items, such as the Visitor Guide, the Visitor Map and the VCB website. Andy commented that Lacey events, activities, parks and destinations need to be more actively promoted by the VCB. Last year, City staff worked with the VCB to add Lacey tourism information on their website and in their brochures. The City would like more involvement in the production of the guides and maps to ensure Lacey is promoted in an equitable manner, and information is accurate.
Greg Cuoio, City Manager, stated the VCB has also expressed an interest in providing services, at additional costs, to market the RAC. However, most of this service is being performed in-house by staff, and 47 weekends have already been scheduled for tournaments in the upcoming year. Traditionally, the VCB’s primary role has been to promote tourism and provide baseline services such as maps, guides, information packets, and links to websites.