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Better way to run a regional board

Regarding the editorial in The Day, "Problems cry out for new tourism approach" (Nov. 25): The state is holding back $200,000 representing two quarterly payments to our Eastern Regional Tourism District primarily because business is not getting done due to lack of a quorum at meetings, unfilled vacancies and poor attendance. The district is comprised of 41 towns, and each is supposed to have a representative on the board. Eleven towns have not even appointed anyone.

Some years back I worked with a similar quasi-government board comprised of 18 towns. Towns were required to have appointed representatives. The same problems were evident. It was fixed because sometimes money talks. Charter provisions were amended to allow a $100 stipend per meeting for attendance. This, coupled with some light refreshments, insured a quorum was present at every meeting. Sometimes it is just too much to ask of volunteers to make a continual commitment of time and effort with just a thank-you in return. The stipend would be a small fraction to pay to regain the many thousands being lost now. While the state is at it, they should also consider regional clusters to the board. How do you expect a 41-person board to conduct any meaningful business?

Marshall Chiaraluce

Mystic

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