The Chula Vista City Council recently heard a draft report from the city attorney for recommendations on petition procedures of hotel/motel members for the city’s Tourism and Marketing District.
The draft memorandum addresses procedures for the administration of petitions that might be submitted by hotel/motel district members proposing disestablishment of the district.
City Attorney Glen Googins said his intent is to circulate the draft procedures after comments from council members and additional refinement to stakeholders, including the chamber and district board and hotel and motel board.
“At a minimum we are looking to submit this to the TMD board, primarily the executive committee (May 2),” he said. “We need to go directly to the people who own the motels, not the subcommittee. I fully believe they can make the best decisions for themselves.”
The Tourism and Marketing District is comprised of 15 members, including eight hotel/motel representatives and seven chamber executives and was established July 14, 2009.
In January, several hotel/motel owners assessed under the district submitted petitions for disestablishment. However, they were not submitted during the time period provided by state law and did not contain all of the information necessary to process. Because of this the City Attorney’s Office identified procedures to supplement the state code.
In March, the council approved an agreement between the city and Chamber of Commerce for the administration of the district. Under the agreement, the chamber will pay operational costs associated with services provided by the city to the district, which includes collecting assessments.
It also requires that hotel/motel owners have a democratic opportunity to control the investment of district funds in activities and potential improvements that they have a majority stake in selecting before they come to council for review and consideration.
Disestablishment is allowed by a majority of owners who submit petitions and pay 50 percent or more of the assessments levied.
City staff must notify district members on or before June 1 that written petitions may be submitted during a 30-day petition period beginning July 14 and ending Aug. 12.
Once petitions are submitted, council would adopt a resolution and hold a public hearing within 60 days.
Councilman Steve Castaneda said it’s important to allow hotel/motel owners to make a decision.
“We need stability in the district that it’s going to be around from year to year, but it’s also important that the people that pay the bills (if they aren’t satisfied), can exercise their rights to opt out of the assessment,” he said.
Following input from council and stakeholders, final procedures will be prepared and presented for council approval no later than May 22.