Camden County Presiding Commission Greg Hasty has taken a stance on the TCLA in a letter released to media Thursday.

Camden County Presiding Commission Greg Hasty has taken a stance on the TCLA in a letter released to media Thursday. 

Editor's Note: This letter is unedited and is being presented as it was sent by Gregory W. Hasty RLS, BR Camden County Presiding Commissioner. 

As Presiding Commissioner of Camden county is my obligation to protect the interests of all of its citizens. The economy of the Lake of the Ozarks is built around the lake itself. People come to the Lake of the Ozarks primarily to enjoy the lake. Virtually every business in Camden, Miller, and Morgan County is somehow related to the Lake of the Ozarks.

Every aspect of our economy, be.it construction, service industries, lodging, or real estate, is dependent : on people coming to the lake to stay. The core of our economy is built around a house on the waterfront with a boat dock in front of it. With the exception of The Lodge of the Four Seasons, and Tan Tar-A; every business or governmental entity that exists near our lake is dependent on the house on the water. 

Restaurants, shopping, boating, and all service industries, grew out of the ability to make a living serving. these homes on the lake: Off water hotels began to pop up at the lake, only after the restaurants and shopping provided alternative entertainment options. I know this is true, because I watched it all take place over nearly 50 years.

Nothing at the lake is more important than the house on the lake, with a boat dock in front of it.

Census data shows that in Camden County 71% of the homes are owned by people who don't live here. It is essential that government and quasi government entities at the Lake of the Ozarks protect the value of individuals purchasing homes at the lake, If the reasons to invest in a home on the water at the lake - are diminished, our ENTRIE economy is at risk, including ALL businesses.

Historically at the Lake of the Ozarks, each county and municipality was in competition with each other for scraps of economic growth. The Tri-County Lodging Association was originally formed out of a desire to work together for the common good of all tourist related activities at the lake. Sadly, the TČLA has degenerated into an entity appearing to serve only the lodging industry, rather than promoting tourism at the Lake of the Ozarks. 

In 2016, the TCLA hired lobbyists to affect legislation that would undermine the value of second home ownership on the Lake of the Ozarks. Second home ownership on the Lake of the Ozarks represents the majority of the tax base which our schools, governments, and emergency services rely. As Presiding Commissioner of Camden County, I was locked out of a meeting at Tan-Tar-A, regarding proposed legislation that would have effectively eliminated the ability to rent a home for less than 30 days. While the other members” of the TCLA board and staff walked right into that meeting, the "advisory member" was locked out. 

This effectively means that the TCLA was attacking the core of our economy, in favor of the lodging industry. This is not what the people of Camden, Miller, and Morgan counties voted for you to do. 

It is apparently a part of your bylaws that the Presiding Commissioner serves as the advisory member of your board. However, since taking office in 2015, I have not received one e-mail or contact relating to your meetings. Thave not been ask for advice regarding any matter before your board. 

If you had asked for advice regarding this destination soccer complex, I would have told you the results would be exactly as they turn out in this election. In fact, I predicted this outcome in advance to the staff of Lake-Expo. 

The TCLA is failing to meet the needs of ALL businesses related to tourism at the Lake of the Ozarks. For our tourist economy to thrive we need people here. Every restaurant, shopping center, boat dealership is dependent on people being here whether they be in rental homes, a resort, a condominium, or hotel. 

Over time it has become clear, the TCLA is failing to do their job to promote growth of our entire Lake of the Ozarks region. Two of the original goals proposed when TCLA was founded in the early 1990s, were a convention center, and a regional Airport. Since that time the Springfield/Branson tourist destination has accomplish both. In 1993, when TCLA was formed, our outlet mall was packed. It was difficult to find a parking space. Last Christmas, the outlet mall in Branson was packed, while our stores were half empty. Everyone was talking about that. Everyone agrees, we need to do something. 

The TCLA has failed the citizens of Camden, Miller, and Morgan counties. They have failed to create a vision for the joint growth of all tourist related industries. They have failed to develop a strategy to accomplish that vision. They have failed tactically, to execute any plans resulting in a diversified tourist industry. No vision, no strategy, no tactics. Instead you are using your funds to benefit some, at the expense of others. 

Recently, many members of your organization requested a meeting with the Camden County Commission. At that meeting, they accused the TCLA of not conducting fair and open elections. Additionally, many members of the TCLA regarded the administration of TCLA as out of control. In fact, these members of the TCLA requested that the commission withhold funding from the TCLA until these matters are resolved. The commission has been advised by our legal counsel that this is beyond the. scope of our authority under the statutes, at this time.. 

The TCLA as clearly lost credibility with much of its membership. The results of this of this last election proves, that the TCLA has lost all credibility with the citizens of the three counties it is supposed to serve. 

As Presiding Commissioner of Camden County, and in my capacity as an "advisory member" of your board, I am recommending that you immediately conduct new elections. These elections need to identify each voting member of the TCLA and give them the opportunity to vote, in an election certified by the clerk of each county. 

The management of TCLA has no vision, strategy, or tactical plans, which have been effective. Just the fact that they actually presented this "destination soccer complex" plan to the public for a vote, shows that they are completely out of touch. Everyone that I know expected this to go down in flames from the day it was put on the ballot. I predicted that this ballot issue would get about 30% of the vote. I was wrong, it got less. 

We all want growth. We don't want a pork-barrel soccer complex that clearly benefits just a few. If they had asked me for advice, I would have told them exactly the outcome of this last train wreck. So many possibilities, so little thought. 

In closing, in my capacity as "advisory member" of your board, you need to immediately have new elections. It is my opinion that the management of TCLA has failed you, and should be replaced. 

Gregory W. Hasty RLS, BR Camden County Presiding Commissioner