Officials met yesterday to discuss a potential new contract with the chamber of commerce for tourism promotion.
A subcommittee was formed at the city commission meeting Monday, Sept. 5, for the purpose of negotiating a new contract and ending the lawsuits between the city and Greater Shawnee Area Chamber of Commerce. It includes Mayor Wes Mainord, Commissioner Steve Smith, City Manager Brian McDougal, and City Attorney Mary Ann Karns.
The chamber filed a lawsuit against the city, after the city commission voted to sever an 18-year contract with the chamber. This contract creates the Convention and Visitors Bureau, which receives funds from the Hotel Occupancy Surcharge. The chamber claimed the city breached the contract, which they further claim was still valid at the time of the severance.
Chamber CEO/President Nancy Keith said she "hopes" another meeting will take place soon.
"We don't have any specifics yet, but we had some good discussion," Keith said.
"I think we can continue to move forward," she added.
Keith isn't sure what effect the meeting will have on the chamber's response to the hearing, which is due this week, but she said she is hopeful this will be resolved without further legal action.
Mainord said he expects another meeting will be scheduled soon, but he does not expect to see anything on the next city commission meeting agenda.
The chamber's legal counsel, and Karns, will need to work on the contract further before another subcommittee meeting, Mainord said. The next city commission meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 17, and this leaves little time to revise the contract and have another meeting, he added.
However, Mainord said he is confident this will be resolved quickly.
"Everyone was so nice, and willing to give a little," he said, of the meeting Wednesday. "Everybody wanted nothing but the best for Shawnee."
Another meeting is expected to be scheduled next week.
"We want to get this done and move on," Mainord said.
Mike Clover, legal counsel for the chamber of commerce, could not be reached for comment.