Walton officials discussed the future of tourism within the county at a joint meeting

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SOUTH WALTON Fla. (WMBB) — A much-anticipated meeting was held Tuesday in Walton County.

The joint session between the Tourist Development Council and the County Commissioners discussed the future of tourism.

“It’s understandable when you say north vs. south but technically, it is not,” said the acting County Attorney Clay Adkinson.

Residents and board members met to discuss some heated issues. How TDC money can be spent all along with the county, not just the trendy South Walton area.

“We’ve always been able to spend money outside of the South Walton tax,” said Adkinson.

Another topic was TDC marketing spending, which by many, was understood, it had to be 40% of the total budget. 

“We have an abundance of demand so our rates are off the charts, there are destinations that would kill for it,” said TDC Committee member Scott Russell.

But Adkinson said that is not the case.

“Our current marketing plan spends right at 29, just below 30% of our TDC revenue and that’s on marketing which is an increase after a year of dollars spent, but it’s a low percentage compared to that 40%,” said Adkinson.

Residents brought up their concerns about the leadership as well.

“Executive Director is being laid off, so I have concerns about dealing with the way of the leadership of the organization,” said one resident.

Interim Executive Director Jason Cutshaw is stepping in, and many of the board members and the residents are happy with the work he has done so far. But commissioners have the opportunity to advertise the executive director position, which they decided to wait on.

“Revisit it after the season, there is no point in deciding this in the middle of the season,” said Commissioner District two Danny Glidewell.

Once public comment came to a close and board members got all their questions answered the meeting ended on a positive note and officials seem to be very optimistic.

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