County appoints interim Tourism Director

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

Osage County commissioners April 25 voted, 3-0, to appoint Mary Beth Moore, of Kaw City, as the county’s interim Tourism Director.

The Board of County Commissioners agreed to appoint Moore for 60 days, with an option to renew her contract for 30 days. Contract terms had not been agreed, so the appointment was conditioned on a contract being worked out.

Assistant District Attorney Ashley Kane said a contract would need to be put in place. As of Friday, April 29, there was nothing on the commissioners’ agenda for Monday, May 2 about finalization of a contract for Moore.

The commissioners and Wayne Ray Mitchell, who chairs the Tourism Oversight Committee, talked briefly April 25 about finding office space for Moore and providing her with telephone service. Kelly Bland, the previous Tourism Director, did not have a county office. She initially worked partly from home, and later had office space at the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce when she was both the county Tourism director and the city’s Chamber executive. Bland did not use a county phone.

Mitchell proposed Moore’s name to the Tourism Oversight Committee, which recommended her to the county commissioners.

Moore has worked for the past decade as a realtor with Coldwell Banker Heritage in Ponca City. She has handled residential, commercial, farm/recreation and land development listings. She previously worked as a communication officer for OSU/University Mutispectral Laboratories In Ponca City.

Moore has previous experience as a Tourism Coordinator, from 2005-2009, for the Ponca City Area Chamber of Commerce. She will be filling a post that Bland built into a flexible, dynamic operation over a period of more than four years. Moore indicated to county officials that she anticipates spending a lot of her time on the road.

The county board also agreed to pay a rate of $100 an hour for up to 12 hours of consultation between Moore and Bland, so that Moore can become better acquainted with the arrangements and practices already in place.

The latest on a Tourism office, as of last Friday, was that Moore might have space in the E-911 building along 6th Street in Pawhuska.

The Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce is also moving ahead, with former Chamber executive Mike McCartney reportedly filling the post in the interim.