Wednesday, December 17, 2014  
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Staff Report

   The issuing of a $1,050 check and its purpose brought a round of strong questions at a meeting of the Grenada Tourism Commission last week.
   As board members reviewed monthly financial statements, member Jan Walton asked about the check, which was apparently left off the official printout given to the board.
   Discussion during the open meeting revealed that the check number was number 1998, and it was issued on Jan. 10 for $1,050.
   Walton asked board president Steve Robinson, “Where did this money go, Mr. President?”  
   Robinson paused, then insisted that the matter be discussed in executive session.
   The board voted to go into executive to discuss “budget,” and was advised that this was not an issue allowed under state law for closing a public meeting. The board then shifted and voted to go into executive session to discuss “personnel issues.”
   Board President Steve Robinson explained on Friday.
   “A financial matter was resolved, relating to personnel,” said Robinson said about the executive session. “Money was held but never actually spent to secure talent for the Balloons Over Grenada Festival, which is one of our area’s greatest attractions.”     
   Tourism Executive Director Samantha Hilmus confirmed Friday that $1,050 had been refunded to the Tourism account. The GrenadaStar has filed a freedom of information request for a copy of the check.
   Sources ascribed the incident to a lack of communication.
   The next meeting of the Tourism Commission is April 21 at 4 p.m. at the Grenada Area Chamber of Commerce. 


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