GALVESTON

The city council today will consider asking voters in May to weigh in on a charter amendment that would fundamentally change management of about $10 million a year in hotel occupancy tax revenue.

José Mendiola: 409-683-5230 or jose.mendiola@galvnews.com

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Charlotte O'rourke

When one has a monopoly, a guaranteed gig or contract, it’s difficult if not impossible, to understand that one isn’t a king. All of this recent strife stems from this idea of knowing competition does not exist due to a bizarre charter provision referencing an entity that does not exist in its voted upon form for over 50 years.

In 1967, there was a “beach park board” with very limited powers. Today we have a park board that uses public funds to sue private property owners, researches how to sue the state to take what the PB deems appropriate action against tax paying property owners, and spends public funds to fight the city for requesting that misappropriated Excess funds are returned to the city accounts where it earns interest.

It’s time to let the citizens vote instead of blocking their right to vote by claiming a “war on tourism” instead of a war on abuse of power and monopolies and spending without any checks and balances by elected officials.

Yes tourism is very important and regardless of whether the charter section is removed or changed with the current terminology, 3 % will be spent on advertising.

By spending all this money on legal fees that does not put any heads in beds, one must wonder how the PB can claim to be a bastion of good spending habits and fiscal accountability.

What excuses will be given to prevent a residentbvote? I can’t wait to hear the excuses.

Charlotte O'rourke

If I had to guess based on workshop, I believe council will defer this 3% charter topic and block the ability to vote in May. Maybe the residents will be allowed to vote in November.

As a fyi, there was confusion on the difference of excess funds from looking at budget and expenses and excess funds from that process and excess from undervaluing the penny and socking away the excess in reserves. And the significance of those amounts are huge.

Everyone should insist the PB start completing an ACFR - a special audit that has an introductory, financial, and statistical section so that new council member and the public can easily understand the issue. State law requires an ACFR for political bodies.

Approving a charter change on the 3 % required to go to the “beach park board” doesn’t mean a defunding of the CVB. It means we would adhere to the state law code. Yes, please.

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