Leading that cause was Ray Martinez , president of the Massillon Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Massillon Westark Tourism Council , and some CVB steering committee members , including Don Peterson III , and Kathy Stroia of Alliance
Two governing boards do not make sense , Martinez
said.First you have the CVB board and then you have to get approval from the chamber board.It doesn't make sense..Martinez
is quick to discount the conclusions of the task force and questions its methods , while Bittle says the process was fair.
The task force refused to meet with us , Martinez
said.They will say they met with us twice - once in the beginning when they explained what they planned and that they were looking out for the best interests of the county - and in early October.But at that time they refused to meet with chamber directors..At first we were excited about the task force , he
said , but soon we saw it demonstrating the same pattern of behavior that led us to our distrust - more control than collaboration..
They offer statistics that show average attendance at the Pro Football Hall of Fame - the Big Dog , our Crown Jewel , Martinez
said - has gone down since the CVB was formed in 1980.The group also questions that the CVB donates $30 , 000 to Canton's Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival but does not donate to any other community festivals.Martinez
said that only 10 percent of the CVB's in Ohio have chamber influence , and that as long as the CVB is under the chamber's control it will be impossible to hire a qualified person to run the CVB and market the entire county.We just want to take the bureau to the next level , Martinez
said.The window of opportunity will close as soon as an executive director is named and if that happens the loyalty will be with the Canton chamber..