Chapter 2.80
TOURISM COMMISSION

Sections:

2.80.010    Established.

2.80.020    Membership of commission and of lodging tax advisory committee.

2.80.030    Term and rules of operation.

2.80.040    Responsibilities.

2.80.010 Established.

There is established a tourism commission for the purpose of establishing, maintaining and/or coordinating relationships and communication between agencies promoting tourism and between such agencies and the city. [Ord. 2002-12-103; Ord. 2001-12-104 § 1; Ord. 10890 § 1, 1997; Ord. 9432 § 1, 1985].

2.80.020 Membership of commission and of lodging tax advisory committee.

A. The commission shall consist of no more than 13 members to be appointed by the mayor. Membership shall be representative of agencies directly involved in tourism and visitor and convention promotion and may include, but not be limited to, the following: the Bellingham/Whatcom County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Bellingham/Whatcom County Chamber of Commerce, Western Washington University, Bellingham/Whatcom County hotel and motel owners, Bellingham/Whatcom County restaurant owners, port of Bellingham, the Bellingham city council. In addition, representatives of the following city departments/divisions, or their mayorally approved designees, shall be ex officio, nonvoting members of the commission: the city of Bellingham public works department, the city of Bellingham parks and recreation department, the city of Bellingham planning and community development department, Whatcom Museum of History and Art. Notwithstanding the other requirements of BMC 3.08.010, the mayor may appoint up to 50 percent of the tourism commission’s members from nonresidents of the city of Bellingham; provided, that all members of the tourism commission shall be residents of Whatcom County.

B. The mayor shall appoint a subcommittee of the commission whose members shall serve as the lodging tax advisory committee as described by RCW 67.28.1817. The subcommittee shall consist of at least five members and shall include:

1. At least two members who are representative of businesses required to collect the lodging tax;

2. At least two members who are persons involved in activities authorized to be funded by revenue from the lodging tax; and

3. An elected official of the city who shall serve as chair of the committee.

Persons who are eligible for appointment under subsection (B)(1) of this section are not eligible for appointment under subsection (B)(2) of this section. Persons who are eligible for appointment under subsection (B)(2) of this section are not eligible for appointment under subsection (B)(1) of this section. The number of members who are representatives of businesses required to collect lodging tax shall equal the number of members who are involved in activities authorized to be funded by revenue received from the tax.

C. Organizations required to collect the lodging tax, organizations involved in activities authorized to be funded by revenue received from the lodging tax, and local agencies involved in tourism may submit recommendations for membership on the commission and the subcommittee. [Ord. 2005-04-038; Ord. 2003-09-061; Ord. 2002-12-103; Ord. 2001-12-104 § 2; Ord. 10890 § 2, 1997; Ord. 9432 § 2, 1985].

2.80.030 Term and rules of operation.

The term of appointed members shall be three years, with appointed members being eligible for reappointment at the mayor’s discretion. Terms shall be staggered to ensure year to year continuity of commission membership. Upon being constituted, the commission shall establish its own internal rules of operation, including provisions for the election or appointment of necessary officers. [Ord. 2002-12-103; Ord. 2001-12-104 § 3; Ord. 10890 § 3, 1997; Ord. 9432 § 3, 1985].

2.80.040 Responsibilities.

A. It shall be the responsibility of the commission to prepare recommendations for the mayor and city council regarding policies, programs and activities which enhance the tourism and visitor industry in the city and the surrounding area, and to report annually on progress.

B. The commission through the subcommittee serving as the lodging tax advisory committee shall also advise the mayor and city council on the appropriate and timely use of city lodging tax funds and of any proposed change in the tax. Any proposed change in the use of the funds or of the tax shall be submitted to the committee at least 45 days before final action on or passage of the proposal by the council. [Ord. 2002-12-103; Ord. 2001-12-104 § 4; Ord. 10890 § 4, 1997; Ord. 9432 § 4, 1985].