The Starke County Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors is fully populated for the first time since its establishment in 2011. The Starke County Commissioners appointed Mary Jane Bendt of Knox and Pamela Bush of California Township to the board for two-year terms.
The panel is comprised of five Democrats and four Republicans. State law requires a simple majority, in this case 5 members, be engaged in convention, visitor or tourism business or be involved in promoting conventions, visitors or tourism. If available and willing to serve, at least two members must be engaged in the business of renting or furnishing rooms, lodging or accommodations as described in state law. Additionally, not more than one member may be affiliated with the same business entity, and no more than a simple majority of members may be affiliated with the same political party. Also, each board member must live in Starke County.
The county council adopted an innkeeper tax in 2005 in order to fund local tourism promotion. However, the ordinance to populate the CVB board was not passed until 2011. The panel meets quarterly.