CAPC adds $25,000 to 2020 media budget
By Samantha Jones
The Eureka Springs City Advertising and Promotion Commission spent much of its Oct. 28 meeting discussing the budget, with finance director Rick Bright suggesting that the commission adjust its 2020 budget to account for additional marketing expenses.
Bright recalled the commission's Oct. 16 meeting, when the commission voted to spend an additional $25,000 on a radio promotion through Paradise Marketing. That brought the total marketing campaign to $75,000, though Bright said the commission only allocated $50,000 in the 2020 budget for it. Bright suggested that the commission allocate an additional $25,000 to media, saying the commission should also add $75,000 in revenue to cover the total expense of the media buy.
Commissioner Susan Harman asked if the commission had enough funds to cover the $75,000 and Bright said the commission is "already up by like $181,000."
"We're good there," Bright said.
Harman moved to add $75,000 to the revenue and $25,000 to media expenses in the 2020 budget, and the commission voted unanimously to do so.
Earlier in the meeting, the commission heard from special events coordinator Tracy Johnson about the Overhead Music Series. Johnson said the music series would cap off the 73rd annual Ozark Folk Festival, scheduled for Nov. 12-14.
"It's the longest running folk festival in the nation … so it's quite important we have a placeholder," Johnson said. "The show must go on, and it's an important title for us to maintain."
Commissioner James DeVito asked if the commission would be paying for acts playing at private venues during the festival and Johnson said the commission is only promoting the entertainment there. Johnson said the commission is paying for "just the balcony stuff."
"And regarding the balcony, some of the places for your original music were places that already had music on their balconies," DeVito said.
That's not true, Johnson said.
"You are thinking of the Basin Park balcony, which is where their restaurant is and that's on Spring Street," Johnson said. "My balcony is the fourth-floor balcony … facing the park and the two cannot hear each other whatsoever. It's not interfering. They're not in conjunction with."
DeVito continued to discuss the Overhead Music Series during the commission's discussion of the 2021 budget, when Harman mentioned that the commission has increased its spending on May Festival of the Arts from $10,000 to $25,000 over the past few years. Johnson said she and interim director Gina Rambo have agreed to cut the Rat Rod Festival and allocate those funds to May Festival of the Arts if the budget is tight.
DeVito asked how much the Overhead Music Series has cost the commission and Bright said it's $22,000 total. Johnson said that's for two and a half months of music and DeVito said "it's the impact to the community" he was questioning.
"I wish you would come out on Saturday and join us … " Johnson said.
"I don't have to come out on Saturday to understand it," DeVito interrupted. "I live downtown 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. I know where the music is. I know who's providing the music."
He continued, "I know all the buskers downtown. I know who pays for their own music and I think when we're talking about spending 20-some thousand dollars, we need to keep these things in perspective."
Chairwoman Carol Wright said she wants to keep the local artists in mind.
"They are a huge part of the community and some of the draw to Eureka," Wright said.
Harman addressed DeVito's comments about the Overhead Music Series.
"I think we're open to figuring out what we need to do," Harman said.
"Well, you're wanting to cut funds from May Fine Arts," DeVito said.
"I didn't say that," Harman said.
"You said it's gone from $10,000 to $25,000 a year and you'd like to examine that and I'm just saying we're spending 20-some thousand dollars on music that in my opinion is not necessary and is quite frankly a waste of money, so I'm just asking about keeping things in perspective," DeVito said.
"You do agree, though, that we should be a part of it?" Harman asked.
"I think we should look closely at every dollar we spend as a commission," DeVito said.
"You're OK with [Johnson] going over some of the things such as May Festival of the Arts?" Harman asked.
"I just wanted to be kept informed every step of the way in this process," DeVito said.
"OK, I think everybody else does, too," Harman said. "I'm not trying to start anything. You just seemed upset."
"It's five days out from the election and my blood pressure is 150 over 80," DeVito said.
Also at the meeting, the commission agreed to examine the job descriptions for Johnson, Rambo, group sales manager Karen Pryor and the future executive director. Harman said she didn't want to pay Rambo what she had been making before she took on the interim director role, because "she does have more responsibilities now."
The commission's next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, at The Auditorium.