Dear Editor,

Tourism is an important driver of the Marinette County economy.

The tourism marketing agreement between the county and the City of Marinette is working well for both parties. The county had a tourism department that was eliminated because of a lack of results. The county and the City of Marinette felt that there was a better way. In order to mitigate the risk and cost and explore the concept, a contract between them was signed.

Melissa Ebsch, marketing/tourism director for the City of Marinette, has shown the true potential of successful tourism marketing. Ebsch has brought energy, creativity, enthusiasm, dedication and results to the tourism marketing position for the entire county. In a short time, she has done a phenomenal job as measured by her clients in the county and those of us who have been following her closely.

Since mid-April, Ebsch has started from scratch in building a marketing tourism organization. She has met with at least seven communities in Marinette County to identify their needs, wants and suggestions on how they would like to be marketed. She has met with “Travel Wisconsin” to put together a show on Marinette County waterfalls on TV that appeared earlier this fall. She posts Marinette County events on their state website. Ebsch also has met with various recreational and civic groups throughout the county to gain their input on marketing and assemble materials and maps for the visitors guide. These are just some examples of the work she is doing to market tourism in Marinette County.

Those who practice the politics of division would have you believe that we will do better as individual entities. History has shown that is not true. Together we are able to develop a comprehensive strategy that encompasses the uniqueness of the regions within our county. We can apply greater financial resources to reach a broader audience at a much lower cost and greater effectiveness of message.

There are a few who criticize the county working with the City of Marinette. They discount that the taxpayers in the city also pay county taxes and, somehow, should be excluded from gaining any operating or financial benefits. The City of Marinette pays for the information technology and human resources services which they utilize. City of Marinette taxpayers pay for their own police force and also pay taxes for the county sheriff’s office. It should be the mission of government and elected officials to reduce taxes wherever possible and not create artificial barriers to efficiency.

We should continue working together to improve and expand tourism marketing in Marinette County.

 

Rick Polzin

Marinette County Board Supervisor — District 29, City of Marinette Alderman — Ward 7