those supporting Visit Newberg were dealt a setback last night when the city council voted to hold off on funding to launch the new non profit. The goal is to have Visit Newberg handle tourism promotion and have the Chehalem Valley Chamber work on other tasks.
The council had three issues regarding Visit Newberg last night. Funding, issue recomendations for a new board of directors and okay a business plan.
Councilors were led by Patrick Johnson who was very hesitant to give 499 thousand dollars to an organization that has no executive director, no board, no business plan and no by laws approved.
Visit Newberg proponents Dennis Lewis and Chamber Exec. Shannon Buckmaster said they have been working hard on developing this non profit from scratch, but have had a willing ally in Visit McMinnville. That organization is allowing itself to be used as a model and giving advice.
Councilors last night voted to table the funding request until the second meeting in January to look more closely at the work that has been done. The business plan review was delayed as well.
Buckmaster warned that delaying funding will mean Newberg will miss marketing opportunities. Councilor Stephen McKinney disagreed saying events like the Camelia festival will continue.
In a somewhat related matter, the council unanimously gave the Camelia Festival 14-thouand dollars for promotion.
Councilors Johnson and Hollman were hesitant, objecting to the fact that other festivals and events had not had a chance to compete for that money. Councilors Bacon and McKinney, strong supporters of the Camelia Festival said no other festival in Newberg has show the consistent growth the Camelia Festival has.