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Time to look elsewhere

February 9, 2012

Kathy LaBuda, Gene Benson, Cindy Gieger, Scott Samuelson and Cora Edwards deserve a lot of credit for having the fortitude in voting to put out a request for proposals for the Sullivan County tourism contract.

Cynics claim this move was political, but who are they kidding? The Sullivan County Visitors Association has always been political. I am sure it wasn’t just a coincidence that the association was tipped off by the county clerk’s office that a not-for-profit was formed by three honest and respectable people. So what if they are Democrats?

Slanderous accusations and attempts to vilify Bill Liblick, Neil Gilberg and Donna Schick are misguided. What did they do that was so terrible? All they did was form a corporation so they could possibly make a proposal if the opportunity ever arises. I am confident they would be the first to agree that contracts must be awarded on the merits.

If the legislature was acting politically they could have awarded the contract to them without even asking for proposals.

The truth is that all of us should all be fuming that for over a decade we have wasted millions of dollars in tourism and no one even questioned the contract. If things were thriving, maybe there wouldn’t be any reason to do so, but we all know such is not the case. Resorts have closed while tourist attractions and restaurants are suffering like never before.

Unless we change the people running things, it’s just going to get worse and worse. Those who control tourism have had over a decade to prove themselves and they have been nothing but ineffective. It is now time to look elsewhere.

Etta Siresky
Liberty, NY