UPDATED: Eight apply to fill Fayetteville A&P Commission vacancy

Update Aug. 13 : Commissioners appointed Ching Mong, owner of Formosa Chinese Restaurant, to fill the seat. The group had narrowed the seven-person list to two favorites: Mong and Little Bread Co. owner Hannah Withers. Several commissioners favored Mong because of his business’ location away from downtown Fayetteville. Current commissioners represent Dickson Street (Hannah Mills, Dickson Street Inn), down/midtown (Maudie Schmitt, Cafe Rue Orleans) and the UA campus (Bill Lyle, Ella’s).

Update Aug. 10: Doug Allen withdrew his application on Aug. 9 citing a need to focus on his business.

Eight people have submitted applications to fill a vacancy on the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission.

The seat became vacant with the resignation of Jammin’ Java owner Brandon Karn, who stepped down in June after four years of service as a member of the volunteer group. The term is set to expire April 1, 2014.

The commission is expected to review the applications and choose a replacement commissioner during the group’s next regularly scheduled meeting at 2 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 13 in the conference room of the Fayetteville Town Center.

The following people have applied for the position (info taken from submitted applications):

Doug Allen

Employment: Owner, Jose’s Mexican Restaurant
Fayetteville residency: 23 years
Why would you like to be considered? I would like to represent the city of Fayetteville in a positive way to promote and build the tourism to our beautiful city.

Michael Andrews

Employment: Owner, Fresco Cafe & Pub
Fayetteville residency: 45 years
Why would you like to be considered? I want to serve. I have an understanding of the many groups and organizations in Fayetteville that request money from the A&P Commission. I will thoughtfully consider how we spend our taxpayers money to promote recreation and tourism in the City of Fayetteville.

Matt Behrend

Employment: General manager, Holiday Inn Express/KHG Hotels
Fayetteville residency: 5 years
Why would you like to be considered? I would like to have the chance to help in the process of growing the interest of Fayetteville.

Jim Huson

Employment: Owner, Doe’s Eat Place
Fayetteville residency: 12 years
Why would you like to be considered? I will work to get more business to town. I’m a business guy. We need to recruit people and business to Fayetteville. We need to turn this town back to business and people based and stop watching things go north.

Ching Mong

Employment: owner, Formosa Chinese Restaurant
Fayetteville residency: 34 years
Why would you like to be considered? I want to have a positive impact on the promotion of our community.

Shellie Morrison

Employment: Co-owner, The Event Group
Fayetteville residency: 24 years
Why would you like to be considered? I have always been interested in serving on this committee, and would consider it an honor. I feel that I would bring a different type of expertise to the commission. Many of your past members have been restaurant owners and hotel executives. As the owner of a catering company, I am able to work outside the confines of my facility and deal with many other vendors, applicable to events that are held in Fayetteville. I also have a working relationship with clients and vendors from all aspects of the corporate arena. Lastly, I feel very strongly that Fayetteville needs to capitalize and expand upon its local attractions to keep people in our city and to draw more events to our city. I try to use local businesses whenever I can for shopping, eating out, etc. In our current economic climate, I feel that we should encourage this practice to help our business owners.

Hannah Withers

Employment: Owner, Little Bread Co.
Fayetteville residency: 5 years
Why would you like to be considered? I believe that the handling of A&P funds, which is a tax that we collect in our business, is a privilege. I think all dispersement of funds should be taken seriously, and discussed in depth.

Denise Youngblood

Employment: Owner, Mojo’s Pints & Pies
Fayetteville residency: 14 years
Why would you like to be considered? With my knowledge of working in this industry and as a member of the community, I want to continue to increase the vitality of both.

Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission

The seven-member commission is comprised of two elected city officials (City Council members or the mayor), four owners or managers of businesses in the tourism industry (at least three from hotels, motels, or restaurants) and one person from the public at-large.

Maudie Schmitt: Owner, Cafe Rue Orleans
Hannah Mills: Manager, Dickson Street Inn
William Lyle: Executive chef, Ella’s Restaurant
Bobby Ferrell: City Council member
Justin Tennant: City Council member
Bob Davis: Resident (at-large member)

A&P Funds

Legislation created the Advertising and Promotion Commission in 1977 with the passage of the Hotel, Motel, Restaurant (HMR) tax in Fayetteville. The 2 percent tax is split equally between the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and the A&P Commission. The parks money is used for parks maintenance, operations and for capital improvements. The self-reported numbers do not include retail or liquor sales.

» See recent collection totals

By state legislation, all HMR funds shall be used:
1. for advertising and promoting the city and its environs
2. for the construction, reconstruction, equipment, improvement, maintenance, repair, and operation of a convention center
3. for the operation of tourist promotion facilities in the city
4. for personnel and agencies necessary to conduct the business of the A & P commission

HMR funds can also be used for:
1. for funding the arts
2. for operation of tourist-oriented facilities
3. for construction, reconstruction, repair, maintenance, improvement, equipping and operation of public recreation facilities and for the payment of bonds.

Taxes shall not be used for:
1. general capital improvements within the city
2. costs associated with general operation of the city
3. general subsidy of any civic group or chamber of commerce

Source: Arkansas Code / § 26-75-606 – Use of funds collected