Dear Editor, 

I would be remiss if I didn’t respond to Supervisor Rick Polzin’s recent letter offering his opinion that the Tourism Marketing agreement with the city and county is working well. The woman filling this role might be satisfactory in the eyes of the city (Polzin is also a member of the City Council) but falls short of the marketing needs of the county.

Remember a working agreement between two parties must be mutually beneficial. My criticism of (Melissa) Ebsch’s marketing is based upon my life-time career in marketing and public relations working in all forms of media — TV, radio and printed. 

I feel Ebsch is demonstrating her lack of experience by not properly identifying our target audience. Our target audience is not local residents who are already here. We must appeal to visitors from outside the county and state who will patronize motels/hotels, restaurants and gas stations thus helping county businesses grow. If businesses grow, jobs will be created and our tax base and sales tax revenue will grow. 

I feel Ebsch’s choice of media for telling our message is not correct and thus wastes money. Activities such as fun, games and prizes at camp sites, messages in ineffective local media accomplishes nothing of value. Our main goal should be to generate a larger customer base for county businesses so they can grow. That includes participation in trade shows with a targeted audience and messages in midwest publications of significant circulation. Polzin praises Ebsch’s enthusiasm and energy. Enthusiasm is no substitute for marketing skills and experience. Obviously Polzin is influenced by his position as a City Council member and requires a broader perspective.

Polzin pontificates about the value of working together. Marinette County and the City of Marinette are two separate and distinct governmental entities — each with their own unique responsibilities. His perspective regarding city residents paying county taxes is one sided at best. Marinette County does not owe anything special to City of Marinette residents than to residents of the remainder of the county. Our responsibility is to all county residents. One-sided agreements do not always increase efficiencies. As stated, a working agreement between two parties must be mutually beneficial.

In conclusion I don’t feel Marinette County has the experienced marketing director it deserves and needs. We’re in a one-sided agreement where the county is paying one half the salary of a city employee with very little in return. Tourism is an important component of Economic Development. Marinette County deserves a qualified full-time professional help us to focus and develop a well thought Economic Development plan to achieve our full potential.

 

Don Pazynski

Marinette County Board Supervisor