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Articles

Oh, Then It's Done? Marketing effort sees its last day

 110717 ab visitors bureau shuttered04637
Ojai Valley News photo by Andra Belknap
The former Blanche Street home of the Ojai Visitors Bureau is now vacant.
Andra Belknap, Ojai Valley News reporter
The Ojai Visitors Bureau (OVB) closed its doors for good Oct. 31, after the dissolution of the Ojai Tourism Improvement District (OTID). OTID moneys, raised through an assessment on those staying at local hotels, funded the OVB.
OTID was formed by the Ojai City Council in 2012 for a five-year term that ended Oct. 31.
Members of the OTID Advisory Committee appeared before the Ojai City Council in January hoping to renew the assessment district for a 10-year term. A March 28 Council resolution reauthorized the assessment district for a three-year term.
Discussion of an OTID renewal led to a community-wide debate over tourism in Ojai and a citizen-led referendum was able to collect enough signatures to send the question to a city-wide vote. 
Then Ojai City Clerk Cynthia Burrell certified to the Council May 23 that the petition received more than the 498 signatures required to trigger the referendum process — 10 percent of Ojai's 4,976 registered voters.
The referendum left the Council with two choices: repeal the OTID reauthorization or put the matter on the ballot. The Council voted unanimously June 13 in favor of the repeal.
 See also: “OTID is dead: City votes not to renew marketing effort” Ojai Valley News, June 15, 2017.

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