A single of my favourite areas of doing the job for the park board is traveling to Austin various instances a yr. When there, I frequently just take the time to roam around the condition Capitol.
I imagine what the halls and chambers search like when the legislature is in session — the negotiations and the compromises that will have to come about to get the state’s organization accomplished.
The park board companions with an Austin-based mostly consultant, Ryan Brannan of The Brannan Company, who negotiates and compromises for a residing. He allows the park board identify and attain its legislative priorities at the condition stage. Regardless of troubles brought about by the pandemic, which include temporary resort and seashore closures, this year’s park board legislative priorities had been obtained.
The Galveston Seashore Patrol will advantage in a number of approaches. Brannan negotiated a lifeguard bill with Rep. Todd Hunter and his staff. It gives for staffing at all existing lifeguard stands from Memorial Day via Labor Working day through daylight several hours as considered needed.
This variation doesn’t call for the corporation to deliver further money or solutions. According to a prior model of the invoice, stands were to be placed at every jetty and staffed from February to November — a financial load for Galveston and quite a few, lesser coastal places.
Brannan labored with the Texas Normal Land Office to suitable $300,000 in reimbursement funding for Galveston’s seaside patrol division. The funding will be allocated to offset a drop in resort occupancy tax collections previously in the yr — the office is funded exclusively by way of hotel occupancy taxes. For more than a month in the spring, hotels were being requested closed. At the very same time, the seashores experienced an increase in visitor figures.
The beach patrol took the guide on supplying protection, security and purchase for substantial crowds of beachgoers throughout the peak of the pandemic. It also opened and closed the beach locations a number of periods all through spring and summer time previous calendar year.
Brannan and his colleagues also worked with condition tourism entities, including the Texas Travel Alliance and the Texas Resort & Lodging Affiliation, to ensure total funding for Texas Tourism’s advertising and marketing initiatives and applications that include things like the Occasion Have confidence in Fund software. These cash are allotted for marketing and advertising initiatives aimed at drawing site visitors to the Lone Star Condition.
Tourism is significant business enterprise in Texas. According to the governor’s office environment, prior to the pandemic, 1 in 10 Texas work ended up produced by travel, and the vacation industry was dependable for a $169.8 billion economic impression to the Texas economic system.
The legislative session has finished, but the negotiations continue. Brannan and the park board plan to work with the land office and other state organizations on items like emergency particles removing, increasing funding from the Gulf of Mexico Financial Securities Act and acquiring additional profits streams beyond lodge occupancy tax and beach front consumer expenses.
Park Board conferences are usually held at 1:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 601 23rd St. in Galveston.
Mary Beth Bassett is the general public relations director for the Galveston Island Conference and Website visitors Bureau and the Park Board of Trustees.