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George resigns as tourism commissioner

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Change in job responsibilities have made it difficult for him to attend 3:30 p.m. meetings

By Stephen Lega

Dennis George has stepped down from his seat on the Lebanon Tourist and Convention Commission due to changes in his work schedule.

George noted in his resignation letter to Lebanon Mayor Gary Crenshaw on June 26, that he was doing so with regret.

"I have supported the commission from the outset and will continue to do so," George wrote to Crenshaw.

George was a member of the Lebanon City Council who voted in favor of creating a tourism commission.

In his letter, George noted that the mayor had written to former commission chairman Dan Lawson suggesting a change in the meeting times. George said at a meeting last year that he agreed with the mayor that changing the meeting times would be a good thing. He did not realize when he made those statements that the meeting time would become an issue for him personally, he said.

He also noted that he'd read a recent news report about the commission's difficultly in having a quorum at its June 11 meeting. In a phone interview, George said he had been working out of Bardstown, but he has been moved to a position based in Versailles, which makes it more difficult to attend 3:30 p.m. meetings.

He added that the 3:30 p.m. meeting time limits who is available to be appointed to the commission and also affects the public's ability to attend meetings. He added that he did not think it would be fair to the other commissioners or the taxpayers to have a commissioner who would not be able to attend the meetings.

"I appreciate the confidence you placed in me when you asked me to serve," George wrote in his letter. "I sincerely believe that the LTCC is heading in the right direction."

In a phone interview, George specified some of the ways he felt the situation has improved. He pointed out that when he was appointed, the city was looking at doing away with the commission. Today, he said the commission is more stable and it's no longer making front page news.

He also praised the efforts of Wayne Keen, who served as the interim tourism director after Chris Hamilton accepted a position in Aurora, Ill., and the new tourism director Nicky Reynolds on the commission's transition.

"Wayne did an excellent job of stepping into a prickly situation," George said.

He also said Reynolds may still be learning about the community, but she has a good background for the tourism office.

"She brings to the commission a vision that we've not seen before with a lot of online presence and advertising," George said.