MARATHON, Florida Keys – Meeting in regular session, the Monroe County Tourist Development Council unanimously passed a new mission statement and elected officers for the 2021-22 fiscal year.
The TDC’s mission statement has been revised to reflect increased emphasis on protecting the Keys environment and a greater sensitivity to residents’ quality of life.
“The mission of the Monroe County Tourist Development Council is to manage Monroe County’s tourism marketing efforts to assure long-term economic stability resulting from visitor-related revenues,” the new mission statement reads. “The TDC pledges to benefit residents and visitors by utilizing those financial contributions to improve Florida Keys environmental and community resources. The tourism council also prioritizes working to enhance residents' quality of life and minimize their property taxes through safeguarding the health of the county’s primary industry.”
“I am so pleased to see that we are revising the mission statement to include the importance of protecting our environment as well as to educate our local residents of how the finances that are brought in truly do help our community, our parks, our beaches, our infrastructure,” said Monroe County Mayor Michelle Coldiron, who sits on the board. “I think this speaks miles for what we do at TDC.”
Key West Mayor Teri Johnston, who also is a board member, agreed.
“I appreciate the focus on quality of life,” Johnston said. “We do have a tremendous impact by the number of individuals that enjoy Key West along with our residents.
“I would hope it would continue and grow in situations where residents, the taxpaying residents of Key West, can see contributions that are being made through bed-tax revenue,” Johnston added.
In other TDC business, board members also re-elected Rita Irwin to serve as chair of the volunteer board that administers tourism marketing for the Florida Keys & Key West.
“We are coming off two of the most challenging years for the Keys and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of the team taking us through turbulent times,” Irwin said. “We are looking towards the future with optimism and awareness of the tasks ahead and are ready to take on those challenges.”
George Fernandez, co-owner of the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory, was re-elected vice chairman.
Timothy Root, board member of Keys Energy, and Diane Schmidt, general manager of Opal Key Resort & Marina and Sunset Key Cottages, are to serve as co-treasurers.
The TDC’s fiscal year runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.