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Holding leaders’ retreats in another city is ‘nutty’

By Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

I thought it was a nutty idea that individuals interested in promoting this area headed out of town to have their conference. Then it got nuttier when we learned that the conference was put on by the Chamber of Commerce, whose director worried that participants might not “focus” if the conference was held locally.

He doesn’t give our elected officials much credit if he fears they might not “focus” sufficiently. Those good hearts who have taken on the demanding job of city commissioner care sufficiently about their community to show up on time, sit in their seats and pay attention at a discussion of promoting our city.

To his great credit, City Commissioner Wynn Butler has questioned the use of Manhattan taxpayers’ money to send our officials out of town to discuss how to promote this area. He noted that our city has been giving money to the Chamber of Commerce for its development of a convention and visitors bureau. Yet the Chamber of Commerce head worried that the conference might be too boring to hold anyone’s attention so his remedy was to head out of town.

I sent our City Commission a suggestion on how to capitalize on this peculiar reasoning. I proposed that they send Commissioner Butler to Overland Park to negotiate a contract for using Manhattan’s name in promoting Overland Park as a good place to hold conferences and conventions. We could send nice photos of our city manager and the head honcho of the Chamber of Commerce with a little dialog balloon that says, “When the City of Manhattan and the Chamber of Conference’s Convention and Visitors Bureau look for the best place to meet, we know to head for Overland Park!”

That should bring in a tidy sum. I can imaging how impressed our hotels and restaurants must be with a Chamber of Commerce that sends local folks out of town for a conference on how to promote our area.

And just because others are doing it doesn’t make it any less nutty.

Helen Roser
P.O. Box 1814

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