Posts belonging to Category Gary Wilson



Another priceless quote from the esteemed Gary Wilson, Director of Economic Development for Caroline County.

A follow-up to my previous post:

Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 31, 2001:

Although Caroline County hasn’t calculated the economic impact the jamboree has on the region, officials say the quadrennial gathering is one of the most significant economic events in the area. On state Route 207 leading from Interstate 95 to Bowling Green, gas stations, restaurants and local businesses prominently display signs welcoming Scouts and visitors to the area – and their business.

The jamboree business boom appears to be good, said Gary Wilson, Caroline’s director of economic development.

“So far, all the information has to be anecdotal, but we could probably use another hotel or two,” Wilson said. “All of our hotels are booked.”

In Fredericksburg, local hotels have been booked for two weeks before and two weeks after the jamboree, apparently from visitors who came early or will linger, particularly to see the Civil War battlefields in the area, said Kathy Beard, director of economic development and tourism in Fredericksburg.

In downtown Fredericksburg, streets are more congested than usual with visitors flocking to visit the antiques shops, cafes and boutiques that line Caroline Street, Beard said.

“The level of this spike does not occur until the Boy Scouts return,” she said. “No other event brings the kind of impact this project does.”

At Main Street Cafe in Bowling Green, owner Maxine Miller has employed family and friends to help her serve the extra customers, and her mother has been working overtime to bake the cafe’s signature homemade pies.

“We’re very pleased,” Miller said. “We love this. We had the Boy Scouts of America band come in the other day. . . . I don’t know what kind of food they have over there, but they ate good. They really enjoyed themselves with the milkshakes.”

At Roma’s, the Amatos hired seven extra workers for the week, rented the building next door to accommodate overflow crowds and added tables to the restaurant. After doubling their food inventory, they found out it still wasn’t enough.

“We can’t keep enough lettuce in the house to make salads,” Josephine Amato said.

But a group of about 20 jamboree youth staff chowing down on mushroom and pepperoni pizzas in the middle of the restaurant didn’t seem to notice. They were just happy to get food away from camp.

“Lunch has been sandwiches all week. Breakfast has gotten to the point where we really don’t get up for it anymore. This is great. And he’s paying the bill,” said Steven Anderson, 19, of Wichita, Kan., as his leader pulled out his wallet.

I threw in the stuff from Kathy Beard just because of the irony of the fact that she now works for Gary Wilson as Tourism Manager or whatever.

Gary Wilson is an outright, pathological liar; and I have proof.

Here’s what Gary Wilson had to say about the National Boy Scout Jamboree leaving Caroline County in today’s edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Meanwhile, Caroline County Economic Development Director Gary Wilson said yesterday that the county wasn’t particularly stung by the loss, because the jamboree was self-contained and didn’t add that much to the local economy.

[…]

The jamborees routinely attract 30,000 to 40,000 Boy Scouts and their leaders, along with hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Despite those numbers, Wilson said the jamborees typically have not left a massive economic footprint on the locality, primarily because the participants tend to arrive in buses, go directly to the military post and stay there.

“We did a study after the last jamboree that indicated the actual increase in sales for a two or three-week period every year was about $815,000,” Wilson said. “Caroline County is not particularly feeling any sting from the loss of the Boy Scouts, frankly. A.P. Hill is hermetically sealed, practically, and we just didn’t get very much out of it.”

First, it’s absolutely amazing that the Economic Development Director considers $815,000 to be chump change. Especially as the county is forcing the Sheriff’s Office to give unpaid furloughs to sheriff’s deputies due to budget cuts.

And here’s what Gary Wilson had to say about the National Boy Scout Jamboree after the ACLU successfully sued the Department of Defense on the grounds that the DOD couldn’t constitutionally provide support to the Boy Scouts of America and thus the jamboree couldn’t be held at Fort A.P. Hill (the case has since been successfully appealed and the Boy Scouts could legally hold the jamboree there):

Losing the jamboree would be a serious blow for Caroline, which gets about $1 million in revenue during the event, said Gary Wilson, the county’s economic development director. Events such as model train shows and book fairs are timed to coincide with the jamboree, and local businesses print up promotional material to hand out to Scouts’ families.

Residents work at the event and sell the Scouts raw materials, and guests fill hotels and restaurants.

“Our hotels are booked four years in advance,” Wilson said.

That’s from the July 17, 2005 edition of The Washington Post.

From the May 23, 2004 edition of The Free Lance–Star:

Caroline County, a popular stopover for people visiting Paramount’s Kings Dominion, isn’t expecting a significant increase in visitation this summer. But the numbers should climb next year, said Gary Wilson, the county’s economic development director.

[…]

“We’ll also have the 2005 Boy Scout Jamboree,” Wilson said. “That’s always a plus.”

And then there’s this story from WFLS from September 10, 2003:

Having your name on a Boy Scout logo…Priceless.

Soon Boy Scouts everywhere will be recognizing Caroline County.

The organization is changing its international jamboree logo to include a prominent reference to the county. Economic Development Director, Gary Wilson, says by the year 2005, just in time for the next event, every item related to the Boy Scout Jamboree will say Caroline County, Virginia.

Wilson says this is a thank you from the Boy Scout organization

The recognition is expected to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars of free marketing for the county.

And going way back to the October 15, 2001 edition of The Free Lance–Star:

Caroline County made more than $1.25 million in food and hotel-room sales during last summer’s National Scout Jamboree, a new report shows.

The total regional economic impact of the jamboree was expected to be in the tens of millions of dollars, officials from Fort A.P. Hill, which hosts the event, said earlier this summer.

[…]

Caroline’s gross food sales this July were nearly $1.16 million more than for the same month last year, when no jamboree was held, according to the report.

County hotels earned about $128,000 more than last year.

The report also said that gasoline sales were far above typical for July, and that many local contractors and suppliers of building materials were used to prepare A.P. Hill for the jamboree. Exact figures for these two sectors were not available for the report, Wilson said.

Great one, Gary: National Boy Scout Jamboree moving to Goshen, Virginia.

I wonder how much sales and gasoline taxes the country is going to lose from buses that used to stop at Carmel Church (Richmond Times-Dispatch):

The Boy Scouts of America may be doing a good deed for Virginia and West Virginia.

The organization announced yesterday it has settled on Goshen, Va., as the permanent home for its national jamboree. The community is in Rockbridge County near the George Washington National Forest.

[…]

Scout officials told the Charleston Daily Mail the decisions come after an 18-month review of possible locations to create a national scouting center. The center would focus on creating a permanent home for the jamboree, establishing a new high-adventure base and creating new training opportunities.

Now, can someone explain to me why the county is paying $200,000+ to the Economic Development Office for Gary Wilson’s expert leadership? Can someone show me a single thing he has done to get any economic development in the county?

Correction/Clarification: Kathy Beard misquoted by The Caroline [Lack of] Progress.

Kathy Beard, the Director of Tourism, was [mis]quoted as stating that the county received $1,600,000 in taxes from the transient occupancy tax (TOT) in 2007 by The Caroline Progress.

Gary Wilson’s response to an e-mail seeking a comment about that claim:

Mr. Watson,

Thanks for your questions regarding the impact of the tourism industry in Caroline County.

The report discussed during the meeting reflected the tourism revenue impact dollars in Caroline for 2007. These numbers are supplied by the Virginia Tourism Corporation and have been tracked throughout Virginia for years. These numbers were not presented as any type of county budget indicator, as they only monitor the income produced by the industry within the jurisdiction.

This table reflects the Caroline County section of the report:

County ($ Millions) ($ Millions) (Thousands) ($ Millions) ($ Millions)
2007 (preliminary) State Tax Local Tax
Expenditures Payroll Employment Receipts Receipts
CAROLINE 70.21 9.78 0.56 3.44 1.61

Caroline County collects transient occupancy taxes at a rate of 5% per each lodging occurrence. These are the only funds that support the Tourism program for the county. The local tax receipt figure reported above by the state for 2007 are a combination of lodging, meals, sales, fuel, and several other types of taxes, generated by that activity, not the amount of funds dedicated to the tourism budget in Caroline County.

Again, thank you for your inquiry regarding the tourism impact in Caroline. Although we will certainly see a decline in these revenue numbers due to the slowing economy, we hope tourism in Caroline County will continue to play an important role in new revenue spreading throughout the county.

Source: http://www.vatc.org/research/2007VACountyEstimates.xls

In English, Director Wilson is stating the Ms. Beard referenced the fact that the Virginia Tourism Corporation estimates the county received $1,6100,000 in taxes from tourism related industries. That would be seen in sales tax, gasoline taxes, and other taxes including TOT.

My follow-up:

Are you stating that Ms. Beard was misquoted by The Caroline Progress?

His response:

Ms. Beard was indeed misquoted.

Did Caroline County lose track of $1,300,000 in tax revenue? Correction/Clarification: Kathy Beard misquoted by The Caroline [Lack of] Progress.

Read the follow up post.

The original post can be read below in its original form:

That, or our astute tourism manager doesn’t know how much money tourism brings into the county (The Caroline Progress):

Kathy Beard, County Director of Tourism, spoke about the role tourism plays in county economics. Beard stated that more than $70 million dollars were spent on tourism related industry in Caroline in 2007, and $1.6 million came back to the county in the form of transient occupancy taxes.

$1,600,000 in transient occupancy taxes (TOT) — that’s the hotel tax for the uninitiated — in 2007?

Let’s see, according to the proposed FY07-08 budget (p. 193), in the second half of the 2007 calendar year, the county only brought in $150,719 in TOT.

Assuming that the county brought in the same amount during the first half of the ’07 calendar year (probably not, but let’s assume), that means a total of $301,438 during the whole calendar year.

So, that leaves three possibilities (I’m leaning towards option #2):

  1. The county “lost” $1,300,000 in tax revenue.
  2. Kathy Beard doesn’t know jack about how much money comes into the county, and decided to claim a figure more than five fold higher than the actual number.
  3. She was misquoted (always a possibilities with The Caroline [Lack of] Progress).

In other funny stuff from the Economic Development Office, you gotta love the fact that the e-mail link to Director Gary Wilson that is on the Economic Development Office’s homepage doesn’t even work.

How bad is it for an Economic Development Office to not even have a functioning e-mail link to the Director?

Remember VSE? That defense subcontractor that Gary Wilson et al. tout as an economic development success?

Yeah, they’re in the process of getting fined $17,400 for violating numerous environmental regulations (Link [PDF]):

SECTION C: Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

  1. VSE is a publicly traded professional services company that provides engineering and technical support services to the U.S. Government.
  2. The VSE Facility which is the subject of this Order, is the Ladysmith Blast and Paint Facility, located at 17253 Center Drive in Ladysmith, Virginia.
  3. At the Facility, VSE generates waste paint and related material, spent blast media, spent solvents, used wipes, and used personal protective equipment as part of its blast and paint operations.
  4. 4. VSE notified DEQ of the Facility’s status as a CESQG on December 29, 1992, and amended its status as a SQG on August 13, 2007.
  5. DEQ staff conducted a hazardous waste compliance evaluation inspection at the Facility on January 25, 2008.
  6. Waste generation records reviewed onsite at the January 25, 2008 inspection showed that the Facility has been a LQG for at least three years.
  7. VSE notified DEQ by letter dated February 25, 2008, of its current LQG status. VSE also noted in this letter that the Facility had exceeded SQG status in 2005 and 2006, and that VSE was prepared to pay arrearage and current application fees for LQG status at this site as may be stipulated by DEQ.
  8. On May 22, 2008, DEQ issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to VSE that set forth the following violations of the Regulations observed during the January 25, 2008 inspection:
    • Failure to make a hazardous waste determination in accordance with 40 CFR 262.1 1.
    • Failure to properly complete a manifest in accordance with 40 CFR 262.20(a).
    • Failure to label containers before transportation off-site with the words and information required by 40 CFR 262.32(b).
    • Failure to store waste in containers complying with the requirements set forth in 40 CFR 262.34(a)(l)(i) and 265 Subpart CC.
    • Failure to label waste containers with the dates that the hazardous waste began accumulating in accordance with 40 CFR 262.34(a)(2).
    • Failure to label containers storing hazardous waste with the words “hazardous waste” as required by 40 CFR 262.34(a)(3).
    • Violation of 40 CFR 262.34(c)(1)f or accumulating more than one 55-gallon container of hazardous waste at or near any point of generation.
    • Failure to provide hazardous waste management and emergency procedure training to personnel, failure to make arrangements with local authorities, and failure to have a contingency plan, as required by 40 CFR 262.34(a)(4) and 265 Subparts C and D.
    • Failure to properly close containers holding hazardous waste during storage as required by 40 CFR 262.34(a)(l)(i) and 265.173(a).
    • Failure to inspect areas where containers are stored at least weekly as required by 40 CFR 262.34(a)(l)(i) and 265.174.
    • Failure to label or mark universal waste, and failure to label containers holding universal waste batteries with the date the waste began accumulating in accordance with 40 CFR 273.14 and 40 CFR 273.15(c).
    • Failure to notify the Department of the location of hazardous waste accumulation areas as required by 9 VAC 20-60-262.B.4 and 40 CFR 262.34(c).
    • Failure to notify the Department of LQG status as required by 9 VAC 20-60-3 15.D.
  9. While not noted in the May 22,2008 NOV, the Facility failed to pay the LQG annual fees required by 9 VAC 20-60-1283 through 1285 for the years 2005, 2006, and 2007.
  10. VSE representatives met with DEQ on June 12, 2008 to discuss the violations noted in the May 22, 2008 NOV, and the current enforcement action.
  11. The development and maintenance of a compliance binder as required by Appendix A of this Order, will better ensure that the Facility operates in compliance with the Applicable hazardous waste regulations.

SECTION D: Agreement and Order

Accordingly, the Virginia Waste Management Board, by virtue of the authority granted it in Va. Code §§ 10.1 – 1402, 10.1 – 1405, and 10.1 – 1455, orders VSE Corporation, and VSE Corporation agrees to perform the actions described in Appendix A of this Order. In addition, the Board orders VSE Corporation, and VSE Corporation voluntarily agrees, to pay a civil charge of $17,400.00 within 30 days of the effective date of the Order in settlement of the violations cited in this Order. Payment shall be made by check payable to the “Treasurer of Virginia”, delivered to:

Receipts Control
Department of Environmental Quality
Post Office Box 1104
Richmond, Virginia 23218

The payment shall include VSE Corporation’s Federal Tax ID number and shall state that it is being tendered in payment of the civil charges assessed under this Order.

Bravo.


Warning: Unknown: open(/home/content/36/5675336/tmp/sess_0a3b5nn72rsk4ngetuesb2u8m2, O_RDWR) failed: No such file or directory (2) in Unknown on line 0

Warning: Unknown: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct () in Unknown on line 0