Less than a week after declaring the application "late," the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission voted Thursday in a special meeting to approve an advertising grant for the Scottish Tartan Festival.
"Dr. (Alan) Cameron, is there any way going forward that maybe you can work with your team to work with us and Johnnye (Kennon), a little closer so maybe we don't have these mishaps," Chairman Kerry Easley asked. "We have had several mishaps over the years."
Cameron explained in the meeting the reason for the "mishap" was that the person that turned in the application is a volunteer and "she had a lot going on at the time." Cameron said he was unaware it was turned in late.
"We are really trying to work with you guys," Easley said. "We need to have some real camaraderie between tourism and Scottish Tartan."
Johnnye Kennon, of the Webster Parish Tourism Bureau, emailed the application to a representative of the Scottish Tartan Festival on Friday, January 24. The advertising application was received February 10 and applications must be submitted 60 days prior to the event.
Easley stressed the importance of the 60 day window deadline before the event, and the 60 day window after an event to turn in receipts to be eligible for grants the following year.
In a good faith effort, the commission approved a $1,000 advertising grant to the festival, after denying a major grant line item of $4,000 in January.
"I would be in favor of granting the $1,000 under the understanding that it is a one-time exception and because it is such a good event," Vice-Chairman Terry Snook said.
Easley said he wants the community and other recipients of grants to work for the commission and not against them, by supporting their decisions.
"We want to do what is right for the parish, but we also want the parish to do what is right for us," Easley said.
Easley also added that the commission is on a volunteer basis and no one is paid to be on the board.
Cameron said he was very surprised and appreciated the commission's generosity in the approval of the advertising grant.
"I felt the atmosphere when I came in and I felt real good about it," Cameron said.